For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon?
This reminds me of the discussion I had with the Mennonites recently where they said that many Mennonites claimed to fall back on the Beatitudes as the lens through which all scripture was interpreted. “Jesus clensing the temple contradicts ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’, so I think we can agree he was wrong to whip the money changers.” Anyway, last night before I read the above Vonnegut quote, I came across a video titled “A Christian’s Battle Cry”. It starts off with an awesome quote — I came not to bring peace, but a sword — and continues with a montage of unlikely sword wielders and men and women shouting what I guess are supposed to be inspiring phrases (“I WILL STAND BY MY BROTHERS IN ARMS! MY ENEMY WILL COWER!”). Do Evangelicals have a middle ground? Something other than push-over Jesus or sword-fighting Jesus?