When Does God Turn on Us?


I was contemplating the statements of a recent comment in which the person indicated, in a macabre Jack Chicksian sort of way, that in the afterlife God would be stamping on heathen faces until the blood splattered on His clothing.

What is it about Death that makes God so mad at us?

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Traditional Christianity paints a picture of a God that is extremely interested in humanity’s well being. This is a God that is so concerned about how the world is turning out, that it is willing to kill every single living creature, preserving only a miniscule amount, in the hopes that the conditions in which humanity survives will improve. (Gen. 6:21)

This is a God that is willing to kill millions of people in order to preserve an ethnic group to provide means of a possible resolution for some. (Ten Plagues)

This is a God that performed the ultimate act of humility, literally giving up its God-like abilities and powers for a time, in the hopes that some will learn of him. (Phil. 2:6) A God that committed to the greatest act of love every known in the entire course of history, by somehow killing itself, in order to save me. (John 15:13) A God that is patiently waiting and hoping that I will recognize him as God. (2 Pet. 3:9)

Christianity paints a picture of a God, that for time eternal has moved and turned the course of historical events, in the hopes that I (along with other humans) will be restored to a relationship with him. A God that has interacted, wept, begged, pleaded, sweated, strained, bled and died on the chance that I could be saved. A God that has withheld its own sense of justice, and has patiently and continually restrained itself, in an act of mercy, on the hopes that I will find Him.

Until I die.

Then it is a no-holds-barred, full frontal assault of excruciating pain, misery and punishment for all time.

Jesus: Father, you know I died for that DagoodS fellow. Here are the nail prints in my hands. I can re-play the events of my death, all for this person to come to you.
God: Well….

Jesus: I am begging you; pleading with you. It is for him that I stripped myself of God-hood, became a mere human, suffered, and was horribly tortured. Worse, I was separated from you—something I have never experienced and never will again. A new experience for a God—all in the off-chance that you will call him to us. (John 6:44)
God: You make a good point. Maybe—

Angel One: psst. Jesus? Sorry. DagoodS just died.
Jesus: What? Oh, never mind, God. Whoopee! He just died! Put on the Golf cleats. It is face-stomping time. Oh, this is the best part of the job. Maybe this time I can get a good one meter splatter!

Does that really make sense? Christianity claims a God that can muster a universe, is so loving it performs a sacrifice unlike any heard of before or since, but somehow death makes God turn a bit ugly. He is unable to maintain that loving attitude after we die.

What, exactly, is the lake of fire for? Punishment?

Punishment (as we understand it) comprises of four elements—punish the wrongdoer, rehabilitate the wrongdoer, recompense the victim, and be a deterrent to the general society.

Hell certainly won’t rehabilitate us. We have no second chance. Nothing about our getting better. No “time off for good behavior.” No opportunity to re-enter society. Rehabilitation is not it.

It is useless as a deterrent. In order to be a deterrent, one must be firmly convinced of hell’s existence. The only ones that believe in hell are the ones that aren’t going there! (Ever think about that?)

Remember when our moms told us that if we crossed our eyes, they would stay that way? Perhaps I was the only gullible five-year-old, but a small part of me was concerned. Sure, I had never seen people with permanent cross-eyes. I have never seen sad documentaries of people who had crossed their eyes against their mother’s advice, and it became permanent.

Yet it was a defective deterrent. We might still cross our eyes, but never for very long. Just in case…

But now that I am an adult, it is an ineffective deterrent. I now realize that my eyes won’t stay that way. In order for punishment to be effective, we must be convinced it will happen. (Part of the reason that punishment in society remains a generally ineffective deterrent is that criminals always presume they will not get caught. They don’t believe it will be imposed, either.)

How can hell compensate a victim? The people that suffered from the effects of immoral acts would either

a) be in Heaven; or
b) be in Hell.

Is it claimed that victims in Heaven are slowing improving their position, when those who harmed them are suffering? Or are victims in hell also lessening their suffering while the criminal is suffering more?

And no, God cannot be “compensated” by making people suffer. That would make God wanting. Less than perfect. Incomplete. In need of something. (And it makes a curious kind of victim that can ONLY be compensated through inflicting pain on others.)

That leaves us with punishment. A penalty imposed for doing something wrong.

What did we do wrong? Was it the fact we sin? Or that we did not believe correctly?

As to sinning—we have no option there. All humans sin. God is punishing us for being human. Is it appropriate to punish us for something we have no choice over? None of us can “choose” to be non-human. We cannot discard our humanity.

If God is going to make us roast in fire…er…excuse, me, stomp on our face for being Human, there is not much I can do about it. Makes Jesus’ coming a bit of a waste, frankly. How did his dying on the cross make some people non-human?

Bottom line-we will be punished for not believing correctly. This all fits together nicely with Romans 10:9—believe: you go to heaven. Don’t: you go to hell.

