Contemplating the All Powerful God and the All Loving God…

2017-12-16_14-27-42.png The Old Testament has always been a struggle for me. I find far too many places where God’s wrath is brutally shown. This is in such a total contrast with Jesus Christ I know in the New Testament. It is almost like the good cop/bad cop scenarios that play out so much on the TV cop shows. I tend to refer to it as the all-powerful God vs. the all loving God. Can the two really co-exist or did God basically change his management style between the Old Testament and the New Testament or you could say between the old and the new covenant? These are the things I have been thinking about lately. I know they are theological in nature and I have sworn off that sort of thing but it still crops up from time to time. I just can’t seem to help it.

I must admit that I almost ignore the power side of God. In that sense, I seem to be in conflict with many evangelical religious establishments today who revel in God’s power. They deem that God is all-powerful and absolutely everything that happens is because He has willed it.  One of the dictionary definitions of the word will is the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action.

So following this “all powerful” to its conclusion means that God deliberately brought millions of children into existence so that he could kill one every three seconds today by depriving them to have safe drinking water or enough to food to eat! Or in another example, he purposefully created all the dictators of the world so that they could kill thousands (millions collectively) of the people for little or no reason.  The people who pray to the all-powerful God say they don’t understand these sort of things but God must have a divine purpose for his extreme brutality.  I find it very difficult to even contemplate praying to that kind of god.

Here is how I see all of this: 

I kind of believe in the God of the Possible as illustrated by Greg Boyd in one of his many books. That along with the fact that God gave man free will answers the good god/bad god dichotomy for me. No, God is not responsible for all those children dying. That pitiful condition belongs totally to us humans. We are the ones who can’t seem to get along with one another.

Jesus told us to love one another; we just can’t seem to get that right especially when it comes to loving across national borders. God gave us free will and except for maybe some very very rare circumstances, he does not go back on his word.  It is not God doing his will, as some say, that causes all the suffering in the world it is that WE don’t do God’s will to love one another.

I know I have no right to speculate but so many theologians do it every day so here goes. I do kind of believe that God did change his approach on how to guide us between the old and the new covenants. He could see that the “powerful God” approach just didn’t work with us sinful human being and at that point, He just decided to love us anyway.  God’s love is called agape love that is it doesn’t have conditions attached. What the ramification of that has concerning heaven and hell is a matter for a future post.

2 thoughts on “Contemplating the All Powerful God and the All Loving God…

  • If you are a reader, you might want to check out Bert Erhman’s books. Check for yourself on Amazon. They may be of interest.
    Look at the big picture. We and our galaxy are but a speck in the Universe. If there is a god (which I have doubts), it is simply a creative force outside of time. This notion of a cruel or loving God is a fantasy we humans create. Meaning comes from realizing how very lucky we are to simply be alive and have consciousness to know that there is something rather than nothing.
    I suspect the really even bigger picture is something no human can fathom.

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    • Thanks for the thoughts Mary. I know that diehard Christians don’t like the very idea of “Pascal’s Wager” but that is kind of where I stand on the issue. Here is a little about that from Wikipedia:
      ————————————-
      Pascal describes humanity as a finite being trapped within an incomprehensible infinity, briefly thrust into being from non-being, with no explanation of “Why?” or “What?” or “How?” On Pascal’s view, human finitude constrains our ability to reliably achieve truth.

      Given that reason alone cannot determine whether God exists, Pascal concludes that this question functions like a coin toss. However, even if we do not know the outcome of this coin toss, we must base our actions on some expectation about the outcome. We must decide whether to live as though God exists, or whether to live as though God does not exist, even though we may be mistaken in either case.

      In Pascal’s assessment, participation in this wager is not optional. Merely by existing in a state of uncertainty, we are forced to choose between the available courses of action for practical purposes.
      ————————————–
      I have extensively studied the words of Jesus Christ (the red letters) and they have come to be the foundation of my spiritual side of life. If he isn’t God then that’s ok and doesn’t tarnish my beliefs that much. But if he is then I am ahead of the game when it comes to life’s end.

      I am also a big believer in “Coexistence” so don’t have anything negative to say about your beliefs. You have as much a right to them as I do mine…

      Thanks again for the thoughts….

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