Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Israel and a quandary of faith - thinking aloud

There are times when I wish that I'd never been grasped by the good news proclaimed by (and of) Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of faith. I am ashamed, far too frequently, of the bigotry and intolerance shown by his followers, the unhealthy obsession with sex, as well as the historically imperialist ambitions of Christendom. The self congratulatory indulgence of being saved, of what Jesus has done for "me"(the emphasis being more on the me than the Saviour), I find rather nauseating at times. For me the central message is one of justice and fairness, the bringing in of the Kingdom (although I'd prefer it to be a republic), to be fought for and attained through non-violent means.

Yes I have known, and know, the joyful knowledge of being accepted and loved just as I am; I have experienced the gifts of the spirit, even the trivial glossolalia, though I could argue the case for this being self-delusion. I have been blessed, in spite of struggles, with many God-incidences (events which have felt far more purposeful than mere co-incidence) which have turned my life around, but not without a cost to myself.

The weekend events, of Israeli piracy in international waters, have brought to the fore much of my unease with having any kind of attachment to Jesus's Dad. Wasn't the heavenly Father of Jesus the self-same YHWH who led the Hebrew people to the bloodthirsty conquest of Palestinian lands those thousands of years back? I have a suspicion that the theology of Israel only began as a justification for the rapaciousness of this section of Abraham's children. The God who is given the credit for their liberation from captivity in Egypt is the same one who guided and condoned their theft of the lands which subsequently became Israel and Judah. No doubt it is the same Yahweh who condones their barbaric acts today.

Was the Father to whom Jesus prayed that self-same YHWH; had YHWH had a change of heart?

As I said at the beginning, an essential part of my being grasped by the good news is an attachment to non-violence but, my all too human heart would not be totally saddened by the overthrow of the Israeli nation state, which was, after all, established through acts of terrorism from 1939 onwards.

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