Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Justice, Patience, Leniency

Society falls apart when justice is too lenient. For example, consider a recent case where a judge was too lenient and there was a public outcry demanding the judge be punished.

A similar situation existed in Micah's day. The common people were oppressed and mistreated by the leaders. The leaders needed strong correction. Most reasonable people can understand the value of punishment in order to hold the fabric of social life together. But what if prolonged torture were suggested? We all remember how people's sensibilities were affected by one man who suggested that waterboarding was ok -- most people were outraged.

Now, using that same yardstick, take a look at the God defaming belief of eternal hellfire. It is no wonder that many people turn away from the Bible when in fact this belief is not in the Bible; it is pagan in origin; is not what the Bible intended, and defames God as a perversely cruel person. Torturing people forever benefits no one. In fact, even having to exact the death penalty is not something God wants. He would much rather people change their ways for the better. Even those who were victims of wicked people would cringe to think that their loving creator would resort to such over-the-top cruelty. Indeed, God would not be pleased. Those mistreated would rather just that the wicked be put to death, not tortured.

(Some, at this point, may wonder why God just doesn’t “make” (force) people to do what is right. The reason is that he wants people of their own free will to choose to do good. But after all patience as been exhausted and all attempts to reach the incorrigible have failed, there is only one real option left -- to remove those ones so that those who do want to get along can live in peace.)

So why do some so-called “Christian religions” insist (even adamantly so) that hellfire is necessary? Their perverse sense of justice feels it is required. They cannot back up this feeling with scripture, nor even with logic. They just become all the more animated in their extreme claims. However, the God of the Bible is not the heinous being they make him out to be. Scripture repeatedly bears out that death, not on-going torture, is what God plans for the incorrigibly wicked.

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