Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Purges - Then and Now

Part 2 of "Hypocrisy Revealed"

After a good breakfast consisting of a pot of coffee and a bowl of HoneyComb cereal in strawberry yogurt, I'm ready to go! (if that ain't enough to get someone goin', I don't know what is!)

Yesterday, I listed a few of the acts of hate committed by various religious groups, including Christians, Muslims and Jews. I detailed the purge of Canaan under Joshua from the Old Testament book by the same name. This purge was commanded by God, according to scripture. But why was it commanded?

Purging the evil from Canaan was necessary, according to the Word, because the Canaanites would corrupt God's People from His way. (Since the Israelites did not completely follow through with God's edict and made treaties with some of the Canaanites, we know this to be true.) But wasn't there another way?

I have struggled with this for many years. I believe civilization, as a whole, is like a person growing up. In the beginning, civilization was immature. Young children are treated in a certain way. I know from experience that you cannot explain something to a three-year-old logically. They simply cannot comprehend it.

As civilization matured, the way God handled disobedience matured along with it. From corporal punishment, He moved on to something more meaningful to an older society - restriction (exile). When His people disobeyed, they were "grounded" for 70 years in Assyria and Babylon.

Now that civilization is fully matured, He uses logic (Logos, or His Word) to get our attention. In His inerrable conclusion, civilization, or society is now an adult and can be handled as an adult. "If you're going to live under my roof, you will obey my rules."

As of the time of Christ, purges were no longer the work of God, but the work of Satan. In fact, after Acts 10 (the conversion of the gentile Cornelius), the title of "God's Chosen People" was no longer restricted to the people of Israel. Therefore, hating gentiles simply because they were gentiles was no longer acceptable before God. In God's eyes, Christ and His followers were the new "God's Chosen People", and those who were left behind were not.

I believe that, in God's eyes, purges were acceptable at one point, but He believes them to no longer be acceptable. In the same way that a young child responds to a properly-delivered spanking as punishment - not retribution, a young civilization responds to purges. In the same way a teenager responds to restriction, an adolescent civilization responds to exile. In the same way a young adult responds to logical arguments, so does an adult civilization.

I hope this explains why purges are no longer necessary (and haven't been for at least 2,500 years), or desired in God's eyes. For more about this subject, tune in Monday.

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