Thus goes the legend of the magic flying carpet. I did not need a magic carpet tonight as I took a journey into another world. I went to the movies and watched The Water Diviner. I will not talk about the movie as that may ruin it for others, I gave it 4 stars, it was excellent Russell Crowe has made a great movie.
What I wanted to talk about is kind of touched upon in the movie and that is war. It is said that the victors write the history books, I think this is a truism but it is a past truism, with the advent of the internet it is not hard to find an alternative narrative about current events and past. For as long as I can remember one of the things that has puzzled me is how in a war one side can claim victory was given to them by God. During the last Rugby World Cup I had some words to say about someone who was claiming that the victory by the All Blacks was because God blessed them. The antonym of that is that God cursed the French…. it just did not bear scrutiny, I denounced it as heretical thinking. I guess in some peoples minds it is easier to claim a victory for God when the other side are not Christian but how does that work in these cases, The American Civil War? Both sides would claim they were believers, undoubtedly the South deeply but the South lost, now some may say that God saw slavery as an abomination, good luck with arguing that from a biblical perspective. I think it is morally wrong but I don’t claim a biblical justification to the view.
In World War Two, the Germans invoked their Christian God as much as the English, both sides prayed and in a foxhole I doubt that there are many atheists. I guess for me it is offensive to claim a viewpoint as being biblical or christian when it is a matter of selective morality. I remember a friend asking me what I though of the National Government coming in, they said they were pleased that it was a moral Government. I venture to suggest that they may not hold that point of view any more. What they really meant is that they proposed policies that fitted with their view of a moral and just society that they purported as christian. What an absolute nonsense. I think that if Jesus were to return today he would stay away from the churches, in my experience the church has a mortgage on judgement and holding the moral high ground that is not backed up by the scriptures. They tout giving budget advice as a christian work yet invest their money with the institutions that pay the highest interest and call that being good stewards, bah humbug, I would like to say worse but I am trying not to cuss so much these days. I will talk about my vision of what the church could be doing in another post, today I want to talk about war.
The truth is that we are at war every day, it is not always about guns, our wars are about resources, the scarcer the resource the more we fight for it. Consumerism drives this, an ever increasing desire to have more than we need, to ensure we have good capital gain on our housing, to ensure that we do not pay too much tax, to keep the unemployed and non working on a short lead lest they have ideas above their station and get for free that which we work so hard for. The water diviner gave me a renewed perspective on the futility of war, it stimulated an interest in Turkey and it made me think about Islam. A good film that transported me to another place for a period of time.
As sallam, Shalom, Peace and love to all,