Whatever happened to the wrath of God?

Talk about the “wrath of God” kindles all sorts of images in the minds of contemporary Americans. Some immediately think … Continued

Talk about the “wrath of God” kindles all sorts of images in the minds of contemporary Americans. Some immediately think of a powdered-wig Puritan, preaching about sinners dangling over hell as a spider over a flame. Some conceive of a hellfire-and-brimstone revivalist warning sinners to repent or perish. And some picture an angry cult group, protesting with signs announcing whomever God is said to hate that day.

But as distant as the wrath of God seems from our talk, just imagine singing about it.

At “On the Square,” the web commentary of the conservative Christian journal First Things, evangelical historian Timothy George notes a recent dust-up in the Presbyterian Church (USA) as the mainline denomination’s hymn selection committee decided to leave the popular contemporary hymn “In Christ Alone” out of the church’s hymnal.

At issue was the song’s use of language about the wrath of God in relation to the atonement. The hymn’s writers, Keith and Kristen Getty, composed the hymn to include the words, “And on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied “

George rightly notes that revisionist hymns are nothing new, and neither is controversy over whether God is, or ever could be, wrathful. And George also demonstrates that the Christian church, even with all our debates about the central meaning of the atonement, includes a hearty affirmation that God is Judge. To ditch the wrath of God is to toss aside something essential to the mission of Christ. He also points out that God’s wrath shouldn’t be seen as a temper tantrum to be appeased, much less some sort of cosmic child abuse, but is instead a crucial aspect of what it means to say God loves.

I agree.

But one might ask, why should we sing about it? After all, there are all sorts of things Christians affirm that we don’t sing. There aren’t many hymns about the impassability of God, or the impeccability of Christ, or other theological fine-points, are there?

As an evangelical, I would argue that it’s necessary to sing about the wrath of God because we are singing not just from and to our minds, but to and from our consciences. There’s a reason why evangelical congregations reach a kind of crescendo when they sing out that line in the Gettys’ song. It’s not because, per the caricature, we see ourselves as a “moral majority” affirming our righteousness over and against the “sinners” on the other side of the culture war.

Instead, it’s just the reverse. When Christians sing about the wrath of God, we are singing about ourselves. Our consciences point us to the truth that, left to ourselves, we are undone. We’re not smarter or more moral than anyone else. And God would be just to turn us over to the path we would want to go—a path that leads to death. It is only because Jesus lived a life for us, and underwent the curse we deserve, that we stand before God. The grace of God we sing about is amazing precisely because God is just, and won’t, like a renegade judge, simply overlook evil.

Persons from other traditions will, of course, disagree with us about whether there is a God, whether he is loving and/or wrathful, and whether or not the Gospel is true. But Americans should recognize that the wrath of God isn’t some innovation by a tiny band of fundamentalists. American history is embedded with talk—and music—about the wrath of God.

The Civil War-era hymn “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” after all, is far more direct in its wrath of God imagery than any hymn rejected by the Presbyterians. God is “trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,” we sing. God is, in this American hymn, wielding a “terrible, swift sword” against injustice. Why is this important? It’s because the Americans singing the song were reminding themselves that slavery isn’t just a matter of regional conflict, but a matter of moral accountability, an accountability that transcends political caprice.

Likewise, the Civil Rights movement grounded its non-violent resistance to Jim Crow wickedness with language about the wrath of God. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the fire hoses and dog attacks of the Alabama police forces by saying, “We will leave them standing before their God and the world splattered with the blood and reeking with the stench of our Negro brothers.” King was pointing a professing Christian populace to a judgment seat.

He was saying what Odetta would sing to the terrorist forces of the Ku Klux Klan and their allies, “You may run on for a long time, lemme tell you, God Almighty gonna cut you down.”

I’m hardly one to tell Presbyterians what they ought to have in their hymnals. But the Gospel is good news for Christians because it tells us of a God of both love and justice. The wrath of God doesn’t cause us to cower, or to judge our neighbors. It ought to prompt us to see ourselves as recipients of mercy, and as those who will one day give an account.

