Friday, April 13, 2007

The Chesterton/Lewis quote for the day

Man, GK Chesterton is arguably just as quotable as CS Lewis. What a man!

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

This quote is so dead on. It's amazing how Christ centralizes the nature of one's enemies. For Christ it's his tribesmen... the elders and neighbors from within his own people who seek his life. It's the king of Jerusalem who kills the children in Bethlehem. It's the Egyptians who shelter. The Romans have no particular gripe with him, but the Jewish people want him dead. Joseph's brothers actually trade him in primarily because they are jealous of his skills, but the foreigners make him a prince when they realize his gifts. And hey, Jesus was blunt about the fact that a prophet has honor except in his home town. Ever tried to evangelize a parents or sibling? Yeah...

As with so many other points in the Scriptures, it's not just about the Jews or the specific characters mentioned. The point, once we accept that we're reading God's stories, is that we all fit into the pericopes. Rivalry is most often internal.

Even within our faith communities the dichotomy can be intersting. I've rarely heard a Protestant or Muslim say anything against me going to seminary, or looked at me askance for prioritizing the spiritual path. They also tend to be very supportive of the benefits of a formal theological education. "How good for you to take time out and learn your faith!". My own people, on the other hand, frequently fear trained theologians. They crucify their best as being "liberals" or "not pastoral". It's an odd gun-pointed-at-foot complex that this church has at times. Perhaps we're not the only one. Chesterton and the Scripture would both seem to indicate that it's more of a human religious phenomenon.


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