Thursday, December 15, 2005
Turn The Other Cheek
"Resist not evil," Jesus said. I want to use this one instance to show how there appears to be a gross contradiction in the Word of God, but there is not.
First, there are the religious, who insist that the King James is holy to the exclusion of any other translation of the bible. Then, even one word is taken and focused on - even if that isn't the exactly correct word, or even if English is limited in it's ability to translate.
Unfortunately, men who themselves have religious hangups have helped to translate and it would be almost impossible for the writings to remain untainted by their opinions.
We see the result of that here - in this message from Jesus about evil. How could Jesus say that we shouldn't resist evil if he also said we have power over all the power of the enemy? So, we must rely on the holy spirit to give us better understanding. And that means - we who know God personally will have to ask Him to explain this.
Here Jesus is talking about the evil person. You will notice how this plays out in reality. When you are dealing with an evil person, that person's free will cannot be violated. When that person "strikes you on the cheek" and you decide to fight back, the anger and hatred of the evil person is stirred up even more. No good results. No evil is averted. So, you turn the other cheek. It also is referring to your resisting evil by means of your flesh, by means of some natural reaction in you that wants to strike out.
The place where we mostly resist evil is in "the closet." There we bind principlaities and powers, we tell Satan that he is bound, and we resist all kinds of evil. We do this with our mouths, but the power we rely on is God's power. We make declarations. i tell you it is like witchcraft, only it is God's chosen "witchcraft" for His people. We decide the outcome of things when we pray and when we resist evil with our words. If we truly understood the power of this - we could win wars with very little bloodshed. I believe the American revolution was fought and won mostly by the prayers of the women and men who were behind it.
We deal with humans humbly and in the power of God's spirit. If we are going to rely on God's power, it will change the way we normally deal with people. Most of the time, we stand back and resist the desire to strike out.
There is a time and a place for physical and verbal assaults to resist evil, but we have to discern that. Even though policemen and soldiers have a legitimate role, they too could have more power over evil through prayer, and the power of their words to resist Satan and his cohorts.
Jesus said forgive 70 times 7. Does that mean stop forgiving, and count it out, exactly after the 490th time? No. but how do we know that?
Here is one that kills me: many teacher/preachers say that Jesus was making a declaration of the hopelessness of poverty when he said, "the poor you will have with you always." No! he was just about to leave them and he meant that after he left the poor would still be there to deal with, but this thing (of pouring expensive oil) was a here and now thing for that woman.
Ps 9:18 says The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Ps 12: 5 says: because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will place him in the safety for which he longs. Obviously, God never said that the poor will always be poor.