Archive for the ‘Philistines’ Category

Plunder the Philistines or Join them?

April 14, 2009

Benedict XVI used (N.B. Benedict XVI was the one whose meditations these were, yet he did not write them, nor did he actually read the aloud – for more details about this situation – see the letter from the Vatican, explaining – link) the following line in his “Good Friday” meditations: “Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.” That line is apparently taken from Brahadaranyakopanishad an Hindu writing. He also used a line from Tagore’s Gitanjali: “Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.” Furthermore, he made reference to Mahatma Ghandi. (source) None of this is wrong in itself, as long as we are plundering the Philistines, not joining them.

But the Hindu leaders praised Benedict XVI for this, rather than criticizing him for taking their scriptures in another sense than they were intended. Will we see clarification from the Vatican? I am guessing not. The zeitgeist of Vatican II is of meta-ecumenicism, which would avoid noting the fact that Catholicism must take these lines in a different sense, while promoting a semblance of unity.

I should note that Paul the Apostle plundered from the Greek poets, but when he did so he made clear that he was using these things either in the same or a different sense, depending on the context. He was not promoting ecumenicism with the Greek pagans, he was trying to convert them.

The reader can decide for themselves whether Benedict XVI was following in Paul’s footsteps or departing from them.


UPDATE: Reginald di Piperno (Roman Catholic) has provided some factual corrections to the article linked above. (link to RdP’s post) The basic point remains, as apparently it is not disputed that the various lines were spoken and that the references were welcomed by the Hindus. I’m also not sure whether RdP got the idea that plundering the Philistines is a good thing, whereas joining them is a bad thing.

UPDATE: In view of an amusing post at Ichabod, I’ve updated the post above a bit further (link).

Problems Unlikely to Beset the Reformed Churches

February 12, 2008

How to react when God sends his lightening bolts against your graven images? Rio’s answer seems to be repair it: (link).

Let’s hope that they get the message more quickly than the Philistines did!

1 Samuel 5
1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
4And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day. 6But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. 7And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
8They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. 9And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
10Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
11So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Praise be to the God who is not worshipped with the works of men’s hands, as though He needed anything,


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