Saturday, July 28, 2018

Why I'm Not a Christian

In his book, Why I am not a Christian, skeptic Bertrand Russell admitted that the primary reason he could not be a Christian was that Jesus believed in hell and taught about it in one verse after another again and again. Russell called Christ belief in the wrath of God the one serious defect in Christ's moral character. 

I cannot tell you how many people I have read about who have said they could not be Christians because of the doctrine of God's Wrath.

But let me give you the other side of the story. 

Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf wrote in his book Free of Charge:

I used to think that wrath was unworthy of God. Isn't God love? Shouldn't divine love be beyond wrath? God is love, and God loves every person and every creature. That's exactly why God is wrathful against some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God's wrath was a casualty of the war in the former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and over 3,000,000 were displaced. My villages and cities were destroyed, my people shelled day in and day out, some of them brutalized beyond imagination, and I could not imagine God not being angry. Or think of Rwanda in the last decade of the past century, where 800,000 people were hacked to death in one hundred days! How did God react to the carnage? By doting on the perpetrators in a grandparently fashion? By refusing to condemn the bloodbath but instead affirming the perpetrators' basic goodness? Wasn't God fiercely angry with them? Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God's wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn't wrathful at the sight of the world's evil. God isn't wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.

He went on to say that when you watch families and Friends murdered in front of you the only way to keep from going insane his to know there is a God who is angry and he will one day restore justice.  If your God doesn't possess the ability to feel wrath you will seek with insatiable desire to seek Vengeance yourself. Only when you believe that God has a sword in his hand can you lay it down from your hand.

That is what Paul was saying when he wrote to the Romans beloved do not avenge yourselves but give place to God for it is written vengeance is mine I will repay.

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