The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Problems Of Evil And Miracles

And yet God loves the workers of iniquity:

Rom.5:8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn.4:10)

1 John 2:2
He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours alone, but also for the sins of the whole world.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…(Jn.3:16a).

Like I said, the “whole world” isn’t every individual. It’s all mankind. Those in the lake of fire aren’t included in the new creation. They are separate. They have been cut off from the whole world. They must be grafted in to be part of the whole world or all mankind:

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Hebrew meaning of hate, love less:

So, you believe God loves some more than others and not everybody equally.

The following is quoted from the url below.

"In Psalm 5:5 we read that: “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.”

Does God hate sinners? I thought he loved everyone?

A response:

A first look seems to suggest that the author, David, is implying that God hates sinners, but is that necessarily God’s view? For instance, we see Psalm 137:9 the author’s hatred of the Babylonians for their capturing of the Jews: “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.”

Would that be God’s view? Does God condone dashing “little ones against the rock(s)”? No, the author is simply speaking his mind, and if that is the case there is no reason to suppose that David in Psalm 5:5 is not speaking his.

Second, there is a writing device called metonymy. This is a figure of speech that replaces the name of a thing with the name of something else with which it is closely associated. For example, when I say that “I really hate Shakespeare”, I do not mean that I hate his personality, I mean I hate his work, his poems.

A Biblical case in point would be when we read that God hates “a false witness who speaks lies” (Proverbs 6:19), if metonymy is deployed, then God hates the lies and the one who is doing the lying (the cause) is put in place of the lies (the effect). In Proverbs 6:17 God hates “a lying tongue.” Would that mean that God hates physical tongues? No, obviously not, it means God hates the sin that a tongue can perform.

It is crucial to bear in mind that the Bible writers often used figures of speech when they write. So, in this case (Psalm 5:5) God hates sin, but loves sinners, the figure of speech known as metonymy clears up the confusion. Just as God does not hate physical feet or tongues, he does not hate sinners. These nouns are put in the place of the things they cause – sin. It would also defy explanation to suggest that God hates sinners which is the very reason he had Jesus die on a cross."

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See the following response (in a thread that addresses several of the scriptures you’ve posted) & the bible verses below:

Jn. 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 16:27
For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.

Deuteronomy 7:12-13
12"Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.
13 He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.

Proverbs 8:17
"I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

Psalm 146:8
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous;

Proverbs 15:9
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

Deuteronomy 13:17
"Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the LORD may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,

Deuteronomy 7:6"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
7"The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt

Sorry, the scriptures I gave are plain.

The Scriptures are full of many figures of speech & dozens of alleged contradictions. One has to learn how to properly harmonize them. Calvinistic limited atonement is not the way & a grievous error.

Sorry, not buying the figures of speech thing. If God is love then He must hate evil. Not only this but the scripture say in the same breath that He hates evil doers. The same word for hate is used. If He destroys sin with His fiery indignation in the cup of wrath He also destroys evil doers. But after destruction comes restoration.

Nobody denies that.

Psalm 5:5 - “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

And yet God loves the workers of iniquity:

Rom.5:8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn.4:10)

1 John 2:2 He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours alone, but also for the sins of the whole world.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…(Jn.3:16a).

All men have been God’s enemies, yet He loved & loves them:

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. (Col.1:21)
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph.2:3)

4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony that was given at just the right time. (1 Tim.2:4-6)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom.3:23-24)

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom.5:10)

From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; (Rom.11:28)

For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only-begotten Son…

God loved the WORLD. The world contains many evil doers. Therefore God loves evil doers.


I’ve already showed that the word world doesn’t mean every individual but humanity. So, I agree that God loves some evil doers but hates others. This is consistent with the other scriptures speaking of God’s hatred of not only sin but sinners. The reprobate are cut off (Kolasis) from the whole world in the new heavens and earth. They’re not part of all humanity. They must be grafted in.

he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. ~~ Rev. 14:10

Full strength literally means unmixed. It’s without mercy.

Romans 9:13 - “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

Heaven and hell

Your quote of Zech.11:8, KJV, for example, was misleading:

You should compare other translations, the vast majority disagreeing with the KJV clones, e.g.

New International Version
In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them

English Standard Version
In one month I destroyed the three shepherds. But I became impatient with them, and they also detested me.

New American Standard Bible
Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And I cut off the three shepherds in one month; ‘for My soul became impatient of them, and their soul also loathed Me.’

