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Good Morning.

You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. (Exodus 22:28)

There is another interesting interpretation of this instruction is related thematically to what we discussed yesterday. There are commentators who feel that the word elohim could be understood as “gods” (which is technically true), meaning that God’s people are not to mock or speak disparagingly of the “gods” that are esteemed by others. In other words, even though we vehemently disagree with them and do not recognize their gods as being God, we should not them, their views or their faith. This is intriguing to say the least and certainly challenging considering our position that there is only One God — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  

I concede that this is debatable, however, I would point out that Paul did not seem to speak critically of the gods of Greece. When in Athens, rather than mocking their views and belief in false gods, he used their belief in “the unknown God” to make known to them the One God. I have always found it fascinating, and admirable, that Paul didn’t mock and criticize but appealed to their love of philosophy and their own “logic” as it were to speak truth to them. He didn’t tear their views down in order to build his up. This should not be interpreted to mean that we are to speak of these gods in a supportive way or that we are to condone worship of these gods by anyone. It is to demonstrate that our focus should be to lift up and sanctify the One and Only God. How we do that matters. 

Let’s be honest: using degrading and disparaging language about someone and their belief creates distance between people which makes it difficult to have a conversation. There are some whose positions and worldview make it nearly impossible to have a conversation with, I admit, nevertheless we are commissioned to make disciples of all nations, which means all beliefs. I would argue that, while we are not to mix true worship with false worship, when it comes to presenting the One and only God to other, we will be more successful if we aren’t focused on tearing them down. We don’t have to do that in order to lift Him up.

Blessings and Shalom,  

 

Bill  

 

 

 

 

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