Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

'The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.' Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

That old Jonathan Edwards; what a charmer!

This vision of God is one of vengeance, anger, wrath and utter contempt for humanity.

This vision of God promotes fear and disbelief.

This vision of god is like the gods of ancient mythology, gods who are filled with violence and hate, gods who demand blood.

This warped vision of a god bears no resemblance to the One who dwelt among us in pure grace and love, who looks upon all that He has made and calls it 'good' and 'very good!'.

This distorted, disoriented, violently drunk gaze of a god has nothing to do with the God has been revealed through Jesus, the God who dwells in eternal relationship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the God of Divine Dance who beckons us into this relationship of pure self-giving love.

The God who has been seen and known and revealed through Jesus is angry at all that distorts, abuses  and denies people of their humanity. It is an anger that stems from pure love, an anger that rages not at us but at the System of abuse and Domination and violence and injustice.

The love of God is such that God seeks to restore, redeem and reconcile us to God's own self and to one another. It is a love that delights in us and because of such delight, a love that grieves over all that strips us of our image and the image of God in us. It is a love that purifies us enabling us to little by little become ever more the people that we were created to be.

Jonathan Edwards can keep his god, I certainly want nothing to do with that god.

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