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Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

To properly evaluate the validity of this popular doctrine of non-resistance, one must take an objective look at Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and how the concepts of "turn the other cheek", "do not resist an evil person", and "anger is murder" are treated elsewhere in the new testament. The theme of the Sermon on the Mount is closely aligned with the new covenant in Christ being a covenant of the Spirit, not of the letter.

I am posting my view as revealed to me by the Spirit. It is long, but I hope some will spare the time to read it. My post is not intended to correct others (for that is the realm of the Holy Spirit), but merely to reveal what I understand. In quoting verses, I have taken the liberty of underlining the portions that were especially meaningful for me, and I have marked Christ's words in red.


[b]The new covenant is a covenant of the Spirit, not of the Letter.[/b]

In both the old and new testaments, God speaks of his new covenant as one where His Law will no longer be external to man, but internal - God will write His Law in our minds and on our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Jer 31:31-34 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, ’” declares the LORD. “[u]This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts[/u]. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.

2Co 3:5-6 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. [u]He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit[/u]; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.[/size]


[b]Jesus and his disciples (including Paul) were all led by the Spirit of God.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Ac 10:37-38 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how [u]God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power[/u], and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Ac 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. [u]All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them[/u].

Ac 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “[u]Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit[/u].”[/size]


[b]The new covenant frees us from the letter of the Law but binds us to the Spirit of God.[/b]

We are no longer limited by anything except the will of God as revealed by the Spirit in us. And God's will is for us to act in love at all times - love for God, and love for others. If we can do this, then the whole of God's will (law and prophets) is fulfilled.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Gal 5:18-23 [u]But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law[/u]. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. [u]But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law[/u].

1Co 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “[u]Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others[/u].

Mt 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘[color=CC3300][u]Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind[/u].’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘[u]Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments[/u].[/color]”[/size]


[b]In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that the new covenant calls us to be active and visible participants in the world.[/b]

Salt is not useful unless it is spread and mixed well with food. Light, to be useful, must be set so it is visible to many and not hidden. We cannot fulfill the will of God as salt and light if we withdraw and refuse to participate in the affairs of the world.

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Mt 5:13-16 [color=CC3300]“[u]You are the salt of the earth[/u]. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [u]In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven[/u]."[/color][/size]


[b]In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches his disciples to be more righteous than the Pharisees by obeying the Spirit of the Law, not the letter of the Law, in keeping with the new covenant.[/b]

Jesus begins by telling his disciples that the new covenant does not seek to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He then says that God wants them to far exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees - this they will accomplish through the Spirit under the new covenant.

[size=xx-small]Verses:[/size]
[i]The Fulfillment of the Law[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:17-20 [color=CC3300]“[u]Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them[/u]. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [u]For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven[/u]."[/color][/size]

In the succeeding passages, Jesus emphasizes his requirement that the disciples' righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees by citing some key aspects of the old Mosaic Law, and then exaggerating the new requirement under the new covenant to illustrate how much more pleasing to God is the covenant of the Spirit, and how much more the disciples can achieve through the power of the Spirit (this exaggeration for emphasis is called hyperbole). These passages were not meant to be taken literally (as some think). Notice that all these passages compare old standards with highly exaggerated new standards through hyperbole (e.g., "If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out..."). They are all uniformly structured as follows: "You have heard it said..., but I tell you..." to underline the one common message: You can be much more righteous than the Pharisees by obeying the Spirit of God.

[size=xx-small]Verses:[/size]
[i]Murder[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:21-26 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment[/u]. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny."[/color][/size]

[i]Adultery[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:27-30 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away[/u]. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."[/color][/size]

[i]Divorce[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:31-32 [color=CC3300]“[u]It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress[/u], and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."[/color][/size]

[i]Oaths[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:33-37 [color=CC3300]“[u]Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King[/u]. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."[/color][/size]

[i]An Eye for an Eye[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:38-42 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also[/u]. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."[/color][/size]

[i]Love for Enemies[/i]
[size=xx-small]Mt 5:43-48 [color=CC3300]“[u]You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven[/u]. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."[/color][/size]

[b]All of the above passages underline the new covenant's superior righteousness in the command to "Love your neighbor as yourself". What is being taught here is the correct attitude of the heart (a self-sacrificing love for others) and not an actual rule to be taken as "the letter of the new covenant law". Unless other parts of the Bible consistently echo these teachings, they must be treated as mere hyperbole, not to be taken literally.