If that’s true, let’s sing it.

Russell D. Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Russell D. Moore
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  • Crickey7

    God grew up.

  • arwash

    At least you could have been funny.

  • Hildy J

    We grew up. God grew irrelevant.

  • leibowde84

    It shouldn’t be necessary for a person to fear God in order to live a good life.

  • leibowde84

    I don’t believe that God actively hurts anyone. The “wrath” of god is an oxymoron.

  • Hildy J

    I would agree with you because I view the bible as I view the Iliad – a epic with historical elements from which good (and bad) philosophical points can be derived.

    If, however, you actually believe the bible then god can be wrathful. How else to explain the condemnation of all humanity for thousands of years because two naive humans disobeyed one rule? How else to explain the genocide of the flood? How else to explain the plagues of Egypt? And, moving to the NT, how else to explain the suffering which is lovingly described in the Revelation to John?

  • Hildy J

    It isn’t. Most people who live a good life are not christians. Similarly, most people who live a good life are not jews or are not muslims or are not hindus or are not buddhists. And, I will add, most people who live a good life are not atheists. Some of those religions have wrathful gods, some do not. The religion doesn’t seem to matter. Good people are found in all (as are bad people).

  • arwash

    Depends on what your definition is of a good life.

  • arwash

    We grew up. God grew irrelevant
    Hildy- Your knowledge is limited so how can you state that God is truly irrelevant? Are you all knowing. How do you know this to be true or is it just the truth you subscribe to? Where do you get this information from?

  • Joseph_McC

    Hildy J is spot on. To take it from Christian Scripture: “[God] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).

    The religion you hold to, the degree of morality you practice, makes no difference in whether you receive rain or sun; windfalls or pitfalls.

    Herein lies the danger in labeling natural disasters as wrath.

  • Rongoklunk

    Yeah we know very well that thunder and lightening is God being very angry with us. And we know that when the sun shines it means God is happy that we are doing something right, It’s commonsense that when it rains – it’s God crying his eyes out because we screwed up again. We know how angry he can be, the Bible tells us so. But what I personally dislike about him is he never ever shows himself. He behaves exactly as if he doesn’t exist. If it wasn’t for the thunder and lightening and sunny days – there wouldn’t be any evidence for him at all.

  • arwash

    Fear in the sense that you are talking about is not at all what scripture means. For it says the we are to go boldly before throne for grace. I think if you are referring to the next verse, then maybe your interpretation of it is too literal.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.

    What tends to happen to a child that does not fear his parents. They normally lean to the their own understanding which comes from within or external forces that normally go against your knowledge you have for them?

  • arwash

    All of that you just said is man spreading lies and tales some ignorant Christians past on to little children. He will reveal himself in spirit when we act like him. Remember he created us in his image and likeness. We just don’t know how to behave because we think since we have a choice and little bit of knowledge, we know everything and don’t need to believe in him. Man had no concept before on how to govern themselves except by laws left by the creator.

  • arwash

    Hildy J is spot on. To take it from Christian Scripture: “[God] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).

    The religion you hold to, the degree of morality you practice, makes no difference in whether you receive rain or sun; windfalls or pitfalls.

    Herein lies the danger in labeling natural disasters as wrath
    What? This was in reference to loving your enemies. Christ was just saying in a literal sense that rain and sun falls on everyone whether you are just or unjust. Stretching this too far.

  • Rongoklunk

    I am sure your god doesn’t exist. It defies everything we know about reality. And so does lifeafterdeath. It’s wishful thinking, and it brings solace and great comfort to those who can make themselves believe it. But it’s just ancient superstitions passed on down to us from very ignorant people – most of whom were illiterate and very very superstitious. What does it tell you, that we humans invented more than 3500 over the eons, Gods like Isis, and Thor and Jupiter and Vishnu. and any god you can think of; all made up.
    It tells us how desperate the ancients were to “need and want” somebody up in the sky watching over them, so they could sleep better at nights. They were addicted to inventing gods, and other things too – like devils and demons and fairies and unicorns. And that’s why nobody ever saw a god in the history of the world. They exist only in the imagination.

