Disney Princess theology — Psalm 125

Life is a roller-coaster

White Christianity suffers from a bad case of Disney Princess theology. As each individual reads Scripture they see themselves as the princess in every story. They are Esther, never Xerxes or Haman. They are Peter, but never Judas. They are the woman anointing Jesus, never the Pharisees. They are the Jews escaping slavery, never Egypt.

For citizens of the most powerful country in the world, who enslaved both Native and Black people, to see itself as Israel and not Egypt, is a perfect example of Disney Princess Theology. And it means that as a people of power, they have no lens for locating themselves in scripture or society – and it has made them ill-equipped to engage in issues of power and injustice. It is some very weak Bible work.

Erna Kim Hackett in Facebook June 19, 2020

Psalm 125

A song of ascents.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    which cannot be shaken but endures for ever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people
    both now and for evermore.

The sceptre of the wicked will not remain
    over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
    their hands to do evil.

Lord, do good to those who are good,
    to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways
    the Lord will banish with the evildoers.

Peace be on Israel.

A theme park containing a rollercoaster.
Photo by Aidan Roof on Pexels.com

The Songs of Ascents or Songs of Degrees are calls from the world to God. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, the Songs of Degrees make up the Eighteenth division of the Psalter and are read on Friday evenings at Vespers throughout the liturgical year.

We are Egypt

What Erna Kim Hackett said about the richest country of the world is also true about the countries which grew rich transporting the slaves as well. We in the UK are Egypt. We are guilty of very weak Bible work — or as I prefer to call it cherry-picking.

In Psalm 125 it is too easy to think of verse 3, “The sceptre of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.” as not applying to the same people as the rest of the psalm, but this is wrong, it is Disney Princess theology. The whole psalm relates to the people of Israel and Judah, If we relate one part of the psalm to ourselves we have to relate all of it.

The history of Israel and Judah reads like a rollercoaster, just like the Grand Old Duke of York’s soldiers, when they were up they were up and when they were down we were down. There were good kings, bad kings, good kings that turned bad and bad kings that turned good. Some good things were done in the reign of a bad king and some bad things were done during the reign of the good kings.

There is only one thing that is constant in this: God. God was always their god, God was always their God even when the wicked were ruling over the land of the righteous. Gods love is constant. God’s grace is constant. God is always there for a person, a church or a nation to return to. We need to turn to God, individually and corporately. We can repent by continuing to remove statues of slave traders like Edward Colston in Bristol or white supremacists such as Cecil Rhodes in Oxford. We need to empower black voices. We need to empower honesty in public lives.

Peace be on us all.

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