How can I make this conclusion? Because other parts of the new testament show that Jesus and his disciples did not consider these "non-resistance" passages as rules to be followed dogmatically:[/b]

[b]1. They did not always turn the other cheek - they rebuked those who hit them.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Jn 18:22-23 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. [color=CC3300][u]“If I said something wrong,”[/color] Jesus replied, [color=CC3300]“testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”[/u][/color]

Ac 23:1-3 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” At this the high priest [u]Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck[/u]!”[/size]

[b]2. They resisted evil men.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Ac 13:9-11 [u]Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun[/u].” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

1Co 5:13 God will judge those outside. “[u]Expel the wicked man[/u] from among you.”

Mt 18:15-17 [color=CC3300]“[u]If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault[/u], just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and [u]if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector[/u].[/color][/size]

[b]3. They taught about righteous anger, and even Jesus was angry at men yet was without sin.[/b]

[size=xx-small]Verses:
Mk 3:4-5 Then Jesus asked them, [color=CC3300]“Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”[/color] But they remained silent. [u]He looked around at them in anger[/u] and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, [color=CC3300]“Stretch out your hand.”[/color] He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

Eph 4:26-27 “[u]In your anger do not sin[/u]”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.[/size]

[b]So, in conclusion, I believe that Christians must actively participate in all aspects of society to bring glory to God and to reach out to fellow men. I also believe that, under the new covenant, there is no such thing as a doctrine of non-resistance - instead, we are called to always act out of love for God and for others to fulfill God's will.[/b]

In Christ,
Leo

 2009/10/6 15:23Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

The Church That Would Not Suffer!

By Greg Gordon

A message showing forth true apostolic power with God

APOSTOLIC POWER

Oh! for a call back to apostolic preaching, apostolic power, apostolic praying. We cry out ‘I want apostolic power’ but do we really? Do we want to suffer as they did? Do we want to crown our offering with a tortured bloody martyrdom as they did? Pentecost has a cost. If we are going to have apostolic success we are going to have to have apostolic suffering. Leonard Ravenhill said: "We talk Apostolic doctrine but lack Apostolic deeds. We claim Apostolic faith but lack Apostolic fruit. Some trumpet Apostolic power but lack Apostolic poverty. Some claim Apostolic enduement but lack Apostolic accomplishment. We may have Apostolic vocabularies. Do we have Apostolic victories? Many claim Apostolic succession. Few, if any, dare claim Apostolic success!" Let us look at the life's of the apostles and see their summation, see how well they ran and also finished the race that was set before them. Will it shock you to know that every apostle died a violent marytrs death. Should we not except to follow the same path our master trod? shall we not tread it still? Let us read their stories: The apostle Andrew according to traditional accounts, was crucified by order of the Roman Governor, Aegeas at Patrae in Achaia, Greece on a X-shaped cross. The apostle Bartholomew according to traditional accounts, was flayed alive and crucified, head downward, at Albanopolis, Armenia as punishment for having converted the King of Armenia to the Christian faith. The apostle James was the first apostle to be martyred when he was put to death in Jerusalem by the sword at the command of Herod. The apostle James son of alphaeus was martyred at Jerusalem by being thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, then stoned and beaten with clubs and fuller’s mallets, while praying for his attackers. The apostle John was burned with alive with oil and survived and became the only apostle to die of natural causes. The apostle Judas was beaten to death with a club, then beheaded, in Persia. The apostle Matthias according to traditional accounts, he was stoned to death at Colchis. The apostle Paul was a Roman citizen being exempt from crucifixion, so he was beheaded with a sword in Rome. The apostle Peter was crucified upside down because he claimed he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ in Rome. The apostle Philip according to traditional accounts, he was martyred at Hierapolis, Phrygia. The apostle Simon was martyred, but the location is uncertain; some claim that he was crucified in Samaria. The apostle Thomas was pierced through with spears by four soldiers in India. The apostle Barnabus preaching the Gospel was martyred at Salamis. Are you willing to add your name to the list of these true apostles for Christ? Perhaps turn your Bible to Hebrews 11 and read where it says: “others tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain by the sword.” ?

