Should God be obeyed? Should the government? Does Christianity have an Answer?

Washigton Post: By Robert A. Burt, Published: April 7

Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly doubts humanity’s worth. We see these misgivings in the book of Genesis, when God decides to kill nearly all of humanity in a great flood because of our evil proclivities. Or when He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because of their residents’ sinfulness. Or in Exodus, when God resolves to kill the Israelites, whom He has rescued from slavery in Egypt because of their idolatry of a golden calf, until Moses persuades Him otherwise.

The biblical narratives also record doubts on humanity’s side — doubts about the worth of obeying God and about his plans for us. By highlighting this aspect of humanity’s relationship with God, the Bible reveals itself in an unexpected light: as a guidebook for confronting authority — secular political authority as well as religious authority.

Try reading the Bible as if you didn’t know the endings to its stories. The book is filled with gripping accounts of people facing crises, with resolutions that are far from clear. When Abraham, in obedience to God’s command, binds his son, Isaac, on an altar and raises his knife over him, neither knows that the killing will be interrupted. When Jesus’s disciples learn of his death and are overwhelmed by grief and fear, they don’t know that He will return to them. When Jesus himself utters his last words from the cross — “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?,” according to the Gospels of Mark and Matthew — He doesn’t know that God will welcome Him in Heaven.


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