Lectio Divina for September 11th

Matthew 5

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?


David Baxley said...

So Jesus is talking to individual followers. How does this applie to America? Are you saying that America should do just that...turn the other cheek. And please give me real answer. Again it seems a nation and an individual follower are not the same thing.

David Best said...

This is for individuals, that is, "we the people". This isen't really about policy. Lexio Divino is about praying the scriptures with an ear for the Holy Spirit's guidance.

David Baxley said...

Yes, praying the scriptures is one of the most powerful things you can do but praying things out of context can be a bad thing. I am not saying you are but i don't think it is as easy or obvious. Your right it deos say "we the people of the United States" not we the christians of the United States...Do you think we should be a religous/christian run government?

David Best said...

No I don't think this should be a Christian/religious run government. All I'm saying is that on a day like 9.11, the words of Jesus are a good thing for Christians to remember, meditated on, and Lord willing, be shaped by. What that shape is, is another question.

I know your fishing for a bottom line answer, so here it is.

Killing is always wrong, and sometimes necessary.

Not that a single sentance does justice to the topic, but there it is for you.

David Best said...

If nothing else, this illistrates that few simply do what the Bible says.

David Baxley said...

Yeah.... so were does it say that in the bible "killing is always wrong" that one is pretty far out there. I am more looking for the what I would think you agree with. This IS NOT black and white. There seems to be so much more then what one or two quotes from the Bible can do for this issue. War is not always right. War is not always right. I beleive a war can be God honoring. WW2 is a great example of what I would say was a right war. Not just a just war but a right war. War can be the right answer and it can also be the wrong answer. But to say Killing is always wrong. WOW seems like your missing alot on that statement.

David Best said...

This is good, us wrestleing with the words of Jesus and their implications for our lives today. : ) It is this, people just thinking about stuff, that I get excited about.

btw: when I mentioned that few simply do what the Bible says, I didn't mean to imply that that is a good thing or a bad thing. That was just an observation.

On killing always being wrong as far out. Can you imagine loving your enemy and killing him? I suppose its possible, but...

You seem to suggest that the words of Jesus in Mat 5 are normative for the Christian but not for the nation. What then should be the Christian's relationship to the State?

The early church had very little to do with the military. Soldiers were allowed to become Christians, but Christians becoming solders was inconcievable. This was in part because abselute allegance, and even worship of Cesar was part of being a soldier. Early Christians understood this to be incompatable with allegiance to Jesus Christ.

When I say that killing is always wrong, paradox is key to making that statment usable. So is an appreciation for holiness. (I do not mean to imply that I understand holiness and you or anyone else does not) What I mean is that if God is by defination perfect and holy, I think that we sin when we deviate from his holiness and perfection in any way. Death and certanly premature death, (i.e. killing) deviates from the way things were created, and is there fore wrong. Unfortunately there are greator and lessor wrongs, which we must some times choose between. But that doesn't mean that when we correctly choose the less wrong option, we haven't sinned. This is why I say killing is always wrong.

The problem with this last paragraph is that I have just rendered the words of Jesus less than normative. Though that may be necessary in this instance, I think it is a very dangerous thing to do.