Apparently, though, belief after death doesn’t count. Being confronted with real evidence, with physical confirmation does not qualify. The only belief that counts is that which is specifically performed without evidence.

The only way I get to keep my face intact is to believe without evidence. If believing with evidence is sufficient, then death would not be necessary as a cut-off.

I am to be punished eternally because God deliberately did not give me evidence. O.K. Sucks to be me, but if that is the way it is, so be it. Just don’t try and sell the idea that God loves me, or is moved with compassion or is even remotely considerate toward me. At best, he is gleefully looking forward to the day to inflict tremendous pain on me (and others) and is only holding off in some sort of perverse sense of anticipation.

OR, is it more possible that since the Bible is made up of conflicting authors, we have conflicting pictures of this God. Some authors desired to focus on a loving, benevolent, forgiving God. Some authors focused on a God imposing some sort of “ultimate justice.” When the two concepts were placed together in an anthology, we end up with a creepy dual-personality type God that makes a hard right turn upon human death.

8 comments:

Eddie Rios said...

"When the two concepts were placed together in an anthology, we end up with a creepy dual-personality type God that makes a hard right turn upon human death."

That's the basic reason I rejected Christianity and no long believe in a "personal god." I consider myself a rational human being who is responsible for my own actions. I don't need a cosmic parent to correct me when I make wrong choices in my life.

Not Reformed said...

DagoodS,

You certainly have a way with words....especially liked this part:

"Angel One: psst. Jesus? Sorry. DagoodS just died.

Jesus: What? Oh, never mind, God. Whoopee! He just died! Put on the Golf cleats. It is face-stomping time.

Ebonmuse said...

In the immortal words of Robert Ingersoll:

"Just before a man dies, God loves him -- loves him as a mother loves her baby -- but a moment after he dies, he sends his soul to hell. In other words nothing can be done to reform him. The society of God and the angels can have no good effect. Nobody can be made better in heaven. This world is the only place where reform is possible. Here, surrounded by the wicked in the midst of temptations, in the darkness of ignorance, a human being may reform
if he is fortunate enough to hear the words of some revival preacher, but when he goes before his maker -- before the Trinity -- he has no chance. God can do nothing for his soul except to send it to hell.

This shows that the power for good is confined to people in this world and that in the next world God can do nothing to reform his children. This is theology. This is what they call 'tidings of great joy.'"

Steven Carr said...

In Christian theology, death is just a phase in your life, a little like puberty, except with even more alterations to the body.


Why then is it considered so final?

I shouid point out that some Christians have developed the concept of Purgatory , to get around this problem.

paul said...

Dagoods,

"Sure, I had never seen people with permanent cross-eyes. I have never seen sad documentaries of people who had crossed their eyes against their mother's advice, and it became permanent."

You really should be getting paid for being so funny, you always manage to make me laugh, hard! I guess your reward is in heaven...

taylor said...

God doesn't hate the people, he hates sin and evil. And yes, everyone sins, which is why we repent. He will destroy all the sin after the rapture, and the people that are spreading it.

And as for Paul, Christians didn't invent Purgatory. The Catholics did. Christians do not believe in Purgatory.

Anonymous said...

"And as for Paul, Christians didn't invent Purgatory. The Catholics did. Christians do not believe in Purgatory."

Catholics *are* Christians.

DagoodS said...

taylor, thank you for your comment.

Have you thought about the depth of what you are saying? How plausible is it? Is it just words strung together, that you have been told so many times, they seem true by default? If you think about what you have said, it is actually quite contradictory.

Let’s look at it.

“God hates sin.” Stop right there. Where does “sin” come from? If God created everything, then part of what he created was sin. No matter how you want to define it (“absence of morality,” “a choice,” “free will”) the only way for it to be in existence is for God to have created it in the first place.

If God created something he hates, what else does God hate that he created? Can he hate humans as well? Very small rodents? Once you open the possibilities, we are left with no way to determine what God hates and what he does not.

“God will destroy all sin.” Why wait? If God hates it, and God can destroy it, what is the reason for holding off? Further, why punish humans for something that God will destroy anyway?

At first blush, these are simple statements. But upon unpacking, we begin to introduce more problems. If God hates sin, and will destroy it someday—you have now introduced a new problem of why he is waiting, and for what. (By the way, I think you meant he would destroy it at the end of the Millennium, not after the Rapture.)

Further, you have introduced the problem that for some reason God must require sin. God will punish us for something he requires?

“Everyone sins.” Right. God can’t stop sin. But as humans, the only way for us to avoid punishment is….to stop sin! Your comment leads to the conclusion that God requires of humanity something that even He cannot do!

By inspecting what you have been told, we see that God hates sin, but both created it, and deliberately allows it to continue for reasons unknown. That God requires us to be sin-free (an impossibility) to avoid punishment. That even God cannot stop sin.