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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Protecting Our Property (and please pray)

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crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Defense

Hi All,

Had some mixed feelings about continuing these things in light of the sobriety that has transpired. Part of that is a general sobering tone as a friend of the family, a brother in the Lord 'lost' his own father Saturday night - Poor choice of a word, he is only lost temporarily to those that remain ...

Maybe it is just to keep the family in mind and in prayer as first importance, the questions and discussions at first I thought might be better treated separate - But on second thought, they were part and parcel and everyone has been very mindful ...

Quote:
I have found some of the most radical statements in scripture to be these from Matthew 5:



I agree brother and I wanted to take a fresh look at it again, though I still had my own preconceptions ... My tendencies seem to keep drawing other verses that in turn draw in other considerations. Some commentary on this;

[b]Mat 5:38-41 -
An eye for an eye[/b] ... - This command is found in Exo_21:24; Lev_24:20, and Deu_19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it. But instead of confining it to magistrates, the Jews had extended it to private conduct, and made it the rule by which to take revenge. They considered themselves justified by this rule to inflict the same injury on others that they had received. Our Saviour remonstrates against this. He declares that the law had no reference to private revenge, that it was given only to regulate the magistrate, and that their private conduct was to be governed by different principles.

The general principle which he laid down was, that we are not to resist evil; that is, as it is in the Greek, nor to set ourselves against an evil person who is injuring us. But even this general direction is not to be pressed too strictly. Christ did not intend to teach that we are to see our families murdered, or be murdered ourselves; rather than to make resistance. The law of nature, and all laws, human and divine, justify self-defense when life is in danger. It cannot surely be the intention to teach that a father should sit by coolly and see his family butchered by savages, and not be allowed to defend them. Neither natural nor revealed religion ever did, or ever can, inculcate this doctrine. Our Saviour immediately explains what he means by it. Had he intended to refer it to a case where life is in danger, he would most surely have mentioned it. Such a case was far more worthy of statement than those which he did mention.

A doctrine so unusual, so unlike all that the world had believed. and that the best people had acted on, deserved to be formally stated. Instead of doing this, however, he confines himself to smaller matters, to things of comparatively trivial interest, and says that in these we had better take wrong than to enter into strife and lawsuits. The first case is where we are smitten on the cheek. Rather than contend and fight, we should take it patiently, and turn the other cheek. This does not, however, prevent our remonstrating firmly yet mildly on the injustice of the thing, and insisting that justice should be done us, as is evident from the example of the Saviour himself. See Joh_18:23. The second evil mentioned is where a man is litigious and determined to take all the advantage the law can give him, following us with vexatious and expensive lawsuits. Our Saviour directs us, rather than to imitate him rather than to contend with a revengeful spirit in courts of justice to take a trifling injury, and yield to him. This is merely a question about property, and not about conscience and life.

Albert Barnes

Joh 18:23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

Being mentioned there and another that comes to mind, Paul;

[i]And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.[/i] Act 23:2-5

Not to camp on those two at all but maybe to amplify it a bit - Paul stated; [i]to be smitten contrary to the law[/i] which gives some impetus to Barnes comments. Rather than develop all this just here, I wonder about all the other statements in scripture that come to mind, even if just derivatives, such as;

1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Those provisions are also protection, care, providing safety and a readiness to lay down our own lives, which raises another consideration itself - 'Laying down' being not necessarily in a passive form.

Within all of this as Barnes points out is where all these things turn on - [i]Personal[/i] revenge, things that are trivial and can be taken by turning the other cheek, lawsuits and suffering loss and so forth (to certain extents). I would confer that this does have a spiritual connotation at it's core.


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Mike Balog

 2009/2/2 9:23Profile
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Joined: 2006/9/13
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 Re:

Quote:
1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Those provisions are also protection, care, providing safety and a readiness to lay down our own lives, which raises another consideration itself - 'Laying down' being not necessarily in a passive form.


Knowing that in our own strength we have no power over the evil one, it would seem that our only hope in providing protection would be to call upon the strength of our Lord.

Romans 12:17-21
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, [u]avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath[/u]: for it is written, [u]Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord[/u]. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. [b]Be not overcome of evil, but [u]overcome evil with good[/u][/b].


Have you ever said something really nice to someone that is expecting you to say something mean? It really disarms them - it is as if they do not have the equipment to deal with such a thing.

