One-world government, Isaiah style (wake up, don’t believe the parts about God’s enemies)

Isaiah 9:1-7

For Isaiah, Christmas is all about one-world government:

“For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”

How is this to happen? Not by conquest, but by making war irrelevant. War itself is overthrown. But how? Isaiah’s answer – people finally wake up and see the light:

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.”

Isaiah believed that the world could have a happy ending after all, simply as a result of everyone waking up and seeing the light. And I don’t believe that means everyone will convert to Christianity. It means everyone realizes that God already loves them; we don’t have a deity problem anymore. We never did. God is pro-Earth and all its inhabitants. Put it to rest. Forget about the verses that say people are God’s enemies. Re-interpret them. Look at them from a sociological perspective, or reject them outright but whatever you do, don’t believe them. Wake up and see the light, and let’s get governing.

 

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Theocratic times: Advent edition (alternate ending)

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

For all its benefits, the trouble with theocracy is that you never know what God is going to do next. It makes it hard to plan and budget. It just becomes so inconvenient to start making plans for God only to have him ask you where you came up with that crazy idea. Acting on God’s behalf is notoriously tricky, even for God’s hand picked aces.

But let’s not be too hard on King David for wanting to build God a house. After all, God had been painstakingly delivering all of David’s enemies and even some enemies’ wives into his hands. It only seemed fitting that God’s house should be at least as nice as David’s (Who better than David to identify with the need to come home, kick back and put your feet up after a long day of sword whetting on Philistine skulls?). And really, it’s kind of embarrassing when your house has more bling than your deities’:

“See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” That’s cute David, but the “tent” was God’s idea, the heavens are his footstool and he’s the one building you an eternal kingdom. Yahweh is not high-maintenance.

It’s a good thing kings always eventually figure out how to do God’s will most of the time, otherwise we’d have a litany of tragic monarchies to show for it.

 

Theocratic times: Advent edition

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

For all its benefits, the trouble with theocracy is that you never know what God is going to do next. It makes it hard to plan and budget. It just becomes so inconvenient to start making plans for God only to have him ask you where you came up with that crazy idea. Acting on God’s behalf is notoriously tricky, even for God’s hand picked aces.

But let’s not be too hard on King David for wanting to build God a house. After all, God had been painstakingly delivering all of David’s enemies and even some enemies’ wives into his hands. It only seemed fitting that God’s house should be at least as nice as David’s (Who better than David to identify with the need to come home, kick back and put your feet up after a long day of sword whetting on Philistine skulls). And really, it’s kind of embarrassing when your house has more bling than your deities’:

“See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” That’s cute David, but the “tent” was God’s idea, the heavens are his footstool and he’s the one building you an eternal kingdom. Yahweh is not high-maintenance.

It’s a good thing kings always eventually figure out how to do God’s will most of the time, otherwise we’d be really fucked.