Saturday, May 07, 2011

Turning the other cheek

I think the world is better off with the terrorist Osama bin Laden dead. However I was a little shocked by the reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's words about feeling uneasy about the "taking out" of bin Laden.

Christians have a duty of bringing the voice of Christ into the world which normally doesn't want to hear it. It simply doesn't understand the Christian way of meeting injustice with mercy, violence with turning the other cheek. Some Christians themselves ignore Christ's words about his Kingdom not being of this world. Evil is never overcome by evil, even a little evil.


nickbris said...

Belittling an enemy after his demise is a bit counterproductive,which is why the story was changed so quickly.

How many thousands of innocent lives has it cost to achieve this VICTORY?They won't be able to jump up & down in ecstasy.

Somebody ought to be asking why these people have so much hatred of America and Non Muslims

Michael Petek said...

Turning the other cheek is a teaching for the case of private revenge for minor offences against the person which nobody bothers to take to the police anyway.

The trouble is that this counsel of perfection belongs to the roof of the house of faith - you can't use roofing materials to build a foundation. If you try to, then the house will fall down.

It is equally part of the Christian way to read the last verses of Romans chapter 12 with the first verses of chapter 13.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."

Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God.

Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear to good conduct, but to evil. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it, for it is a servant of God for your good.

But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer. Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience.

When Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world, He was referring to a kingship - kingly activity - which was unique to the House of David and not dependent on political facts or military strength which are the foundation of legitimate earthly rulers. Its sufficient foundation is the anointing with the Holy Anointing Oil which God ordered Moses to make and use only to anoint the priests, the Tabernacle and its furnishings. It had a contagious holiness and could not be used on an unauthorised person. (Exodus 30).

When the covenant of David was established, his sons were authorised to be anointed, and a man received the anointing for himself and all his male descendants after him. Only Solomon and Joash were anointed in person. The kings of the House of David wielded temporal power in Judah like other kings, but they also possessed a gift of the Holy Spirit to enable them to serve as signs on earth of what God was doing as the true ruler of all Israel.

Nancy said...

Is Michael a Christian? I've just looked at hi site.
Minimalising Christ's teaching is certainly not sign of being one.

Michael Petek said...

Nickbris, I can tell you exactly why they hate non-Muslims, including America.

Because the Qur'an, the hadiths, and the sunna tell them that God commands it for as long as these do not accept and apply Islamic law as the law of the land, and in full.

Michael Petek said...

Nancy, I am most certainly a Christian.

If my website speaks evil, give testimony of the evil, but if not, why dost thou strike me?

Jacobitess said...

Miss Nancy, you have no business making an ad hominem remark sans logical reply.

Remember that charity begins at home, and if you cannot be civil to a fellow Christian who employs Scripture for his argument, then how can you claim to have compassion on a mass murderer?

Concerning the issue. however, turning the other cheek has nothing to do with passively taking a beating. If I forgive an insult, then I am following Christ's words (e.g., an isolated backhand, or an unkind remark). This doesn't mean I have to stand there and let someone pummel me with his fists.

Whether or no this episode of tyrannicide was justifiable, I am not going to lose sleep over it. The USA alone has murdered 51 million unborn children and counting, and that sullies every morning I have. Therfore, I'm not going to weep over the killing of one evil man; tears are better spent elsewhere.

shane said...

I just feel sorry for the 92 virgins ;)

Webmaster Gareth said...

Christianity, Catholicism, is marked by Justice - in this life and the next.

Arrest him, charge him. If convicted jail or dispatch him.

But summary execution smacks of untempered vengeance, and lowers "our" standards to those of the cold blooded murderers who kill the innocent (terrorists, abortionists etc.)

This action by the Americans was void of justice.

Michael Petek said...

Shane, it's 72 virgins, not 92.

No one told poor Osama that these virgins were women. Or even human. Or not in possession of horns, tails and pitchforks.

Webmaster Gareth, this wasn't a summary execution, it was an act of war against a commander of military forces at war. SEAL Team 6 were scrambling around the inside of a building, at night, not knowing how many people were in the building nor how many were armed.

I have no more problem with their killing bin Laden than I do with the fact that my grandfather set out to kill Hitler.

B flat said...

Your last sentence, Father, summarizes what I believe is the Christian view. That is why I am not feeling either joy, or an increased sense of security, from this operation and the idiotic disclosures which follow it. The devil's work is being done in so many violent and brazen ways, that the whole cultural atmosphere is poisonous to any follower of Christ.

nickbris said...

No need to feel sorry for the 92 Virgins,the correct translation is Sultanas which we all know is a dried currant.

gemoftheocean said...