SPINELESS CHRISTIANITY

The apostles were living martyr’s for Christ dying daily. If we could share in their sufferings but for one day I am sure many of us would forfeit apostolic power. Leonard Ravenhill: “There is a 'deeper life.' It is as deep as a personal Gethsemane and as costly as a personal Calvary." In our beggared condition in the modern day church we cannot handle the consequences of apostolic power. We need first to have our weak skinned, self-seeking, spineless Christianity purged from us. May God be gracious enough to do this. Then perhaps we will have power with God and once again become the “church militant” on earth. "Apostolic preaching is not marked by its beautiful diction, or literary polish, or Cleverness of expression, but Operates "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." stated Arthur Wallis who longed many years for a true move of God. We need men of renown, those who are willing to count the cost and be amongst the few that do great exploits for God. Hear the heart cry from Samuel M. Zwemer to see these sort of men arise in our day: "A man set on fire is an apostle of his age. And the only one who can kindle the spark of light and fire on the hearth where it has died down is He who has revealed Himself as the God of fire, our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Our God is a consuming fire'...Tell me, is your ministry a burning and shining light, or a smoking wick, slowly dying out to ashes? ...It is a strange custom that we should supply a minister with a glass of water; if only we could supply him with a bonfire in the pulpit, a spiritual bonfire. We need the dynamic of a flaming ministry that will set the Church on fire."?

ANCIENT AND MODERN

To any careful observer of the church in our day we realize there is a great disparity between the modern day example and the apostolic original. Here is anonymous article written in the 1700’s depicting some of these disparities very vividly. Oh for a reviving of the true apostolic spirit in the Church is the crying need of our day, or perhaps the only answer for the Church in this day:

“Ancient and modern preachers. The difference between ancient and modern preachers taken from the Scriptures. If any think me to severe to the Clergy, let them study the examples of Christ and his apostles, and compare the picture.

Ancient: CHRIST call'd his preachers to renounce their wealth, And set a glorious pattern in himself, Who, tho' he did possess all things in store, Yet for our sakes, became exceeding poor.

Modern: Some preachers now, large salaries do fix, So that, by preaching, they may now grow rich, So far departing from their blessed Lord, They worship mammon and a golden god.

Ancient: CHRIST told them, to be wise, they must be fools, And that not all the knowledge of the schools, Could ever teach one soul the way to heaven, That this is only by his spirit given.

Modern: But now, some go unto the schools of men, Expecting heavenly wisdom to obtain, And that, by reading books, they may acquire The holy spirit, the baptismal fire.

Ancient: CHRIST charg'd his followers, titles to contemn And, often faithfully, admonish'd them Not to be called RABBI, learned, wise, But all ambitious selfishness despise.

Modern: Now, some are call'd Archbishops and Prelates, Reverend Doctors, learn'd, wise, and great, The reverend parson, and master of arts, Old pharisaick pride, in all its parts.

Ancient: CHRIST told his followers, to be meek and mild, As low and humble as a little child, That they must not aspire to lofty seats, But must come down and wash each others feet.

Modern: Now some, in garments long, do love to stand, With college flourishes, they wave their hands, Read their writings, and then call it preaching, Old orthodox apostolick teaching. Now money, schools and books supply the place, Of humble love, and sanctifiing grace, When money fails, these teachers often flee, The reason is, because, they hirelings be. When any now, are call'd of GOD, to teach, And by his spirit, are sent forth to preach, These learn'd scholars soon, will them degrade, Lest their cheap preaching should spoil their trade.

Ancient: CHRIST told his followers that they must expect, The world would hate them treat them with neglect, That as they hated him without a cause, So they would hate his followers and his laws. Fools in the eastern of the world.

Modern: No, say some modern preachers, 'tis not true, The world will love us and respect too, We are commanded for to live in peace, We will not then disturb their carnal ease.

Ancient: CHRIST told them, a distinction they must make, That they, the sheep and goats, must separate, That, as the sheep were separate from wolves. They must not be by worldly maxims rul'd.

Modern: No, say some teachers, this is a mistake; Therfore, we now will join the church and state. Tho' this is very far from GOD'S design, This jargon union, they attempt to join.

Ancient: CHRIST oft declares, the help of man is vain, And, that except a man be born again, And that except we all converted be, GOD'S kingdom we can never, never see.

Modern: Some hold, that there is yet some power in man, And that by creeds, and modes, and forms he can, Profess, confess, and plead, and, by degrees, The holy, angry, jealous GOD, appease.

Ancient: CHRIST says he is the way, the truth, the life, That, our of him, we have no strength or light. We have no faith, no hope, no might, at all. He is our joy, our hope, our all in all.

Modern: Why then, among the herdsmen, is such strife, When all of them can't bring a flea to life. Striving, both night and day, to proselyte, And yet cannot make one hair black or white!

Ancient: CHRIST'S followers, of old, were of one heart, Did, with their worldly int'rest, freely part; Neither did any say, ought was his own; It all in common stock was freely thrown.

Modern: Some christians now, so selfish they are grown, It is with trouble, we can get our own, And sometimes are obliged to complain, Unto the laws, our rights for to obtain.

Ancient: Christians all took their names from CHRIST, their head, All party names, from them, entirely fled, No Parthians or Medes with them were known, No other names, but christians, they would own.

Modern: Christians are so divided, in our days, The want of true religion it betrays, Presbyterian, Churchmen, Baptist, Quaker, Methodist, Universalist, and Shaker. It makes me almost sick, To see the names Iv'e writ, My pen I now will quit, And will not waste My paper.”

Greg Gordon
*******************************************


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/10/6 20:50Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7480
Mississippi

 Re: The term 'Non-resistance'

Leo,

As a person who upholds the Biblical view of 'non-resistance' please allow me to explain something here.

The term 'non-resistance' is clearly a misnomer. Where it came from I have no idea. God's children always resisted evil but they did not resort to the use of carnal weapons. This is what is meant by the term non-resistance.

I could think this term has its origins in the reformation era when the Anabaptist were being hounded to death by the Catholics and later the reformers. The Anabaptists, except for the incident at Munster, did not fight back, but fled or surrendered. They were known for their love.

I hope this will make sense...

ginnyrose

PS: EDIT: The term 'Anabaptists' has also become a misnomer. It literally means one who who has been re-baptized. So if you were baptized as an infant and then later you experienced a Believers' baptism, you were now re-baptized. Some terms, names have a way of hanging around after their usefulness has expired, but they are used to assist one in the communication of ideas.


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2009/10/6 22:30Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:

NON-RESISTANCE

‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.’—MATT. v. 38-42.