 2009/2/4 23:12Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

[i]If it be possible, as much as lieth in you ...[/i]

Brother do you think this (Romans 12:17-21) is more of an emphasis on repayment more than ... restraining or refraining someone? I think this is very much the same emphasis that even the Lord was often getting at in other places ... When it is a matter of personal satisfaction over having to do that which you might otherwise hate to do.

[i]'Laying down' being not necessarily in a passive form.[/i]

What I had in mind when I considered the two together (1 Tim) was to stop someone from causing harm ... It would be the flip-side of [i]If it be possible, as much as lieth in you[/i]. If it be not possible, what then?

Avenge -

G1556
ἐκδικέω
ekdikeō
ek-dik-eh'-o
From G1558; to [i]vindicate, retaliate, punish[/i]: - a (re-) venge.

Quote:
Have you ever said something really nice to someone that is expecting you to say something mean? It really disarms them - it is as if they do not have the equipment to deal with such a thing.



True! Like how you put that, it perplexes ...


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Mike Balog

 2009/2/4 23:50Profile
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3155


 Re:

Quote:
If it be possible, as much as lieth in [1537] you ...


Strong's G1537 - [i]ek[/i]
Root Word (Etymology)
"a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative"



Let me try to say this another way. As I read Scripture, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that whenever we take things into our own hands, we are taking the matter out of the hands of the Lord, and thereby put ourselves into a position of having to pay the consequences for whatever it is that we try to accomplish in our own flesh.

Somehow when we resort to "self" defense, verses relying upon God to be our defender, we step out of the realm of the Kingdom of God (at least in that matter) and subject ourselves instead to the laws of the world - and in doing so, the consequences thereof.

Here is a verse that indicates such a thing:

Acts 26:32 - Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, [b][u]if[/u][/b] he had not appealed unto Caesar.



To me, the statement, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." is a precept that can be applied in all situations.

Satan, being all evil, is actually empowered by any evil that is used against him. It is only goodness that defeats him. Since there is no goodness to be found in him, he can not understand goodness and therefore can not stand against it.

John 1:5
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 2009/2/5 2:35Profile
graceamazed
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Joined: 2008/11/3
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 Re:

Quote:
An eye for an eye ... - This command is found in Exo_21:24; Lev_24:20, and Deu_19:21. In these places it was given as a rule to regulate the decisions of judges. They were to take eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, and to inflict burning for burning. As a judicial rule it is not unjust. Christ finds no fault with the rule as applied to magistrates, and does not take upon himself to repeal it



crsschk,
Thanks for sharing this thought from Mr. Barnes' commentary. I would like to find some time later to look further into that idea as it is applied throughout scripture.

As I think through New Testament scriptures that might add to our discussion here, I would like to bring up the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews. Chapter 10:34 reads,
[i]"For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one."[/i]
Now these Christians might have had their property taken from then on account of their faith and practice, but their property was still unjustly taken from them. Should we differentiate between our responses based on whether our suffering is because of our faith or simply because someone is being evil towards us?

Another passage that comes to mind, as it might pertain to how we should deal with unjust treatment is (sorry this is long, but its all so good I didn't want to leave any out) 1 Peter 2:18-23,
[i]"Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrow when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you paitently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;"[/i]
I know those sciptures cover a lot, but my favorite part from this passage in 1 Peter is the end of the quote which says [i]"but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously"[/i]
We read about many situations in which the religious leaders were seeking to kill Jesus, but their plans were frustrated again and again. When it came time for their plan to succeed (as ordained by God), Christ did not try resisting them, but submitted to the righteous judgment of "The Judge of All the Earth."

Later in Peter, chapter 4, verse 19, something similar is said,
[i]"Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right."[/i]
This was the clincher for me on the issue. If I am careful to leave my life in the hands of my good, sovereign God, then I am invincible until He should choose for me to die. I haven't given over to complete pacifism though, remembering that there times that Christ fled from the mob or didn't go into areas where they were seeking to kill Him.

It is a delicate balance for me to find on this issue and I believe it elicites a subjective response for each person in different given situations. It should reinforce our need to be constantly walking in the Spirit and being lead by Him and not our fleshly responses in life.

