Turn The Other Cheek?
By John O.
In the past few months, since I've been contributing to this site, I've seen a lot of email - both to Ed, others, and me - about forgetting about Worldwide Church of God+ cults, going our own way, and in effect . . . turn the other cheek. Since this all sounds "Christianly," then many think we should walk away from this evil doing and do nothing.
When Jesus taught - and granted we have only snippets of what He actually taught - He spoke a lot in allegories and analogies. The people of that time were Moses soaked, and they could better understand His teachings if He taught that way. So it is with the saying of: "Turn the other cheek." Was this a literal statement of fact, or an analogy, and how does it apply to what is said by contributors to this site?
There were a couple of times when Jesus was about to get Himself killed, and He (according to the text) simply dematerialized. He didn't stick around to get stoned. If He set the example, then the lesson is clear. If you're in trouble, get out of there. No one says you've got to stick around and become a martyr. Common sense tells all of us that we ought to preserve our lives, and later teachings show that we should respect and take care of our physical bodies.
What is said here is not stated just because it's in the Bible, but because it's common sense. We all want to avoid problems in our lives, and although the Bible is not divinely inspired, we can use it for any instruction that may be useful.
So the above saying appears to be an analogy to our being wronged in some way, and that wrongdoing applies to us personally. "If someone smites YOU on the right cheek, then turn . . ." (Emphasis mine). This is talking about a person to person offense where no one else is involved, because only one person was confronted. If someone foolishly does something offensive to any of us then, the chances are that person may not even be aware of what they did. This happens all the time, in business, at home, and among groups. And people can be thoughtless. No one is saying that it's best to take abuse, but if at all possible, it just maybe best to let the problem go, as it may not be worth pursuing. In other words, turn the other cheek.
If the problem is more serious, then we always have the logical approach of the Matthew 18 principle which, if implemented, would solve ALL problems. The only reason it's not used - especially by church people - is because many do NOT want the problem solved. They'd like to create division, and that's the character of a tare. When you know the truth of the way to a peaceful solution and deliberately seek to do otherwise, then that's the character of evil.
But, turning the other cheek principle doesn't apply to the exposing of a corrupt corporation. If someone wants to use Jesus as a reference, then let's do so. Jesus, if we read the gospels carefully, was not the sweet, mellow guy that's often depicted. Although He might not have been considered to be a "party animal," He certainly had His fair share of enjoyable times, and received criticism for it. He also had a loud mouth in condemning corruption and the activities of the Temple.
While there are undoubtedly some good groups in the world with a great spirit, most of the religious businesses are not. And their fruits are evident. We must judge for ourselves as to who's who. We've seen from previous articles that most of these groups - especially those who ask for money - are nothing but secular corporations in the business for bucks and nothing more. The Temple in Jesus' time was no exception. Those Pharisees wanted money, and then people control, and adoration.
Jesus was not a troublemaker. He simply told the truth. In effect, He said that Moses and his laws were for the dinosaur heap, and the best way to have peace is . . . Love your fellow man. Moses and all his archaic junk were cruel, controlling, domineering, and had killed millions over the years. There was a better way to have world peace.
However, the Man who reminded the world of brotherly love, was totally against those who would oppress it, and spoke out loudly for that obsolete system's abolition. In doing so, He was NOT turning the other cheek, as many people's lives were dependent on their listening to His advice. He only turned the other cheek to those who insulted Him personally (e.g. in the matter of the villagers inhospitality in Luke 9, and oftentimes was insulted as a "prophet without honor"), but He always cried out against injustice and the religious system of the time.
Along with the openness that Jesus showed, and His willingness to condemn the oppressors, came persecution. No one can tell the truth in this world without getting flack from the dark side. The more truth we tell, the more flack we'll experience. The tares are everywhere, and while none of us can point fingers, it's good to realize that any work of liberation will always have its fair share of demonic opposition.
The cults from which we sprang are loaded with tares, based on their fruits. Although many in those congregations are fooled at this time, the hirelings will keep the spiritual manacles on those peoples' minds and hearts, to continue the domination of their spirits and finances. But with the voice of truth, people get to hear something different. And here, like Jesus, the voice of truth does NOT turn the other cheek. Truth does not back down. Truth will ultimately be heard.
In this instance, the voice of sanity and understanding is not "shouted from the rooftops," but is carried across to everyone who "has ears to hear" on the Internet. This message doesn't encourage some national revolution, but simply reveals the "plain truth." The beauty of this system is that everyone has the chance to look, check, and prove the facts for themselves. No one's pressuring anyone here. Prove all things, and do so at your leisure.
All of us have undoubtedly read and BIBLIOLATRY. As if this isn't enough to convince the most doubting Thomas, then the overwhelming statistics in are only explainable by one conclusion. These cults are secular businesses and nothing more. And none of this info would have been available if people, like all of us, hadn't contributed to this website and decided NOT to turn the other cheek.
Sure, there's hate mail, but that goes with the territory. None of us know all the answers. If we did, we wouldn't have gotten into the cults in the first place. So, everyone who contributes is still learning too. But if the spirit of contribution is right, then maybe countless thousands can benefit. I've encouraged folks whose lives have been destroyed, to share some of their cult experiences on the site. In doing so, we can help contribute to someone else's understanding, and maybe another person or persons can be benefited.
When the voices are loud enough, then they will be heard. Cult madness is spreading all over the world and there are so few witnesses to this disease, and such limited information available. No one who is contemplating their own "religious" experience can rightly discern the facts if every ex-cultist meekly "turns the other cheek."
While the "turning the opposite cheek" analogy can be applicable in the cases already mentioned, it hardly applies to a work of criminal exposure that can be of enormous benefit to countless folks, not only now, but for years to come.
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