The old law directed judges to inflict penalties precisely equivalent to offences—‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ (Exod. xxi. 24), but that direction was not for the guidance of individuals. It was suited for the stage of civilisation in which it was given, and probably was then a restriction, rather than a sanction, of the wild law of retaliation. Jesus sweeps it away entirely, and goes much further than even its abrogation. For He forbids not only retaliation but even resistance.
It is unfortunate that in this, as in so many instances, controversy as to the range of Christ’s words has so largely hustled obedience to them out of the field, that the first thought suggested to a modern reader by the command ‘Resist not evil’ (or, an evil man) is apt to be, Is the Quaker doctrine of uniform non-resistance right or wrong, instead of, Do I obey this precept? If we first try to understand its meaning, we shall be in a position to consider whether it has limits, springing from its own deepest significance, or not. What, then, is it not to resist? Our Lord gives three concrete illustrations of what He enjoins, the first of which refers to insults such as contumelious blows on the cheek, which are perhaps the hardest not to meet with a flash of anger and a returning stroke; the second of which refers to assaults on property, such as an attempt at legal robbery of a man’s undergarment; the third of which refers to forced labour, such as impressing a peasant to carry military or official baggage or documents—a form of oppression only too well known under Roman rule in Christ’s days. In regard to all three cases, He bids His disciples submit to the indignity, yield the coat, and go the mile. But such yielding without resistance is not to be all. The other cheek is to be given to the smiter; the more costly and ample outer garment is to be yielded up; the load is to be carried for two miles. The disciple is to meet evil with a manifestation, not of anger, hatred, or intent to inflict retribution, but of readiness to submit to more. It is a hard lesson, but clearly here, as always, the chief stress is to be laid, not on the outward action, but on the disposition, and on the action mainly as the outcome and exhibition of that. If the cheek is turned, or the cloak yielded, or the second mile trudged with a lowering brow, and hate or anger boiling in the heart, the commandment is broken. If the inner man rises in hot indignation against the evil and its doer, he is resisting evil more harmfully to himself than is many a man who makes his adversary’s cheeks tingle before his own have ceased to be reddened. We have to get down into the depths of the soul, before we understand the meaning of non-resistance.

It would have been better if the eager controversy about the breadth of this commandment had oftener become a study of its depth, and if, instead of asking, ‘Are we ever warranted in resisting?’ men had asked, ‘What in its full meaning is non-resistance?’ The truest answer is that it is a form of Love,—love in the face of insults, wrongs, and domineering tyranny, such as are illustrated in Christ’s examples. This article of Christ’s New Law comes last but one in the series of instances in which His transfiguring touch is laid on the Old Law, and the last of the series is that to which He has been steadily advancing from the first—namely, the great Commandment of Love. This precept stands immediately before that, and prepares for it. It is, as suffused with the light of the sun that is all but risen, ‘Resist not evil,’ for ‘Love beareth all things.’

It is but a shallow stream that is worried into foam and made angry and noisy by the stones in its bed; a deep river flows smooth and silent above them. Nothing will enable us to meet ‘evil’ with a patient yielding love which does not bring the faintest tinge of anger even into the cheek reddened by a rude hand, but the ‘love of God shed abroad in the heart,’ and when that love fills a man, ‘out of him will flow a river of living water,’ which will bury evil below its clear, gentle abundance, and, perchance, wash it of its foulness. The ‘quality of’ this non-resistance ‘is twice blessed,’ ‘it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.’ For the disciple who submits in love, there is the gain of freedom from the perturbations of passion, and of steadfast abiding in the peace of a great charity, the deliverance from the temptation of descending to the level of the wrong-doer, and of losing hold of God and all high visions. The tempest-ruffled sea mirrors no stars by night, nor is blued by day. If we are to have real communion with God, we must not flush with indignation at evil, nor pant with desire to shoot the arrow back to him that aimed it at us. And in regard to the evil-doer, the most effectual resistance is, in many cases, not to resist.
There is something hid away somewhere in most men’s hearts which makes them ashamed of smiting the offered left cheek, and then ashamed of having smitten the right one. ‘It is a shame to hit him, since he does not defend himself,’ comes into many a ruffian’s mind. The safest way to travel in savage countries is to show oneself quite unarmed. He that meets evil with evil is ‘overcome of evil’; he that meets it with patient love is likely in most cases to ‘overcome evil with good.’ And even if he fails, he has, at all events, used the only weapon that has any chance of beating down the evil, and it is better to be defeated when fighting hate with love than to be victorious when fighting it with itself, or demanding an eye for an eye.

