Keeping It Real

by baldilocks

This morning, the Holy Spirit was moving. Sometimes, when Christians say this, it is assumed that some great, magical, explosive miracle happened. I suppose that was the case this morning, but the miracle manifested itself in several arguments about the Word of God and how to interpret it.

There’s one piece of misinterpreted scripture that turns up often, like the proverbial bad penny and it did so this morning: the notion that Christians should be the keepers of their brethren. It’s based on the following:

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

–Genesis 4:9

We see who the speakers are. The Lord, of course, knows the location of Cain’s brother, Abel—murdered at Cain’s hand. I suspect that God was giving Cain a chance to confess. But, instead of coming clean, Cain offers a sarcastic response.

If one reads further, one finds that God never answers Cain’s question.

But even up until this very day, people want to take a murderer’s unrepentant disrespect to his merciful Maker and turn it into a Biblical commandment–but only when it means that a given Christian should allow the hand of another person or the hand of government to dip into the Christian’s wallet. That is no coincidence.

And don’t forget this about the word translated as keeper in the King James Version of the Bible: it has connotations of animal-keeper or jailer. That is not an accident either.

Sometimes, those who mean to do you ill tell the truth about it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on

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