Perhaps someone is allowed to break into my house with the intent to harm me, but the Lord's intent is not for them to harm me, nor for me to kill them, but for a far more radical experience to take place. I've never been put in this situation, but I have had people set on inflicting physical harm on me since I've been a Christian and (in that situation) I had a complete peace about not defending myself. In this situation the "evil person" stopped just short of actually hitting me, started to walk away, ran back again to hit me...started to walk away and again ran back to hurt me. Three times they came at me with the intent to hurt me (which they could have done, as they were physically superior to me), but each time they were stopped and couldn't follow through. Yet I say, I had a peace the entire time that I was to not defend myself, rather allow them to do what they wanted. I just kept hearing the Spirit say, "Let him hit you and then show him love." Within days I had an opportunity to talk with them about the situation and about the Lord.

I've found its in moments like these, when a person is set on harming us or defaming us, that we often have the greatest opportunity to affect their lives with our unnatural responses.


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Buck Yates

 2009/2/5 7:31Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Defending the defenseless

Quote:
Somehow when we resort to "self" defense, verses relying upon God to be our defender, we step out of the realm of the Kingdom of God (at least in that matter) and subject ourselves instead to the laws of the world - and in doing so, the consequences thereof.

Here is a verse that indicates such a thing:

Acts 26:32 - Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, [b][u]if[/u][/b] he had not appealed unto Caesar.



Ah, but Paul [i]did[/i] indeed appeal unto Caesar and for his own sake primarily or ... ?

"Self" defense or "Other - defense" ? The perspective I am forwarding here has the 'self' all but forgotten.

Quote:
Somehow when we resort to "self" defense, verses relying upon God to be our defender, we step out of the realm of the Kingdom of God (at least in that matter) and subject ourselves instead to the laws of the world - and in doing so, the consequences thereof.



I am not so sure about that. Again, the hypotheticals and 'what if's' even as I must use them for illustration still bother me ... Reason being that experience seems to almost always dictate something a bit different at the [i]moment[/i] the circumstances dictate, where our head\heart is at and a multitude of variables that cannot be scripted before hand - My perspective is one of, why not both? I guess I just do not see such a clean separation that we are necessarily leaning on the [i]flesh[/i] or that it is a either\or - The flesh or God as defender. [i]Trust[/i] and appealing to the Lord in the [i]moment[/i] - If prayer is a continual (without ceasing) and is in a sense under our breath, what is an exasperation but an exhaling of "Oh Lord" in whatever circumstance that needs not associated verbiage, but contains everything of 'what to do'. It may be as you forwarded earlier - a kind word when the opposite is expected - It may be to take a bullet to spare your wife, your child, even a perfect stranger - It may be to smack a rapist over the head with a frying pan if you found him in your home about to ...

To be honest I think I am a bit concerned when these things become a bit too ethereal -

Quote:
To me, the statement, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." is a precept that can be applied in all situations.



And is righteousness not also doing that which is right? Overcoming evil with good is precisely what law enforcement does to protect the rest of the citizenship from harm, from perpetrators, from law breakers, murderers, etc. etc.

Maybe to put this all another way, it seems there is a sort of reverse martyrdom at least in the mind where all things are to be taken without response, without defense, without concern or care - If I might parallel it, when the Lord said to [i]flee[/i] persecution it would say; 'no, we shall stay and suffer for it'. It is frankly to deny the Lords own principle and if I dare say so even what He meant about having a sword - To defend is not incorrect nor a sin, what are we to say that even the Lord Himself stood to defend the woman caught in adultery rather than to let the stones fly and rain down upon her, even though according to the law it was a seemingly just penalty? Is not the whole principle unraveled right there, those ready to cast the stones having that [i]vengeance[/i] built in, not [i]reluctance[/i] nor even the hint of their own conscience accusing them?

Paul Washer made mention of very similar things recently and he is right - The gist of it is to stand by and do nothing in the face of evil, of (in his illustration) a group of men attacking his wife, not only did he take indignation at the perpetrators but more so at the ones standing by and doing nothing about it. Remember;

[i]Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [u]effeminate[/u], nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.[/i] 1Co 6:9,10

[i]But the [u]fearful[/u], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.[/i] Rev 21:8

(Other versions translate [i]fearful[/i] as [i]cowardly[/i])


[b]Effeminate[/b]

G3120
μαλακός
malakos
mal-ak-os'
Of uncertain affinity; [i]soft[/i], that is, [i]fine[/i] (clothing); figuratively a [i]catamite[/i]: - effeminate, soft.

[b]Fearful[/b]

G1169
δειλός
deilos
di-los'
From δέος deos (dread); [i]timid[/i], that is, (by implication) [i]faithless[/i]: - fearful.


Note that, [b][i]faithless[/i][/b]








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Mike Balog

 2009/2/5 9:24Profile
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 Re: Defending the defenseless

There are so many things being addressed here that it is hard to know where to start. In my own mind it is difficult to segregate them, and then when the thoughts of others are added, it is easy to get lost amongst treasury of His unfathomable ways. It is kind of like being in a cavern filled with precious jewels with only a small flashlight to guide the way.

This all seems to be hinged upon action (or reaction) and intent (for myself, or for others). The point that graceamazed has brought forward is of course the essential point. That being that only in Him will we be able to do what is right. This takes training which can only be accomplished by obedience.

Quote:
Overcoming evil with good is precisely what law enforcement does to protect the rest of the citizenship from harm, from perpetrators, from law breakers, murderers, etc. etc.


The problem here is that the evil has not been overcome. Some vessels possessed of evil have simply been put behind bars. This does not actually protect the people from evil - it only contains some evil vessels.

Quote:
Maybe to put this all another way, it seems there is a sort of reverse martyrdom at least in the mind where all things are to be taken without response, without defense, without concern or care - If I might parallel it, when the Lord said to flee persecution it would say; 'no, we shall stay and suffer for it'. It is frankly to deny the Lords own principle and if I dare say so even what He meant about having a sword - To defend is not incorrect nor a sin, what are we to say that even the Lord Himself stood to defend the woman caught in adultery rather than to let the stones fly and rain down upon her, even though according to the law it was a seemingly just penalty? Is not the whole principle unraveled right there, those ready to cast the stones having that vengeance built in, not reluctance nor even the hint of their own conscience accusing them?



The call to "overcome evil with good" is not saying to stand by and do nothing - it is telling us to do good. That the evil will be overcome by doing good.

Jesus response to the woman caught in adultery was to stand up and [i]defend[/i] - but notice that he took no action to [i]offend[/i] - for example He didn't grab a frying pan :)

I would contend that there is nothing effeminate about standing up for another without fear (this being evidenced by having no need for a weapon other than the Word). Only in His strength can such things be done.


Quote:
. . . experience seems to almost always dictate something a bit different at the moment the circumstances dictate, where our head\heart is at and a multitude of variables that cannot be scripted before hand



Awhile back, when Satan was continually bothering me, I asked the Lord to show me how to deal with this. Later, when I went for a walk, I heard a noise behind me, and as I turned I saw a mangy dog running towards me with the hair on his back standing straight up. When I fully faced the dog, he suddenly tucked his tail between his legs and started to run off. When I asked the dog what the problem was, he looked back over his shoulder and screamed as if I had hit him.

I made no offensive move whatsoever, nor did I try to run, and by this the Lord showed me that He is capable of protecting me in all things if I will but only face the problem, and stand in Him.

 2009/2/5 13:57Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: At what expense

[i]Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.[/i] Rom 13:1-4

Quote:
The problem here is that the evil has not been overcome. Some vessels possessed of evil have simply been put behind bars. This does not actually protect the people from evil - it only contains some evil vessels.



Is certainly does protect the people from evil and evil vessels - Empty all the prisons and you would soon have total anarchy. Of course there is a limitation and [i]evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived[/i] but even the opposite approach if you will of a non-'violent' "doing good" is not giving the connotation any more finality, that is not the meaning intended by [i]overcome[/i].

Quote:
Jesus response to the woman caught in adultery was to stand up and defend - but notice that he took no action to offend - for example He didn't grab a frying pan :)



He took every opportunity to offend, right where it cuts to the core, offending their consciousness as He often did to those who were ready to cast him over a cliff ... Look, I can see where this is all going and the dragging back and forth into fixed nodes of violent or non-violent response, what sort of pacifism or contrarily, [i]offensive[/i] response ...

Quote:
I would contend that there is nothing effeminate about standing up for another without fear (this being evidenced by having no need for a weapon other than the Word).