But, if we take the right view of this precept, its limitations are in itself. Since it is love confronting, and seeking to transform evil into its own likeness, it may sometimes be obliged by its own self not to yield. If turning the other cheek would but make the assaulter more angry, or if yielding the cloak would but make the legal robber more greedy, or if going the second mile would but make the press-gang more severe and exacting, resistance becomes a form of love and a duty for the sake of the wrong-doer. It may also become a duty for the sake of others, who are also objects of love, such as helpless persons who otherwise would be exposed to evil, or society as a whole. But while clearly that limit is prescribed by the very nature of the precept, the resistance which it permits must have love to the culprit or to others as its motive, and not be tainted by the least suspicion of passion or vengeance.

Would that professing Christians would try more to purge their own hearts, and bring this solemn precept into their daily lives, instead of discussing whether there are cases in which it does not apply!

There are great tracts in the lives of all of us to which it should apply and is not applied; and we had better seek to bring these under its dominion first, and then it will be time enough to debate as to whether any circumstances are outside its dominion or not.

Alexander Maclaren


_________________
Lee Chapel

 2009/10/7 5:03Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings
I very much liked this article written by Greg Gordon. It really speaks volumes about the attitudes of many today. I hope it is alright I am going to be printing this out and sharing it with a group of young men here. Thank you for sharing this here with us again.

God Bless
maryjane

 2009/10/7 11:40Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7480
Mississippi

 Re:

This article hits us right where we are, right where the rubber meets the road. And that gets hard - at times. But it helps much that when we see our inner being rise up in retaliation that we can call on the LORD for strength to resist the urge to retaliate and then be open to know how the Holy Spirit would have us respond.

I will have to copy/paste this article for future reference..

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2009/10/7 11:54Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear chapel,

Thank you for posting this message on "non-resistance" by Alexander Maclaren. One paragraph in particular is worth repeating for the benefit of those who are following this thread:

Quote:
But, if we take the right view of this precept, its limitations are in itself. Since it is love confronting, and seeking to transform evil into its own likeness, it may sometimes be obliged by its own self not to yield. If turning the other cheek would but make the assaulter more angry, or if yielding the cloak would but make the legal robber more greedy, or if going the second mile would but make the press-gang more severe and exacting, resistance becomes a form of love and a duty for the sake of the wrong-doer. It may also become a duty for the sake of others, who are also objects of love, such as helpless persons who otherwise would be exposed to evil, or society as a whole. But while clearly that limit is prescribed by the very nature of the precept, the resistance which it permits must have love to the culprit or to others as its motive, and not be tainted by the least suspicion of passion or vengeance.



I agree wholeheartedly with his view of Scripture, and the surest way of knowing how to react is to be ever sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as love for God and love for others fills your heart.

 2009/10/7 12:05Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Greetings chapel
another really good article. Thank you for posting it as well. I hope you will not mind if I print this one out to share as well?

God Bless
maryjane

 2009/10/7 12:06Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4514


 Re:

Hi Ginnyrose,

I appreciate the clarification within your post, but I just wanted to make a quick comment.

Quote:
As a person who upholds the Biblical view of 'non-resistance…'


I think that this has been the strongest underlying principle for my involvement in this thread. There are those of us who do not embrace some of the particular teachings as taught by some of the “non-resistance” brethren, but we are still just as confident in the Lord that we are upholding “the Biblical view of ‘non-resistance’” with a clear conscience before God.

Of course, I am confident that you didn’t mean anything from this, sister. However, there have been specific statements made within this thread that have seemingly dismissed the faith of those who don’t adhere to some of those specific teachings as instructed by some of the “non-resistant” brethren. There have been words that were made that stated that those with a different opinion about the extent of what the Scriptures instruct are a part of “false Christianity” who embrace “damnable heresy.”

