Thursday, October 11, 2007

Old Testament War and Politics-Yikes!

My family has always been pretty conservative politically. I adopted as much of the GOP's dogma as I understood at a fairly young age. However, since my senior year of high school, my political preconceptions have been challenged by Social Studies classes, literature, and the University Foundations classes at SPU. More recently, I have even felt that a same questioning politically is going through my whole family- Gasp!! Not anything like my mom is going to jump on the Obama wagon for '08, but I feel like we are all kind of rethinking what it means to be conservative and how God does and should fit into our political thinking. I know I certainly am. Today I had a particular lecture in my scriptures class that challenged my typical thinking of war. We looked at some of the war in the Old Testament that is often used as partial justification for today's current war. Professor Lim first gave us several ways to understand war in the Old Testament. He revealed that the purpose of war for the Israelites was to receive the land promised in 'Redemptive History'. Also that God would attack nations according to their wickedness not because of the Israelites rightouesness. This righteousness sounds to me a lot like the "perfect government" that America seems to want to give to Iraq. Are we attacking Iraq because of our righteousness or their wickedness?

My professor went on to argue that God is always at war througout the Bible. Throughout Exodus and the conquest of the promised lands, God fights flesh of the enemies of Israel. As they break the covenant, God then has to fight Israel. Jesus then comes to fight the powers and authorities of earth and commands the church to do so. The last stage of war described in the Bible is the final one in Revalation. He almost got to the point of arguing that this speaks strongly against the war but then he charged that of course the Old Testament is still important and applicable today. Anyway, I hope no one thinks I'm being completely indoctrinated and brainwashed. I am of course approaching everything slowly for fear of becoming the stuck college know-it-all that thinks his eyes have been opened from the oppression of ignorance.

1 comment:

Southworth Sailor said...

Mom's beginning to wonder is she should have written that check for fall tuition :)