I’m reading a biography on Pol Pot. I read “Shaking hands with the devil” – the book written by the leader of a UN peacekeeping corp that sat and watched as Rwanda exploded in a racial genocide – I have also read Peter Maas’ experiences in the midst of the Bosnian war as a journalist, I have protested for a free Tibet outside a Chinese embassy, I have given sandwiches to amputees in Ukraine, and held a lepers hand as he described his silent oppression by his home country.
There are grades of humanity.
Some we like and we let them come sit in our houses and enjoy our company. There are others we attempt to erase completely from histories pages.
These are the women who are kept behind closed doors we use only because we bore of masturbating, these are the children who put our shoes together. These are the people groups that we grow up hating for forgotten reasons.
These are the Tutsis, the Bosnians, the Cambodian intellectuals, the Jews, the Tibetans, the lepers, the HIV infected, the gays, the autistic kids in Ukraine, the blacks, the Mexican etc
The PEOPLE we decide aren’t really PEOPLE.
We demote them even lower than the chickens we slaughter for food – we enslave them, we rape them, we kill them.
I believe we get these ideals directly from our perception of God.
According to Hitler’s god, Jews are a lying scourge on the planet that needed to be wiped out. The French divided the Hutu and Tutsis on the basis of their physical appearance, setting them up for generations of racism and a false representation of God in their hearts that said certain peoples are worth more then others. Australia’s early convicts were punished by the clergy, setting us up to not only mistrust God and his people but also it ingrained in us a relationship between God and being rebellious.
You could go through the world and find these spiritual perceptions that have been handed down through hundreds of years that paint God in certain ways. And the implications of these paintings give us a perception of our fellow man.
I want to paint a picture of where my perception of God comes from a bit. I’ve only recently found this to be true and I’m not sure if its good or bad yet. But the God I serve and worship is an echo of a combination of my father, (if he was less hairy and had a grey beard) and my little sister.
My father is very gentle, very loving, loves stories and people and has seen some amazing things and is good at guiding you through experiences whilst freeing you to find answers yourself. My father is very anti- violence, pro community, committed to his marriage and his kids and isn’t what you would refer to as “socially fasionable” as he values people above social constructs.
My sister on the other hand is blunt, passionately opinionated and committed to the truth she holds to. She loves like a freight train, strong and hilariously lovely. She tells it how it should be told.
These two people would loudly admit to the fact that they are neither perfect or finished growing, but they communicate like God does. An echo.
I grew up seeing God as strangely vengeful and élite. It effected how I discussed things with people, how I saw my place in society, how I saw my love of people even into how I debated.
I believe God to be Trinitarian – fully communal.
I believe his holiness to come out of his love and commitment not the other way round.
If we see God as élite – we will become élite.
If we see God having specific favourites, we will have favourites.
If we see God as an academic, we will be academics.
We need to stare into the heart of God and see his will of reconciliation. Of and for all!
If Gods heart is for all – then we need to go to all.
If Gods heart is for the few – then we still need to go to the all to get the few.
If Gods heart is for Him to find them, leaving us as numb and atrophied limbs then we should stay and wait.
I have no conclusion yet on pre-election or Gods day to day sovereignty on the choices of Satan.
Irrelevant, I think, of those things – God commanded us to Go, to walk humbly, to do justice and to love mercy, to be the hands and feet, to live lives of prayer, to be a nice aroma and to bring heaven to earth.
If our belief in a theology translates to us leaving men, women and children in a hell on earth……
If our translation of one word, gives us permission to watch as a whole people group gets slaughtered…..
If we are so busy studying so that we can be right, that we ignore the hopeless and the desperate and the dying who are screaming out for the bread of life…. we should really rethink how we see God.
I don’t want to take hundreds of souls to heaven with me. As if it was a competition. I want to transform communities into life abundant zones.
And a perception of God that he only wants certain ones makes me want to vomit.