Monday, July 14, 2014

What's poison?

I raised a possibly disturbing question in my post on "good for you". Surely there's not poison in the Bible! Well, think about it. Even the best fertilizer will burn a young plant. And the wrong fertilizer will lead to lots of green growth but no fruit. So are these poison? Yes - truth improperly applied is falsehood.

But you can hold on to prejudice concerning perfection for the time being.

A few things I thought of while contemplating Psalm 2 and a book on the Suffering of God by Terrence Fretheim (Fortress Press 1984): Psalm 2 presents God and the human ruling jointly. One poison that can be taken from it is fear, specifically the fear that the rule of God is a domination structure, an unconditional set of orders. What kind of God is the God who is worthy of worship? How does God rule? True enough there is ridicule and derision in Psalm 2 but there is also a hint of humour, and an invitation to responsibility. The kindling with a touch of wrath is the gift of a sensitive conscience, to speak in human terms. There is refuge also and a completion of the opening command of Psalm 1 to be happy.

So hold on to prejudice but bear in mind it may need tweaking to allow some of this light to get in through the cracks. Bear also in mind that our prejudice may be a defense mechanism, designed to prevent light from entering into us because of a deep-seated dread that one prefers not to face.  To paraphrase those last few commands (invitations) of Psalm 2, fear a little in your service - tremble with joy, and kiss with purity - more on this later as we move into turning, the first of my five petals.