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Passions in Poetry

Turning The Other Cheek

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TomMark
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50 posted 12-24-2007 01:01 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Sir Balladeer
"Darn it, Ron, I hate to lower your opinion of my mental capabilities"

See, you don't want Ron to have bad opinion on you. There are two important meanings here.

1. Why Ron? why not me? because you view Ron as a fair , intelligent person (I am too, you know     ). Why can't you have such a view on God? because you do not know Him.

2. It is Ron after all who blocks your view!

"accepting Jesus Christ."

How do you understand "accepting Jesus"?
There is not space in God's world for hypercritical talking on this issue. It is spiritual and its fruit..

"The flip side to that is that, even if you live your life in the best way you can, without violating the rights of anyone, and you do NOT accept HIM as your savior...it's sorry, Charlie. I have difficulty trusting an organization with rules like that."

Best way......your own definition.
and you cheated out a true friendship, ya know.

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-24-2007 05:36 PM).]

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51 posted 12-24-2007 01:18 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark


-----------------
But is it possible that the "punishment / reward" and the "acceptance / rejection" paradigms are not necessarily contrary, just different descriptions of the same?
------------------

This is very important because it is related to God's characters.

My thought
"punishment / reward" yes, but Adam/Eve/Cain/Moses/David/ all got punishment  from God but they were not the final judgment.

while "acceptance / rejection" is the essence  of the faith--in terms of God-human relationship.  I agree with what Sit Ron said.

PS, Sir Ron,  I love to read the stories about your mom and how she has disciplined you. I learned something from them. Who knows if you still need to be monitored?!
Stephanos
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52 posted 12-24-2007 02:11 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

TomMark,

You add levity to any discussion.  

Stephen

hush
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53 posted 12-24-2007 02:37 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I would just like to say I think this thread is absolutely fascinating, and I think everyone has had interesting things to say. Too bad I got back so late. To return to my example of Ghandi-

Yes, he was shot dead. Do you think that mattered to him? He was a man who valued justice over his own life and livelihood- hence the hunger strikes. Just as Ron's interpretation of Jesus shows that not getting hit was never the end goal, Ghandi's end goal never had anything to do with his own well being. He attained his goals not through (physical and emotional) self-fulfillment, but by elevating himself above what he viewed as evils of the world- violence, selfishness, and the occupation of his homeland.

'E You do nothing (turning the other cheek or the Ghandi defence)'

Turning the other cheek is absolutely not an example of doing nothing. (Thanks Reb, for the interjection). Going on a hunger strike in defiance of an occupying power is an extremely powerful action, not an inaction. Turning the other cheeck is a conscious decision.

I'm thinking of a Mark Strand poem:

"In a field, I am the absence of field."

And of an Ani DiFranco song:

"When you hear me singing, listen to what I'm not saying
When you hear me playing guitar, listen to what I'm not playing
Don't ask me to put words to all the silences I wrote
Don't ask me to explain all the silences between notes"

Meaning? I guess, that what you see as inaction may very well, to me, be action. Roosevelt said to walk softly, but to carry a big stick... walking softly is also an action. And there is the option to walk soflty, and without the stick. The point being, laying down the stick is not necessarily a surrender.

And that, to me, is the essence, or the idea, of God. A love so great that, as Ron pointed out, one can transcend the human tendency to react, to rebuke, to fight fire with fire or take an eye for an eye. To take a common saying- killing them with kindness. But the idea is not to kill your enemy, but to kill their agression with tactics other than those they are using.

And, as I said before- it worked for Ghandi.

Now, let's be realistic- I am not Jesus Christ, and I'm not Ghandi, and when someone cuts me of in traffic I respond without kindness. But there are times when I try to step back, and try to remind myself to take the road of not saying something- the action of silence, of no response (hence the username, it was supposed to be a reminder... Call it God, or grace, or whatever you want, but I do see it as the moral high road.

Merry Christmas
TomMark
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54 posted 12-24-2007 03:40 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Dear Stephen, thank you for your simple words. Actually I am waiting for you to talk more about the
"punishment/reward" and "acceptance/rejection" .

Thank you for all your posts. I learned a lot of things from them.

Wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and  a Happy new year.  
May God richly bless you!!
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55 posted 12-24-2007 03:50 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I am telling you here that you just think
that you are a great man and fair, better than most of people including me, if not Ron.


TomMark, say anything about the subject matter you like but personal comments like this go against site policy. Please consider that in the future.
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56 posted 12-24-2007 03:58 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike, c'mon, lighten up.  Turn the other cheek.  

Stephen
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57 posted 12-24-2007 03:59 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

I am very sorry sir Balladeer. Do please delete it. I indeed wrote them with laughter as a joke. Shall I write to Ron or brad?

I don't mean to hurt you, sir. I here sincerely to give my apology. I will be too bad to upset you in Christmas Eve.
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58 posted 12-24-2007 04:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Like I said at the beginning, Stephen, turning the other cheek is not a specialty of mine. I'll never win the Ghandi award

TomMark, don't worry about it. It is Christmas, after all, and I wish you a good one.
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59 posted 12-24-2007 04:25 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark


[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-26-2007 10:19 PM).]

Balladeer
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60 posted 12-24-2007 04:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, there are many things you say in your reply which makes sense but others I have a hard time relating to. I can understand the "acceptance/rejection"  philosophy and relate it to a heaven but why the Christianity version of it? It could also apply to any religion's version of life after death.

Either we are a reflection of God or God is a reflection of us, and in either case understanding, however partial, is attainable.   Not sure I understand why it has to be an either/or or what makes the understanding attainable. If we are indeed a reflection of God, how does that make understanding reachable?

We can condemn the acceptance/rejection motif of Christianity, perhaps, but with every single one of us doing it in our own lives, I think it's a bit hard to claim we can't understand it.   Not meaning to be dense here but every single one of us doing what?

btw....merry Chrsitmas, Ron

Stephen...but have you explored the idea that wishing someone to hell may be at least as bad as murder?

no.
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61 posted 12-24-2007 05:08 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

My dear sir Balladeer, ( I have to be very careful about my future)

"I can understand the "acceptance/rejection"  philosophy and relate it to a heaven but why the Christianity version of it? It could also apply to any religion's version of life after death."

My dear Sir, if you think that it is a philosophy, then it does apply to many religions.

But why do I believe them if they have nothing to do with the world, my heart beat and my life?

Many grandmas/grandpas tell much more horror logic stories, like thunder cut people who lie or fox talks like a human if one gets confused.

yours sincerely
Tomtoo

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-25-2007 12:19 AM).]

Huan Yi
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62 posted 12-24-2007 10:05 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“To return to my example of Ghandi-

Yes, he was shot dead. Do you think that mattered to him?”

“I think if Nathuram Godse had given him the option of a five minute start he’d have taken it.”

Agree.

And least according to Isaac Asimov, Jesus wasn’t
all that thrilled either.

Think about it . . .
He’s alone while everyone else is asleep
so heard his “acceptance” speech?


.


PS


We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.


Mark Strand
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63 posted 12-25-2007 05:49 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Balladear Ah dear Balladear
Your words was much stronger
like a sharp sward
than your palms and dozen fingers

You cut my heart in two halves
in your loud, merciless laugh
Now I am tending my tears
while clean up my blood

if you hate me that much
Give you best hit, my deer.
On Cheeks or not, who cares?
Just go there

[This message has been edited by TomMark (12-26-2007 01:28 PM).]

Huan Yi
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64 posted 12-25-2007 07:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
‘There are people however who will believe in an afterlife and aren’t totally enamoured with their lot in this one. Telling them that at some point down the road their life won’t seem all that important, even to the point where being murdered isn’t crucial, could be construed as giving them one more reason to get to that better place that much quicker.’

“Jesus of Nazareth (all four Gospels) chose to aggravate the authorities into crucifying him. Jesus was explicit in stating that his life was not being taken but that he was voluntarily choosing death: "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself." (John 10:18) While many Christians would vehemently deny that this amounts to suicide, Jesus' actions in behaving in a way that he knew would cause the authorities to condemn and execute him, and his refusal to take any action to avoid his execution, is similar to what today would be called "suicide by cop," and even more closely parallels the execution/suicide of Socrates, and the self-imposed martyrdoms carried out by members of the heretical Donatist schism and condemned by St. Augustine”


http://www.ashbusstop.org/Biblesuicide.html

.
Stephanos
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65 posted 12-26-2007 12:52 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

But John, in context, Jesus' act should be seen as a voluntary giving up of life, for the life of others.  Someone who jumps in the path of a speeding car to shield a child, is never called suicidal.  

There's also the intriguing fact that though Christ gave his life "willingly" as it were, the active role of the murderous authorities still stands.  A passive obedience to God, and an active murderous intent of his murderers were juxtaposed.  All Jesus did was to continue to do what was right and pure in conscience.  In order to be reasonably thought of as anything like a suicide, Jesus would have had to play a more active role in the end of his own life.  Yes, willingly he went to die.  But willingly living in obedience to God, not willing seeking death for its own sake.  He prayed "Let this cup pass from me" didn't he?

