Just as King Herod turned against the followers of Christ, those who are frightened of the commitment, compassion and conviction of those who have felt called to follow Jesus have, throughout Christian history, attempted to silence, or even destroy them. The temptation for those of us who experience anything like this (not that we do often in the Western world) is to prove the righteous nature of our cause, and the truth of our beliefs, by “showing the strength of God’s arm”. We fight back. We argue, we rely on apologetics to diminish the thoughts and beliefs of others. We use military strength to prove that we are right by destroying others, and so much more besides.
God does not need or require us to do this. God asks of us that we turn the other cheek. We stand for justice, pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life, but if our confidence is truly in The Lord, our hope and our salvation, as scripture, and many songs we sing, encourage us, it is disingenuous for us, in the next breath, to use the things of the world to protect ourselves and justify the “right” of our position. What would the world look like if we as Christians truly chose to turn the other cheek in the face of injustice and persecution?
How can we be people that walk humbly with our God rather than walking arrogantly or in an entitled fashion? God has His glory. We don’t need any for ourselves.