DiscoverThe Bible as LiteratureMENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

Update: 2023-10-12
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What does it mean to worship power? 

You imagine there is another question, but your art, politics, theology, television programs, pet social issues, news media, blogs, family squabbles, and even your benign internet posts—especially the ones where you post personal pictures—are all about your power. When you express sympathy about any grievance, how hard you work, how much you or they suffered, how terrible that tragedy is, how barbaric they are—you are wielding your power. So the wheels of this power, which look like the current state of affairs in the world, keep on turnin’. 

Against you and me, the only teaching that systematically undermines the stench of your power rises in power out of the biblical text.

The only valid response to war and violence is the teaching of the Cross. The West loves to preach about this when other people suffer under their boot. By other, I mean those “whom you do not see.” (1 John 4:20 ) But when those whom you do see suffer an unbearable trauma, you see them only because you see yourself in them. You see people who look like you. Brothers and sisters, this is not empathy. It is idolatry—of the worst kind. 

The prophet David said: “They have eyes, but they cannot see!” (Psalm 115:5-6)

To have empathy is not to assert power or to take revenge. It is to feel broken with those who have been broken—and if you are a follower of Jesus, which, de facto, we are not, is to be broken with them. 

You cannot be sad about human suffering and call for more suffering with lust in your eyes. Friends, wake up. Something is wrong. We are on the wrong path. 

I won’t catalog the lengthy litany of injustices we have committed against the little children of those “whom you do not see.” Nor will I capitulate to the premise of the Western media, which—universally—celebrates any violence that legitimizes its colonial premise, which is an affront to God. 

My reference is the Scriptural God. Him alone do I serve. He is against me, against you, and against them too. I’ll take him as my master any day over anyone. 

Before you open your mouth to argue with me, look up and take a look around. How are Western individualism, solipsism, and market worship turning out for everyone? 

Be honest. How are things turning out? 

Richard and I discuss Luke 4:42-44. (Episode 503) 



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MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

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