Thursday, January 17, 2013

Evildoers: Should You Call for a Vengeance or Pray for them?.

When Jesus with his disciples near to a city of the Samaritans, the city dwellers would not let him enter the city, nor would they sell bread to them. After passing certain days James and John said to Jesus: "Master, may it please you that we pray God that he send down fire from heaven upon these people?"

He answered: "You know not by what spirit you are led, that you so speak. Remember that God determined to destroy Nineveh because he did not find one who feared God in that city; the which was so wicked that God, having called Jonah; the prophet to send him to that city, he would fain for fear of the people have fled to Tarsus;,wherefore God caused him to be cast into the sea, and received by a fish and cast up near to Nineveh. And he preaching there, that people was converted to repentance, so that God had mercy on them.

Woe to them that call for vengeance; for on themselves it shall come, seeing that every man has in himself cause for the vengeance of God. Now tell me, have you created this city with this people? Aassuredly no. For all creatures united together could not create a single new fly from nothing, and this it is to create. If the blessed God who has created this city now sustains it, why desire you to destroy it? Why did you not say: "May it please you, master, that we pray to the Lord our God that this people may be converted to penitence?"

The proper act of a Mumin is to pray to God for those who do evil. Thus did Abel when his brother Cain, accursed of God, slew him. Thus did Abraham; for Pharaoh;, who took from him his wife, and whom therefore, the angel of God did not slay, but only struck with infirmity. Thus did Zechariah when, by decree of the impious king, he was slain in the Temple. Thus did Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and David, with all the friends of God and holy Prophets.

Tell me, if a brother were stricken with frenzy, would you slay him because he spoke evil and struck those who came near him? Assuredly you would not do so; but rather would you endeavour to restore his health with medicines suitable to his infirmity."

"As God lives, in whose presence my soul stands, a sinner is of infirm mind when he persecutes a man. For tell me, is there anyone who would break his head for the sake of tearing the cloak of his enemy? Now how can he be of sane mind who separates himself from God, the head of his soul, in order that he may injure the body of his enemy?

"Tell me, O man, who is your enemy? Assuredly your body, and every one who praises you. Wherefore if you were of sane mind you would kiss the hand of those who revile you, and present gifts to those who persecute you and strike you much; because, O man because the more that for your sins you are reviled and persecuted in this life the less shall you be in the day of judgment.

But tell me, O man, if the saints and prophets of God have been persecuted and defamed by the world even though they were innocent, what shall be done to you, O sinner? and if they endured all with patience, praying for their persecutors, what shouldst you do, O man, who are worthy of hell?

Tell me, do you not know that Shimei cursed the servant of God, David the prophet, and threw stones at him? Now what said David to those who would fain have killed Shimei? "What is it to you, O Joab, that you would kill Shimei? Let him curse me, for this is the will of God, who will turn this curse into a blessing."
And thus it was; for God saw the patience of David and delivered him from the persecution of his own son, Absalom.

Assuredly not a leaf stirs without the will of God. Wherefore, when you are in tribulation do not think of how much you have borne, nor of him who afflicts you; but consider how much for your sins you are worthy to receive at the hand of the devils of hell. You are angry with this city because it would not receive us, nor sell bread to us. Tell me, are these people your slaves? have you given them this city? have you given them their corn? Or have you helped them to reap it? Assuredly no; for you are strangers in this land, and poor men. What thing is this then that you say?"

The End.
Not Yet Verified.

Source: Gospel of Barnabas
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