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Turn The Other Cheek Does Not Mean Be Subservient


R. S. Martin
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I think everyone here should read Violence and Nonviolence in South Africa, Jesus' Third Way, by Walter Wink.

 

Wink shows that the KJV people messed around with the Greek because Mr. King James was afraid he would lose his power if they translated it straight. Jesus does NOT say be subservient. He says to rob the smug of their dignity. Like the story I tell on another thread about this fundy forum manager who got mad when I gave him permission to delete my post.

 

Why did he get mad/offended? Because I robbed him of his power to hurt me. By doing that, I undermined his authority. The only way he could throw his weight around over the internet was by deleting my stuff. And here I was offering him to do it if he so desired.

 

In other words, I was exposing him for what he really was--a BULLY.

 

That is exactly what Jesus meant by "turning the other cheek." Show up the bully. Rob him of his dignity. When a creditor takes your coat as surety give him your inner garment, too. That way you will walk out of court naked and he will stand there embarrassed for having been so cruel as to take away the only material goods you had left--two garments.

 

If a bully strikes you on one cheek, turn the other and show him up for the bully he really is.

 

This kind of thing gives power to the destitude and powerless. It empowers the lowest of the low in the Roman Empire, and in Apartheid in South Africa in 1986, and in Christian Institutions of North America in the 21st century. Here's what I did:

 

I showed up their church to be the cold-blooded self-righteous system it really is. I showed these siblings up as the pawns they really are--pawns at the mercy of this cruel system.

 

Most of you know the story but we have some newbies. Besides, telling it again has cathartic value for me. Here goes:

 

My siblings did not want me to eat with them at our mother's funeral but they desperately wanted me to attend the funeral. Why did they want me at the funeral? I have no idea. It must have been a good reflection on them in some way or another. I refused to be that kind of pawn.

 

My brother asked: Can we look forward to seeing you tomorrow (at funeral)?

 

I replied with my own question: Can I eat with you?

 

I had turned the other cheek like Jesus said. I had exposed this man of dignity and respect in his own community for what he really was: A pawn at the mercy of a cold-blooded self-righteous establishment. As Wink calls it, I had given him the opportunity to repent--just like the debtor who handed over his inner garment along with the outer coat, or the guy who turned the other cheek to the bully.

 

I was showing up the religious system for what it was: A cold-blooded self-righteous establisment.

 

I am sure none of them saw it that way on a conscious level but there was something deep down that made him, this man of dignity and respect in his community, break down and cry. The system was exposed. I had turned the other cheek. I did not take abuse of power lying down.

 

He was groveling at the feet of the system.

 

Several years earlier, the only church at which I ever held formal membership (outside the church I was born into) had asked to take me off its roster because I was no longer an active member. At the time I still considered myself Christian. I explained that having formal membership has made some relationships easier. I did not know that I would deconvert. I did not know that this technicality would make it possible to attend my mother's funeral. But all these things worked together for my good.

 

Now if my siblings truly loved me as they profess to do, they would never have gotten themselves into this mess to start off with. What evidence did they have that I was an unbeliever? Back in September I shared with my one sister about plans to meet with a pagan to explore alternatives to Christianity. If they had truly loved me they would not have taken this tiny little detail as definitive evidence. I had not written off god's existence. I called her again to explain this but instead of listening to my explanation she questioned me on how the universe could have possibly come into being if god did not exist. I answered that question. She asked me how such a deep book as the bible could have been written without god's existence. I answered that question.

 

I never said that I don't believe in go. But she chose to take it that way. Months later when I pointed out that all this complication around the funeral was because of what she told the rest of the family, she defended herself by saying she "had to talk with someone." Yeah right! since she chose to jump to conclusions and she couldn't live with the erroneous conclusions she had arrived at, she absolutely had to talk with someone. After that I was labeled atheist. Eventually I moved to that position if that is what all these cold-blooded self-righteous xians call me. There was nothing to hold me back.

 

I am asking myself why I never clarified. I think on an unconscious level it was my way to taking a stand. I had finally proved them to be the cold-blooded and hateful sibs they really were. Their treatment of me at the funeral only confirmed what I already suspected. Very painful surgery of the soul, as I like to put it when I wax poetic, but in the end I know where I stand with these people. These people hate me while professing love. They profess love and they act loving when they accept me into the bossom of the family for the funeral. But since then they have rejected me. Therefore I conclude that my presence at the funeral served some ulterior purpose for them. I also conclude that their strategy, whatever it was, fell flat. Hence the rejection afterward.

 

I had offered them the other cheek. I was genuine in all I did. They were not. Somehow, things did not work out as they had planned. And they couldn't handle it. Of course, Ruby gets blamed but Ruby does not have to live with their guilty consciences.

 

But that's not the end of the story. After the funeral I got a letter from a sister asking how I could be there for the funeral in the middle of the community as I was (meaning: with everyone knowing what kind of person I was). I explained that it was because of the love of my family and because I had nothing to hide.

 

I guess that was the ultimate "turn of the other cheek." It stood everything she believed in on its head.

 

I have not yet heard back and it's quite a number of weeks. It seems as though she has chosen to disappear rather than face who she really is--a low-down self-righteous cheat.

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Point of order... it's His Royal Highness, King James... damn colonials

 

Huh? You think I didn't know that? Stuffy Brit.

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Point of order... it's His Royal Highness, King James... damn colonials

 

Huh? You think I didn't know that? Stuffy Brit.

Having had to explain to an American clerics on more than one occasion why the Dalai Lama is H.H. Dalai Lama, and the fact that The Madness of George IV was renamed to the Madness of King George to stop the largest English speaking market wondering what had happened to Episodes I to III I stopped betting on a horse named 'Hope'... it's an unreliable nag... ;D

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Yeah it's funny how a lot of christians think "turn the other cheek" means to lie down and take whatever treatment. Like you stated, NO it never meant that.

 

Here's how I understood it:

Back in the day....by turning the other cheek literally, you offered up the side of your face in which a person would have to use their left hand to strike. That was unacceptable back then because that hand was considered "unclean." So....by offering up that side of your face, in essense you are challenging the other person to do something they could not do.

 

Exposing someone for the bully they are and making them look ridiculous is also the same as I understood it about the cloak too.

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TBH, it's nothing that throwing them to the floor and stamping on their throat until you get blood out of their nose won't cure ;)

 

I'm just sayin' ...

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But that's not the end of the story. After the funeral I got a letter from a sister asking how I could be there for the funeral in the middle of the community as I was (meaning: with everyone knowing what kind of person I was). I explained that it was because of the love of my family and because I had nothing to hide.

 

 

How unreasonable for her to ask you that!! I mean, no matter what you believe and how they may feel about it, you had EVERY RIGHT to attend your mother's funeral no matter what!!! Based on the fact that it was for YOUR MOTHER! In my opinion, no one should ever owe an explanation as to why they are at their own parent's funeral! I'm sorry dear Ruby for what you have gone through. I applaud you for your strength, grace and dignity in the matter.

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Point of order... it's His Royal Highness, King James... damn colonials

 

Huh? You think I didn't know that? Stuffy Brit.

Having had to explain to an American clerics on more than one occasion why the Dalai Lama is H.H. Dalai Lama, and the fact that The Madness of George IV was renamed to the Madness of King George to stop the largest English speaking market wondering what had happened to Episodes I to III I stopped betting on a horse named 'Hope'... it's an unreliable nag... ;D

 

Okay, Harl, once and for all: A Canadian is NOT an American. How can you be a true brit and not know that? Read your history, kiddo! Canada exists BECAUSE we did not want to be Americans. And if you want to insult us you call us Americans. Otherwise you respect us and call us the Loyalists we are.

 

No offense to my good American friends. It's just that most of us are proud of the country we represent no matter if or not we are on the world's radar. Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

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Back on topic.

 

Panther, I'm glad someone else understands this "turn the other cheek." So many people on here talk about turning the other cheek as though they thought it meant they had to be subservient. Of course, the System gets upset if you don't act subservient. And King J couldn't handle that. When the system gets upset we upsetters and boat rockers get attacked and that is why we need to rant. When I know that the bible or other documents that are taken authoritatively by large populations did not mean the debasing stuff most people think it does, I always feel better. Just wanted to share this bit with those people who feel they have to be subservient in order to be moral.

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Point of order... it's His Royal Highness, King James... damn colonials

 

Huh? You think I didn't know that? Stuffy Brit.