  • Joseph_McC

    We refuse to show partiality in loving our neighbors (whether friends or enemies) *because* God does not show partiality in sending rain and sun to the just and unjust alike.

    Hermeneutics, baby.

  • arwash

    In your finite wisdom about the world, you are definite God does not exist. Yet what leg do you have to stand on? Ancient superstitions like what? Religion was the reason why the poor were able to become literate to begin with. Greek gods, I don’t believe in them so I agree with you on that. I agree people worshipped false idols because they didn’t want to obey the only God. They thought keeping the poor and illiterate in the dark of the truth would enable them to control them. That is why the Bible is here for us. So we don’t have to lean to our own understanding which is finite. But keep thinking in your imagination that mother earth nurtured you or some cosmic explosion happened just right to bring us here.

  • arwash

    It amazes me that all of you who dispute Bible have not said where you stand and what defines your foundations of belief. At least I am willing to admit that I have finite wisdom. You say there is no God but yet to have shown proof. You rely on man’s wisdom which has shown throughout time to be wicked and deceitful. That is my proof of their is a God. We fall short because even though we may accept his image which is man we fail to accept his likeness which is his ways that has clearly stated in the Bible. He tells us how to live. Stop trying to pick the bad issues of when God’s people turned against him and he delivered them into their enemies who were nonbelievers of one true God or supported many deities.

  • arwash

    Read the entire texts for understanding then read what I responded to above. It is clear he has misinterpreted that passage.

  • readysetgo

    Gee, if I were shopping for a religion, I’d pick one that leaned heavily on the concept of a wrathful god.
    Oops, never mind; on second thought, I’d rather spend my Sundays taking walks in the woods.
    Enjoy your hymnals. . .

  • Rongoklunk

    Yeah, I’m definite. God doesn’t exist. It may have made sense hundreds of years ago when we didn’t know too much. Before Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” we were all believers. But he changed everything. His explanation of our origins made much better sense that Genesis. And today genetics prove that Darwin was right, and shows that we evolved from a single-celled lifeform, evolved through fish when the world was totally liquid, climbed out as lizards and continued evolving as mammals on land. Genesis couldn’t know this. There weren’t any scientists to discover this truth in biblical times.
    200,000 years ago, as homo-sapiens, humans were in Africa, and 100,000 years later they left and began populating the world.
    Reality is easy to understand. But throwing a great invisible Godfella into the mix complicates it beyond all commonsense and reason. It is absurd. And the only brain that uncritically accepts the god hypothesis is the child’s brain. And when the child becomes a man, God is already fixed in the brain for life. They ought to be a law against it, and maybe one day there will be.

  • Rongoklunk

    The proof must come from your side. You religious people are making the claim – the claim being that there’s a god. We make no claim. We just don’t accept YOUR claim. Carl Sagan said that “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” And he was talking about religion’s claims of a great skyfella. And there’s absolutely no reason to accept your claim – because it defies commonsense. Nobody ever saw a god in the history of the planet. Nobody EVER. While at the same time we know that humans are the god-inventing species. We are the only animal able to make up Gods. We invented thousands of them. Face reality. Gods live in the imagination, and nowhere else.

  • Rongoklunk

    “The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father did not believe in God, and so he had no hangups about souls. I see ourselves as products of evolution, which itself is a great mystery”
    James Watson, nobel prize winning biologist, and co discoverer of DNA

    “If revealed religions have revealed anything, it is that they are usually wrong” .
    Francis Crick. co-discoverer of DNA

    “If you talk to God it’s called praying. If God talks to you it’s called schizophrenia.”
    Thomas Szasz MD Psychologist

  • jrk

    But yet, you’re willing to accept these thoughts from your “brain” that evolved from nothing? Why should you trust the thoughts you have and assume they’re rational? They’re only the evolution of a random combining of gases millions of years ago. You’re the one making the extraordinary claim.

