Is God Violent, Or Nonviolent?


#81

Today at World Net Daily, there is a column titled,“Fair-Weather Followers: Greg Laurie looks to Scripture to describe people who are not true believers.”

Greg Laurie is a pastor in the Calvary Chapel affiliation, and although I myself was involved with Calvary Chapel for some years, I now disagree with Laurie’s general tone—that is, focusing on what we need to do, vs. what Jesus has already done.

More specifically, I would like to draw your attention to one person’s comment posted at the bottom of that column, and my response to his (“C Harm’s”) comment.

I offer you this exchange because I want to point people here at The Evangelical Universalist to GRACE TEACHINGS. I submit that “grace teachings” reveal the true nature of God, and help lead people to the acceptance of Evangelical Universalism.

So, first, that person’s comment:

And my response to “C Harm”:


#82

Yes, Thomas Aquinas and Augustine both held that view. But the concept that “God is total control and predestination” is contradictory to “free will” in the sense of “the ability to choose.” In their paradigm,one doesn’t have the ability to choose, but rather God prompts one to “choose” since He has complete control of every event that takes place. So your choice doesn’t originate with you, but from God. So Aquinas et al. have to say that God permits evil in order to fulfill some deeper purpose. As I see it, this makes God the author of evil.

I think the ability to choose is one of the ways in which man was created in the image of God. Like God, man’s choices originate with himself, and God seldom interferes with those choices. God, who is pure LOVE, does not cause evil in order to fulfill some mystical, deeper purpose, never revealing what that deeper purpose is. Rather He seldom interferes with MAN’S working of evil. Those evil acts originate with man himself and not from God, for God wants people, of their own free wills, to come under His authority, and He patiently waits for this to happen. Eventually all people will do so.


#83

Paidion said:

That is pretty cool :smiley:


#84

:exclamation:


#85

From The Strange Union of Christianity and Violent Sports,” by Dr. Michael Brown.


#86

Today, after reading an essay at WND.com (an online evangelical news agency), I felt compelled to respond in the Comments Section. The essay is titled, *“Epic poem immortalized hideous Muslim atrocities: Bill Federer remembers France’s most famous author, poet,” * and here was my response to the author, in which I reference my own essay on God’s nonviolent nature:


#87

I’ll be interested what he has to say about your measured response!


#88

Fyi, I recently expanded the “For Further Consideration” section, above. Also, I was going to add a related comment about blood sacrifice here, but it became a whole new essay, Is God Bloodthirsty?


#89

In the letter to Diognetus, the anonymous author who stated that he was “a disciple of the apostles,” wrote,"…violence has no place in the character of God." (Diognetus, near the end of Chapter VII)

Recently, I read a book across which I came not long ago, called “Show Them No Mercy—4 views on God and Canaanite Genocide,” and thought that some of the participants in this forum might be interested:

The authors of all 4 views hold to the authority and inspiration of the 66 books of the Protestant Canon of Scripture. Yet, the writer of the first view, C.S. Cowles, a former professor of theology at Point Loma Nazarene University, expresses my own view that God is totally good “in whom is no darkness at all”—that He is love, and that He didn’t commit the atrocities that are recorded in the Old Testament as His having done. Cowles has succeeded in justifying this view in a way that I, obviously, was not sufficiently capable. I had hoped that I might succeed in precipitating a debate between him and Steve Gregg, but Cowles may no longer be alive. He had a serious disease a couple of year ago, and I can find no evidence either that he is dead or alive.

In my opinion, the other three “views” are essentially the same view—that the OT scriptures say that God commanded the genocide, and that therefore He did. Their differences on the matter are minor compared to the big issue.

Here is a brief overview of the book that can be found at the Amazon site:

Here is the Amazon site where one can purchase the book either in hard copy or in kindle format:

Show Them No Mercy


#90

[size=120]Beloved Friends,

I know this important forum is scheduled to go bye-bye very soon, but I think it’s better here than Facebook.

Will you agree with me in asking the Lord to provide all the resources necessary to keep it going?

“Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:19.

Blessings![/size]


#91

Agreed. Though of course I do not know God’s mind as to the future.


#92

And in case God doesn’t answer our prayer…let’s dedicate a song, to everyone here with theology, that deviates…from the normal, bell shaped curb of theology (i.e. the proper statistical term is outlier)…

And any nerds, geeks, holy fools, zombies and p-zombies, visiting the forum. And to one of these band members, who won the Nobel prize for literature. :smiley:


#93

Will you agree with me in asking the Lord to provide all the resources necessary to keep it going?

“Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Matt. 18:19.

Amen brother!


#94

Years ago that theory was advocated by Andrew Wommack. He had associations with television ‘prosperity preachers’ Kenneth & Gloria Copeland. Is there any sound Biblical support for it?

Does it lead to the conclusion that since “the finished work of Christ” on the cross, all the evils of the world are to blamed on Christians for failing to “enforce his victory”?

What about before the cross & before there were any Christians? How was God “not permitting or allowing evil” when children were raped, thrown into fire for Molech, etc. Love Almighty could have easily stopped such things, but chose not to. He is responsible.

IMO He’s also responsible for the fall of Adam & Eve, the consequent inheritance of sin by all others through them, and the resultant bloody history of mankind, still in progress. If hell were not a fantasy dreamed up to control the masses, God would be responsible for that also.

That’s not to say that God has sinned. He would not even be guilty of sin if He made people sin or created the devil as a devil to do His bidding. Assuming He will make it all right in the end & for the endless salvation of all. The ends justify the means, especially if they are necessary.


