8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
Given the pacifist rhetoric flying during the current unpleasantries in Gaza, I was thumbing through Acts to see how Paul reacted to his foes.
I don't recall this story in Acts before; God was known to smite folks who "needed killin' ", but here, Paul calls the shot, sending doom towards the false prophet.
Is this turn-the-other-cheek pacifism? Not quite. Paul didn't make a polite comment on Elymas' First Amendment right to his opinion; he called down the power of God to blind the foe of the Gospel.
The hermeneutic here isn't to call down cataracts on modern secularists. However, it does give the believer some backup for being forceful in his rhetoric from time to time and even to call down some sort of damage to your foes. No, Paul didn't punch Elymas out or send a missile to take out his lair, so this isn't the best passage to counter a pacifist take, since it was God who did the blinding, not Paul.
However, this wasn't a MLK type of vibe; Paul was in "God'll get you for that" mode, verbally hostile if not physically so. Food for thought.