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God-love-1john410I am not sure which part of the title of this post puzzles our friend quiavideruntoculi?  The sole part of his post yesterday on this topic which cited the New Testament was Romans 9:13 which was quoting Malachi, and he was unable to explain to us how that verse sat with the very clear statement in the book of wisdom which clearly states God hates nothing he has made; perhaps QV things God did not make Esau?  The two statement cannot be reconciled on any literalist reading of the Bible, they clearly contradict each other. The problem vanishes if we understand that the OT writers do not understand God in the way those who had witnessed and been converted by His self-revelation in Christ.

I challenged qv to find one word in Christ’s mouth concerning hating people; he failed to do so and had to resort to the cleansing of the Temple by chasing out the money-lenders; not a word here of hate, of course.  Christ forgave those who crucified Him; He tells us to love our enemies and those who misuse us; upon whom are we patterning ourself here – if not God Himself?  So, qv appears to have a God who falls below the level His Word tells us, HIs creatures to strive for.

There is no point putting up the picture of an odd-looking man in a funny hat telling us God hates, he’s a man in a funny hat wagging his finger at us – typical product of priestcraft.  I listen to Jesus and what He said and see what He did. I listen to His Holy Apostles, and see none of them talking about hate. I see nothing in God which hates any man. I see much which hates the sin which damages us, and much which mourns when we reject His love. But hate?  Well, St John tells us ‘God is love’ and qv that he hates; who to believe? Not a hard one.

What interests me is the need our friend has to believe God hates. Why?  The whole scopos of the NT is about the immensity of God’s love for us. Did the priestly caste believe it would lose its power if we stopped being frightened of the big bad God they created to hold on to their power? Perhaps. Well, they have lost their power any way. But it is more serious than that.

The argument anyone involved in active evangelism will hear most often is that of the ‘God is a psychopath’ line – pointing to all the evil things the OT says God approved.  Was it really the case the bears killed the children because they mocked a bald prophet; great sort of God that.  This God is a man-made creation which even men find grotesque, and no one will be converted to the God of love because otherwise they are going to suffer in hell for eternity; indeed, many are put off by such a God.

So, on the one hand, the God who is love who draws all to Him in response; on the other the mad God with a sword who attracts but few.  You choose.