#95

There is an article from Andrew Wammack called Killing Sacred Cows at awmi.net/reading/teaching-articles/sacred_cows/. Andredw’s solution is:

And he goes on to say, that we gave Satan the power - over everything:

Well, if we are at fault, why is the suffering and pain continuing? Hasn’t God promised to end it sometime (either in the future, or in the past as full Preterism - folks believe)?

Or - if I am a person of strong faith (as prescribed by those TV, health and prosperity evangelists)…why must I suffer, for the mistakes of collective humanity? I should have the money of Donald Trump…the health of those fitness gurus…the spiritual respect of Pope Frances…and a woman as beautiful as Marlon Monroe…but as intelligent as Madame Curie… But alas, I don’t. :frowning:

Kind of like Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science. Just one step further. Just look at matter, evil and death as illusions. We are all ideas in the mind of God.

Just put on these “rose colored glasses” and everything will be OK

Well, I have problems with “have faith, praise God and expect a miracle” and “just have the right mind orientation”. Or even, “the devil is causing all these problems”. Well, either the Devil is as powerful as God (i.e. Zoroastrianism) or God is turning a blind eye, and letting the devil cause havoc. In the first case, it means God can create a being as powerful - if not more powerful - then the creator.

Perhaps our thoughts can influence our earthly destiny. As this article by contemporary, Old Catholic church mystic - Tiffany Snow illuetates. In the article The Third Secret ‘The Secret’ Didn’t Tell You, it says this:

Look! I like the health and prosperity gospel. Like what Joel Osteen presents on TV. And spiritual healing and prayer. But not all are “instant” miracles. But all miracles happen on God’s time and in God’'s way. And we need to honor that. And these miracles won’t come any sooner, because you give a substantial contribution - to the health and prosperity preacher. That one is B.S. - pure and simple.

Or I might use the spirtual and herbal methods of the Native Americans. As well as modern medicine, spiritual healers and ancient healing modalities (i.e. homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine). I believe the Native Americans, have a covenant with God. And God communicated with them before Christianity. Just as the Roman Catholic church believes, that God still has a valid covenant with Jews.

Or I join the RC Franciscans, in embracing different methods of contemplation (i.e. Buddhist mindfulness).

Yes, I am strange - but still Orthodox.

I think some folks here (not all, just some), want universalism to fit nicely. Which means, trying not to fit a square peg, into a round hole. So they come up with theological and philosophical ideas, that deviate substantially, from the current and historical, bell shaped curve.

You don’t need to say things like “the devil is responsible for all evil” or “God controls everything and there is no free will”, for universalism to work - both philosophically and theologically.

Granted. I’m a hopeful universalist. But I think some here have presented their versions - which are very close, to a theological, bell shaped curve.


#96

Well, I have problems with “have faith, praise God and expect a miracle” and “just have the right mind orientation”. Or even, “the devil is causing all these problems”. Well, either the Devil is as powerful as God (i.e. Zoroastrianism) or God is turning a blind eye, and letting the devil cause havoc. In the first case, it means God can create a being as powerful - if not more powerful - then the creator.

Andrew Wommack & probably Joel Osteen would say Satan was given the legal deed to the earth by Adam when he was given authority by God but then handed it over to Satan by following him instead of God. Satan did offer the kingdoms of the World to Jesus when Jesus was first tested in the desert initially and Jesus never challenged Satan about that authority. But let’s not forget Satan is only a created being by God although it’s not clear whether he was Satan from the beginning or a fallen angel.


#97

I wonder how those who buy the AW theory explain God’s fiery destruction of Sodom. Was God only allowed to intervene & fulfill His will of killing Sodom because of Abraham’s “name it & claim it” faith?

Throughout human history God has allowed many horrific events that He could have easily prevented. Some would call these sins of omission, which are just as bad as sins of commission (e.g. the flood in Noah’s day).

From that perspective, there is no point in trying to explain away God’s violence as told in the Bible. Atheists see it every day in news stories that tell them what God allowed. God has allowed an extremely violent world & history from the beginning.

Freewill advocates say that God has put the value of freewill above the need to stop the horrors of history. That is possible. Or at least part of the puzzle justifying God’s violent actions & violent lack of actions.

Alternatively deterministic advocates can explain God’s violence in & out of Scripture as being necessary evils to achieve glorious endless goals, such that the momentary sufferings of a few years or decades of life are nothing compared to millions times billions of never ending ages of heaven.


#98

Freewill advocates say that God has put the value of freewill above the need to stop the horrors of history. That is possible. Or at least part of the puzzle justifying God’s violent actions & violent lack of actions.

Yes but also there may be valuable lessons to be learned through experiencing evil, painful as it is. “The man has become like us, knowing good and evil.” Maybe a prophetic statement?


#99

We don’t see Adam & Eve showing any appreciation for the perfect world God had given them. How could they ever praise God for all the good around them without a knowledge of good? And without a knowledge of evil to contrast it with, how would they know what good is?

OTOH the knowledge of good & evil is like the laws of Moses. Those who strive to keep them find they are a minister of death. A death that needs a resurrection in partaking of the tree of life, Christ.


#100

We don’t see Adam & Eve showing any appreciation for the perfect world God had given them. How could they ever praise God for all the good around them without a knowledge of good? And without a knowledge of evil to contrast it with, how would they know what good is?

Exactly, contrast is how we learn most things and so if God made us that way then what happened in Eden may not have been just an accident or happenstance!