“Simple-minded” — meaning holier-than-thou? An excuse to attack the Bible? Mistakenly thinking one has “evolved” upward, morally? Or, having a very simplistic understanding of the reality of the times, of then and now?
“It is monstrously simple-minded to read the cursings in the Psalms with no feeling except one of horror at the uncharity of the poets. They are indeed devilish. But we must also think of those who made them so. Their hatreds are the reaction to something. Such hatreds are the kind of thing that cruelty and injustice, by a sort of natural law, produce. This, among other things, is what wrong-doing means. Take from man his freedom or his goods and you may have taken his innocence, almost his humanity, as well. Not all the victims go and hang themselves like Mr Pilgrim; they may live and hate.”
From: Reflections On the Psalms — C.S Lewis
I find it odd that many people in our times can display this “simple-mindedness” in an aggrieved and indignant reaction to these certain Psalms.
They seem to have no understanding of how inhuman and bestial people in those ancient times behaved toward one another.
When, in many ways, I see the same bestiality displayed toward each other on social media of the internet, albeit in a hidden, impersonal way with words typed on the screen of this gossamer veil termed “devices” (computers, phones, tablets). Anonymous. Hidden of real identity. Ambushes, while doing as much mental-emotional damage against one another, but with the excuse of it not being a PHYSICAL attack. However, the twisted, perverse behavior of words is quite as damaging. Many seem to have been seduced into thinking they have “EVOLVED” to some indeterminate ideal of higher intellect and “moral?” state of existence. It seems mankind has no more insight into itself now than it did in those ancient days of the Psalms. And, broadly speaking, that’s true.
However, on a more inspiring, motivational note, we have the personal ability of choice to restrain ourselves and not enter into the failing nature of the world that is descending backwards into deeper darkness.
And, as it happens, I witness much more goodness of people in my daily reality away from this gossamer veil than I do bad. I firmly believe that is due to God’s goodness of influence in people’s lives, personally. And there again, Unto God Be The Glory, and NOT unto ourselves. -g.w.