Category Archives: violence

Confusion: Rights or Love

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1 Cor 14:33 RSV)

Last week’s blog included the sentence:  “Let the cacophony begin.” It has.

I have not intended to focus this blog on politics, but, like Moses’ experience with the burning bush, the current din of confusion in the political realm beckons me to turn aside to listen.  When I do, I hear that a significant component of the confusion involves the mistaken identification of national interests in self-protection with Christian motivations. Continue reading Confusion: Rights or Love

Tireless Exertions

A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Eccl 1:4 RSV

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.  Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

I was born in February of 1957, when the union still had only forty-eight states, three years after the US Supreme Court handed down the historic Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483), and just a few months before the first nine black students enrolled in Little Rock Arkansas schools implementing the ruling.  Local sit-in campaigns began at a Woolworth Continue reading Tireless Exertions

“Be Angry and Sin Not”

Eph 4:26 (Ps 4:5 [4])

My parents had a mixed marriage of sorts.  My mother had Quaker and strict Methodist heritage; my father was (still is, he would say) a United States Marine.  Mother taught me that I should avoid conflict, bear insult and injury with quiet grace, and, above all else, maintain control of my temper.  In her view, anger was always and only as dangerous and Continue reading “Be Angry and Sin Not”

Hamas!

 

And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is coming before me because the earth is full of violence (hamas) because of them.  Now I am about to destroy them along with the earth.  (Gen 6:13, my trans.)

 

The Priestly authors of portions of the Genesis narratives of the beginnings of the human race did not clearly elucidate their understanding of humanity’s responsibility for “subduing” the earth, but they did include statements that rule out any notion that this responsibility could include exploitation. In the Genesis 1 creation account, for example, Continue reading Hamas!

A Post-Memorial Day Reflection on the Lord’s Prayer

Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4

Memorial Day always elicits in me a sense of profound gratitude mixed with deep sorrow, the sentiments appropriate for prayerful contrition.  Wars are tragic, irrefutable evidence of human courage and human evil.  Memorial Day calls for gratitude and repentance.  The Lord’s Prayer came to my mind repeatedly Monday.  This blog will offer a brief reflection on Continue reading A Post-Memorial Day Reflection on the Lord’s Prayer

The Judge of All the Earth

                                                  God’s bodykins, man, much better:  Use every man after his                                                         desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?     (Hamlet II, 2, 500-501)

In addition to proclaiming God’s message to God’s people, Israel’s prophets traditionally also fulfilled the role of intercessor on behalf of the people with God.  Moses interceded for Israel after the Golden Calf incident, for example (Exod 32:11-13), arguing that, although the people had flagrantly violated their covenant relationship with God almost

Continue reading The Judge of All the Earth

The Letter Kills; the Spirit Gives Life

The early church affirmed the canonical authority of the Old Testament over the objections raised by some (Marcion, for example) that its focus on covenant-keeping (works legalism) and its portrayal of an “angry,” “violent” God do not comport with the Gospel’s message of grace and love. Nonetheless, the history of the church’s relationship

Continue reading The Letter Kills; the Spirit Gives Life