Al Ha VeDa על הא ודא

Whatever I feel like

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


The latest hot topic in Mozilla blog-land is God.

It started when Gerv went into hospital with appendicitis, and asked "Those Christians among you, please pray that he would trust continually in Christ as his strength and as his Creator!".

I and others of Gerv's friends and colleagues added our prayers to the comments on his blog, in spite of not being Christians, and, ברוך רופא חולים, Gerv was soon back minus his appendix, saying:

…thank you to all of you who commented wishing me the best. I must first stress that the sentiment is very much appreciated in all cases…However, I'm afraid I'd have to respectfully disagree with a couple of the theological statements. It may offend people to say it, but it's true - anyone praying who wasn't praying to the one true God of the Bible was wasting their time.

Now this really put the cat among the pigeons. Commenters had a field day, and jesus_x and aebrahim wrote blog entries of their own, which also inspired lively rounds of comments.

It's hard for me to tell whether Gerv's views are representative of Christianity in general. The suggestion that Muslims and Jews are "worshipping and relating to a false image of God - an idol" is not what I have heard from the Christians I have met and talked to at ecumenical conferences and elsewhere, and not what I read in Lumen Gentium.

In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.

Then there is the passage from C. S. Lewis' "The Last Battle" which I alluded to in one of my own comments:

"If any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it now, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash the deed is accepted.

That passage, like many others in the Narnia books which I read and reread in my formative years, was a big influence on my own religious thinking.

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