VENGEANCE-Now here is a word (concept) that is near and dear to my heart in a negative way. My basic concept and belief is that vengeance has absolutely no place in our lives. So why am I so different from the rest of the world? Literally all so-called civilized nations as well as the three Abrahamic religions have vengeance as their common seat of operation. All legal systems are based on a revengeful punishment system for misbehavior. How many times have we witnessed a wronged family express glee when a sentence of major proportion is handed down, or express disappointment and disdain if a sentence lighter than expected is rendered? Why do you suppose that is? I think without doubt it stems from the Jewish religion and perpetuated by Christianity and Islam.
The Old Testament is rife with revenge not only being tolerated by God, but rather being both extoled and delivered by him. In Deuteronomy, God tells the Israelites if a hostile city accepts peace terms, enslave them all. If they won’t accept peace terms, kill all the men and take their fair women as additional wives. God commanded them to kill every person in the pagan cities of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.—“you must doom them all”. Do not some sects of Islam believe it is their ‘God-given” command to exterminate every infidel? Do not all Christian religions teach a vengeful God that will condemn you to eternal hell for breech of his commands?
Jesus taught us that our only duty was to love our God with our all and to love our neighbor as ourselves—whatever happened to that teaching? I was raised in the Catholic Church and have attended mass regularly for eighty two years—I have never heard one single solitary sermon preached on that theme of love—not one. I have often wondered why—I think I know. If any religion admitted to and adhered to that teaching of Jesus, there would be absolutely no reason for their existence. They must continue teaching the philosophy of a vengeful God in order to justify their existence—after all, they hold the keys to the Kingdom right in their hands. Not only that, but sometimes they smirkingly dangle them before your face. Almost everyone knows they have power which we do no have—we are just peons, not much better than the Hittites etc.
As I listen to homilies Sunday after Sunday, I hear of God’s mercy, never God’s love. Since we are all dreadful sinners, God has two choices—either show mercy and forgive us or send us to hell. Of course that mercy is ‘dished out’ by the Church—in exchange for our money and time. Never mind that we are sinners because God made us to be that way. Never mind that Jesus died to guarantee everyone’s salvation. Never mind that Jesus told us our only obligation was to love God and neighbor—after all, what Jesus said and did (died for us) really doesn’t count—it was just a ‘down-payment’. We must pay the balance to the Church.
When Constantine gave (commanded ) the so-called bishops to form a religion of their liking, that was the end to Jesus’ real teaching. Jesus said “Moses gave you the ten commandments (to keep you in line), but I give you two—both love” (paraphrased). Have you noticed that there is never any power, money and control associated with love?—I have. There is plenty of power, money and control associated with vengeance—the God of the Old Testament is ‘alive and well’—Jesus’s God died in the year 325AD.
In my humble opinion, the human race is destined and doomed to a continued life of guilt and misery with absolutely no chance for peace until and if ever our attitude turns to the Jesus God and away from the God of the Old Testament. The Old Testament God Was vengeful and hurtful—he played favorites. Of course that was all in the minds of those who ‘dreamed him up’. The Jesus God is all love—wouldn’t hurt a flea—Jesus accepted all the hurt—Jesus showed us God’s Perfect Love. That vision didn’t satisfy the greedy hierarchy at all—no power, money , control.
If I sound cynical, you read correctly. Furthermore, if you have noticed what I have, and would like a deeper understanding, please read my two little books, Wilderness cry and Peace in Spirituality. Both published by Covenant Books and both available world wide Amazon et al.