Tomorrow we will end our sermon series on “Strange Places in the Bible” where we have looked at verses that science has disproven or that are simply too awful to obey anymore. The last piece of that series will look at the command supposedly given by God to the Israelites to kill all the men, women, children and farm animals of their victims (even the poor little donkeys!)
Obviously when we see this kind of verse in other scriptures (read Koran) we see those religions (read Islam) as inherently violent and a threat to humankind. But this passage is as horrific as it gets and it is sitting right there in our own scripture.
To understand the spiral of violence I will also look at this NY Times story of two disgruntled workers that escalated to murder. Whether it is a person or a nation there are steps into a violent worldview. Can we learn the steps back out?
Spoiler alert: We will then look at the Sermon on the Mount as a call out of the kinds of group arrogance, mindless obedience and scapegoating that lead us into the spiral of violent thinking.