Thursday, March 24, 2011

If They Hear Not Moses and the Prophets

Photo of the "Parable of Lazarus and Abraham" taken by Fergal Claddagh. 

This Gospel always scares me to death. What if I had not been born after Christ walked the earth?  What if I had lived when Moses did and I did not have the Gospels?  What if I did not have the benefit of Our Lady of Fatima?  Would I have believed?  Would I be begging for someone to help cool the flames to which I had been condemned? 

"Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe" - John 20:29


  1. Well, it's fruitless to engage in such hypotheticals. You would have been a completely different person.

    Speaking of the OT, I've been read Deuteronomy the last few days, and I'm having trouble accounting for what God dictates, especially in chapter 20. This is not a loving God. Read this:

    "When you march up to attack a city, first offer it terms of peace.
    If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor.
    But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you battle, lay siege to it,
    and when the LORD, your God, delivers it into your hand, put every male in it to the sword;
    but the women and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth plundering you may take as your booty, and you may use this plunder of your enemies which the LORD, your God, has given you.
    "That is how you shall deal with any city at a considerable distance from you, which does not belong to the peoples of this land.
    But in the cities of those nations which the LORD, your God, is giving you as your heritage, you shall not leave a single soul alive.
    You must doom them all-the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites-as the LORD, your God, has commanded you,
    lest they teach you to make any such abominable offerings as they make to their gods, and you thus sin against the LORD, your God.

    There are several other passages that seem just as cruel. How do we reconcile this with the compassionate God of later in the Bible? Can someone help me with this? It's really bothering me.

  2. Manny I have to tell you that I, too, struggle with such readings. You can always do a Google search on the reading and see what scholars have to say about it. Also, it's important to remember that a lot of what seems like advocacy for murder and pillaging is not always meant to be taken literally. Leviticus is another book full of stuff that makes me say "Huh?" There's all kinds of warnings about men with bald heads and sores on their bald heads, etc. I kid you not! LOL I'm not smart enough to know what it all means.

    Perhaps one of our other friends has some insight they can offer.

  3. The way I see it, God has no favourites. Every single one of us gets our chance/s to enjoy Eternal life with God. Not sure how it works out, but I'm sure it does!!

    1 Peter 3:18-20a: For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey . . .

    1 Peter 4:5-6 4:5 But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.

  4. Well, seeing as how I just lost my entire comment (DOH!)--I will try again. Perhaps I need to be briefer.
    I agree with Joyce, that the OT is a different animal in terms of understanding the context and style in which it was written. I think if you could talk to an OT scholar, he or she would be able to explain how those sorts of passages fit in to the whole. I do think that is an important point, that to section out any passage to stand on its own, can change its meaning. The Bible is like a living thing, if you will. It all goes together,and to read and understand those really ancient texts, one has to have some understanding about the whole Bible.
    I have a book called Understanding the Scriptures, By Scott Hahn that I highly recommend. As you may already know, he is 1. A Bible scholar; 2. A convert, and 3. really smart. He covers the OT as well as the New.

    I wold not allow things like this to disturb you too much. We know the end of the story!
    Peace, Brother!

  5. Thank you Kelly. I am very familiar with Scott Hahn. He's brilliant. I'll look for that book.


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