There are varying degrees of teachings in regard to “non-resistant” and “non-involvement” principles that are largely based upon the same Scriptural motivation as those who do not embrace those same principles. There are those who have no problem with government involvement, patriotism and physical resistance and there are those who believe in absolute non-involvement or any sort of resistance whatsoever. Personally, I find that most believers are somewhere in between. Yet I think that it is dangerous to dismiss the faith or views of those who prayerfully arrive to a different perspective simply because they have arrived to a different perspective than one’s own. Of course, they too feel that they hold to a Biblical view on the matter.

And just to clarify a bit: Those who do not embrace all of the tenants as presented by “non-resistant” brethren are NOT violent individuals. I have never met a believer who wants to react violently. I have never seen a believer who reacts out of a selfish urge to retaliate. Rather, they see it as a duty (and even a spiritual duty) on behalf of the weak. Again, I don’t know any Christian who even remotely believes that a nation or government (or even self preservation) comes before God or family. Moreover, I don’t know any believer who wouldn’t be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ or to die as a martyr for the faith in our Lord.

The simple difference is that many of us have prayerfully considered the issue, studied the Scriptures, and even considered the views of various “non-resistant” teachings, but still find no absolute prohibition in Scripture to validate the argument of the non-resistant brethren. Still, I would caution any of our brothers and sisters from issuing such a declaration that rejects the faith of those with whom we disagree. We need to respect them in the knowledge that they are often just as sincere in their quest for truth regarding this matter as the rest of us.


_________________
Christopher

 2009/10/7 13:59Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Quote:

ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:
Hi Ginnyrose,

I appreciate the clarification within your post, but I just wanted to make a quick comment.
Quote:
As a person who upholds the Biblical view of 'non-resistance…'


I think that this has been the strongest underlying principle for my involvement in this thread. There are those of us who do not embrace some of the particular teachings as taught by some of the “non-resistance” brethren, but we are still just as confident in the Lord that we are upholding “the Biblical view of ‘non-resistance’” with a clear conscience before God.

Of course, I am confident that you didn’t mean anything from this, sister. However, there have been specific statements made within this thread that have seemingly dismissed the faith of those who don’t adhere to some of those specific teachings as instructed by some of the “non-resistant” brethren. There have been words that were made that stated that those with a different opinion about the extent of what the Scriptures instruct are a part of “false Christianity” who embrace “damnable heresy.”

There are varying degrees of teachings in regard to “non-resistant” and “non-involvement” principles that are largely based upon the same Scriptural motivation as those who do not embrace those same principles. There are those who have no problem with government involvement, patriotism and physical resistance and there are those who believe in absolute non-involvement or any sort of resistance whatsoever. Personally, I find that most believers are somewhere in between. Yet I think that it is dangerous to dismiss the faith or views of those who prayerfully arrive to a different perspective simply because they have arrived to a different perspective than one’s own. Of course, they too feel that they hold to a Biblical view on the matter.

And just to clarify a bit: Those who do not embrace all of the tenants as presented by “non-resistant” brethren are NOT violent individuals. I have never met a believer who wants to react violently. I have never seen a believer who reacts out of a selfish urge to retaliate. Rather, they see it as a duty (and even a spiritual duty) on behalf of the weak. Again, I don’t know any Christian who even remotely believes that a nation or government (or even self preservation) comes before God or family. Moreover, I don’t know any believer who wouldn’t be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ or to die as a martyr for the faith in our Lord.

The simple difference is that many of us have prayerfully considered the issue, studied the Scriptures, and even considered the views of various “non-resistant” teachings, but still find no absolute prohibition in Scripture to validate the argument of the non-resistant brethren. Still, I would caution any of our brothers and sisters from issuing such a declaration that rejects the faith of those with whom we disagree. We need to respect them in the knowledge that they are often just as sincere in their quest for truth regarding this matter as the rest of us.


Well said, Chris. I've lost count but this is probably the tenth time you've posted this message against condemning others who disagree in this thread. Let's hope that they will now listen.

 2009/10/7 15:04Profile





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