A key to good Biblical analysis is to balance all these curious facts, not just isolated statements.  His crucifixion is a unique thing in history.  But it certainly has more the characteristics of martyrdom and the death of the hero, than a suicide.

Stephen
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66 posted 12-26-2007 06:53 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"A key to good Biblical analysis is to balance all these curious facts"

"good" being what you want to end up with.


Isaac Asimov I think did a better job . . .


http://www.amazon.com/Asimovs-Guide-Bible-Testament   s-Volumes/dp/B000L9X4XA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1198712849&sr=1-4


PS I've bought it hardcover for less than $13
so shop around; Hamilton Bookseller may still have it . . .
.
Stephanos
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67 posted 12-26-2007 10:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Me:: "A key to good Biblical analysis is to balance all these curious facts"

John: "good" being what you want to end up with.


No, "good" being an interpretation which takes into account everything, not just a smattering of scripture.  Anyone who says Jesus was suicidal has honed in upon one element only ... his decisiveness.  But that and a death, does not a suicide make.  Any detective knows, you have to consider the whole story.

If I am merely interpreting to suit my fancy, then what do you make of Jesus' prayer "Let this cup pass from me, yet not my will but thine be done"?  Interpretations that are morbid may also be subject to eisegetical bias.  Whether the conclusion from any text is humanly congenial, or disturbing, or some mixture of the two, the true measure of whether it is valid has to do with how well it explains all the data, not just pieces at the expense of everything else.


quote:
Isaac Asimov I think did a better job...


Asimov was a biochemist, and fictional writer, and an atheist.  Not to say he doesn't add anything valuable to the study of the Bible ... But I would read wider than him, especially concerning a book and a tradition which does not discount God, but asserts that he is central to its interpretation.  

And as far as higher criticism goes, Asimov's critiques are bettered by other unbelieving scholars, simply because his was a lay-attempt at higher criticism; though no one questions his intelligence.

Ever heard of N.T. Wright?  As a historian and clergyman, he is probably the most provocative voice of challenge to the non-traditional interpretations of Jesus.  The book "Who Was Jesus" is one of many that could serve as an introduction to his writings


http://www.amazon.com/Who-Was-Jesus-N-Wright/dp/0802806945/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product

But rather than pit intellectuals against each other, via Amazon Links, I would rather ask you yourself why you find the "suicidal" description of Jesus' death as convincing.  Though I respect scholars of all kinds, and enjoy them as supplementary helps to my own studies, this is too important a subject to me to delegate entirely.  

Stephen
    
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68 posted 12-27-2007 01:36 AM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Dear John

1. God is there, in Bible and out of Bible.
2. God is not relevant to death.
3. Jesus is God and a human body without sin.

If Bible is philosophical book, then the basis is sin and to get rid of it so there would be no suffering. There were many ways to "rid of the sin".

If Bible is from God to partially reveal God's characters and the fate of human being whom God created, then, we read it as part of faith and truth.

The suicide of Jesus.

Did Jesus want to die? No. As you quoted from Bible. But What he said was not the common sense of death. He knew clearly that he was going to resurrect. then why he still thought that it was bitter cup?  Death to  God means to go  through humans' sin and this was the part that he would not want to accept but he had to because that was pre-planned( God knows that this world would reject him and kill him )that he had to bear  the sin of entire human race.

Supposing there is a man who is going to get capital punishment today but the Judge wants you to die for him and promises that you would be alive after three days. Will you do that? No. Because you will think that you did not commit any crime. why bother yourself  go through the process plus being beaten, tortured and insulted?  I will definitely not do that.

How Jesus viewed human life?
He Raised a widow's son (Luke 7:11)
he raise Lazarus
and how he told his apostles in Matthew 10:16
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."(KJ)

Nobody thoroughly understand all Bible. A good Christian in God eyes may have been granted some wisdom but  an atheist fiction writer's words was surly  from his own imagination and with his best respect, he merely treated Bible as a Philosophical or historical book. Of course it is more than those.

There are many sayings and explanations of Bible from all kind of authors and by many fictions too. Will you tell me that you have watched the movie "Passion" and you have been greatly  moved by the scenes. Will you be moved again  if I wrote a more cruel and thrilling one? It is not the heroic death that made him a God Or God's son.
  
God has characters. Bible revealed some.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."(KJ)

Then Why he is related to suicide-the self-murder? is there any Bible verse talking about this kind of heroism?

You will not tell me  that a mother died for saving her children is suicide behave, will you?

Tomtoo
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69 posted 12-27-2007 08:01 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

This thread reminded me of so many lessons in life and how the wisdom & strong principles of my elders influenced me and helped me through.

