Turn the Other Cheek

taijasi

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I'd like to ask the question of Christians at CR: What does it mean to "turn the other cheek," and what does this mean to you? More specifically, how does it apply today, and what are some good examples - perhaps even vs. misapplications (or examples where it does not apply)?

Yes, I am quite familiar with the teaching, having a Christian background myself. But I would like a fresh perspective, and some new ones. :) I might add my own, but I'd rather not do that to start things out.

Thanks,

andrew
 
perhaps even vs. misapplications (or examples where it does not apply)?
Here is an illustration of a possible misapplication of the concept, but only because of the attitude displayed. It should be done in a spirit of mildness, but mildness can be a relative concept, depending upon the circumstances involved. In a very hostile environment, this example might be considered very mild.
 

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Turning the other cheek suggests taking an unexpected action, not repaying evil with evil, in order to give a new perspective to an ugly situation--hopefully giving fresh insight to those involved. {The above post is one example of this} ;)
 
Wow! Okay, so humor and levity might be involved, rather than just a solemn seriousness. Shazam - already I'm seeing this in a different light! :)

(thanks ...)

andrew
 
seattlegal said:
Turning the other cheek suggests taking an unexpected action, not repaying evil with evil, in order to give a new perspective to an ugly situation--hopefully giving fresh insight to those involved.

I disagree.

Although I am not a christian now, I was for a long time and I spent a long time trying to figure this one out.

I think it's like this.

If a man slaps my right cheek, I offer him my left so that he has the chance not to do it again. Rather than punishment, I offer the offender the chance to voluntarily reform his ways.

It's the same as "When you are robbed, do not ask for your goods back." (paraphrasing) In this example, I do not ask the robber to return my goods so that he has the chance to return them unasked, because he knows it is right.

So basically, the way I see it, "Turn the other cheek" means do not punish people, do not seek revenge, and do not force a bad person to change his ways. Instead, offer support where you can and let that person reform through his own concience and his own knowledge of right and wrong.

This is, in my book, the best idea Christianity has given the world.

Peace
ATF
 
taijasi said:
I'd like to ask the question of Christians at CR: What does it mean to "turn the other cheek," and what does this mean to you? More specifically, how does it apply today, and what are some good examples - perhaps even vs. misapplications (or examples where it does not apply)?

Yes, I am quite familiar with the teaching, having a Christian background myself. But I would like a fresh perspective, and some new ones. :) I might add my own, but I'd rather not do that to start things out.

Thanks,

andrew

It means roll with the punches. It doesn't mean stomp butt (but I wouldn't rule out that potential possibility).

What is it with you people? What are you looking for? The dark side of Christianity? Got news for you. There ain't none! Only the dark side of people, who might call themselves Christian (me included, and especially).

Ready for this? You come at me, full bore and it knocks me to the ground. Why? I did not ever expect you to do it in the first place. Now I know better. (first cheek struck). Now you come at me again, after I attempt to talk you out of it, and I get knocked down again (second cheek struck). That was a calculated risk, that I lost. I am wise now, and know I can do nothing for you, but would be a fool to do nothing for me. Still I don't have to retaliate.

You come at me one more time, and I roll with you...resulting in you moving past me out of control, and right into the wall you made for yourself.

I didn't have to touch you, in order to make you stop. You take care of the problem, all by yourself.

Moral of the story? Your fists hurt (me), but the brick wall you ultimately run into hurts worse(for you). And at that point, there is nothing I can do to help.

Jesus wasn't stupid. He was warning us not to take on other's issues (those that did not belong to us). He said let that crap roll right past us.

That doesn't mean ignore those in need, only those in need of power...;)

Wise man, Jesus is.

v/r

Q
 
I am still meditating on what people have shared so far. Thank you!

Please, more. What do other people think?

(Personally, I am still stuck somewhere between trying to literalize this, or imagine it at all physically - which is a challenge in & of itself - and see it as a metaphor, or a moral.)

andrew
 
Quahom,

I know I'm not really supposed to be sticking my nose in on the Abrahamic boards (I'm gonna get myself into trouble again) and I know that this is your religion, not mine, but I'm confused by your interpretation.


