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God in the 21st Century


Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.

ONE OF the pleasures of contributing to a newspaper is the occasional response from a reader, usually written in the spirit of “Disgusted from Tonbridge Wells”.

Once in a blue moon, someone hears what I am trying to say and deals point counter point, with most interesting results, especially when fired with the zeal of a proselyte.

In one excellent letter, the question was raised that perhaps God should be brought into the 21st Century and redefined.

This certainly set me thinking.

With one swipe of a brush, the correspondent consigned miracles to the dustbin on the grounds that a God of Creation and universal love would not be thus selective in mercy.

The Garden of Eden went the same way and here I agree that evolution is a continuous process.

The human race did not burst on to the scene 4,000 years ago, relics from 20,000 years back having been identified in Africa.

However, these and other ideas put forward in no way discredit the Testaments which, taken as the spoken word of God, were written so that people of the period could relate to what they heard.

Parables and mythology were suited to the teaching cultures of the time as the majority of people were illiterate.

The intention was to get the message across.

Along with the need to redefine God, my friend saw the Ten Commandments as an irrelevance, believing that they are an integral part of the human psyche and do not need teaching.

It is a conception that may explain society’s present chaotic state.

Young people need to be taught the difference between right and wrong, to carry that knowledge into adult life, practice it and pass it on to their children if the world is not to descend in to a state of anarchy.