And I do not know that was ever implied but '[i] having no need for a weapon other than the Word[/i]' is the sort of ethereal notion that might sound good in the comfortable confines of static minds, neither am I necessarily supposing these things all have that to do with weaponry ...

I am not speaking about angst or retribution or retaliation but about having to do things that take courage, more so than we might even have, given the situation. It is actually even what is in part happening here, things being misconstrued or the fear of some fallacious idea in others minds of what a "Christian" is [i]supposed[/i] to do or be and that to take decisive action when it is called for is washed out in a sort of dreamy idealism. There are times when this ideal falls apart and is contradictory - As in the illustration used of standing by while a mob assaults someones wife or anyone for that matter. Apply this same logic here, the 'weapon of the word', will your mere presence, a mere word stop fools bent on doing their damage? I am often a bit taken back when we want to measure what the Lord was capable of and did and although we have a measure and certain responsibility, we are and never will be [i]as He in fact is[/i]. It is all a bit too grandiose. There are times we may be called upon to do that seemingly paradoxical thing, that is what I am appealing to.

I do grasp your previous experience with the mangy dog, have had experiences of all sorts of 'unexplainable' interventions that can leave me only wondering, but I do not know that these things are transferable, as a sort of case study towards application.

A poor illustration for the larger scale I am more or less appealing to but maybe something of the intangible I am after.

Awhile back a friend of the family, my wifes side, a situation erupted over of all things, a cat. I have gone at length here over my own four-legged family member, having more than a soft spot for her, an 'animal lover'? Sure, I guess so, the term having some exaggerated implications at times ... Somehow this stray cat had become dear to a few of them and in particular a certain friend of theirs that had some issues, drugs\alcohol. He was living in their garage at the time, fallen on hard times. Coupled with that was the non-help of one of my wifes friends where this was all taking place, a "Christian" who had some rather odd ideas about getting outside help, doctors or in the case, veterinarians. My wife tolerated this all to a certain extent with certain promises and what not but finally exploded and was livid when she finally saw what she only before had been hearing. This cat had apparently been in a very nasty scrap before hand and due to all this sentimentality, all these spurious notions they had just left the poor thing alone, feeding it and thinking it would just ... miraculously get well. Even the mother there had similar notions. For my part, listening to the whole matter from my wife, to be honest I figured she was exaggerating, probably embellishing it a bit, she is certainly an animal lover. I did not have very much association with these people (just a matter of course, no other reason) and really the last thing I wanted was to get dragged into it all, but my wife insisted and despite my reluctance I went over there, expecting a confrontation (again not at all to my disposition or liking) and was just as aghast to find my wifes exaggerations, if anything were [i]underplayed[/i]. This cat had literally, half of his face missing, down to the flesh ... It was constantly crying, in great pain and suffering, his tail was mangled, it was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. It was now quite diseased from the exposure. A part of me wanted to slap them silly for their sheer stupidity, "[i]Are you all out of your God given minds?[/i]" Then things got even more interesting when the aforementioned man with the substance problems wanted to contend over the cat with me about taking it to the vet. I choked down real hard on the indignation and if you will 'applied' or tried my best to reason with him to take the poor thing to the vet at my expense, even, and in all honesty ready to fork over whatever it took to restore him, surgery, whatever, it mattered not at all, I would have taken out a loan if that's what it took. But he was not about to part with this cat despite it's incredible condition. "[i]If I hand him over to you, you will kill it.[/i]" On and on it went, others jumping in with their ... worthless two cents, my wife coming apart at the seems, screaming and yelling, the mother, a big brouhaha, a big ordeal. Finally, the man let go of him, with one last caveat; "If you don't bring him back, [i]I will kill you. I will hunt you down ...[/i]"

We got him to the vet and [i]they[/i] were livid. They wanted to know just [i]who[/i] this cat belonged to and how they could have so mistreated and not brought him in. "Animal cruelty", charges and the like. I am recollecting this now and it must have occurred to me on the way that this was all possible. Now enter in the next situation I found myself in with this ... Would I spare them, despite their foolishness? "Cover" their sin so to speak? I told my wife to say nothing and let me handle it before we got in there. I did not have truly a set idea even as we approached the door, I was praying underneath it all ... Lord, help me here.

