About half-an-hour into one of my favorite movies, “Big Trees,” ‘Yukon’ Burns, played by actor Edgar Buchanan, interrupts an outdoor church service. He politely listens as the church elder quotes Luke 10:27, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might,” to which Burns calls out, “Amen.”
Burns then explains that when God uses the word ‘might,’ He’s speaking ‘fighting talk.” And though the Elder disagrees, claiming it goes against their belief system, Burns continues: “I believe in turning the other cheek, but you’re jus’ about run out of cheeks,” he then adds, “It’s time you start growing some religious muscle.”
He finishes his testimony by pointing out, “The Lord didn’t make strong backs jus’ to let the wicked seize the Earth.”
There have been many times when I’ve thought about this scene and how it measures up to my faith – which has taught me to ‘turn the other cheek.’ I don’t want you to mistake this for doctrine, but when enough is enough, maybe we need to up our dukes and defend ourselves and others too.