Turn the other cheek?

I was reading a fictional story published in my favorite hunting magazine this morning in the 'reading room' and it set me to thinking regarding issues that Pastor Sherm brought up in a thread:


The main character had been hunting a trophy buck on his property and the same while, a demented guy was doing the same and somewhat stalking the guy's family as well.

The main character was a real family man, spending alot of quality time with his wife and daughter.

In this, the final installment of the story, the main character successfully stalks the buck and shoots him. The buck leaves the gentleman's property and goes into the bordering state park. The gentleman receives permission via phone to retrieve the animal, leaving his rifle on his property.

When he finds the massive buck, the nutbar sneaks up on him and busts his front teeth out with a rifle butt. Coming back to conciousness, the main character finds the screwball caping out the buck to claim as his own. The main character jumps up and administers a good old fashioned, mma-type, ass whooping on the nutbar.

The story wraps with the freak escaping criminal charges due to his wealth.


I am thinking that this crazy is on the loose and the good guy is in possession of the trophy. I am sure it would be mounted and hanging on the wall. My real concern would be for my family if I were in this position.


1) should the good guy have turned the other cheek? Didn't Jesus do that to the point of death? Yeah, he did it as a part of God's plan for salvation, but, how far do we go to turn the other cheek?

or, the other extreme

2) should the good guy have killed the crazy in order to protect his family in the future? The fruitcake had knocked out the good guy's front teeth with a weapon, so, self defense could have probably been justified somewhat.

What is bibical, to turn the other cheek and to what extent - even endangering your family, or to eliminate evil/danger if it is justified?

I think you can point out times when others tried to kill Jesus before Calvary but they were unsuccessful.

Now of course He didn't resort to violence in those instances, but He didn't have to. I think the point was that Jesus wasn't about simple non-violent passivity, but more about "No one takes my life, but I lay it down of my own accord."

Personally, I believe turning the other cheek has as more to do with responding to an insult than responding to a life threatening situation. And as such, I think it's a mis-application of that verse to apply it in violent situations where you or your family is at risk. Can it mean walking away from a fight? Of course. What if the attacker is not trying to test your grit but instead is intent upon hurting you? Well then I say defend yourself. I've walked away from 2 shoving contests where someone was trying to provoke me to respond w/a fight. And tho I've never been punched and not responded, I'd like to believe I could.



Well helloooooooooo James!

Good topic!

I have to tell you that I struggled with this for a LONG time. When I was a kid I didn't even want to be a Christian because I thought they were pacifist whooses. The passages before and after this verse provide a great deal of contextual value. The whole chapter here uses legal terms and refers to handling legal disputes.

Luke 5:38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[7] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well."

The "eye for an eye" is particularly interesting here because it lays the foundation for "let the punishment fit the crime" of our modern legal system. Jesus understood that when "eye for an eye" was implemented it was so that if someone cut your toe off you wouldn't be able impose upon them a life sentence.

In Jesus' time people used this old saying to justify revenge. Jesus was essentially saying, "vengence is mine says the Lord". Jesus was not against self-defense, in fact he advocated it on at least two occasions.

Luke 22: 35 Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?"
"Nothing," they answered. 36 He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. "That is enough," he replied. NIV

Luke 12
39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

The last verse is found within a parable and not specifically about self-defense but he used the analogy in a positive context. If he were against self-defense then he would have probably chosen different words.

But back to the cheek thing. It can also be understood in the context of excessive force. Whenever someone walks up to you on the street, punches you in the face and tries to rob you, you are justified in using force to defend yourself, loved ones, or anyone else. However, if you immediately go into Vanderlei Silva mode whereby you beat him into quick submission and are so pissed off you continue until he is chopped into tiny little bite sized robber pieces, you've stepped over the line and are subject to legal consequences.

We turn the other cheek when we don't go too far. When we are able to show self-control, and don't seek "revenge" toward those who have wronged us. I think we can seek and expect renumeration, compensation, and even accept punitive awards, but revenge is a matter of the heart and that's what Jesus was talking about.

P.S. I have a video tape for you. If I see you next Monday morning, I'll have two!


I was always taught that the turn the other cheek thing was actually a challenge. If someone challenges you to a fight, walk away. If someone attacks you, protect yourself within reason.

In the above example, I would hope I would react in whatever was the most appropriate way. I do know that to protect my family, I could and would kill someone, without even thinking about it.

the rev

I'm with Rev on this one.

I remember walking on the beach once with an ex-girlfriend when this huge Rottweiler bolted from it's owner (about 20 feet away) and started running right at us. Without even thinking I swept my girlfriend behind me and ran at the dog to close the gap. He jumped up at the last second and as his paws hit my chest I grabbed both sides of his head and got ready to drag him into the water and drown him if I had to.

Fortunately the owner was sprinting right behind him and was yelling at me (I couldn't hear or see anything other than his dog for a few crazy seconds), telling me the dog was safe. I snapped out of the adrenaline rush I was in and realized the dog wasn't growling or anything, he was just a big lug that thought it was fun to run up to people. It actually took a few seconds to release my hands from the scruff of his neck but he ended up being a pretty cool dog.

That dog was freakin HUGE and I damn near shit my pants! haha!

Not really related to turning the other cheek, but I think the same thing would happen if it was a person.

To turn the other cheek is necessary to have a high self-control, and perhaps a sharp mind to realize the range of possibilities available in fraction of seconds. I believe this is the only way possible to override the instincts.

I know that, in hot blood, I would be able to inflict serious damages to anyone that would put me or someone I love in danger.

But in cold blood, I would surely act in a more civilized way.