Saturday, 7 July 2012
When you first encounter evil the instinctive reaction is to battle against it and destroy it, or at least defeat it. As you slowly come to realize that this approach does not work the injunction to love your enemies and pray for those who abuse you becomes more attractive. Usually this is a last resort.
When you first encounter God you assume that He will win everything hands down. As you come to know God better you realize that this is not the case. God is non-violent and our agreement is voluntary.
"But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear." Zechariah 7:11 (NRSV)
But there was no punishment.
God can lose.
We can refuse.
But God is non-violent.
There will be no punishment.
God looks for improvement not victory over evil.
Improvement in our caring, improvement in our loving. More warmth, more friendship. Less fear, more love.
This is in harmony with the social justice message of the prophets.
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)
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