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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Peaceful resistance; King, Mandela, Gandhi, Anthony and Christ.

Updated on January 22, 2017

I really don't get the idea of a narrow path being spiritually better.

Pretty | Source

Should we kill the messenger.

We are challenged. We are attacked. Our views are not respected. Our grandfathers were treated poorly. We feel looked down upon. We feel hurt by other's words. We think the world should be fair. We think that the notion of all people being equal includes not praising talent of one over another. We are bullied. We are denied our basic human rights. We are grossly cussed at. We are called names. We quite literally are spit upon. We are physically abused.

And so in all righteousness we look to the above leaders as folks who fought others for our rights and dignity. Oh no we have no such right. Absolutely these people did not fight with others for rights and respect. They petitioned and argued and stood for people and not against them. It is we who glorify conflict who put the label of "fighters" on these great ones for peace. We project our practice of attacking onto them.

We should be moved by worthy concepts and principles not principals. We should not be dissuaded or intimidated or even provoked into conflict by individuals but only by self-evident truths.

We do not go so far here as to say we should not be effected by others. Indeed we must be moved by suffering of others. And we must be uplifted and motivated and loved by others and feel that from others. But should we be effected by those who insult and belittle us? Yes! But who is in control of just how that affects us?

Now if we see suffering and slavery and wrongful subjugation we must stand against it. But it does not mean that we stand against a person.

And what of how we respond when in fact we are attacked. Our heroes above teach us well in this regard.

I do not ask anymore about why I get love.

Our children work toward graduation in school from 4 up.

But there is no graduation of love.
But there is no graduation of love. | Source

Giving up the ghost and our right!

The use of words to harm another is an interesting method of stewardship of the gift of being literate. As an area of inspection we look at the words that are considered foul language. We would all agree that in proper measure at appropriate times these words can be inserted into writing or speech. And most would include offensive language in that which is protected by free speech not being infringed upon by the government. But we would be mindful that excessive use of such language is probably an indicator that the speaker cannot effectively summon more accurate words to present a thought. So how do we respond to such folks who have a literary handicap. Do we get insulted or offended by their shortcomings? Do we reduce our own language skills to converse on their level? Of course in rational thought we would never do such things.

So now why in our cantankerous current atmosphere do we not consider such devolution of our own skills of communication as bad, and current vitriolic use of language as inept?

Let us stay with the notion of how we use our language. We should agree that literacy is a gift. That it is just the luck of birth that gives us that talent. At least 1/3 of the world is without proper tools to bring about anything more than the most primal of linguistics. Bump it up a notch to being able to read and write, and you have about 2/5s being without. Bring it to a level of a full US high school diploma and you can see where this goes. I think we all understand that the pen is mightier than the sword. It can be a defensive or offensive weapon to be used to support civil society. And we see great writings that do this.

So how come in today’s inter-global writings do we see attacks on people and not concepts? I did a little time as a canonical lawyer – better to say council. It was a bit tough as the study was brutal. I did it regarding Episcopal law and Missionary churches. It was drawn from stuff like Conquistadores input. Heavy Catholic influence. (fun to keep in mind that catholic means all churches in a worldly sense and Catholic meaning that Roman Catholic church that is a little bit doctrinal. ) It really is beneath the dogma and doctrine of any church to even criticize another. Which is silly. But it blends with our Christian notion of not attacking but taking that very painful slapping about the face in some multiple of seven.

Wait – you cannot do it with your fellows but antagonists get a hammer of hate? I am so sorry brethren but sure we fail but at the end of the day we must plan the next to apologize. It is not a level playing field and matching insult for insult must be confessed and repented and go ahead and give your best shot the next day. Progress not perfection as Christians.

I reckon I have come to peace with that. Bummer, I used to get paid to humiliate folks into submission and a restating of truth. Please do not call on me to do it again as we will both be disappointed.

The reason I share this is not so much the song but rather the lack of speech in our characters.

Just another canyon within a canyon.

Or maybe this is a valley within a valley.
Or maybe this is a valley within a valley. | Source

Sometimes it is just too hard to stay in peace.

Do we need to use physical violence in order to be violent? Can our speech be violent and actually cause a physical pain? Well raise your voice to a small child and even suggest they are bad and the tears that flow reflect a real hurt. I had a buddy who went to a parochial school and he related that the head priest told him he was a dirty sinner. Perhaps a far deeper hurt than any ruler across the knuckles.

So now we get to the kicker. When we say that our above heroes were not violent we dismiss physical violence or inciting it, it just did not happen. But we must look a little deeper to see what peaceful resistance really means. Let us try this on. The words we use can create peace. To people angry with each other are locked up in a room, it is all anger. Two people, one angry and one at peace, locked up in a room?? It really does not matter what the anger or peace is about – it is an is. Why would we say that someone angers us but not that someone peaces us?