Quahom1 said:
You come at me, full bore and it knocks me to the ground. Why? I did not ever expect you to do it in the first place. Now I know better. (first cheek struck). Now you come at me again, after I attempt to talk you out of it, and I get knocked down again (second cheek struck). That was a calculated risk, that I lost.

Everything is fine to this point, I can't argue at all. But I'm not sure there's anything else to say.

Quahom1 said:
I am wise now, and know I can do nothing for you, but would be a fool to do nothing for me. Still I don't have to retaliate. You come at me one more time, and I roll with you...resulting in you moving past me out of control, and right into the wall you made for yourself.

I didn't have to touch you, in order to make you stop. You take care of the problem, all by yourself.

Moral of the story? Your fists hurt (me), but the brick wall you ultimately run into hurts worse(for you). And at that point, there is nothing I can do to help.

Jesus wasn't stupid. He was warning us not to take on other's issues (those that did not belong to us). He said let that crap roll right past us.

That doesn't mean ignore those in need, only those in need of power...;)

I just don't understand how you get all that from "Turn the other cheek"

After all, he didn't say "turn the other cheek once and then get out of the way double quick" In fact, he was, if I recall, quite big on continued forgiveness.

"Should I forgive him seven times?"

"No, forgive him seventy seven times seven times"

(I think that's more or less what he said)

Also, your interpretation depends on your attacker charging at you "full bore" as you put it. What if it is nothing more than a slap on the cheek? Or what if there isn't a brick wall behind you? Maybe I'm taking you too literally, I don't know.

Quahom1 said:
Wise man, Jesus is.

Can't argue with that at least. While I may not consider him to be in any way affiliated with God, I do consider him to be one of the wisest men in history, but only because everything he said was about peace, forgiving and basically being nice to other people regardless of whether they are nice to you.

Still, like I said, it's your religion, not mine.

Peace
ATF
 
I've posted this scripture quite often, lately, but it also applies here:
1Corinthians 1:27-31
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
It serves as a stumbling block to the proud. (verse 23)
 
Thank you taij for this thread. :)

You know, I realize that I've never thought too deeply about this particular saying, just sticking to the surface that it means to be passive and forgiving in the face of insult, which is nice but not all that inspiring I must say. I've always felt that Jesus did not mean that we should leave ourselves open to abuse, but I failed to see that he was also saying that it is an opportunity to teach people the Way.

I like seattlegal's first (oops I mean second, not the "cheeky" post) 'opening of the word' the best.
Turning the other cheek suggests taking an unexpected action, not repaying evil with evil, in order to give a new perspective to an ugly situation--hopefully giving fresh insight to those involved. {The above post is one example of this}
This makes it a very good example of Jesus' teachings about the Kingdom of God. :)

lunamoth
 
Awaiting_the_fifth said:
Quahom,

I know I'm not really supposed to be sticking my nose in on the Abrahamic boards (I'm gonna get myself into trouble again) and I know that this is your religion, not mine, but I'm confused by your interpretation.




Everything is fine to this point, I can't argue at all. But I'm not sure there's anything else to say.



I just don't understand how you get all that from "Turn the other cheek"

After all, he didn't say "turn the other cheek once and then get out of the way double quick" In fact, he was, if I recall, quite big on continued forgiveness.



(I think that's more or less what he said)

Also, your interpretation depends on your attacker charging at you "full bore" as you put it. What if it is nothing more than a slap on the cheek? Or what if there isn't a brick wall behind you? Maybe I'm taking you too literally, I don't know.



Can't argue with that at least. While I may not consider him to be in any way affiliated with God, I do consider him to be one of the wisest men in history, but only because everything he said was about peace, forgiving and basically being nice to other people regardless of whether they are nice to you.

Still, like I said, it's your religion, not mine.

Peace
ATF

You are doing just fine. You asked me to explain myself. To me, forgiveness is one thing. But that doesn't mean I have to stay there and take further abuse. The best way to not get struck, is to not be there. Christ's messages to us are in many ways parallel to my Aikido study's philosophy. In a conflict one is best to remain centered and allow the opponent (significant other), to move outside the circle (remain off balance), as they see fit. If they wish the expend their energies on a fruitless cause, that is their choice. However, I do not have to absorb the energies they expend, especially if the energies are unhealthy for me.

