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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Whose side is God on?

I am not a Christian, or a believer in the inerrancy of the Bible. Far from it, I think the Bible is a mixture of tribal ignorance, blind prejudice and wise insights, all written by all-too-fallible men (some say the author of Luke was a woman, but I don’t think so).

One of my favourite passages, as for many other people, is Psalm 23. I think it bears close analysis and careful consideration as to the meanings that it contains, but I shan’t try that here. Here it is, complete:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

In this link there is an interview with Rabbi Kushner, Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in the Boston suburb of Natick, Massachusetts. He likes this psalm, too, and it has helped him deal with difficulties in his life. However, there are some points in which I believe he is amazingly mistaken. Here is an example. He says,

“This is a scary, out-of-control world, but it doesn't scare me, because I know that God is on my side, not on the side of the hijacker.”

What makes him so sure that God is not on the side of the hijacker, too? I don’t believe God takes sides, preferring one human being, or one group, over another. We have to move past this mentality where we are appealing to God to look after us and not the one who displeases us. It’s the very mentality that drives the hijackers themselves, I wonder why Rabbi Kushner does not see this?

2 comments:

  1. Hi Malcolm. I too believe that God is there equally for everyone. Thanks for raising this interesting thought.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember a young Peace Corps volunteer who came to visit at our school two years ago. She brought stickers for our kids that said, "God bless the whole world, no exceptions." I liked that very much. Unfortunately, it didn't go over very well in our very conservative, Republican neighborhood... Sigh.

    sue

    ReplyDelete

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