I feel it depends on the situation, and there are many ways a person might manage to "turn the other cheek."

Grandmomma was a tiny, graceful & joyful woman who was never short on wisdom: "Kill them with kindness," she'd say.

Granddaddy was a big man who came from the days when men were only as good as their word: "A man who strikes down another man's character behind his back is spineless, and a man who strikes others in the face is usually behind on his reason."

I also had a great affinity for an 89 year old patient at the elder care facility where I worked. She told me so many wonderful stories of her youth and this one was about when her and her husband were first married:

She said her husband hit her.

"We got into a spat and he hauled off and slapped me across the face, and I thought my heart was broken in-two. But then I got mad about it. I thought about givin' him a big lump on the head when he was sleepin' that night with the iron skillet. But I prayed about it and fell off to sleep. We went to church the next day, and the lord spoke to me. Sayin' 'beg for your husband's forgiveness!' So I did. Right there in front of everyone; God, the preacher, the whole congregation. I threw myself down at my husband's feet:

"Please forgive me for being a bad wife. I promise I'll be good so you won't have to hit me any more. I had no right to upset you and you had to slap me down. Hard! Right across the face. Forgive me my darlin' husband. Please, please?"

long story short...he never hit her again in their 60something years of marriage.

I think one has to have a plan, and be able to stick to it???

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but isn't it about choices?

how there's a right way and a wrong way, two wrongs don't make a right, try try again, striving for peace in the face of violence, etc.

and yes, I know. I've been in gang violence related altercations, and pleas for peace were nothing but weak-animal attractions for predatory victimizers. They feed off of fear/passivity and about the only hope one has is to NOT be the one they've singled out. I didn't turn the other cheek. I fought my way out of being a rape victim and I certainly don't feel bad about that.

Huan Yi
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70 posted 12-27-2007 12:26 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Stephen,

I think Jesus was blindsided.
The bibles which were written long
after the event progessively do
their best to put a good face
on tragedy.

Where does it make sense that he had
to die; vengeful God thing?  God
so loved man that He sacrificed His
only son; and who put a gun to God's head
and gave Him that choice?

John

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71 posted 12-27-2007 01:13 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Turning other cheek does not mean "Give in". It is love and love includes NOT nurturing anyone's  selfishness.
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72 posted 12-27-2007 01:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Becoming men brings out the best of the gods.  
Stephanos
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73 posted 12-27-2007 11:43 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John:
quote:
I think Jesus was blindsided.  The bibles which were written long after the event progessively do their best to put a good face
on tragedy.


Blindsided?  Weren't you saying that it was a suicide?

The thing is, if you are skeptical about the accuracy of the Gospels, then you also have no basis upon which to say that Jesus was suicidal or that it was even a tragedy.  Jesus could have been a common criminal for all you know.  

But, having said that, I will remind you that the methods of textual transmission (and the time frame) were typical for that culture and time period.  When you say "long after", you are implying such a time period that would guarantee distortion.  But it wasn't as long as you make it out to be, considering their means. Also dating methods of less conservative scholars have often been based upon dubious methods, such as dating any prophetic material as after the event it predicts, because (as we all know) real prophetic utterances are ruled out beforehand.  But this poorly thought out approach has also thrown many of their previous theories (about dating and source materials) in disarray.  The point is, an argument for textual fidelity and relatively early dates, is still strong.  

That doesn't mean you can't doubt it.  You can doubt anything.

quote:
Where does it make sense that he had
to die; vengeful God thing?


Ever felt the certainty that injustices were really wrong?  Ever been angry at abuse or opression?  Ever felt that someone had really wronged you or someone you cared about ... and felt that really (underneath it all) it wasn't just opinion?  If we can feel imperfect anger at wrongs committed (and be right about this feeling at least part of the time), why is it so hard to imagine God having perfect anger?  

And considering the crucifixion as a demonstration of God's wrath, is only one way to look at it.  The cross can also be seen as the weight of the world, the inevitable outcome of wickedness and sin and rebellion, falling upon a person.  Existentially it can be seen as the lot of death, in its most bitter form, falling upon him because of his union with us who live in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  There are many reasons why it had to be.

quote:
God so loved man that He sacrificed his only son; and who put a gun to God's head
and gave Him that choice?


That's actually the wonder of it all.  No compulsion, except love.  As you've noted already, Jesus didn't go kicking and screaming and unwillingly.


Stephen        
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74 posted 12-28-2007 12:47 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

How is sacrificing one's own son (or anyone for that matter) a good deed?  

 
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