Sunday, May 29, 2011

Power and Prayer

I have a hard time reconciling killing of humans with Christianity. We are told that Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, so I assume he used some force to banish them. I also assume that he was angry that they were perverting the ways of worship. We are also told that, rather than defend himself, or let others exact retribution in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus forgave and healed his attackers.

What does this say to us about how to protect ourselves and those we love from attacks on our bodies and attacks on our values? Are we to turn the other cheek even to those who are leading our children astray? How much force are we allowed to use in preventing people from selling out our most sacred ideals?

Before Jesus came to the Jews and Gentiles with a message of, not only earthly justice, but eternal forgiveness and inclusion, there were many biblical tales of God supporting the killing of non-believers. Did the new covenant destroy the old or did it simply add a new dimension to ways in which to spread the seeds of salvation?

How do we balance our duty to protect the ways that we believe will lead to eternal unity with the forgiveness and inclusion of those who seek to sow discord and destruction? I attempt to simply stay on my path and invite others to walk with me
teaching me what they are experiencing on their paths to paradise. This is much simpler now that my children are grown, but when they were still in my care I would have fought to the death to protect them from predators.

Another generation of my family is now vulnerable by virtue of having little ones. Who is to protect them from perversions as they seek to define their own families' paths to peace? Are we meant to be powerless to do anything when under attack, other than to pray?

1 comment:

  1. I always relate to the idea of forgiveness - but that only comes with repentance. Also, remember that Jesus said that if a householder knew what hour the thief would come he would not suffer his house to be broken into. Also, Paul says that the man who will not "provide for his own has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." "Provide" to me includes protection. I have never believed that Christians should become weaklings when they profess faith in Christ.