The only Bible book that speaks of the lake of fire is Revelation. Nowhere in Revelation does it say God hates those in the lake of fire or doesn’t love them. It does speak of some being tormented, not destroyed, there.

“Consider again, “I loved Jacob and I hated Esau” (Malachi 1:2-3). How is the thing called God’s “hatred” of Esau displayed in the actual story? Not at all as we might expect. There is of course no ground for assuming that Esau made a bad end and was a lost soul; the Old Testament, here as elsewhere, has nothing to say about such matters. And, from all we are told, Esau’s earthly life was, in every ordinary sense, a good deal more blessed than Jacob’s. It is Jacob who has all the disappointments, humiliations, terrors, and bereavements. But he has something which Esau has not. He is a patriarch. He hands on the Hebraic tradition, transmits the vocation and the blessing, becomes an ancestor of Our Lord. The “loving” of Jacob seems to mean the acceptance of Jacob for a high (and painful) vocation; the “hating” of Esau, his rejection. He is “turned down,” fails to “make the grade,” is found useless for the purpose. So, in the last resort, we must turn down or disqualify our nearest and dearest when they come between us and our obedience to God. Heaven knows, it will seem to them sufficiently like hatred. We must not act on the pity we feel; we must be blind to tears and deaf to pleadings.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves (1960; Harcourt Brace: 1991) 129.

These quotes aren’t speaking of the lake of fire or the new creation:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…(Jn.3:16a).

Who were sinners & enemies of God:

Rom.5:8 But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus said to “love your enemies”. Do you suppose God, Who IS love [not hate], hates those He tells us to love?

hollytree, are you practicing this:

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me (Jesus), and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

or these:

Mat 19:19
Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

""Critics may complain, but they do so without knowledge of the ancient principles of rhetoric (as expressed by writers like Quintillion) and exaggeration (as is found typically on Ancient Near Eastern war inscriptions and elsewhere; see below)…

"And in fact, such rhetorical emphasis typifies ancient and even modern Semitic cultures. G. B. Caird, in The Language and Imagery of the Bible, notes the frequent use of hyperbole among Semitic peoples, and notes that “its frequent use arises out of a habitual cast of mind” which tends to view matters in extremes, or as we would say, “black and white.” The Semitic mindset is dogmatic, and despises doubt; things are either one way or another, and there is no room for introspection…

"Abraham Rihbany (The Syrian Christ, 98f) points to the use of “hate” in the Bible as an example of linguistic extreme in an Eastern culture. There is no word, he notes, for “like” in the Arabic tongue. “…[T]o us Orientals the only word which can express and cordial inclination of approval is ‘love’.” The word is used even of casual acquaintances. Extreme language is used to express even moderate relationships.

"Luke 14:26 falls into a category of “extreme language,” the language of absoluteness used to express a preference, and may refer to disattachment, indifference, or nonattachment without any feelings of revulsion involved. To seal this matter completely, let’s look at some parallel materials which prove our point. The closest example comes from:

Genesis 29:30-1
And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

Here, “hated” is clearly used synonymously with one who is loved less. Let it be added that if Jacob hated Leah in a literal way, it is hardly believable that he would consent to take her as his wife at all! (See also Judges 14:16 and Deut. 21:15-17.)"

“…Bottom line – skeptics who think that Jesus is preaching literal and misogynist hate in this verse are doing no more than the usual – thinking out of time, out of mind with the text, and in some cases (like Barker and C. Dennis McKinsey) letting their own “hate” get in the way of reading the text any way other than with wooden literalism.”

I would venture to propose that the Holy Spirit moreso (than Yahweh the Father or Yeshua the Son) personally takes it upon Herself, to interdependently fill the feminine role of the Godhead. Also, I think the term ‘contradiction’ is the inverse of ‘paradox’ however, they are at times used interchangeably to a fault. In passing, I think folks at times unwittingly make the “mystery” of the Godhead just a tad more complicated than it inherently is (with God being an otherworldly idea to start with). I say this especially because of the limitations of Christianese or theological jargon (used by any religion-specific descriptions of what we know as ‘God’).

You, I, and this link stand in impeccably harmonious agreement based on statements you’ve made throughout this post which bond in the spirit of familiarity and resonance:

I definitely have more thoughts to offer on this rich set of musings you’ve posed about theodicy and the supernatural. Thanks again for keeping us thinking with our brains and hearts, @St_Michael. :thinking::brain::blue_heart: