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rm

The Prince of Peace had a sword nearby.

Matt 10:34-35 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Luke 22:36 He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
One thought on the previous, and some on the current. Locks, of course we are both talking metaphorically, but nonetheless there it is. What lies in back of it? As I see it, it’s the coward who refuses to lock his doors, the coward refuses to prepare to defend himself and his family, the coward who sees only fear within those who are prepared, capable, trained, and informed when the rapist takes on a daughter, the killer a wife, the burglar the hard earned rightfully owned property. Only the regretful are that disarmed, that unready, that naïve, that helpless, that soft. Having just received a conceal carry permit, I find it fraught with the impossible to attempt to follow Gandhi, with such an incomplete appraisal of his tolerance of violence, death and killing. It is quite interesting to note Gandhi’s consistent critique of the Jews, but virtually next to no outcry of the Muslims committing deliberate atrocities towards the Jews in the Holy Land as well as other Muslim atrocities even to his own people in India! He even goes so far as to urge the Jews to commit mass suicide in regards to Hitler and his Nazi forces attacking the Jews. Gandhi is another story for another time, but speaking of him and Christ in the same sentence, by saying, ‘just a couple of men who died’ textually is like comparing a Rolls Royce to a Red Wagon. Both have 4 wheels but that is about where it stops. I say this based not on my views of Christ but that what He speaks of Himself, and what Gandhi says of himself. So, “once a man said”, certainly would be google Christology…Christ is a man, but no mere man, and Gandhi is a man, and is a mere man. Christ was not ‘killed’ per’ se, He was ‘Judicially Executed’ and there is profound linguistic difference in that structure. He in fact said “no one takes my life from Me, I lay it down, I will take it up again, and this distinction should not be glossed over. Christ used many language structures to convey a given contextual message. The ‘turn the other cheek’ referent is entirely personal, not corporate in its application and intension. This conclusion also is not gymnastics, its exegesis.
The grammar, personal pronouns, possible participles, etc… do not allow for a corporate application, but only a personal one. He elsewhere said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, he also said to go and buy a sword. These also require contextualization before arriving at a conclusion of His meaning. So the “cheek” reference simply is taken and conflated to mean something it does not mean.
On walls, gates, borders, barriers… of course outgoing President Obama just bought a 5 and a half million dollars, gated, walled, and unbelievably protected home. If that is cowardice, Barack Obama is the biggest coward of all. To me, he’s no coward; he has respect for reality as we find it, and it is intelligence, preparedness, fearlessness in the face of potential imminent danger. But if that other utopian dream view is the kind of definition for peace we think will work, think is correct, and then once again, we should dismantle every single solitary lock on every door and window we own. This being the only consistent response to form solidarity with, and harmony to, the Gandhi view of totalitarian defenselessness.
What is a rational response? Living in this world, with murderous killers being imported by nestling among the valid immigrants? With the open border policy of Clinton, Obama, Bush, etc…being rejected in this election. With Germany also perhaps preparing to reject the same wide open globalist foreign policy with Merkel. What is the rational way? A general recently said of jihadi types, “I come in complete peace towards you, and mean you no harm, but if you fuck with me, or my children, wife or loved ones… I will kill you” THAT is rational.
Also, this thought of the “inequitable distribution of resources being the biggest source of crime and unrest” As I see it, is false. We cannot go around ‘distributing private property’ to everyone else around us. Even the Jewish Bible speaks to this… Jer 17:11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay is the man who gains riches by unjust means. Like a bird which hatches the eggs it did not lay. Which sounds like Barack’s “spread the wealth around” just not his wealth. The bird analogy speaks of one bird taking profit earned or created by another bird, this is theft, and irrational, it is unjust.
Distributing wealth is theft, it is sinful. Stealing is sinful, robbery, rape, murder is sinful, and human goodness is sinful. Back to the beginning, the biggest lock is in, on, around, and through the human heart. It will never be unlocked with societal conventions, or self-help theory.
More money reduce the sinful heart’s desire” ? It doesn’t pan out that way. Consider the following extremely wealthy multi-millionaire, educated, informed, and thinking killers.
Robert Durst, Joran van der Sloot, Lyle and Erik Menendez, Allen Blackthorne, James Ward, Michael Skakel, John DuPont, Adrian Prout, Phil Spector, John Brooks, HH Holmes, and on it could go. So whence comes peace? We as a secular society continue the never ending quest. While some find peace in politics, porn, partying, or profiting, Others find that Christ is Himself their peace, and thus, so unworthy a one I may be to be extended the gift of peace with God, yet…thankfully, unbelievably.. I am one of those people.