Having had to explain to an American clerics on more than one occasion why the Dalai Lama is H.H. Dalai Lama, and the fact that The Madness of George IV was renamed to the Madness of King George to stop the largest English speaking market wondering what had happened to Episodes I to III I stopped betting on a horse named 'Hope'... it's an unreliable nag... ;D

 

Okay, Harl, once and for all: A Canadian is NOT an American. How can you be a true brit and not know that? Read your history, kiddo! Canada exists BECAUSE we did not want to be Americans. And if you want to insult us you call us Americans. Otherwise you respect us and call us the Loyalists we are.

 

No offense to my good American friends. It's just that most of us are proud of the country we represent no matter if or not we are on the world's radar. Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

Bugger... I forgot you're a Canuk... Spoilt me joke now... you're just selfish... ;)

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Harley, if you would care enough about the people to whom you are talking to check and see where they are from, you could save yourself this kind of embarrassment. This is the second time you've tripped up about my location. I would think you'd learn but maybe not......

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Harley, if you would care enough about the people to whom you are talking to check and see where they are from, you could save yourself this kind of embarrassment. This is the second time you've tripped up about my location. I would think you'd learn but maybe not......

It's a site full of bitter ex-Christians... spit and you hit a yank... Statistically if I assume everyone is American except the people I can see by their language structure are Germanic.

 

And I'm not embarrassed... I can't help it if you're in the wrong country... :wicked:

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Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

 

"Oh, you American?"

 

"Uh, no. I'm Canadian. It's like an American, only without a gun."

 

~ Scott Thompson and David Foley, Kids in the Hall

 

Best show EVAR. I raided your country last weekend for your caffine free Mountain Dew, your Ketchup Chips, and your chocolate. ;)

 

*blitzes out on an Aero bar*

 

*misses living as a Canuck*

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If I remember my British history correctly, HRH King James did not like the Geneva Bible with all it's pesky margin notes blathering about giving power to the common people. So, he had his own Bible commissioned with instructions to make the sovergnty of god's annointed King paramount.

 

In his spare time, he enjoyed personally supervising the torture of wenches often advising the torturer on new techniques, having sex with young men in his privy chambers, and their were rumors that he rolled in the blood of the animal he killed on a hunt and had sex with it as it lay dying. It wasn't that Good Queen Bess was so good, it's that he was so bad that he made her look good.

 

...and Christian's love their KJV!

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If I remember my British history correctly, HRH King James did not like the Geneva Bible with all it's pesky margin notes blathering about giving power to the common people. So, he had his own Bible commissioned with instructions to make the sovergnty of god's annointed King paramount.

 

In his spare time, he enjoyed personally supervising the torture of wenches often advising the torturer on new techniques, having sex with young men in his privy chambers, and their were rumors that he rolled in the blood of the animal he killed on a hunt and had sex with it as it lay dying. It wasn't that Good Queen Bess was so good, it's that he was so bad that he made her look good.

 

...and Christian's love their KJV!

That sounds like the sort of thing proper Kings got up to... not like now.

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I wonder if this sort of thing would work on the Phelps clan. You watch the vids and see people driving by flipping them off or yelling, and that just plays into their "They hate us cuz were right." deal. Then again I don't think they are capable of shame.

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I wonder if this sort of thing would work on the Phelps clan. You watch the vids and see people driving by flipping them off or yelling, and that just plays into their "They hate us cuz were right." deal. Then again I don't think they are capable of shame.

I don't think shouting back 'y'all gunna burn!' while holding a 'Thank God for IEDs' sign constitutes turning the other cheek.

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Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

 

"Oh, you American?"

 

"Uh, no. I'm Canadian. It's like an American, only without a gun."

 

~ Scott Thompson and David Foley, Kids in the Hall

 

Best show EVAR. I raided your country last weekend for your caffine free Mountain Dew, your Ketchup Chips, and your chocolate. ;)

 

*blitzes out on an Aero bar*

 

*misses living as a Canuck*

 

Maybe that's what it looks like from south of the border.

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Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

 

"Oh, you American?"

 

"Uh, no. I'm Canadian. It's like an American, only without a gun."

