Tuesday’s Thoughts Through Art

Hi all! I was reading Galatians recently and was starkly reminded that slavery was justified through scripture such as Galatians 4. This bit of scripture creates a bifurcation of us and them by dividing descendents of Hagar vs. descendents of the free ... i.e. black folks vs. followers of Christ. It then puts Hagar's descendants as squarely under the law and not under grace.  Slaves to the law, I believe is how it is rendered.  It also divides Jews from followers of Christ, even though Paul was still Jewish and Judaism was the holder of the Christ-following legacy. It divides them in the same way. Jews are under the law the Gentile followers of Christ, for it is the gentiles he is speaking to, are not under the law.

These two things have been taken to create racism, slavery, and antisemitism.

Pictured is Fowler's 6 stages of faith

If we take Paul's metaphor of slave/free and combine it with Fowler's stages of faith where so many people are in the "synthetic-conventional" stage. Where people place their authority in the peer group (church institution/church teachers and leaders). People adopt an "all encompassing belief system" i.e. the Bible is infallible.

We can see where people can read Paul more literally than Paul himself meant to be read. Paul had a mystical, mountain top experience that forever changed his view. He was probably in the "conjunctive faith" stage. Where you discard the meaning of sacred stories that you have been taught and start reading them in a new way without being stuck in a theological box. You read things as new again. (Image from https://www.circleofhope.net/rodwhite/stages-of-faith-earth-wind-fire-water/)

That is a little bit of explanation for the poem I am offering in response:

Daily #haiku and #Bible journaling - Galatians 4

Words.

Words that started

as a simple haiku

but poured out in the

telling.

Hagar portrayed

As the mother of slaves

Worth of law alone.

No grace.

Throw out the slave woman.

And all her children too.

They do not belong.

Words.

Words said by

Paul eons ago

twisting Jewish scripture

to mean what he

wants

Building a case of

superiority

For we know that

freedom is always

better than slavery.

Words.

Words taken by

slavers and

theologians

to build a case

that to be enslaved

is natural

is ok

is God's plan

and that Hagar,

she of dark skin,

was the matriarch of slaves.

Those of dark skin.

Created for law.

Not grace

Words.

Words taken today by

white supremacists

twisted at birth

to create a

beautiful wall

separating Jew from Greek

male from female

slave from free

us from them.

Words.

Words declared today

by me.

Paul was wrong.

We are wrong.

When we use holiness

to create a new

Jim Crow

that separates love

from

love.

And now a quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love."

Let that be our gospel.

Peace,

Terri

Drawing of Pregnant Hagar in Chains by Terri Stewart
Pregnant Hagar in Chains

 

 

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