Opinion: God of Abraham, Jacob and Israel is too violent
4 months ago, 17 June 11:01
A strong and effervescent Christian friend recently returned to Kenya from a highly inspired and precious pilgrimage to Israel, the Holy Land.
After listening to his excitement and increased faith, I asked him, “Tell me something. When you read about the too many murders in the Old Testament of the Bible and stop to consider the uncountable human crimes, atrocities and murders taking place in Israel and Palestine today particularly fueled by Israeli’s egocentrism, do you still think that country is really a Holly Land? Do you still see God’s presence out there?”
The question caught him unaware and didn’t amuse him. He fumbled for an answer as he glowed with the inspiration of having been to the Holly Land and closer to God.
His answer began with, “You see, God created man and gave him freedom to choose between good and bad.” I knew I had lost the game to his absolute belief.
During the 1990 Gulf War, I witnessed something interesting but worrying. It was between US President George W Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. That was when Bush was planning to drive Saddam out of Kuwait which he had invaded and annexed precipitating the Gulf War led by America.
I watched Saddam going to the desert and kneeling, praying to Allah to help him destroy the enemy. After praying he threatened the Americans that God was on his side and American soldiers would not cross the desert before being wiped out. At the same time I saw President Bush praying to God to help America destroy the enemy.
Where did God stand between the two countries?
Obviously, both Bush and Saddam were strong believers in their God. They behaved as if there was a God for Muslims and a God for Christians; but not the universal Almighty God responsible for all creation. If I was God, I wondered, what stand would I take between Bush and Saddam Hussein?
Then the war broke out and American soldiers and their coalition forces killed Muslims, destroyed the country and its president in the name of the Christian God. Christians won against Muslims, isn’t it?
When I went to school during the colonial days, the first thing we were forced to do was recite the Bible about the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Then, as we advanced in education, we read many things in the Bible regarding the might of the children of Israel and how close they were to God.
Those conversant with the Old Testament know how biased and murderous the God of Abraham and Israel was to other non-Jews who were depicted as enemies.
The Old Testament has stories after stories regarding how God helped Jews destroy their enemies who simply were non-Jews. The story of David and Goliath stands out as an illustration. Goliath was a Philistine.
The word “Philistine” comes from “Paleshet” meaning invaders. In essence, Philistines and Palestinians could be the same community.
I was disturbed when our teachers and church preached contradictions with regard to the nature of God. On one hand, Jehovah, the Almighty, ...
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