Sunday, June 26, 2005

Can't Stay Away from Abraham

Despite the warnings of some theologically astute readers, I couldn't leave Abraham's story well enough alone this morning. When the lesson from Genesis 22: 1-14 described his attempt to sacrifice his son Isaac in response to God's test, I couldn't let that go without comment. Something compels me to speak up.

To weakly defend this text, I offered how some people might interpret this story as God rejecting child sacrfice, which could have been a prevelant practice in those days. But why such a horrific and appalling object lesson?

Maybe Abraham is the scapegoat of our negative feelings because God is the principle character in this story, as the provider, initiator and tester. After all, it isn't proper or polite to think poorly of God, so we transfer our rage and outrage on good old Abe. Because otherwise, we might get zapped or something.

The upshot was my hope that people would feel free to think of God as a bastardo when merited, because sometimes that's the only responsible theological conclusion we can reach. The world needs more discerning and critical thinkers, these days especially. Amen.

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