Tag Archives: salvation

Is God A Tyrant?

Richard Dawkins is quite descriptive when he states, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”  Interesting.

It’s interesting when an atheist invariably paints God as some sort of cosmic bully, yet they are unable to see His goodness.  It’s not a matter of finding a balance between God’s niceness and meanness.  God is Love, yet God is Justice.  We, as fallen humans, have a tendency to frame the argument from a position of innocence.  Can we honestly say that we are innocent?

If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that we are covetous and murderous thieves. Those are strong words, but we must remember that Jesus upped the ante when he said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭21-22‬ ESV) We choose to indict God when we are guilty rather than to humble ourselves and repent.

Perhaps we want to blame God for our sinful nature. Why would a loving God make us broken, only to cast us into hell? That’s a good question, but God did not make us sinful. He created Adam and Eve without sin. The sin nature of Adam passed to his descendants. We are not direct creations of God like Adam and Eve. We are born of Adam. Sure, there is the Jehoiachin problem, but if it wasn’t for the virgin birth, Jesus would have inherited this sin nature.

We say that God is immoral for upholding His perfect and moral law. The Ten Commandments are so deceptively simple, yet impossible to maintain. Is God immoral because these rules are so hard? No. The Law doesn’t make us bad any more than it makes us good. The Law reveals our inability to be righteous on our own. The Law points us to our Savior. But we reject the Savior.

We say God is immoral when He upholds His impossible laws, yet we are upset when He extends grace to rescue us from our dire situation. We choose to remain dead in our trespasses and blame our Creator for our sins. God then offers us salvation and we have the audacity to call him a tyrant.

Advertisements

Catching Up With the Inevitable

CC image courtesy of hans van den berg on Flickr.
CC image courtesy of hans van den berg on Flickr.

A friend from the radio business died today. I always knew him as Danny Fox. It was many years later when I learned of his real name. At 59, years of chain-smoking had crippled him with emphysema, but in spite of his sickness, he always had a joke so we could share a good laugh.

I had only known him at the workplace, at least until about three months ago. He was hospitalized with little hope of leaving. I visited him a couple of times in the hospital because I had to share something before he passed. He claimed he was going to heaven after he died and affirmed he knew about Jesus. He answered my questions hesitantly and I wanted to be sure he knew about salvation.

I stumbled through the whole conversation but I think he understood. I know ultimately the Holy Spirit is tasked with softening hearts and saving souls, but I have my hope.

I’m staggered by the thinking of nonbelievers. I should be accustomed to it by now as heathens will act like heathens, but for someone to say Danny is working at the radio station in the sky is borderline ridiculous. Let me rephrase–IT IS RIDICULOUS.

Another friend’s response was equally as misguided–

Danny was a good guy…a good person…I know you and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of religious beliefs, but I think if there’s any Godly justice, Danny has a head start on most of us…

Just for the sake of discussion we will call this friend Hieronymus. Why use a common name like George when you can punch up the story with a name like Hieronymus?

As you can see, he thinks you can get to heaven by being “good.” Jesus says that no one is righteous, but by being a swell guy, many believe that they will gain entrance to heaven. Then he wants to hang merit on God’s justice? I told him that God’s justice warrants that everyone spend eternity in hell.

Post modern thoughts such as these are what make people believe that all roads lead to God. Jesus explicitly is exclusive of all other paths in John 14:6.

Hieronymus hasn’t responded since then, but I knew that the report of Danny’s death would bring another opportunity to share the Gospel with him. I could have gotten that information anywhere, but I thought that the finality of death would finally make him seriously consider his salvation.

Nevertheless, I still hope that Danny found the right path. I’ll find out soon enough.