Does this make sense?

v/r

Q
 
Kindest Regards, taijasi!

Thank you for this thread!

I'd like to ask the question of Christians at CR: What does it mean to "turn the other cheek," and what does this mean to you? More specifically, how does it apply today, and what are some good examples - perhaps even vs. misapplications (or examples where it does not apply)?
I'm gonna stick my neck out a little. I see this probably closest to Q. Probably little surprise there.

The way I see it, Christians are not doormats. The idea isn't to allow someone to continue harming you...that in my opinion is a misinterpretation.

I understand the saying to be an idiom meaning "do not start a *hateful* thing with your neighbor, but if your neighbor starts a *hateful* thing with you, you have a right, duty and obligation to defend yourself."

Of course, there is also the little matter of choosing one's battles. Little indiscretions can be overlooked, not taken to heart.

However, if another continues, or appraoches with a big indiscretion (attacking with a knife, for example), then you have the "right" to defend yourself.

I am sure some of you have seen I can give as good as I get, if I choose to take a matter on. I do not recommend this, because I think it can get carried away when done by those who do not understand. I make it a point not to get carried away when I do so. Yes, I respond emotionally in these cases, but with that emotion is calculated reason.

The way I see it, I will meet anybody half-way. Sometimes I even reach a little beyond. If I am met with "hatefulness," I back off. If "hatefulness" comes to me, I have no problem (or guilt) with nipping it in the bud.

Perhaps that is not "turning the other cheek," I know it is not the majority opinion. But then, I haven't agreed with many majority opinions for a long time... :D
 
Thanks, again - Q, juantoo3, Laurie, & others. This is definitely opening doors. Earlier, I was almost tempted to respond to you, Q, and say something like, "But Jesus wasn't teaching martial arts." Then you mentioned Aikido, and it occurred to me, of course he was a master of martial arts. ;)

My basic understanding of "turn the other cheek" remains unchanged, but it is much enhanced at this point, thanks to everyone! I hope there are more posts!

To borrow & paraphrase from the beginning of the Dhammapada, here is about how I've always regarded turn the other cheek:
Hate has never yet conquered hate. Only love conquers hate.
Yet at the same time, I think I can see (and agree) with where you're coming from, juantoo3 & Q. :)

Fortunately in a way, I think the types of affronts that Jesus had to deal with seldom involved outward physical combat. Even that phrase, just seems foreign - given what we know about the Gospel story (with obvious exceptions like Peter whipping out his sword & such). Yet, perhaps it's not so difficult to visualize what might have happened ... had some nut charged him (Jesus). And perhaps they did, night & day, just not in a way that the multitudes could behold. I would think that if anyone was qualified to coin a phrase - or popularize an expression (turn the other cheek) - it would be Jesus.

andrew
 
taijasi said:
To borrow & paraphrase from the beginning of the Dhammapada, here is about how I've always regarded turn the other cheek:
Hate has never yet conquered hate. Only love conquers hate.​
This is also in harmony with the larger context of the "turn the other cheek" passage, which is about showing mercy:
Luke 6:27-39 said:
27“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?
Hate cannot overcome hate because if both parties are blinded by hate, they will both fall into the ditch. "Going the extra mile" {compare Matthew 5:38-48, specifically verse 41} with someone who acts hatefully towards you gives a healing aspect to the situation, rather than allowing the hate to fester.
 
taijasi said:
Thanks, again - Q, juantoo3, Laurie, & others. This is definitely opening doors. Earlier, I was almost tempted to respond to you, Q, and say something like, "But Jesus wasn't teaching martial arts." Then you mentioned Aikido, and it occurred to me, of course he was a master of martial arts. ;)

My basic understanding of "turn the other cheek" remains unchanged, but it is much enhanced at this point, thanks to everyone! I hope there are more posts!


