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Davidsun

What Jesus advice t 'turn the other cheek' REALLY meant

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50 minutes ago, Davidsun said:

Fair enough (and thank you! for engaging with me on this score). Your 'take' on/from Jesus' teaching  (based on the way said teachings are 'packaged' in Matthew 5) may indeed , (meaning conceivably may) be 'correct'. And if that's what you/anyone thinks will really 'serve' to augment and enrich the quality Life experience and expression on earth as well are thereafter, then that's the kind of nice-nice thing you (said anyone) should (IMO) 'do'.

I'm not saying what the wisest course of action IS but merely discussing what I THINK Jesus was alluding too.  In fact, I don't actually think there is any single 'turn the other cheek' approach to be applied in life but rather different reactions for different circumstances.

50 minutes ago, Davidsun said:

I personally 'see' Jesus' entire Life as being a demonstration of the kind of self-assertive 'protest' (against both Roman- and Hebrew-establishment 'domination') that I am talking about, however. In the case of the latter 'establishment', note is having (reportedly at least) protestationally said (in Matthew 23): " But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!   for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer:  therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." 

Hitler for one (notable one) would have just 'loved' the people he aimed to bully and dominate thinking, feeling and behaving that (turn your other cheek and give me your shirt also) way, aye what? :D

I have no proof regarding what Jesus actually meant/taught (regarding 'cheeks' and 'shirts', etc.) and only have the 'testimony' of my 'mind' and my 'spirit' (gut?) in this regard.

Yes, personal interpretation/gut intuition may well be all we have to go on when interpreting what Jesus really meant.  Clearly the likes of the Quaker movement have a different take on pacifism than other Christians might - I'm not saying one's right and the other's wrong but  rather that this whole 'what did jesus really mean' game is a personal one for everyone.

50 minutes ago, Davidsun said:

Here's what I have 'deduced' about the 'nature' of Intelligence/Being/Creation/God/Life (whatever you wish to call It), which is what I am going on in the foregoing regards (quoted from my book Godspeak 2000):

"The potentially liberating and amendatory truth (which, for [various] reasons, many don’t appreciate) is that everybody in existence is spiritually motivated by a mindfully discriminating intrinsic potency. This was termed ‘atman’ or ‘soul’ by sages of old, who recognized everyone and everything as an immediate expression of the universally present, intelligently creative essence which they understood to be the real meaning of ‘Brahman’ and ‘God’. But, because such words have been misappropriated by custom and their significance sometimes grossly distorted by misusage, I generally refer to it alternatively, as Intelligence, Creativity, Life Itself or the Life-Force. However labeled, it is the source ‘element’ from which all Being springs, the core I-Am-That-I-Am, THAT Which IS! at root within each and everyone."

At the end of the day, if whatever people deduce or believe hurts no others, I am all for it.  If it enriches your life, gives you meaning and purpose, guides you in a manner you find helpful, without causing pain and suffering or harm to others, rock on!  I often quote lyrics from a Ben Harper song (Burn One Down):

My choice is what I choose to do
And if I'm causing no harm
It shouldn't bother you
Your choice is who you choose to be
And if your causin' no harm
Then you're alright with me

50 minutes ago, Davidsun said:

Again, I appreciate your forthright engagement with me and furthering this discussion by doing so,  Paul.

My pleasure.  I enjoy discussion and debate (more particularly when I have time to do so).  I know I am not always right but often I will debate because the answers provided don't provide me with satisfaction, no matter how convinced the other is that they are right.  I think sometimes some take that as threatening to their position (they need to be right for whatever reason) and others will tolerate me until the cows come home! :)

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Paul said:

"I enjoy discussion and debate (more particularly when I have time to do so).  I know I am not always right but often I will debate because the answers provided don't provide me with satisfaction, no matter how convinced the other is that they are right.  I think sometimes some take that as threatening to their position (they need to be right for whatever reason) and others will tolerate me until the cows come home! :)"

High Five, Thumbs Up, Paul!

1 hour ago, Davidsun said:

Hitler for one (notable one) would have just 'loved' the people he aimed to bully and dominate thinking, feeling and behaving that (turn your other cheek and give me your shirt also) way, aye what?

I appreciate your choosing not to be unduly 'judgmental' and taking a firm 'position' on matter you are not personally directly involved in because you don't have/know all of the facts involved, Paul - up to a point that is. But PLEEEASE tell me you don't think that 'the RC Church' was actually  'following' Jesus' "turn the other cheek" (someone else's 'cheek' at that!) and 'give him your shirt also' (someone else's 'shirt' at that!) teachings when it/they didn't (contemporaneously) vociferously protest Hitler et al.'s verbalizations and behaviors against 'Jews'! Or when it/they simply 'forgave' (and reassigned) instead of vociferously protesting and publicly excommunicating those in its rank and file who pedophilically abused of children entrusted to its care!

