From A King of Righteousness To A Personal Holy Book

An artist's journal statement on the Bible?

Hammer Museum Exhibit Postcard

THE POWER OF REFLECTING ON THE GREAT KING

Ever heard of the King of Righteousness? In the Bible, in the book of Genesis, and after the garden of Eden stories, Abraham has bread and wine (communion?) with a guy named Melchizedek, which means King of Righteousness in Hebrew. In a sense Abraham’s power is derived from this “King of Righteousness”. Abraham is the spiritual father of Jews, Christians and Muslims. But in a way all of these religions (and politics) have failed because  men still train for war instead of peace, there is little unity on this earth, at least not yet.

Most of the major versions of “the Bible” (Jewish and Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Messianic versions all differ from each other) but most do title Genesis the “first book of Moses”. In other words, one way to look at the first five books of the Bible is that they are Moses’ personal journal or record of his encounter with God and his version of the stories that came before him. Jews, Christians and Muslims all have their personalized versions of the “official” holy interactions thus reinforcing the power of the King of Righteousness, whomever they envision that to be. Today, perhaps there is power for us in reflecting on and recording our encounters with God.

Who are you and where are you going?


Practically, Jews and Muslims follow the Egyptians and what then became the Abrahamic practice of infant mutilation, or circumcision, by cutting off a portion of a male baby’s member as a covenant with God. In one sense this is a big improvement from sacrificing the whole baby which was also a common practice back then but what about the the Jewish prophet Jeremiah’s call for a circumcised heart instead? Is a “circumcised heart” one that is brutally honest with self and willing to leave a record of one’s heartfelt feelings with God?

IS THIS REALLY PERSONAL?

Why do most of us simply follow the religion of our parents without thinking about what we really, personally, believe? Why does every religion state that it’s closeness to God makes it superior to all the others that came before it? While being closer to God does make one greater, why doesn’t it make us more humble instead of the tendency toward bluntly used power against those unlike us and smaller weaker groups. Unfortunately it is historical fact for the major ‘fufilment’ religions, Christianity and Islam and the largest political system – communism which have all persecuted innocent people. All have persecuted God’s people, Israel simply for being, well, God’s people. All are also guilty of murdering many innocent people both domestically or in their international wars, which today we just call “collateral damage” or “civilian casualties”. Israel itself has a history of political civil war and infighting, Jews killing Jews.

Dear Mr. M,

The Bible’s first book Genesis, writes of you Mr. M. In Hebrew your very name means King of Righteousness. Surely pursing right and good things is well, good. But how does one find goodness and truth Mr. M? Through Abraham who tithed to you Mr, M. Jews, Christians and Muslims claim a common father.

Mr. M I went to the synagogue and the teaching was great. Jews seems to be some of the smartest people around but I learned Gentiles are not included in a minyan – their prayers don’t count. Aren’t you the God of everybody? Also, there was a note on my car for “parking too close to the ass”, my apologies to the owner of the car, I was in a hurry to get to your class in the pouring rain.

Mr. M I went to the church and the leaders of Pacific Crossroads Church told me they have replaced Israel as the people of God. Mr. M, does the Bible that writes of you say all peoples of the world would be blessed? If some church leaders want to theologically “wipe you off the map” how is the church then any different from Pharoah, Hitler and Amminejad and other Islamic leaders who have tried to destroy your first people?

Mr. M I have read the Quran and have observed the Muslims, they are obedient and submit to you with their foreheads to the ground. Yet, some of your followers murdered Christians while worshiping you in a church in Iraq. Where is the freedom religion to decide for ourselves what we believe about you? Where is the righteousness Mr. M?

Help Bring Freedom of Religion

Help Bring Freedom of Religion

The goal of redemption is personal and world peace and true freedom of religion. God transcends everything when we experience this, this is true community, where God is one among all people, even Jews, Christians and Muslims. Mr. M, where DOES one find your community? You said all nations will be blessed through you, where is this?

Like the lost sons in the story of the Prodigal, religions and politicians fight over who God the father loves most instead of making a feast like families should! Bring us pure hearts, heaven on Earth!

My father is. Oh, ok. Nothing for your soul here...
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