In this edition of Cornerstone, the ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians, Sabeel, reflects on the reality of apartheid in Palestine and its effects on the lives of people.
By Sabeel Staff | Sabeel | Spring 2022
Do we weaponize the Bible to harm others for our own gain? Or do the words of scripture move us to sacrificial love for our neighbor?
This month’s issue of Cornerstone reflects on the issue of apartheid. It is notable that in both South Africa and Israel leaders utilized the scriptures to justify their racist regime, arguing that they were set apart—chosen exclusively by God—to rule over those who were already living in the land. Both the white Afrikaners in South Africa and Israeli settlers have used the exodus narrative to claim that they alone have sovereignty over the land. This reality humbles us to be careful how we read the scriptures. Do we weaponize the Bible to harm others for our own gain? Or do the words of scripture move us to sacrificial love for our neighbor?
Today we turn to Mark 11:12-25, Jesus cleansing the temple, to reflect on the issue of apartheid. At first this text might seem like a surprising choice—what does Jesus kicking the merchants out of the temple have to do with the racism of apartheid? Yet, as we explore the text together it becomes clear that Jesus’ anger is not only directed towards money changers in the temple, but also the deeper, negative impacts of the temple structure at that time.