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/sex-abuse-catholic-church_n_5085414.html

Get REAL, man!

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Davidsun said:

I appreciate your choosing not to be unduly 'judgmental' and taking a firm 'position' on matter you are not personally directly involved in because you don't have/know all of the facts involved, Paul - up to a point that is. But PLEEEASE tell me you don't think that 'the RC Church' was actually  'following' Jesus' "turn the other cheek" (someone else's 'cheek' at that!) and 'give him your shirt also' (someone else's 'shirt' at that!) teachings when it/they didn't (contemporaneously) vociferously protest Hitler et al.'s verbalizations and behaviors against 'Jews'! Or when it/they simply 'forgave' (and reassigned) instead of vociferously protesting and publicly excommunicating those in its rank and file who pedophilically abused of children entrusted to its care!

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/sex-abuse-catholic-church_n_5085414.html

Get REAL, man!

Not sure where that came from all of a sudden David, but in general, no, I don't think Catholicism was thinking 'turn the other cheek' when it came to Hitler's actions and sex-abusing priests.  I think in these instances it was more about politics and protecting positions of power.  I wouldn't lump every RC in those boxes and perhaps many of them have/would have tried to stand up against these evils.  Possibly there were some who had a mindset that it was a lesser evil which ultimately served a greater good.  I imagine some humans could very easily conceive ignoring Hitler or paedophile priests would in some way allow them to further God's work otherwise.  That's not an excuse for them but simply an observation on human behaviour.

Disclaimer - I've never been a practising RC and I get very bored when I attend a full-blown RC wedding! :) 

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8 hours ago, PaulS said:

Not sure where that came from all of a sudden David, but in general, no, I don't think Catholicism was thinking 'turn the other cheek' when it came to Hitler's actions and sex-abusing priests.  I think in these instances it was more about politics and protecting positions of power.    Possibly there were some who had a mindset that it was a lesser evil which ultimately served a greater good.  I imagine some humans could very easily conceive ignoring Hitler or paedophile priests would in some way allow them to further God's work otherwise.  That's not an excuse for them but simply an observation on human behaviour.

Disclaimer - I've never been a practising RC and I get very bored when I attend a full-blown RC wedding! :) 

Agreed, those actions were evil and "I wouldn't lump every RC in those boxes and perhaps many of them have/would have tried to stand up against these evils." Indeed they did on that and many issues. And many never knew there were predator priests - I not only never encountered one from kindergarten through grad school and 12 years of teaching in Catholic schools but never even heard any hint of such activity. I did confront priests who had a heavy hand used to discipline high school kids (interesting and oddly the priests were from Ireland) but sharing that heritage, never hit by my parents, I informed, the priests, in public,, including the principal, that I would call the cops and......... it stopped. And when I brought my bride- to-be to the rectory to meet the priest as required (it still had some minor meaning to me) and he proceeded to ignore my Protestant wife and say she had to hand the kids over to Catholic baptism - I started debating him on his theology and finally walked out. Actually, it was great fun and very liberating.

I was a practicing Catholic but am not now and was always bored by the wedding and the Sunday services. Only in grad school, in a smaller, more intimate setting with real bread, did the service ever feel like it should have. Many Catholics loved John Paul II, I liked the first one who died within days/weeks (?) of his election; I think JPII was far too conservative and tried to put a stop to liberalizing forces that were impossible to stop. 

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13 hours ago, PaulS said:

I think this is an important point too easily overlooked in any discussion about what Jesus meant.   Jesus lived in a time, culture and society very different to most of us today.  Applying Jesus' words, or any teaching in the bible for that matter, as information that was definitely intended for this population today, across all different cultures and societies, isn't wise IMO.  Whilst we can take inspiration and interpretation from the bible, it simply was not written for all people at all times.  To me it is very clear the various authors (and scribes during the journey to a modern bible) had their own agenda and culture in mind when they wrote what they did.  That's not to say there isn't wisdom in such writings but rather just thinking out loud that there is both wheat and chaff amongst such writings and how we discern which ones mean something to us and how to apply them in our modern world is often an individual thing.  Perhaps one of the very reasons we have a Debate & Dialogue section here on the forum :) .

 

Agreed, Jesus' time was very different but, although I doubt many thought they were writing a Bible that would last into the 21st C, I do think it can 'speak' to people across different cultures, societies and throughout time. Much like the wisdom of many ancients. I do think, as previously mentioned, it is incumbent on men and women, in their own time to understand, to decide, to figure out (if still considered valuable) the meaning of such words (as we have been doing) for their lives. So I agree, such words might not be intended for all people at all times, but such words are or can be(come) meaningful and speak to people throughout time. I have a friend who loves poetry and, at his request, I read Whitman's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry written slightly over 160 years ago: These two lines speak volumes:

It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not, 
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many generations hence
Edited by thormas

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10 hours ago, PaulS said:

Not sure where that came from all of a sudden David, but in general, no, I don't think Catholicism was thinking 'turn the other cheek' when it came to Hitler's actions and sex-abusing priests.  I think in these instances it was more about politics and protecting positions of power.  I wouldn't lump every RC in those boxes and perhaps many of them have/would have tried to stand up against these evils.  Possibly there were some who had a mindset that it was a lesser evil which ultimately served a greater good.  I imagine some humans could very easily conceive ignoring Hitler or paedophile priests would in some way allow them to further God's work otherwise.  That's not an excuse for them but simply an observation on human behavior.

