How Can A Loving God Be So Hateful?
Form the Question
The God of the Bible is said to be love (1John 4:8). Not that He has loving characteristics, not that He is predominately concerned with love, but that He actually is love. This has been a fascinating and inspiring idea for Christians ever since John wrote it in one of his letters, and the effect continues today as evidenced by countless “Religious Preference” sections on Facebook profiles. This spiritual proclamation of faith, while somewhat vague and ambiguous, at it’s core is quite respectable. After all it’s scriptural, it asserts the belief in a supreme being, and who in their right minds doesn’t love love? But how does this bold claim that God is love match up with what the rest of the bible says? Isn’t this God of love the same God of wrath, punishment, mass genocide, and eternal hell fire? How can a God of love be so full of hate and wrath? Is this apparent contradiction proof that the God of the Bible is simply a projection of the imaginations of the authors depicting Him?
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Ahhh now we have some beautiful questions, but asking a question simply for the sake of asking a question is about as good as last year’s calendar. The only good questions are those that lead to truth, so truth is exactly what we should aim for! Let’s point out some of the major stories in the Bible that tend to put us off:
1. God banishes Adam and Eve for eating a fruit (Gen. 3)
2. God floods the world because it was evil, essentially killing all mankind except for Noah and his family (Gen. 7:21-23)
3. God tells Moses and the Levites to kill their fellow Israelites for worshiping a golden calf. Three thousand die. (Ex. 32:27)
Why do these stories make us so squeamish? Most likely it’s because most humans have a concept of innocence and righteousness, and when we picture this bully of a God inflicting torment on innocent people it causes our blood to boil or turn cold all together.
You should be irate at such injustice. You should hate it when the innocent suffer and the helpless are oppressed. The world reacted in awe at the Sandy Hook shooting that took place not too long ago, but after the initial shock wore off people were demanding something that they could only express using the word “justice.” I cried with my wife as we spent the better part of our day watching the heart wrenching interviews of a community (and world) completely thrown off balance. As humans we have an innate ability to recognize injustice…
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