Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Saturday, August 09, 2014

"What kind of God do they serve?"

I remember it well.

The time I was sitting at the kitchen table in the home of a friend, stuffed to the gills with some of the finest authentic Indian cuisine you could ever imagine the pleasure of feasting upon, when the woman sitting beside me said something casually that struck me so deeply it left an indelible mark. The kind where your brain forms a new pathway to accommodate a revelation entirely novel to you, where your mind is pierced with a foreign concept that suddenly presents itself common knowledge and your perception irrevocably shifts.

It's the type of thing you don't easily forget.

With a matronly tsk, tsk, tsk, that let me know some profound thing was to follow, she simply said it was such a shame. What the Christian missionaries were doing in India. Working so hard to convert people from their beloved, historic religion to make them followers of Christ.

The woman was the mother in law of my friend, a devout, committed, lovely, hospitable, warm, compassionate and kind Hindu grandmother living in India, visiting the U.S.

I already held great respect and admiration for her, so when she made her claim, I had to give it credence - to try to see it from her point of view where the religion she loved and adamantly adhered to was under attack by evangelizing Christians in an attempt to save them from themselves. I could understand her grievance and figured if handed a different set of circumstances in life, over which I had no control, where I were in her exact shoes, I would likely maintain her precise position. I realized how much we actually had in common, she and I. We were both lovers of our faith, our deity, our method of worship.

We were both exclusiveists who believed our religion was The Right and Only One.

We were both, to an undeniable extent, a product of our environment.


In the last couple days I saw a question raised regarding the horrifically mournful conflict taking place in Iraq where Christians are being executed in droves.

"What kind of God do these people serve? Who would have them annihilate an entire group of people, including women and children?"

And I can't help but think of this:

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."

And this: 

Numbers 23:15-18 Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
And this:

Deuteronomy 2:32-34 When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, the Lord our God delivered him over to us and we struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army. At that time we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors. 

And lots of other examples. 

Then I wonder, if my husband or sons were Soldiers in God's Army would they have done this very thing, if commanded by The Lord? If so, would they believe themselves right and honorable and righteous and valiant? Would they see their commitment to the slaughtering of another sect of people an act of true and noble service while they gave thanks to God for the victory?  

Yes, they probably would. 

It would be the God of the Bible that told them to do so. 

He is the kind of God who would do that.

God granted entitlement is a complicated concept intricately bound by the perspective of the Deity one calls "Lord."  

One God's victorious obliteration of a nation is another God's devastating loss. 

Then the tables turn.

Lord help us all. It's a mess down here. Pretty sure we can't figure this out on our own.

Finally, finally, I *think* everyone here is on the mend. Meadow and Flint caught it too. 
Now, let the summer fun begin! ;)

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