Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Troubling Thoughts: David, a Terrorist, Thief, Liar...

David of the Jewish and Christian Bible receives much adulation from so many religious people, but I find his immoral actions very troubling. I am confused by his overly conscientious scruples but, contradictorily, brazen violations of some of the 10 Commandments in their essential meaning. This is not even considering or dealing with when he became king, committed adultery and killed one of his own soldiers. His sinful actions started long before that.

As a young adult, he lived as a terrorist in the strongholds of the desert and attacked towns (I Samuel 22:1-2, 27:9). How is he a man after God’s own heart, the apple of God’s eye when he acts like Osama ben Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Surely, David’s more like a rotten apple.

I guess like most of us. None of us are as we should be; certainly, I struggle, too, to live in God’s love to others, and not live in self-centeredness.

But David actions are horrible. He is supposed to be a spiritual example for us. While he feels guilty for a minor wrong action that hurt no one, he brazenly violates essential ethics. He kills two hundred men, mutilates their sexual organs, giving their foreskins to King Saul so he can marry the king’s daughter Michal! (I Samuel 18:26-30). Then the verses say that “the Lord was with David” and “that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.”

What?! No wonder that the nonreligious and the skeptical have doubts about Christian faith. Ben Laden and the Taliban don’t even act as evilly as this.

How can David be so conscientious, yet commit such abhorrent acts?

When King Saul is sleeping, David secretly cuts a corner of King Saul’s robe. I Samuel 24:5: “David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.” Seems very conscientious here, does he not?

Yet, David shows no sorrowful guilt for the repeated slaughter of women as well as men (I Samuel 27:9). This wasn’t self-defense; the people hadn’t attacked him; besides, killing women smacks of modern terrorists like Ben Laden who kill not only enemy soldiers, but unarmed women.

Then David steals their possessions to boot! It’s bad enough to kill people in towns, but to then take their possessions while they lay there bleeding! That reminds me what the atheist revolutionary Che Guevara did: stole an individual’s wrist watch after killing him.

Then David lies about his terrorist acts (1 Samuel 27:10-12).

Furthermore, he then takes a widow to be his wife soon after her husband dies. Plus, he marries another woman too, Ahimoam. He thus has two wives (I Samuel 25:39-43), neither of them his wife Michal that he killed two hundred men for. Should he not have waited and tried to get Michal back, especially since she helped him escape (I Samuel 19:11-13)?

It would appear that David also violates the law against coveting too, is into revenge such as telling others to get revenge for him after his own death:-(. Etc.

But let’s stop here…

Now, of course, apologists try and excuse David’s immoral behavior. They point out that standards were different, that this was before Christ, etc. But that is all beside the point. David is supposed to be a shining example, a prefigure of Christ, which he is not, by any stretch of the imagination.

It is not so surprising that later David commits adultery and kills one of his own countrymen. He had violated the most basic of ethical truths early on in his life.
What a very sad commentary.

Don’t look to David; look to Jesus.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, May 24, 2010

Be Perfect, as Your Heavenly Father is Perfect

God, contrary to what many theologians claim, isn’t self-focused, doesn’t seek his own glory, never acts for himself. On the contrary the wondrous glory of Jesus’s God, is eternal love--that of a loving, forgiving, self-sacrificing father. The opposite of the sovereign determiner, the true God is endless, limitless love for every human being ever born and ever to be born.

Of course, this doesn’t make rational factual sense; it’s the “foolishness of the Good News.” Like the foolishness of holding that all humans are created equal, when we all darn well know that no humans, from a factual scientific point of view, are equal in any shape or form—not mentally, not physically, not economically…

But ideally, spiritually, transcendentally, humans are all equal, all precious, all valued.

Consider Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son where the father waits, watching, longing, and then embracing his formerly rebellious, sinful son who squandered his inheritance. (Luke 15:11-32)

This is the God who is love of I John, I Corinthians 13, Luke.

And the message for us is that we are to be perfect like God is perfect. How is that? Obviously, not in infinite ultimateness, nor in any or all of the omni's that religious people like to throw up skyward, attempting to describe the glory of God.

No, Jesus says we are to be perfect like our heavenly father is perfect by loving all others--that means everybody. (Matthew 5:48, the Sermon on the Mount)

We are called to perfection like Martin Luther King says in his famous statement: "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."

We live in God's love and let God's eternal love spring up to others.

We won't become perfect for a long, long, long time, but now is the time to start:-).

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox