Turning The Other Cheek

Q. First of all, thank you for your wonderful website.

I have a question about Matthew 5:39, where it says “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also”. By this, shouldn’t we all be pacifists? Doesn’t this mean we should dismantle our armed forces, take no action to prevent Iran becoming nuclear, and just roll over and let it nuke us? Doesn’t this mean that fighting against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in WWII, we were doing the wrong thing, and the right thing would have been to let them conquer us? That Israel resisting Hamas’ attempts to obliterate it is wrong? That we should take no forceful action to defend ourselves or anything else, ever?

A. The context of the Sermon on the Mount was summed up in Matt. 5:48, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Remember he began by telling us that our righteousness had to exceed that of the Pharisees. He was showing us how high God’s standards are and pointing out our need for a savior.

But the thrust of the passage is personal, not national. The world is an evil place and Lord has called upon His people to fight the forces of evil through out history.

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