Kung-fu sheep?

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Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be wary as snakes and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

How often do you read about Jesus in the gospels and then look at what calls itself “Christian” in our culture today and wonder where and when the disconnect happened. And even more importantly, does anybody notice it?

Jesus taught non-violence — even what I would call non-self-defense. Turn the other cheek; go the extra mile; if someone steals your shirt, give them your coat also; return good for evil; don’t exact revenge, be happy when you are mocked, persecuted and lied about, because your reward is great in heaven.

Ahem. Who, as Christians today, really believes any of this? Who is preaching it? Who is acting on it? Come on, we’re fighting for our rights, taking self-defense classes, amassing legal defense, packing pistols and telling the world “I’ve had enough and I’m not going to take anymore.” Unfortunately that’s a movie speaking, not Jesus. Jesus would say, Keep taking it because that is the way I do things. I get my will done in the world in an entirely different way than you would. I have different weapons. I use peace and love and kindness and good. An eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth is not what I came to establish. I came to establish mercy and favor that is unearned. I brought something completely foreign to your natural way of doing things. I bring a new kingdom and I have a different set of rules. I follow the law of love. Still want to follow me?

I ask myself and I ask you, was Jesus just kidding when He said all this? I mean, how many different ways are there to say this? Can there be any doubt? Is the Sermon on the Mount some sort of dispensation we don’t have to pay attention to anymore? Is it a puzzle we have to decode? Certainly He doesn’t really mean everything He said there. Really?

Sheep among wolves? Do sheep defend themselves? Are these kung-fu sheep? No. Sheep have a shepherd. It’s the job of the shepherd to protect them from wolves. A shepherd who lets the wolves in is a bad shepherd. We have a good shepherd.

“So what are you saying, John, that we should be wimps for Jesus?” Well I’m not so sure about the choice of words, but it might look like that to some people. If it is, it’s a wimp with a backbone. In fact, it takes great strength to NOT retaliate. It takes great courage and restraint to do what Jesus is asking us to do. I wouldn’t call that wimpy at all. Nor would I call it kung-fu Christian. It’s standing tall and taking it and loving and forgiving those who are dishing it out. Isn’t that what Jesus did? And isn’t that what he asked us to do? What Bible are we reading? The Revised Kick-butt Version?

If Christians are being noticed for anything, it should be for this — how different we are and how differently we react — a contrast from the prevailing meanness of the culture. Jesus called us to be as harmless as doves.

How curious. There were two doves outside my window just a minute ago. Then I looked up and a big black crow twice their size had taken their place. Where did they go? I guess they found another branch and went on doing what doves do. Welcome to the kingdom of God on earth.

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6 Responses to Kung-fu sheep?

  1. DB says:

    John wrote: “Jesus called us to be as harmless as doves.”

    But the full quote is:

    “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, NLT)

    Today I am consulting a lawyer for advice because certain people are pressuring me to sign a document that will affect a matter that is still in litigation, and I feel uncomfortable signing it.

    We are to be harmless as doves but also as shrewd (wise) as snakes. If we lack wisdom in a certain area, not only should be pray about the matter, I think it crucial to consult others who have the wisdom and expertise to help us when necessary.

    • Mark Seguin says:

      DB if I may add my two cents: By the way, I believe when u might have heard from another Christian – that Christians shouldn’t sue – that is not supported in the Bible. We have every right to sue to protect our rights by law.

      Now I do believe it’s true Christians shouldn’t sue each other, yet talk & try to work it out, yet sometimes t simply can’t be settled that way. One of the very reason’s we have a court system.. I’ll pray things do get worked out 4 u…:)

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    I’ll agree to disagree w/ most of Today’s Catch. Mostly becauze Jesus didn’t say all of those words in italics, yet it’s what John think / believes what Jesus would say in his opinion. I just got done not acting like a dove. I’ll explain, I just kicked my home care Doctor out of my apartment. Because I asked him a question three times before he looked up me from writing his notes. and goes “are u asking me?” I wanted to say (but didn’t. No I’ve been talking to the wall) but his nurse did roll her eyes. When I asked again: “How many classes in nutrition have u had, for the fourth time.”

    Yet again he couldn’t answer me, but said I don’t know. (More then likely because he may of had only one, if that. He is a Physician Assistant) I wanted to ask him that, becauz it was suggested by a person with a Ph. D in nutrition to ask that. (and I’ve read it before too in a couple of nutrition books) that there’s more protein (gram for gram) in beans then there’s is in red meat, plus not the cholesterol & fat.

    I wanted to ask him that question: how many classes had he had in nutrition? Because he told me last month the thinks what’s wrong with following a vegan diet is no meat. Therefore, no protein. But because I had to ask him again now for the fifth time: “How many classes had he had in nutrition? And a person with a Ph.D in nutrition I believe has a bit more education in nutrition then most Doctors. And my nutritionist has told me there is more protein in beans. Then red meat.” To which he replied that is debatable. To which I replied, OK again now for the sixth time: How many classes have u in nutrition have u had and don’t u thin agree a person w/ a Ph.D in nutrition has a bit more education in Nutrition? To which he gave me a smirk and funny look…

    To which I told him to leave.

  3. jwfisch says:

    These are business matters to which you do have rights. Jesus is talking about people giving you a bad time for your faith. That’s something different.

  4. Peter Leenheer says:

    How does this jive with how Jesus spoke to the Pharisees? To me he called them on their religiosity. He also cleaned out the temple of the money changers. Jesus I think is telling us not to be offended at anything, but that does not mean we can not speak up to set our boundaries in a powerful way. Perhaps explain more what you mean?

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