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Source: (consider it) Thread: Persecution
Mudfrog
Shipmate
# 8116

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Tomorrow's reading is the one about loving your enemies and praying for those persecuting you.

I looked up the meaning of the word 'persecute' and I am amazed to find this:

quote:
Strong's Concordance
diókó: to put to flight, pursue, by impl. to persecute
Original Word: διώκω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: diókó
Phonetic Spelling: (dee-o'-ko)
Short Definition: I pursue, persecute
Definition: I pursue, hence: I persecute.
HELPS Word-studies
1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively ("earnestly pursue") and negatively ("zealously persecute, hunt down"). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste ("chasing" after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).

That is a whole new perspective on persecution for me. We do moan a bit about Christians being 'persecuted' when we really mean 'teased at work' or told to be quiet about our faith in the bar; we just can't compare that to the 21 guys (now officially martyrs I believe?) who were beheaded on the beach by Daesh a while back.

But to read that persecute really means to be chased, hunted down and pursued (with merely the implication being that one is being 'persecuted') really shines a spotlight on it all.

It's certainly what's happening.

I guess then we cannot say in our comfortable western lives that any of us are being persecuted until we lose our jobs, lose our homes and are made to convert, leave or die.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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goat
Apprentice
# 18740

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[Unsourced quotation deleted.]

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In the absence of any proof that this material is not under copyright,
it has been deleted for legal reasons. See Commandment 7.
quote:
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Welcome to the ship. We hope you have a happy voyage. Please familiarize yourself with the 10 Commandments

Moo, Kerygmania Host

[ 12. March 2017, 19:56: Message edited by: Moo ]

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Gramps49
Shipmate
# 16378

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Welcome to the board, Goat. Don't worry, the moderators keep very strict monitoring of the boards. I have run afoul of them several times.

As far as the liability issue is concerned, I know that British liability laws are much more strict than American laws. Since this website is in England, you have to respect their laws.

Now as to the persecution issue: it torques me when Christians in the US complain that just because cashiers at big box stores do not say "Merry Christmas," they are being persecuted. No one is preventing them from going to church. No one is arresting them for their beliefs. No one is burning their houses of worship.

As I am typing this, I am listening to a report that people of middle eastern descent are having their phones seized if they attempt to cross over into Canada. They are crossing over for fear they will be deported. They are doing so at risk to their lives. Mohammed Ali Jr. has now been detained at American airports twice now.

No doubt, there are Christians and people of other faiths that are being persecuted, being pursued and being killed for their faith, but I am sick and tired of American Christians acting like they are being maltreated.

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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
# 3659

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To return to the OP, here is a link to the passage: Matthew 5:38-48. It is the Revised Common Lectionary gospel reading for Epiphany 7A.

And this part in particular:
quote:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
As Mudfrog highlights Strong's translation of "persecute" (bold mine):
quote:
But to read that persecute really means to be chased, hunted down and pursued (with merely the implication being that one is being 'persecuted') really shines a spotlight on it all.
It seems more frightening to me because of the premeditated, long-term, and even possibly systemic.

If the question is whether, or to what extent, Christians are persecuted today, that would be a topic for Purgatory.

But in the passage, Jesus is telling us how to respond to that almost-existential threat. It seems to me that as a Kerygmania discussion, the focus should be on our response.

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Nigel M
Shipmate
# 11256

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I used to be put off somewhat by the closing phrase: “So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”, which sounded rather out of touch with reality! However, seeing it in the light of the passage I can see the meaning as lying more along the lines of “Be complete (or universal) in your outlook, in the same way that God has the whole world in his perspective.”

So I read this section as saying: God’s concern for the whole world – not limiting himself to those within the household – means he has a concern for all creation returning to his household.

This universalism isn’t the same universalism as in ‘all will be saved’, but rather one of wishing to offer to all the opportunity to come back into his house as loyal followers of his kingdom.

There’s a smack of Leviticus in the passage too, of course. That “Be perfect…” has a ring of the “Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy” (Lev. 19:2). This is the call for a loyalty that is uncontaminated by competing powers.

The passage also kicks off with a quote from Leviticus 19:18 – “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbour as yourself.” That’s set in the context of behaviour within the loyal community, most especially where judgment is concerned (NET Version here):
quote:
You must not deal unjustly in judgment: you must neither show partiality to the poor nor honour the rich. You must judge your fellow citizen fairly. You must not go about as a slanderer among your people. You must not stand idly by when your neighbour’s life is at stake. I am the LORD. You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him. You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD.
If this is a deliberate pulling by Matthew of the Levitical context (both 19:2 and 18:18) into the Beatitude, then perhaps the demand to be ‘perfect’ in having a concern for all creation involves integrity and impartiality when it comes to performing whatever power we are given in the world, but doing this from within a loyal context, not mixing it with other loyalties. Separation, but also universalism. Covering all from a distinct perspective.
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Mamacita

Lakefront liberal
# 3659

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The parallel passage in Luke is Luke 6:27-36:
quote:
But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

... which covers the same bases and yet is differently editorially (if I can use that word).

It seems reasonable that Matthew would draw upon Leviticus, as you say, NigelM. I have often heard "perfect" rendered as "complete," at least in recent years, and I very much like your interpretation of "perhaps the demand to be ‘perfect’ in having a concern for all creation involves integrity and impartiality when it comes to performing whatever power we are given in the world, but doing this from within a loyal context, not mixing it with other loyalties."

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Eutychus
From the edge
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2 Timothy 3:12 says everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

In my experience, some people tend to reverse this principle, claiming "persecution" as evidence they are leading godly lives in Christ Jesus.

Such people forget that while it is certainly possible to "suffer for doing good", it is also possible to "suffer for doing evil" (1 Peter 3:17) - or indeed for just being plain stupid.

And if anybody wants to give this a go in Purgatory, this recent article might be a good place to start: White [US] Evangelicals Believe They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims.

[ 20. March 2017, 05:11: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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