love your enemy and enter the gate to Heaven

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introduction

Some Catholic clerics are good at saying “Oh Lord! Oh Lord!” but have no interest in following the Lords comandments , “love your enemy, God and your next”, “Do not judge!” and “Do not kill!”. The dark age inquisition clerics and hypocrits, Jesus warned us for, are back again. The devil never gives up and has now got new followers, again yelling “heresy!”. The Pope Franciscus’ “mistake” is that he is a disciple of Jesus, that tries to convert sinners, asks us all to help the poor and to love the Creation of God. The reason we see this, may be as it has always been, power and money. Power and money once loved by Pharisees, is now loved by Catholic bishops flirting with Conservative powers? read more at  www.reuters.com

This post is dedicated to : “but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also” ( Mt 5:39 )“. Looking at ouselves (me included of course) this is really something difficult fo humans.  This is surely one difficult part of the narrow gate to Heaven.

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The narrow gate

jesus said “How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! ( mt 07:13 )

The gate may be narrow for more reason than the Jesus commandment “love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek”. Another one is the commandment to give your richdom to the poor. Read the story about the young rich man.

According to Matthew 19:21 Jesus said to the rich young man: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions. Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.

How many of you Christians would do that?

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Human natural instincts

I remember. when I annoyed my dog while it was eating. I pulled my dog’s tail. I should have not done so.  He bit me on the face and I was immediately taken to the doctor to take a tetanus syringe.

it looks to me that human beings behaves just like dogs when they see themselves and their property threatened.

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self defence in law

We have even written laws to allow us to use weapons against enemies.

“The right to self-defense is a genuinely pre-societal right that evolved in the absence of the state. It survived the formation of the state because no state will ever have enough power to perfectly protect individuals. ” (Source: www.oxfordscholarship.com )

The US  law governing self-defense does not excuse any violent act just because another person struck the first blow or made a violent threat.” ( Read more at source: www.criminaldefenselawyer.com )

The US  liberal gun laws seems not to give Americans more safety as 10000 dies every year in gun related fights.

In Italy more and more people train shooting while  a new self defence law has been approved March 28 2019 Almost a million Italians have weapon licence. 200.000 Italians train shooting regularely in shooting ranges (60 in north Italy. (Source:  espresso.repubblica.it  and www.agi.it/politica ) 

Jesus with his “love you enemy” comandment,   invites us to not obey to our natural instincts. How many Christian have followed Jesus since then? 

Jesus said according to Luke 6:46:

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things which I say?”

and in Mark 07:06 accuse those who do not do it, to be hypocrites: ” “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

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How did Jesus behave with his enemies?

Jesus seldom showed a loving attitude to enemies.

This is what happened in the Temple according to John 02:13

“He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!”

These were normal people doing their work to help visitors get animals to offer according to Jew tradition.

About the pharisees he talked according to Matthew 23:13-29 repeatedly  like this:

(23:13-15) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

 (23:16 ) “Woe to you, you blind guides”, 

Neither of these two examples looks like a loving behaviour,

Using a “whip of cords”,and  calling people hypocrites, is not a loving attitude  nor a turning the other cheek behaviour.

The gospel authors, in this case Matthew and John, may however  have given false testimonials of Jesus deeds and behaviours.

The “woe to you Pharisees, hypocrites” words should however be genuine words of Jesus, as these  condemn the Catholic church hypocrit behaviour cenuries later.

www.psychologytoday.com   gives us a different prespective on “Love you enemie”  that somehow explains Jesus aparently contradicory behaviour:

“Loving our enemies does not mean that we must let them abuse, injure or kill us. When we truly love people, we have to stop them—with force if necessary—from doing things that can harm themselves or other innocent people. But we do it from love, not hatred.”

Psychological and social effects of loving you enemy

the “Love your enemie”  commandment is a kind of strategy for survival and peace. It was a revolutionary statement and law at Jesus time. Seemingly vey little  has happened in the evolution of the human being, since then. Look at e.g the behaviour of some powerful people:

www.psychologytoday.com writes:

“How would you like it if your enemies loved you? Great! They would no longer be your enemies! So since you would like your enemies to love you, you have to love them. If you love them, they cease being your enemies. Assuming you have real contact with them—you will have the chance to turn them into friends.”

When we stop bad behaviour we do it out from love

The article suggest the love your enemy as a strategy to fight bullyism.

Out of this we could conclude that Jesus talked and acted out of love.

 

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How to love your enemy

But how can we follow this commandment. 

jesus gave a advice once in Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone.

I have practiced that with my students and it was successful. We agreed about a good time to met and then we met and talked. I kept a friendly tone to make him understand I want his best and that I am not angry with him . to not threathen or stress him and asked the boy why he did that…

When Jesus saw no reason to argue iwith people, he simply left, went away. 

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manageing  your defensivness

It  may be a good option to tell “I can not talk more today, let’s continue tomorrow.”

I wrote about what happens when you end up defending yourself in my evolution of collaboration post at www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/02/04/cooperation/#Improving_collaboration

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Conclusions

I am confused about Jesus word and deeds. They seem contradictory. With Jesus we learned taht God wants to convert people but does not achieve that by killing the bad ones.

I feel one must respect people. To respect people you must be sincere. Jesus was that but i wonder if he with his violence in the temple”Woe to you hypocrite”, really converted these people and got love back.

 

I would have talked with the money changer and animal seller first of all. As a former teacher, I would have talked in a different way with the Pharisees,  having them to think about their behaviour to lead them to understand themselves their behaviour is really false and hypocrite.

But Jesus maybe wanted them to kill him to fullfill his project. His provocational behaviour made had this intention and goal. To have the people of Jerusalem to vote for his crucifixion.

Or these parts are not really genuine actions and words by Jesus. I Imagine a more intelligent approach by Jesus with the only goal to save (convert) the lost Jews.