Turning the other cheek<h2 class=”objection”>Matthew 5:38-9—”Turning the other cheek to injustice is ridiculous and unjust.”</h2> Some have argued that the pacifism that Jesus proclaims is contemptible. This is an interesting claim–particularly as the world over the last few years has witnessed the devastating results of war and terrorism. We have been witnesses of the fact that war, military force, terrorism in the name of religion, and increased nationalism have only brought the world pain, sorrow and hardship. War does not bring any solutions to the problems the world is facing. If war is not improving the situation of the world, should we not consider other alternatives?<p> Prior to these verses referred to above, Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matt 5:9). Why are peacemakers called ‘sons of God’? Because God is the source of all peace and those who work to bring peace are God-like in their character. <p> The Injīl teaches that God will indeed avenge injustice at Judgement Day, but as sinful, fallible human beings we must leave revenge in the hands of God. Governments have their place to ensure justice, but believers are called to oppose evil with nonviolent resistance, truth and unflinching courage, not bombs and terrorism. We appeal to the consciences of men with our unflinching and fearless belief that truth is stronger than force, fearless before evil in the face of death. Among Jesus’ followers is an unparalleled tradition of pacifist martyrdom fuelled by love for enemies, which has attracted countless millions to Christ’s Way. <p> Jesus said, “My peace I leave with you—I do not give as the world gives.” Mankind’s leaders have promised a future state of peace after a bloody revolution of force, but they never achieve anything but bloodshed. Jesus offers a different sort of peace, here and now. Death and destruction may bring victory, but they will never bring justice – or peace.<p> In a world that has seen the fruit of war in the name of religion, we know that the words of Jesus are the only appropriate response to end the cycle of injustice and destruction. These precious teachings of Jesus have attracted countless people to become his disciples. <p>
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