Showing posts from March, 2018

Responding to Violence - Matthew 5

In light of today being Maundy Thursday, we would do well to pause in reflection of how Jesus spoke about violence, as well as how he responded to it in action.
In Matthew 5:39 Jesus tells us that: 1. violence does not end violence; 2. his followers are not to engage in violence, but in a manner that calls those who practice violence to assume responsibility for it; 3. there are better ways to address violence and aggression; 4. he continues to speak of loving one's enemies and doing good towards them; 5. answering violence with violence escalates conflict and allows the perpetrator to continue aggression with new justification; 6. Jesus recognized a principle of Family Systems Theory, that aggression comes from the reptilian brain, and to overcome it we have to shift the interaction to engage the mammalian portion of the brain: we must change the tone of the encounter; 7. in context, Jesus speaks of loving our enemies instead of seeking retribution or revenge; 8. in that same context, we …