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Should Christians be doormats?

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Shiranui117, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    So we all know Christ's commandments, and by extension those of St. John the Baptist: If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other. Love those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who persecute you. If a man sues you for your cloak, give him your tunic as well. If you are forced to carry a Roman soldier's gear for him for one mile, carry it for two.

    It's quite easy to see how a Christian can interpret these commandments as saying that we should become doormats, letting everyone walk over us. But is there more to it than that? Should we actually be doormats, or is there another way of looking at this? I know the "doormat Christian" idea is something that served as a stumbling block for me a great deal over the past year or two. What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity POWERFUL BEAN
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    When you are doing the right thing and people say it is evil, that is when you tolerate the violence of enemies while waiting to be exonerated. When an 'Evil person' strikes you, turn the other cheek with the end goal of converting them. Romans 12:18-21 is a recipe. Live peacefully as much as possible with all men. Do not be vengeful. Feed your enemy if he is hungry and if thirsty give him drink. Odds are that this will happen, since evil people often are poor providers. The goal is to overcome evil with good, not to be a big idiot and get yourself wiped out. Peace and goodness are more powerful than evil. If you are vengeful you propagate evil, but if you intelligently return evil with good then you soften and end it. The author says to 'Heap burning coals upon the head' of your enemy, which I think means make them regret their actions through their consciences. That opens the door for positive change.

    Contrast the way the Allied powers treated Germany at the end of WWI with the way they treated Germany at the end of WWII. After WWI they imposed vengeful tax burdens upon Germany. The result was more evil. After WWII they helped rebuild Germany, and the result was a transformation.
     
  3. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    Being patient during persecution isn't quite what I had in mind with this thread. What I was getting at is when people take advantage of you at work, at home, at school, or anywhere else because they know they can, is the Christian thing to do to just let them, or is it acceptable to draw a line and say "That's enough"?
     
  4. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Et Ducit Mundum Per Lucem
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    Well, of course we shouldn't nust let people step on us for the sake of health, at least. I think Christ is using hyperbole here to encourage us not to return like with like but to rise above the urge to retaliate. We shouldn't return injury with injury, but curses with prayers and injuries with understanding and forgiveness.
     
  5. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity POWERFUL BEAN
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    Don't be a pushover in all situations, but choose when and how to do it. Compare it to the tired swimmer problem that lifeguards deal with. If a tired swimmer sees a strong swimmer in the water that tired swimmer will sometimes panic and try to use the other person as a float and may drown that strong swimmer. If someone is using you (the lifeguard) as a float, what you have to do is sink so they will let you go. Then you can take control of the situation and save them. If you don't do that they can get you both killed. So assess before you decide to be a pushover. Make them aware of who is the strong swimmer and that you are choosing to be of service.

    Paul escaped to save his life. Jesus walked through a crowd that was trying to lynch him. Why didn't they allow themselves to be killed those two times?
     
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  6. Deidre

    Deidre اتبع القلب

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    No, I don't think that Christians (or anyone) should be doormats. But forgiveness and seeking to not give what we get, doesn't make a person a doormat. In our culture though, it might seem that way. To be a doormat would mean to enable people to continue hurting people, as not speaking up when we are being abused is enabling abusers to continue. Jesus didn't do that, he still called people out but did it with love and not self righteousness. He wasn't a doormat, he was a gateway to help people to become better versions of themselves. At least this is what I take from the NT.
     
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  7. Benjamin Bradley

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    I will ask you this: Do you think Jesus was a doormat? Jesus stood up for what he felt was right and was actually quite radical at the time (I would argue that he would still be seen as quite radical today). I don't think Jesus could be seen as a doormat, but rather he turned the other cheek in order to stand up for righteousness and goodness.

    I think the central tenet of this teaching is to not retaliate. It is not saying you should never protect yourself or stand up for what you believe is right, but that meekness and love should be the code with which you live your life. I would say that if you see someone being persecuted, you should do what you can to protect them. If someone is mistreating you, then you should try to help them cease this destructive behavior, but never in retaliation, always in love, always putting others before yourself.
     
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  8. gottalovemoses

    gottalovemoses Im mad as Hell!

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    Very good question. One that I have asked in the past and never really received a satisfactory answer.
    I think if we look closely at the gospels, Jesus was no doormat. He surrendered to His Father's will. Being obedient to God's will is not being a doormat. It is being a true disciple, an exemplary child of God. He stood up to the Pharisees and Pontius Pilate too.
    Turn the other cheek I see as a figure of speech. it means choose non-violence, not reactive payback. Avoid kneejerk responses. Choose peace even when your mind is boiling away inside like a cauldron. Process your anger by offering it up in prayer to God.
    So "turn the other cheek" is the smart option. The "dumb" option is to seek revenge through physical violence for instance.
     
  9. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I've heard that a lot of those teachings were about passively commanding respect and using your power with reserve. Hardly being a doormat.
     
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