Undone by Love: The Alien

Last week we talked about the earth as neighbor, one who shows us compassion. She provides the possibility of life, so it seems a peculiar act of violence to carve her up like the concubine at Gibeah (Judges 19). We imagine ourselves as God separating the light from the dark. In a tragically misguided sense, that is exactly what we are doing.  The lines we draw, the cuts we make, the wounds we leave — on each side of those lines are people.

Of course, violence begets violence. I’m an American.  She is a Mexican.  These are Indians and those are Pakistanis.  Ireland and England.  China and Tibet.  America and Iran.  The conflict seems eternal, so we patrol those borders and penetrate them as our needs dictate.

If we can’t conquer, we convert.  “We” go to “them” and tell “them” how “they” can be like “us.”  If they just work hard enough and adopt our form of virtue, they can become our mirror reflecting our glory back to us.  Growing up an evangelical Christian, we called that “missions.”

When we go over there and convince them how great we and our ways are, they naturally want to come here to experience that greatness first-hand.  It turns into more violence – and not just drug wars and anti-immigration vigilantes.  The line between America and Mexico runs straight through the middle of millions of families and individuals.  The lines we draw can cleave a body in two.

Please join us this Sunday, 11am at the Kessler, as we talk about immigration, missions, and the redemptive power of border-crossing.

Comments 2

  1. Hello Scott,
    I had two questions. 1. Do you have articles/sources that talk about a response to the lack of evidence of the exodus? I am more interested in hearing a conversation or someone’s opinion on the value and significance of the stories/accounts and their significance to people/culture– than proving or disproving it. I thought it was interesting. 2. Is there information online about the Abrahams Center you mentioned?

    Thanks

  2. Post
    Author

    Alexandria,

    1. For the historical or archaeological view about the historicity of Exodus, it seems to be a given among scholars. Both of my introductory texts (http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Hebrew-Bible-John-Collins/dp/0800629914/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342512747&sr=1-1&keywords=introduction+to+the+hebrew+bible+by+john+j.+collins and http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Ancient-Israel/dp/0664224369/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342512862&sr=1-2&keywords=brief+history+of+israel) on the Hebrew Bible seem to assume that it did not happen as recorded in the text. But for what you are asking, I think you would need to look for a commentary written from a critical theory perspective. I found a feminist commentary that includes an article by my Hebrew teach, Dr. Susanne Scholz (http://www.amazon.com/Feminist-Companion-Exodus-Deuteronomy-Second/dp/1841270792/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342512377&sr=1-1&keywords=feminist+reading+of+exodus) and another that covers a variety of critical approaches (http://www.amazon.com/Methods-Exodus-Biblical-Interpretation/dp/0521883679/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342512377&sr=1-3&keywords=feminist+reading+of+exodus). I was surprised that there wasn’t a post-colonial commentary.

    2. I’m not sure what you are referring to. I have posted the sermon (http://churchinthecliff.org/?p=1257), so if it was something that was written down and not in the course of the conversation, you might be able to pick it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *