Saturday, October 9, 2010

Violence and The Kingdom of God

For a philosophy class I am taking we had to write about a hypothetical situation in which a nuclear bomb had been hidden in a major US city and it was our job to interrogate one of the terrorist involved in order to find out where the bomb had been hidden.

The only way to get the man to talk was to torture his daughter in front of him. In the scenario this was guarenteed to work. What is the right thing to do? And what would you actual do?

Many people said they would torture the innocent little girl in order to find the bomb however, almost all of them said they didn’t think it was right. One actually said it was justified because that’s what God did with his son. Hmmmm?

The point I am making is not necessarily about the hypothetical situation above but rather, when do we choose what’s right even if there are consequences.

I think something we often get wrong about the very, tough teachings of Jesus is that we expect them to be successful. Jesus’ teachings (especially about how to respond to violence) is not about being successful or saving ourselves, for anyone can figure out that “turning the other cheek” may get you punched in the face. So are we only to take Jesus’ teachings seriously if they are guaranteed to work for us?

If we look at examples of people who did in fact live out the teachings of Jesus… Well, almost all of them were killed. So obviously Jesus’ way proved not to be successful as far as our understanding of success. And yet, Jesus taught that this was the best way to live. It’s definitely a narrow path.

More to come on this topic...

1 comment:

paultilly said...

Tough but true. I would say in the scenario presented in the class, that there is no perfect answer. Damned if you do Damned if you don't.

Either way you are directly contributing to violence.

This is one of the most difficult dynamics in all of Christiandom.