Roger German

Randy, thanks once again for your thoughtful reply.
I find it difficult to conceive of the Prince of Peace as you do, with a sword at ready. You have studied the Bible in ways I have never taken the time, but if that is the interpretation you find most accurate, I defer to you on that and I want no part of it.
I have read the passages you cite, and yet the life He lived belies your interpretation. His followers would have loved to pick up the sword on His behalf, as I understand it, yet He dissuaded and declined those invitations, right up to his chiding Peter for assaulting those who were in the Garden of Gethsemane to take Him away. Interestingly the one time He seemed to have lost his temper was with businessmen simply trying to run a profitable business in the temple. They seemed to have really pissed Him off.
And I have read no accounts of His followers fomenting insurgence or mounting armed attacks on the Romans who harassed and persecuted them. If His teaching is as you say, speak softly and carry a big stick, then I think His followers have misunderstood for centuries His message. The non-violent adherence to an unpopular fringe movement eventually converted the very Empire set on destroying them.
It is hard for me reconcile that understanding of the history of the Christian movement with that of Jesus “with a sword nearby.”
That’s not the message I understand from any reading of the New Testament. But I must also confess that I am no different from others who chooses scriptures that augment a particular world view.
And in the world we live in today, where fear and hatred is the given for much of society, and where the operant politicians preach that gospel, I agree that it is only the fools and the forgetful who do no lock their doors.
As for carrying concealed weapons, I find that both comforting and fraught, and I choose to defer on that. The line out of Cold Mountain comes to mind, as one character studies the gun in his hand, “These things give on notions unsought.”
Indeed.
I trust our good buddy Terry with a weapon and the training and good sense he has to use it properly, training in the military and especially as an MP. But in most cases, I don’t trust those who carry, in either their training with the weapon or their ability to make appropriate decisions under the extreme stress of combat.
Interestingly enough, most legislative bodies in the US agree with me on that one. At least for themselves. They pass legislation to allow concealed carry in a lot of places, but not in their own chambers, one of the few places I would almost think it imperative to carry a weapon to get a reasonable point across.
I think Gandhi’s point about the difficulty in answering evil with good, violence with non-violence is well spoken and true. It is I think difficult in the extreme, and seldom promoted in popular media or culture.
Our heroes are armed to the teeth, reluctant of course to use the violence in which they are well-trained, but always at ready, and always successful in blowing away the bad guys and saving the day.
But the day is never saved; the violence is only nestled nearer to the heart to be reprised again, and again, and again, as the root cause and history of the violence is never examined.
I think perhaps I didn’t explain the idea of the unequal distribution of resources, as I think I have not well explained my embrace of non-violence as best as I can.
Neither of these ideas are something this society in America can embrace. I understand that.
But they are ideas that we must come to understand and take into our hearts if ever we are to change the cycle of violence and we currently embrace.
And there are those who want that cycle to continue, and now, in this culture, they control the media, the government, business and money.
They have the power, as did Rome in the time of Jesus.
Despite your interpretation of Him as being strong only because He “had a sword nearby,” I believe differently about Him and His message. And I think it was His embrace of non-violent response to the violence around Him that made his message so powerful.

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