 

~ Scott Thompson and David Foley, Kids in the Hall

 

Best show EVAR. I raided your country last weekend for your caffine free Mountain Dew, your Ketchup Chips, and your chocolate. ;)

 

*blitzes out on an Aero bar*

 

*misses living as a Canuck*

 

Maybe that's what it looks like from south of the border.

 

And from points north? ;)

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But that's not the end of the story. After the funeral I got a letter from a sister asking how I could be there for the funeral in the middle of the community as I was (meaning: with everyone knowing what kind of person I was). I explained that it was because of the love of my family and because I had nothing to hide.

 

 

How unreasonable for her to ask you that!! I mean, no matter what you believe and how they may feel about it, you had EVERY RIGHT to attend your mother's funeral no matter what!!! Based on the fact that it was for YOUR MOTHER! In my opinion, no one should ever owe an explanation as to why they are at their own parent's funeral! I'm sorry dear Ruby for what you have gone through. I applaud you for your strength, grace and dignity in the matter.

 

Thanks Panther. I think I missed this one. Or maybe I just wanted to savor the kindness before replying to it. Yeah, memory is coming back...I read this because now I remember thinking about it a lot....the very thought that I didn't have to accept that kind of interrogation for being a decent human being. You guys here on this site have sure helped me put my family into perspective. All the books say abuse victims seldom realize that what they are getting is not normal or that they didn't deserve it. That is turning out to be the case for me, too. Oh the more extreme stuff I've learned to identify but this more subtle stuff...Thanks again.

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Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

 

"Oh, you American?"

 

"Uh, no. I'm Canadian. It's like an American, only without a gun."

 

~ Scott Thompson and David Foley, Kids in the Hall

 

Best show EVAR. I raided your country last weekend for your caffine free Mountain Dew, your Ketchup Chips, and your chocolate. ;)

 

*blitzes out on an Aero bar*

 

*misses living as a Canuck*

 

Maybe that's what it looks like from south of the border.

 

And from points north? ;)

 

 

You'd have to be born in Canada to really know what it means being a Canadian and it seems you weren't.

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All the books say abuse victims seldom realize that what they are getting is not normal or that they didn't deserve it. That is turning out to be the case for me, too. Oh the more extreme stuff I've learned to identify but this more subtle stuff...Thanks again.

 

(hugs) You're so right. When you are right inside the situation, you are often blinded to your treament or get so used to it that it is normal for you. I'm so glad you're reading different kinds of self-help books. They really make you think and often bring attention to small things you may have not noticed. It can be pretty emotional to realize some of this stuff. It can send you into grief cycles for a while, but that is normal. You know, whenever there is a dysfunctional family system into place, everyone plays a role. When you change your role and no longer accept certain things (as you are doing) then the other "players" in their roles can tend to get angry. They want you to go back to who you were before so the dysfunction can continue. I see that happening with you and your families reaction. But I"m happy to see you are standing your ground. It takes courage to do this and eventually, when they realize you can no longer be manipulated things will change. I don't believe they are aware of all of this...it just sorta happens in the background. I've had some abuse in my background too and it was quite a revelation to me when I got help and realized certain things about it. I see you as a lady of great strength with a great heart. I'm so glad things are turning around for you.

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Since most of the world cannot tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, I consider it part of my life's mission to clarify once in a while.

 

"Oh, you American?"

 

"Uh, no. I'm Canadian. It's like an American, only without a gun."

 

~ Scott Thompson and David Foley, Kids in the Hall

 

Best show EVAR. I raided your country last weekend for your caffine free Mountain Dew, your Ketchup Chips, and your chocolate. ;)

 

*blitzes out on an Aero bar*

 

*misses living as a Canuck*

 

Maybe that's what it looks like from south of the border.

 

And from points north? ;)

 

 

You'd have to be born in Canada to really know what it means being a Canadian and it seems you weren't.

No, I was born on Nature's fortress for herself... So I have not the faintest idea what it's like to be anything else...

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I wonder if this sort of thing would work on the Phelps clan. You watch the vids and see people driving by flipping them off or yelling, and that just plays into their "They hate us cuz were right." deal. Then again I don't think they are capable of shame.

I don't think shouting back 'y'all gunna burn!' while holding a 'Thank God for IEDs' sign constitutes turning the other cheek.

 

 

um, I think I was totally misunderstood.

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