God always wins
Kids “backyard bible school” this week, kind of like a mini-VBS. I have opted out of the activities. One child came home telling me about his roll in a skit, in which he plunged forward as he died, a smitten first born son of Egypt. I asked him if he thought it was a good idea to make fun of people being killed like that and asked him what the lesson of the story was. The lesson was, “God always wins.”
I guess it kind of fits in with a literalistic reading of the bible. When you take the historicity as fact, you are left with accepting the lessons at face value and seeing them all as good. Which can lead to this perspective:
“…given the huge disparity in the scale, intent, nature, and effects of these two actions (the Tenth Plague, Pharaoh’s death-labor and infanticide programs), and in light of the universal principles of moral governance, delayed judgment, and reciprocal morality, I have to conclude that God was acting well within the bounds of propriety in this action, and indeed, was ‘unreasonably’ lenient in this judgment on Pharaoh and Egypt.”
Of course there are so many theological directions to go with that stuff, even reading it as allegory. Who hardened Pharaoh’s heart? What price did Pharaoh pay in all this? But mostly I am saddened that backyard bible school is focusing on this side of God, when there are much better sides to present, especially to children. Is that the message of Jesus, “God always wins?” Wouldn’t they be better off with caring for God’s down trodden, or something like that?
A view something like this:
Jesus spent his life talking about God and helping people, forgiving his disciples for the stupid things they did, telling stories, healing people, and being an amazing, selfless person. He gave up everything to go out and give. He challenged the religious institution, materialism, and people’s lack of faith. There’s a lot of stuff in the gospels, but the short of it is: Jesus was amazing and he was killed; his disciples would not defend him at his crucifixion; he knew his situation, he did not defend himself, and he died on the cross.
That’s not such bad stuff whether read as historical fact or allegory. It gets back to what you want from your religion, acquiesence to a set of beliefs and rules, or a better way of living. Seems like a sad missed opportunity, and I don’t like the feeling of working against what they are learning.