Father, I did turn the other cheek. BOTH of them. I do so enjoy the crocodile tears of the cleric in question, simpering on about bin Laden. I suppose he'd have far and away preferred capturing him, putting him up in Europe somewhere for an impartial circus civilian trial and having hostages taken worldwide for his release (so European, doncha know?), plus the spectacle of being compassionately released to oh, say Libya on the grounds that he'd only have weeks to live, then coming 'home' to some Islamic hell-hole for a hero's welcome. That would be 'justice' in his eyes.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Glad to see you come out with a pro-Obama comment.
Our communion with Christ makes life difficult for us in such circumstances.
For Americans there is the added difficult of not recognising any international court of Human rights, regarding them all as "circuses".

gemoftheocean said...

Okay, remind me. Other than Speer, what high up Nazi didn't get hanged at the end of the day? And that was 65 years ago, before all this PC BS.
Radical Muslims will not be happy until everyone in the West converts to their form of fanaticism. I am sooo sure that in order to get a 'fair trial' the worthless international courts would have insisted on a 'jury of his peers' - in other words, having a bunch of Islamofascists on the jury so as to ensure a 'not guilty' verdict. As for Obama, yeah, right on that one. Not that a retarded 8 year old couldn't have made that call within 5 minutes instead of the '16 hours' it took him to pull it together. Apparently Hillary and Leon Panetta held a gun to his head or something.

pelerin said...

As we all know forgiving our enemies is often not an easy task but it is a Christian directive to be followed.

A short video by the American Priest Fr Robert Barron (linked from De Cura Amimarum) explains further the necessity for forgiving our enemies as we are all brothers. He ends by saying that 'even Osama Bin Laden is our brother.'

johnf said...

Norman Tebbit made an astute observation. He said that Bin Laden should have got himself to the UK and applied for asylum. If he had managed to get here with his wives and children, he would have been supported by the human rights industry with a nice large house paid for by the British taxpayer, and would have been still free to appear on BBC chat shows and supported by not a few in British Universities.

There must be weeping and wailing amongst the human rights lawyers at the loss of so much lucrative business.

I think Gem's point is right. If Bin Laden had been captured by the Americans there would have been continual hostage taking, hostages in orange jumpsuits having their throats cut on TV. We are dealing with very evil people.

The story has been changing so quickly that we shall never know what happened. Suffice to say, he died 'resisting arrest'

I agree with the Archbishop of Canterbury deprecating the gloating that has gone on. His point has also been echoed by the Vatican who has said that the correct response of Christians to any death is to reflect that sooner or later we shall all meet our Maker and have to account for our deeds on Earth.

pelerin said...

For over a year now every Wednesday I have been reading an inspiring weekly post put up on the blog of 'These Stone Walls.' The blog is only possible due to the work of two people, one in another State of the US and one in Australia because the writer is a Priest serving a lengthy prison sentence who has no access to a computer and has never even seen his work on screen.

If he had pleaded guilty to the crimes he was accused of, he would have been a free man long ago. Sixteen years later he maintains his innocence and many believe him. His sufferings are immense as he is not in good health but his writings are inspirational.

I have just read again the post the Priest wrote on March 23rd on forgiveness - 'the agonising triumph of conscience over revenge.' It is nigh impossible to finish reading it without tears welling up. His initial thoughts on hearing that one of his prosecutors who had condemned him to a life in jail had taken his own life can be imagined. However knowing that you must pray for your enemies he comes to the conclusion that you cannot pray for someone and hate them at the same time. His forgiveness is truly amazing and an inspiration to us all.

I can only begin to imagine the grief endured by those who have lost loved ones whether in New York or London. Let us hope that they too can be healed by prayer to remove their hatred.

nickbris said...

Some of these "Christians" who talk a lot of nonsense here should be fed to the lions.

Jesus did not talk about revenge,He taught us to show compassion and to Love our Enemies.This lesson has not sunk in.

If we persist in interfering with other peoples lives then we have to expect them to retaliate,they are not going to turn the other cheek,they are followers of Mohammed and have had enough of being persecuted by thieves and vagabonds who are not following the teaching of their God.

Independent said...

Perhaps he could have been tried according to sharia law and when found guilty been subjected to the proper Islamic punishment. He was born in Saudi Arabia where they have extensive experience of such executions. Trying and punishing him according to his religion would have been just.

Michael Petek said...

Nickbris, Jesus did talk about revenge when he said something along the lines of: "But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me." (Luke 19:27)

As for they who are followers of Mohammed, who do they think they are to defy the Gospel?

Cosmos said...

Is the United States governement a Christian? I feel like a lot of damage is done not only by separating a state from ethical restraints, but also (conversely) by treating it like an individual? For example, an individual is called to forgive a thief, but a judge (as a judge) is not.

"Our communion with Christ makes life difficult for us in such circumstances." Does this include war in general- even just wars? If not, why not?

Crux Fidelis said...

Gem asks: Other than Speer what high up Nazi didn't get hanged at the end of the day?

Rudolf Hess for one. See also Dönitz, Funk, von Papen and von Schirach. There were others whose names don't immediately come to mind. Göring committed suicide before sentence could be executed. So, all in all, not a few escaped the death penalty.

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