I recently talked to a girl who is 19 years old. She went to a Church that starred her down because has several piercings in her face. The pastor told this girl that she couldn’t celebrate and worship passionately during the sermon because God didn’t appreciate their false worship. In the sermon the pastor began talking about how many of the problems of the world could be narrowed down to the homosexuals, Hispanics and Blacks of the world. The congregation was in emphatic agreement with the pastor. During the sermon, the Pastor even used the Bible to support how God was in agreement with him.
I’ve got a question, How did God become such a monster?
When Jesus makes a simple but profound statement that when we see Jesus, we see the Father I have to use him as my foundation of my relationship, my theology, my hope and my faith. When I see Jesus I don’t see a man who hates the Homosexuals, the Hispanics or the Blacks. I see a man who says that he makes his rain fall on the good and the bad, his sun shine on the just and the unjust. How can we hate Homosexuals, Hispanics or Blacks when Jesus pours his favor on the bad and the unjust.
This is my struggle with taking certainty in our interpretations of scripture. Because sometimes God in the Old Testament seems to do some pretty awful things. He wipes out communities and sinners alike, but, Jesus says to bless these people? How does that make sense? It seems like for some that they have an image of God that seems to delight in the torture of sinners. Even in the Old Testament, it seems like God waits until the absolute last moment to pour out his wrath. He allows a search to happen for any righteous person to be found. He tells Jonah that he is going to destroy Nineveh and then after they change, he pulls back.
There are prominent scholars in Church history like Gregory of Nyssa and Thomas Aquinas who said they would delight in the torment of those in hell while they rested in heaven. How did we get to Jesus Christ who showed compassion on all, which in Greek meant to have his stomach torn open, a pain he felt deep into his bowels, to laughing and celebrating those in hell? It seems like we want to make God out of who we are, and, for some of us that is angry, pissed off and vengeful. Rather than Jesus Christ who suffered in love on the cross so all could be saved (even though only some accept).
How did a God who told Abraham that he was going to be blessed so he could bless the world become such a monster?
How did a God who sent his own son to show the world his love and grace, only to suffer on their behalf become such a monster?
How could a God do terrible and catastrophic things on behalf of the sins of the homosexuals, blacks and hispanics but really insert your enemy here? How does that God look like Jesus who died in love on Calvary and rose to show us that our life of sin and pain doesn’t have to consume us?