Saturday, July 28, 2007

genocide?

Why the bible is confusing and offputting

Samuel said to Saul, "God sent me to anoint you king over his people, Israel. Now, listen again to what God says. This is the God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking: "I'm about to get even with Amalek for ambushing Israel when Israel came up out of Egypt. Here's what you are to do: Go to war against Amalek. Put everything connected with Amalek under a holy ban. And no exceptions! This is to be total destruction—men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys—the works." (From 1 Samuel 15)

"Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.' If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. "You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. (From Matthew 5)

2 comments:

Joe said...

I've discovered the answer, Benjamin.

It is all about product placement.

Really, it is enough to make anyone throw up. Or is it just me?

Monte said...

I certainly don't understand this issue, but I think modern Christians have been way too defensive to admit the vast difference that exists between Jesus and the God of the Hebrew Bible. And Paul insists that Jesus really is what God looks like. So I've come in the last few years to see the Bible as a pyramid with the gospels at the top, as the point when things are clearest. For I can live with Jesus - though he is exceedingly strange sometimes.
Peace!