Re: Matthew 5:39

>From Greg Jordan: 
>It seems like any slapping, even on the  left cheek with the offender's palm, 
would still be >sinful, and turning  the cheek would be encouraging the sin. 
This has always been my problem with this verse: intuitively, if you allow 
someone to get away with being a bully, he becomes a bigger bully. Carried to 
its extreme, 'resist not evil' could mean that Christians should not have 
stood up to Hitler. 
"Take no personal vengeance for wrongs done to you: forgive" is how I choose 
to interpret this: a blanket exhortation to not resist evil leads to ludicrous 
results. There are instances when not standing up to evil is, IMHO perhaps a 
greater sin than the evil itself. The failure of many individual Christians - 
and many Christian institutions - to stand up for Jews (and others) against 
Hitler comes to mind. (But I stray from the text.) 
I think if you look further in Matthew 5 you will find the essence of what 
Jesus was getting at: 
	You have heard it said: love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I 
tell you: Love 	your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. 
Perhaps the incongruity of 'turning the other cheek,' is merely laying the 
groundwork for the even more radical concept of 'love your enemy,' and should 
therefore be interpreted figuratively.  
Mary Ann Davidson