To borrow & paraphrase from the beginning of the Dhammapada, here is about how I've always regarded turn the other cheek:
Hate has never yet conquered hate. Only love conquers hate.

Yet at the same time, I think I can see (and agree) with where you're coming from, juantoo3 & Q. :)

Fortunately in a way, I think the types of affronts that Jesus had to deal with seldom involved outward physical combat. Even that phrase, just seems foreign - given what we know about the Gospel story (with obvious exceptions like Peter whipping out his sword & such). Yet, perhaps it's not so difficult to visualize what might have happened ... had some nut charged him (Jesus). And perhaps they did, night & day, just not in a way that the multitudes could behold. I would think that if anyone was qualified to coin a phrase - or popularize an expression (turn the other cheek) - it would be Jesus.

andrew

Andrew,

What was stated hold's double meaning. It is used both physically and other than physically. Jesus (being human after all), learned quickly that His tongue could damage as much as any physical blow. He also learned that if He were to succeed in winning hearts and minds over, He had to remain centralized.

How can I say this? Jesus made mistakes. Yup, He did. They are there for every Christian to take note of. (Calling the phrasees a pit of vipers, in anger comes immediately to mind). But Jesus never sinned...

How can God make a mistake? When God puts away His godhead and becomes human. But that is for another thread.

My point is that we were taught, what not to do, as well as what to do.

v/r

Q
 
I think the important thing is that it is neither running nor retaliating. The clear modern example of this is Gandhi: he went out of his way to confront his opponents but would not fight against them. It is believed in on principle: but it is also a very effective method in many circumstances.

As for literal/metaphor, I would say it was both. It is a particular illustration of a general principle.

In the religious sense, it seems to be about not letting another's actions make you do wrong. It also helps stop the cycle of resentment and violence.
 
Obvious Child said:
I think the important thing is that it is neither running nor retaliating. The clear modern example of this is Gandhi: he went out of his way to confront his opponents but would not fight against them. It is believed in on principle: but it is also a very effective method in many circumstances.

As for literal/metaphor, I would say it was both. It is a particular illustration of a general principle.

In the religious sense, it seems to be about not letting another's actions make you do wrong. It also helps stop the cycle of resentment and violence.
Thank you, Obvious Child. You just reminded me about Gandhi's Salt March in 1930.

WOW

andrew
 
There is more you can do to help after he hits that wall Quahom1. You could help him up,brush him off,take care of his injuries and forgive him.
 
zoser said:
There is more you can do to help after he hits that wall Quahom1. You could help him up,brush him off,take care of his injuries and forgive him.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie King of Kings (which is my favorite about the life of Christ), is when the crazed guy more or less lunges at Jeffrey Hunter - in rage, confusion, anger, fear, who knows. The way that Christ receives him, quietly & gently subdues him, and returns him to the here & now ... is something worth seeing, even just in that movie. I believe it gets very much, visually, literally & symbolically, to the heart of what you've said, Q, and zoser. :)

andrew
 
zoser said:
There is more you can do to help after he hits that wall Quahom1. You could help him up,brush him off,take care of his injuries and forgive him.

I agree. But it my observation that a man cannot accept forgiveness, while he is angry. He must come to a point where his soul is quiet for a moment, so that he can hear what is being offered him. And he must be tired enough of being angry that he is willing to consider an alternative, or something better than his current condition.

We can forgive someone in our own hearts, long before we offer it to the other. It is simply a matter of timing. Jesus forgave us before He arrived on the scene. It was we who had to finally accept that offer of forgiveness. And we couldn't until we ran ourselves into our own brick wall, and stopped to see the damage we were causing ourselves. It is only then that we ask ourselves "What have I done?", then spin around searching for someone to help us, expecting the help to be gone (human nature), only to find that Jesus standing there, saying "I'm still here, and the offer still stands".

And what is the first thing we do when we realize the thruth of that?

We blink, and are astounded. And at that moment, most of us do alot of growing and maturing in an instant. We put away childish things, because we become adults in our spirit.

BTW Taij, I enjoyed Jeffrey Hunter's version as well. He also played a good Herculese and Captain Christopher Pike of the...starship Enterprise :D

v/r

Q
 
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