Psalm 50

"he summons heaven and earth in order to judge his people"

As regular readers know, I have a hopeful eschatology. I'm with Julian of Norwich in believing that, "All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." 

And yet, this hopefulness is held in tension with the conviction that eschatological judgment awaits us. This point has to be constantly and persistently made as people tend to equate "hopeful" with "permissive." 

I say all this because Psalm 50 is a poem about judgment. God "summons heaven and earth in order to judge his people." God separates the unrighteous from the righteous. God says to the wicked:
“What right do you have to recite my statutes
and to take my covenant on your lips?
You hate instruction
and fling my words behind you.
When you see a thief,
you make friends with him,
and you associate with adulterers.
You unleash your mouth for evil
and harness your tongue for deceit.
You sit, maligning your brother,
slandering your mother’s son.
You have done these things, and I kept silent;
you thought I was just like you.
But I will rebuke you
and lay out the case before you."
Given my hopefulness, some might find it strange that I find no problem with this passage. And more than that, I find such proclamations both urgent and necessary. 

Again, hope doesn't mean permissive. Hope isn't a get out of jail free card. 

Here is one of those odd paradoxes that I find among liberal, progressive Christians. There's this fierce commitment to "God is love" which causes liberal, progressive Christians to recoil in horror at references to judgment and the wrath of God in the Bible. All that stuff has to be tamed and domesticated by deconstruction. And yet, these same liberal, progressive Christians wrap themselves in the prophetic speech of the Bible in calling out oppression and injustice. But here's the truth: You don't have prophetic speech without judgment and the wrath of God. If you deconstruct the judgment and the wrath you render prophet indictment morally and eschatologically impotent. You're just cosplaying the prophets.

I've said this repeatedly over the last few years: Prophetic speech is metaphysical speech. More specifically, prophetic speech is eschatological speech. 

Prophets aren't post-modern, nihilistic, relativists. So, if you really care about oppression, be careful what you deconstruct. 

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