We just know that change brings support and resistance. It can even happen within one person. There is fear about the future and there is fear about the now. Where there is fear the person experiencing it can choose peace or violence.

So when the change is too fast or too slow we lash out at the person on the other end. Notice we are talking about emotions here. Rational and logical can never justify negative violent speech. It is purely emotional. So never ever ever listen to a very angry person attempting to speak in the rational. They are disconnected with anger. And yet we see from our heroes they are connected with peace. A really angry mathematician has never created new concepts in their field. Darwin, Einstein, Edison and Newton were by all accounts peaceful men.

For me it is “yea though I walk through shadow of the valley of darkness”, for I create my own shadow and valley by speaking in anger. Yet I can create a mountain top experience if I speak through peace. Who can be perfect at this and not be drawn into the dark valley? No one can. But let us give it our best shot. And let us gently help others to also.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      If the ruddy bastard steals you robe give him your shirt. Easy to love buddies, hard to love the enemy.\

      There is a funny concept that goes with this. Beat me all you want but one hand on my sister, wife or son and I do not hold back.

      Something in degrees here that some master and some strive for and others just do not care.

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 15 months ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      I agree with what Lawrence's comment. Sometimes it could be necessary to resort to the use of "Violence" but only as a last resort. In the case of I S I S. It could be necessary. But as I have Written Before we are called to turn the other cheek. This goes back to the old Judaic Law.- (A Master was allowed to strike a servant "Once". If he did it twice the Servant could strike back. If we are forced to go one mile we are called to go two. Walk the extra "Mile". None of this is easy for us Simple and sinful Human beings.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A wonderful observation and comment my friend. There is a balance that comes. We are afraid that that balance requires "violence" at some points. In todays rigorous political discussions there is verbal violence and that might be the toughest to respond to of all. Making that call to do harm in response to harm. May be the toughest that humans face.

      That is why I liked sports so much. Violence is not moral there, it just is.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      A great article here. One thing I would say though is some of those 'men of peace's also recognised a time when they HAD to turn to violence!

      Mandela, by his own admission was primarily responsible for setting up the armed wing of the ANC (he writes about it in his autobiography 'The long March to freedom')

      Einstein was a total pacifist, yet when confronted with the horrors the Nazi's were inflicting on the Jews (I reckon Churchill made sure he found out, but that's another story) he personally lobbied the US government to build the most devastating weapon ever used 'in anger's

      Personally I hold with Aquinas. 'When the cause is just, and every other possible means has been exhausted, then a 'measured violent response' should be a last resort, but last, and not first!

      Great hub.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John you make great points and I appreciate it as I am sure my readers do.

      Please clear this up for us. We "should" not get angry. But we do. Now it is my thought like the psycho mumbo jumbo going around these days that we own that anger. That it is unhealthy to deny that we have it. And it is OK to feel it. But for both our cognitive health and connection with God health we can change that feeling into love.

      See it, be aware of it, then change our feelings into love using the great brain that God has given us.

      Perhaps my way of phrasing it is just what you say with more new age verbiage??

    • faith-hope-love profile image

      John Ward 16 months ago from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

      When anyone makes that statement "He/She makes me angry" i always tell them "they may prefer to think That. But in truth "No One" makes us angry other than ourselves. We decide to be Angry. If we practice what Jesus taught, "That we should always turn the other cheek". This means our verbal cheeks as well as well as our physical Cheek. We must always take a time out to be "Proactive" instead of "Reactive". This is difficult for us members of Humanity. I, too, have difficulty with this aim as well. This makes me a worse sinner since I am aware of the effect that being "Proactive" has on others and on ourselves. I loved the piece. Pax Et Bonum. Peace to All.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Frank, should I worry about the hours you keep? That is a great area to think about. That which turns the soil can be made into that which kills. Hmm.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 16 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Thank you for presenting this sermon, Eric. It gives to me a few moments with more ahead for introspection of now, reflections of yesterday, and to ponder tomorrow. I echo many of the sentiments with the previous comments & replies. I liked the Willie video as it prompted a thought; Language can be used as a plow or a sword. Then I hear some verse echoing say to beat swords into plowshares.

      Again, thank you . . .

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, I think just thinking about being better at peacefulness is good for me. I get disappointed in myself but keep trudging on.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I am running late, but this message is so timely. The whole world is angry and spewing hateful remarks. I have come to the conclusion to accept what ever circumstances come my way, knowing God is really in command. I am amazed when I see people rioting and burning in the name of freedom. I call these people hoodlums, and they do not speak for me. Thank you again for reminding us to use common sense....