  • leibowde84

    A good life = being kind, generous, possibly raising a family (if that’s your thing), contributing to charitable causes, having people that you care deeply about and that care deeply about you, etc.

    I don’t see any requirement for God in there. Everything involved in living a good life can be achieved without any religion. And, I don’t see why people believe scripture that states that God has an interest in us praising him … as if it gives him power or something. He is all powerful, and all knowing. So, why would he be petty enough to demand praise. It seems to me, from the teachings of Jesus before they were misrepresented by Paul, that God’s only concern is that we all live good lives and make the world a better place. Not for him, but for us.

  • Top8305

    Evolution is unable to explain the origins of life; science can’t even account for the origin of the Universe without positing theories that are even more complex and improbable than the notion of an Uncreated Creator (God).
    Evolution is MUTE on how the exactitude of the DNA code came to be; how did DNA, which dictates the formation of the very amino acids requisite for life on Earth FORM when their highly precise, complex construction is DEPENDENT on the very amino acids that DNA codes and creates (see DNA replication)?
    Which came first the chicken or the egg, when it is evident that they had to co-exist for the whole system to work. On this Science is MUTE again. Random generation of the DNA system is so improbable that it is ostensibly impossible; It has been said that Atheism requires more blind faith than Theism once objectively examined.

    If you seek the Truth regarding life and Creation, please examine these scientific examinations of physical universe and life:

    You Tube:
    “Information Proves God” (youtu.be/PYSmVwFIHDw) examination of DNA composition and origin and the difficulties relative to evolution. (50 minutes)
    “Scientific Proof of God” (youtu.be/Lzev_Al) from an examination of biology and physics (31 minutes)

    magisreasonfaith.org/spitzer_videos.html – God and Modern Physics Modules 1-12, approx. 10 minutes each, a cosmological examination of the Universe; consideration of the various theories of the origins of the Universe and the difficulties with multi-verses, quantum theories, etc.

    God loves you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    BTW, “usually wrong” does not mean “always wrong”

  • stafford123

    Actually, I believe atheism is founded on faith as much as Christianity is. We can never prove the existence, or lack thereof, of a deity. Therefore, I usually state that I believe there is no deity rather than assert that I know there is not one.

    It is how we act on that belief that determines whether we are moral and good. Using one’s belief to belittle others is neither moral nor good. Using one’s belief as a club against others is neither moral nor good. Attempting to impose one’s belief on others, especially through the political process, is neither moral nor good. Acting with charity and grace towards others, especially those with whom you disagree, is moral and good.

    In the end, we should all be free to act within our own beliefs without having a different moral or religiious system imposed upon us. There are some actions (murder, for example) that people will generally agree should be banned. There are other actions about which there is no clear consensus. As long as taking that action is not harming another, then we ought to be able to engage in those activities.

  • arwash

    Stafford said-There are other actions about which there is no clear consensus. As long as taking that action is not harming another, then we ought to be able to engage in those activities.
    First to respond to what you said before this statement. I don’t belittle others with my faith nor do try to shove it down their throat. You spoke of charity and grace but where did those concepts originate? You, your parents, grandparents, et. did not make them up. They have been around in many families for the longest. The church started charity, introduced literacy to the poor, spoke of grace concerning who? All leads back to one and true God. I understand you have a faith system which everyone does even if they don’t want to admit it.

    Now understand this, when you say harming then what do you mean? It seems that our actions as Christians are not harming others. I want people to choose God but if not, so be it. This gay agenda wants you to assimilate or else. Do you think this is going to stop just because every country acknowledges same sex marriage or ENDA is passed? If so you are being very naïve. When a movement starts, a group wants to make everyone think just like they do and not for themselves. Check your history on that. I all I want this country to do is have a unified moral conscience about what is harmful and not harmful to this nation. Our moral fabric has deteriorated.

