Author Topic: Sad story  (Read 11366 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Sad story
« Reply #150 on: September 12, 2008, 01:05:19 PM »
How do you answer the question: "Are you your brother's keeper?"

Oh, Brian.  Sigh.
  "The Lord is thy keeper."  (Psalm 121.)
So, when evil befalls you, does that mean the LORD failed to keep you safe from evil or harm as the passage declares?

When a parishioner (as I recently had) goes in for a biopsy on a spot that might be cancerous, can we really assure them that the LORD will keep them from the evil of cancer or the harm of chemo- or radiation therapies?

Just what does it mean to declare that the LORD is my keeper? How might that relate to the question of whether or not we are our neighbor's keepers?

I also note that in the previous verse (121:6a) it says: "The sun will not harm you by day." Well, my fair skin has been harmed often by the sun -- it turns red, it hurts, it blisters, it peals. Whatever that sentence means, it does not mean that literally the sun will not harm believers. It does.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Erme Wolf

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Re: Sad story
« Reply #151 on: September 12, 2008, 08:37:19 PM »
How do you answer the question: "Are you your brother's keeper?"

Oh, Brian.  Sigh.
  "The Lord is thy keeper."  (Psalm 121.)
So, when evil befalls you, does that mean the LORD failed to keep you safe from evil or harm as the passage declares?

When a parishioner (as I recently had) goes in for a biopsy on a spot that might be cancerous, can we really assure them that the LORD will keep them from the evil of cancer or the harm of chemo- or radiation therapies?

Just what does it mean to declare that the LORD is my keeper? How might that relate to the question of whether or not we are our neighbor's keepers?

I also note that in the previous verse (121:6a) it says: "The sun will not harm you by day." Well, my fair skin has been harmed often by the sun -- it turns red, it hurts, it blisters, it peals. Whatever that sentence means, it does not mean that literally the sun will not harm believers. It does.

Brian, when you get like this you are more of a literalist than my Primitive Baptist grandmother.

I am not prepared to do an exegetical study on the word "keeper" (though, somehow, I am sure you are not only ready to do this, but will launch into one any second now).  But one thing I am prepared to say:  I would much rather have the LORD as my keeper (sunburn or not) than Cain.

Peace,
Erma 8) (the Lord is my keeper but I still wear my shades)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 08:39:00 PM by Erma Wolf »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Sad story
« Reply #152 on: September 13, 2008, 12:27:51 AM »
Brian, when you get like this you are more of a literalist than my Primitive Baptist grandmother.
Being a literalist is kinda fun at times.

Quote
I am not prepared to do an exegetical study on the word "keeper" (though, somehow, I am sure you are not only ready to do this, but will launch into one any second now). 

I don't do much with the Hebrew. My training is in Greek. In some translations, the LORD was a protector. We are protectors of our children, but if we kept them locked up, that would be considered child abuse; even though we would be protecting them from all the dangers in the outside world. Once we send them out, we no longer are able to directly protect them from dangers; but a major part of our protecting them is to help them learn to make the right decisions. From that perspective, "keeping" is more analogous to training, teaching, making responsible -- nearly the opposite of caging in.


Quote
But one thing I am prepared to say:  I would much rather have the LORD as my keeper (sunburn or not) than Cain.
Or perhaps even your brother (if you have one). I'm the oldest, am I supposed to be the keeper of my younger brothers? We are also at the age when we are becoming more responsible for the welfare of our parents. Those who had kept and protected and trained us, may need us to keep and protect and help retrain them.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]