Disclaimer - I've never been a practising RC and I get very bored when I attend a full-blown RC wedding! :) 

"I imagine some humans could very easily conceive ignoring Hitler or paedophile priests would in some way allow them to further God's work otherwise.  That's not an excuse for them but simply an observation on human behavior." How very 'understanding' and 'accepting' of you, infinitely imaginative Paul, especially in relation to the 'supernatural God' which you disbelieve even exists!

Clearly, I did not manage to get my 'point' across, because your clearly missed 'getting' it.

I think, maybe, the best summation of my values (hence personal attitude and positionality) relating to the many 'variables' touched on in this discussion is contained in 'The Serenity Prayer' ('prayer', in my lexicon, meaning focus of desire and intention) for : "serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

Edited by Davidsun

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7 hours ago, Davidsun said:

"I imagine some humans could very easily conceive ignoring Hitler or paedophile priests would in some way allow them to further God's work otherwise.  That's not an excuse for them but simply an observation on human behavior." How very 'understanding' and 'accepting' of you, infinitely imaginative Paul, especially in relation to the 'supernatural God' which you disbelieve even exists!

Not sure why the sarcasm is required David.  Are you saying my observation of human behaviour is incorrect or just so obvious I didn't need to mention it?  My point isn't whether there is or isn't a supernatural God, but rather the behaviour that may result of what one thinks and processes concerning belief in such.

7 hours ago, Davidsun said:

Clearly, I did not manage to get my 'point' across, because your clearly missed 'getting' it.

I think, maybe, the best summation of my values (hence personal attitude and positionality) relating to the many 'variables' touched on in this discussion is contained in 'The Serenity Prayer' ('prayer', in my lexicon, meaning focus of desire and intention) for : "serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."

I guess I am missing your point to some degree as I am not really sure what point you are trying to make.  I thought you were trying to say (and asking for other people's thoughts on) what Jesus meant when he said turn the other cheek.  You seemed to suggest he was promoting protesting injustice.  I don't think that is represented from what we know of Jesus and his words.  

Then you brought up the Catholic Church' and Hitler for some reason asking me if I thought they were practising turning the other cheek.  My point about turning the other cheek was that I think Jesus was saying end the cycle of retribution, let it go, let it be.  I don't think that is what the Catholic Church was considering when it failed to stand up against Hitler, for the reasons I outlined and which you now seem to be sarcastic against.

Thanks for sharing your summation of values in the serenity prayer - I don't think I sit far from the same either.

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9 hours ago, thormas said:

So I agree, such words might not be intended for all people at all times, but such words are or can be(come) meaningful and speak to people throughout time. 

I agree wholeheartedly.

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16 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't think that is represented from what we know of Jesus and his words

I think both your choice of his words and your interpretations are selective, selected to suit your personal predilections. I have presented different interpretations of what the same words (in my opinion) indicate as well as additional sets of (his) words (his railings against the scribes and pharisees for example) along with demonstrative actions of his* as being illustrative of my points about his attitudes and intentions.

* What he did with the money changers in the temple is just another illustration in this regard.

The only (but totally discussion-sabotaging) thing I reject in the above-quoted sentence of yours is the gross presumptuousness and 'cooptive' (of Jesus's 'message') intention shown by your 'deliberate'(?) use of the word 'we' to characterize what you personally think about Jesus, which I obviously think is biased to the point of being not 'true'.

That 'cooptiveness' and the attitude underlying it (which IMO is the same 'sin' displayed by RC Church officials'' not vociferously speaking out about various 'injustices',  which as an illustrative act-of-omission example) makes engagement in truly mutually-appreciative discussion with you impossible.

Over and out. I know better than try to find an opening in a bricks-tightly-cemented-together wall. Bye-Bye, Bro.

Edited by Davidsun

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Adding "a little bit of humor" to the mix: The issue raised pertaining to (someone's/anyone's) presumptuously ascribing his or her personal point of view and/or conclusions deriving therefrom to a collective 'we' reminded me of the joke relating to the Lone Ranger and Tonto who, according to the joke, were at one point surrounded and besieged by much greater force of hostile (colloquially called) 'Indians'. As they were running out of bullets with the Indians closing in on them, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and said: "We've had it, this is the end for us, Tonto!" To which Tonto replied, "What do you mean 'we', Paleface!"

LOL

Edited by Davidsun
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