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Venkatachari, this is one of those sermons I needed myself. It seems the best that I can do is to examine each day for error in this regard and try to apply what I learned tomorrow.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 16 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      A great message to people in present atmosphere of tensions, violence, and rude behavior of masses.

      It is very difficult to control our anger and emotions totally. But, as far as possible, we should always try to be very patient and soft in our reactions with a peace of mind.

      Thank you for this nice post bringing awareness to people.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, it is so funny when I only walk 15 feet in my shoes. And somehow miss the work with a harder road barefoot. You and me, we be privileged. Just down right we are because we can write and read. And by the way we got water that is drinkable.

      We must write Dora for that is our gift.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 16 months ago from The Caribbean

      "Progress not perfection" is a concept we should allow for ourselves and for others. Realizing that we are all equally distant from perfection should help us practice tolerance to each other, and that tolerance will manifest itself in our speech. This is a good reminder for us to check ourselves.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.


      Thank you for that referral to Marshall Rosenberg. Very good stuff and a marvelous speaker -- except he does not smile really.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I was thinking about the tough times we face and the violence over it as though that could change the basic truth that in man we change. But I must admit I gave a good look and saw the greatest calamity and the perseverance. Yes we remember the criminals that preyed on the good. Interesting stuff to ponder.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, do you think God is mad at our writings and therefor the storm? I am just that egocentric.

      Sometimes I have to catch myself with the potty mouthers. I have tendency to blame them for lack of ability in literacy. My mind goes immediately to laziness and not caring. That is so wrong. Who knows what hell prevented them from learning.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian that is cool that you get to get together with others for such a good thing. I already went over and watched so introductory video with Marshall Rosenberg. Thank you.

      I am studying "Honest to God" which has an awesome treatment about brutal or caring honesty. Great stuff.

      Thanks a bunch.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Tough times, my friend. Tougher to come, I fear. Major change requires pain....and I see no way through pain except to head right into it, suck it up, and rely on love and hope to carry us through. Great piece, buddy.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 16 months ago from San Diego California

      Brilliantly spoken, beautiful words. Literary handicapped is a nice way of saying potty mouth. I am glad this deluge did not wash you off your mount as you were delivering your delightful sermon.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 16 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Some of the difficulties in your article are dealt with by Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication approach. I'm taking a class about it at church starting this week. See his workshop videos on YouTube, especially the ones about 'jackal' and 'giraffe' language.

      See also the 2-part YouTube video, "What Jesus really said," from the "The System Belongs to God" series.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Friend, invite your friends to help make it a celebration. When you ask good buddies to help it makes them happy. But mate they will bring out the daggers of what an idiot you are. We do pizzas and beer. And we used to do,,,, never mind!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, well our planned move didn't eventuate. However, we have made an offer on an alternative property and it was accepted. So, a move is still on only postponed a little. Thank you for praying for Kathy..that is much appreciated.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks John. We are having what deserts have. Rain that causes change in the landscape. Old trees fall and sprouts show up everywhere. Burnt areas flood and mudslide unmercifully. Every thing this close to the Pacific Coast tries to find it's way to the ocean. And I am afraid my friend that many of men chose to live here not knowing it is a Sonoran Coastal desert.

      Kind of reminds me of folks debating politics. It ebbs and flows and the only offensive is accepting/respecting what direction it flows. My son is in the hot bathtub after his evening romp and jig in the rain.

      Thanks again buddy for coming by.

      PS ain't you all moving or something. You know I pray for your wife nightly.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful writing as always, Eric. The only way to bring about the change we want to see in the world and promote real values is through peace and love. Raising a hand or even your voice in anger only promotes hatred and increased opposition. We should learn from those great men you mention, as well as women like Mother Theresa and others. You should be proud of the way you have brought up your children. Your youngest daughter's calling is testament to that.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Janis first let me say what a treasure you are to have here. I suggest that everyone visit you at When we use the tools that psychology and psychiatry and apply them to philosophy and theology we can live them and not just keep our heads in the clouds.

      We just read three children's books and my son just about jumped out of his skin with excitement about the stories. About homes for crabs and homes for children around the world. So cool.

      My youngest daughter just enrolled to get credentialed to teach children with disabilities to read, write and talk. This literacy is not a gift to put under a basket, we must share it.

      Thanks Janis for coming by and sorry for my rant.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 16 months ago from Washington, DC

      Love this, Eric. Very timely piece with all that is going on nationally, globally, and even in our tiny corner of the world called HP forums. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful analysis of how we abuse the gift of verbal and written expression. We indeed forget how blessed we are to have it when we use it in negative, hurtful ways. Peace to you, great hub.


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