I lied and protected them. It cost me something in the paradox of conscience, in the mixed emotions of indignation and stupidity, in the slight grasp of sentiment sill underneath it all. The man in the poor condition, it was still 'his cat' somewhat, I understood all that and due to the whole combined situation, the possibility of them facing serious charges (the family there) ... [i]I did what I had to do[/i] and took it all upon myself. That's not a 'bragging' it is just what I felt needed to be done in that moment, in the situation, all of it happening in motion not in preconceived idealism.

I told them that it was a stray that we happened upon (and believe me it was extremely difficult to choke that down) and they were frankly suspicious, asking a lot of follow up questions; "Where?" "When?" and I think they began to realize that I was in fact protecting someone ... a kind of tug of war of conscience.

There was nothing they could do for him, nothing at all, it was too late. Now I had to give the consent to have him put down. Not my cat but it might have just as well been. It cut hard, harder than I could have even imagined, [i]despite[/i] his condition. Who am I am to make such a decision, to take a life, even if it is 'just a cat'?

I apologize if this is all a bit too graphic, it is reality and that is what I am trying to inject into this whole discussion, remembering it's very origins, what this all had to do with from the first post. The second guessing, the original reluctance, the death threats that lingered for a very long time afterward, looking over my shoulder ... The lie. The original stupidity that caused all this ...

You see, I don't see this as so black and white but as filled with [i]tension[/i]. Was I right? Was I wrong? Indifferent? Hardly, but it is not that at all. It's ... to do the [i]hard thing[/i] come what may and live with the consequences. I find the Lord often put's us in perplexing situations, difficult ones, even this whole extrapolation above, all the interior intangabiles I could hardly speak of ... the thread of prayer that I mentioned elsewhere, that continum that is [i]constant[/i]. It's not bravado nor well thought out intentions for a 'what if' situation. The after effects; The second guessing and everthing that has a shelf life all it's own days, weeks and months after the fact. It can be nerveracking in the back and forth, the self justifying or the self depreciating, whatever it is.

This life of faith, to me, has all sorts of these paradoxes even on that great issue of faith itself. Charles Siemon comes to mind, this tension, this 'both' of the matter, if I could draw off of it a bit;

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But the remarkable thing about humiliation and adoration in the heart of Charles Simeon is that they were inseparable. Simeon was utterly unlike most of us today who think that we should get rid once and for all of feelings of vileness and unworthiness as soon as we can. For him, adoration only grew in the freshly plowed soil of humiliation for sin. So he actually labored to know his true sinfulness and his remaining corruption as a Christian.

[i]I have continually had such a sense of my sinfulness as would sink me into utter despair, if I had not an assured view of the sufficiency and willingness of Christ to save me to the uttermost. And at the same time I had such a sense of my acceptance through Christ as would overset my little bark, if I had not ballast at the bottom sufficient to sink a vessel of no ordinary size. (Moule 134f.)[/i]

He never lost sight of the need for the heavy ballast of his own humiliation. After he had been a Christian forty years he wrote,

[i]With this sweet hope of ultimate acceptance with God, I have always enjoyed much cheerfulness before men; but I have at the same time laboured incessantly to cultivate the deepest humiliation before God. I have never thought that the circumstance of God's having forgiven me was any reason why I should forgive myself; on the contrary, I have always judged it better to loathe myself the more, in proportion as I was assured that God was pacified towards me (Ezekiel 16:63). . . . There are but two objects that I have ever desired for these forty years to behold; the one is my own vileness; and the other is, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ: and I have always thought that they should be viewed together; just as Aaron confessed all the sins of all Israel whilst he put them on the head of the scapegoat. The disease did not keep him from applying to the remedy, nor did the remedy keep him from feeling the disease. By this I seek to be, not only humbled and thankful, but humbled in thankfulness, before my God and Saviour continually. (Carus, 518f.)[/i]


[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=25079&forum=34&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=1]Spurgeon - Mueller - An Important Series ~ Piper's Biographies[/url]


_________________
Mike Balog

 2009/2/6 10:18Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3155


 Re:

Quote:
You see, I don't see this as so black and white but as filled with [i]tension[/i].


It is the black and white that creates the tension.

 2009/2/6 11:28Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3155


 Re:

Actually,

It is the [i]mixing[/i] of black and white that creates tension.

 2009/2/6 12:21Profile





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