So we’re confronted by these meek and mild Christians living under the altar in heaven screaming for blood and we sort look at this and say, hey, wait a minute.
Larry calls the behaviour sub-christian. But then doesn’t go on to explore any metaphorical implications that may help unpack this sub-christian behaviour.
Let me try.
First let’s recall these guys are dead and from a mythic standpoint the rules for dead folks is different. DZ Phillips points this out in his books on prayer and immortality (good stuff BTW — especially the one on prayer). Their cries for vengeance are kinda like Abel’s blood.
Genesis 4:10 And the LORD said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!
We can also draw on Forrest’s anthropological analysis of “wrath” — not emotional anger — but social obligation. As martyred saints they’re God’s kinfolk now and God has an obligation of propriety to them.
Let me continue by linking this passage with two others that have little to do with one another in a logical connect the dots kinda way.
First consider Abraham as he haggled with God over the fate of Sodom. Suppose there are fifty upright people in the city. Will you really destroy it? Will you not spare the place for the sake of the fifty upright in it? he asks God in Genesis 18. He haggles God all the way down to ten and then gives up — afraid because he doesn’t think God will find ten honest men in Sodom.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”
Now salt, is a preservative before there were fridges. We cured bacon, pickled meat, and in the process we toughened it and kept it from going bad. In a sense, by being the salt of the earth we function like the ten righteous men in Sodom. When when those ten righteous men get murdered by the multitudes of wicked folks living there? The salt is gone, the meat begins to rot. And the blood of Abel cries out from thee earth.
Its kinda like the fate of world is being weighed in the balance of the scales of justice. While in this world, the righteous keep this world from the judgment of God. When this world murders us, that self-same righteousness testifies against this world.