Sayings of a Gadfly
by Max Maxwell


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THE HERMENEUTICS
OF FIRE AND ASH

 A Christian said, “Jesus is the only truth.  We should do anything necessary to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Master of this earth.  In order to achieve this, true Christians need to ensure that the Holy Bible is the only book people live by.” 

The Gadfly said to the Christian, “If the Bible is this important to you, I will give you a key for reading it.  In Auschwitz, in order to conserve their supply of poison gas, the Nazis grabbed children and threw them alive into the fires of that death camp.  People, who sincerely believed they had the only truth, hideously murdered those children.  It has been said that after Auschwitz, ‘No statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that is not credible in the presence of burning children.’[1] Heed this wisdom.  Remember those children.  When you read your Bible, let the fire from their burning bodies scorch your eyes that you may see clearly to read.  Let the smell of their ashes sear your heart that you may have understanding.  Then, if you still want to rule the world in the name of Jesus, perhaps God will have mercy on your soul and allow that desire to go up in smoke.  But if you refuse to hear the voices of those children crying out from the fires then you shall never hear the voice of God, for they are the same.”

Someone said to the Gadfly, “You are offensive!  How dare you compare good Christians to Nazi murderers?”

The Gadfly replied, “Only those who believe they are absolutely right are capable of committing the greatest evil.”


[1]  Irving Greenberg, “Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire: Judaism, Christianity, and Modernity after the Holocaust,” in Auschwitz: Beginning of a New Era? Ed. Eva Fleischner (New York: KTAV, 1977), 23.

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© Copyright 2014 Kenneth J Maxwell Jr.