  • 3vandrum

    “Persons from other traditions will, of course, disagree with us about whether there is a God”
    Of course they will. They will disagree with all these non sense that God is a judge, God is wrathful, God is both of love and justice etc. This is all our imagination running wild. Why not believe in Zeus?
    Unless we get rid of these sky Gods there is no salvation. We are living in 21st century atleast some of us. There is no more need for all these imaginations.
    Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion.
    – A Horse’s Tale

  • stafford123

    But you make a fundamental error when you conflate the church with God. Church is a construct of man, and historically man has chosen to come together to worship whichever God or Gods they currently believe in. In addition, you make a fundamental error when you assert that the church (I assume you mean the Christian church) started charity, literacy and grace. Those ideas were around long before the Christian era.

    Are you in favor of granting equal rights to gay couples? Are you in favor of a woman’s right to choose? Are you in favor of passing laws that would restrict that right? If you are in favor of passing such laws, and are not in favor of granting equal rights to gay couples, then you are trying to cram your religion down the throats of others.

    And I would assert that no group is more in favor of having everyone think and act just like they do than the Christian church.

  • arwash

    We always think when we know enough, we don’t need God. Prime example of Gods people in the OT when they dismissed him and then would seek him again when they were in trouble. I am not going to try to make you get excited about God, that is your choice. Just don’t expect me to silence myself and sit back while others tell me to shut up and not voice my opinion either on the blogs or at the polls. Last time I checked, the same rights non-believers have belong to me as well.

  • arwash

    Church was built after the fall of man because it was a place for worship. I only speak of God. And Christ was formed before the world was framed. He walked this earth to show die for our sins and return us back to our rightful place. Follow Jesus’ line all the way back and you will see that is where charity started. Only select few could read scrolls but soon after Jesus took the word to the people. God’s word was just not left to the so called elite. And grace always started with God.

    If you mean marital status rights, no. I would vote no to the second question. Yes. I am not cramming religion down anyones throat. I am simply voicing my stance and voting how I feel which is based on what I believe.

    Would you vote to change the age limit of consensual sex to 12? Would you vote in favor of granting equal rights to pedophiles and pederasty? If you are not in favor of passing such laws then you are cramming your views down their throats. Same argument. BTW I don’t support any of this.

  • stafford123

    Your arguments in the first paragraph are based on the assumption that the stories told in the Bible are literal truth. I would suggest that the ancient Greeks were well aware of charity and yet they predated the Christian era, and were not members of the Jewish faith. In fact, they had their own pantheon. And they could read.

    Your responses in the second paragraph clearly indicate you are attempting to use the government to impose your views on others. By advocating for legislation that would impose those beliefs on others, that is exactly what you are trying to do. You want all to act and think as you believe is right, regardless of their individual beliefs.

    And your third paragraph is simply the old reductio ab absurdum argrument frequently made. Oooh, if you believe in equaliity for gays, you must also be for pederasts and polygamists. I would simply point bact to my original post, which indicated that there are certain actions on which there is general agreement that they should not be allowed. These are examples. On the other hand, a majority of Americans are in favor of equal rights for gays.

    However, you clearly argue from a belief system without exploring the logical inconsistencies within those beliefs. You are certainly welcome to your views, but you are not welcome to impose those views on others. And advocating for certain laws on the basis of your belief system would do exactly that.

  • arwash

    The Bible is recorded history. If you implying that recorded history has not literal truth then I can make the claim for every book written because it is from the eyes and ears of the person or someone writing for them. Again you missed. There before the Greeks, God’s people practiced charity but keep claiming that if you want.

    You just defeated your argument by stating the obvious. You would also be doing the same by using you government to impose your views. I don’t agree the view is being imposed though. I am simply exercising my right as a citizen of this country. You are also right and wrong on your last comment. I do want people to follow God’s word but I am not going to force them. This response is not a good argument for you.

    And third, sexual perversions are sexual perversions. I guess you don’t know that NAMBLA walks in all the gay rallies and parades. They are in the same boat. Sorry your wrong in thinking the general consensus of the gay community would think that was wrong. This has been going on since the mid 70’s. Check your facts. We even elected a Supreme Court Judge who believes the legal consensual age should be 12.

  • theluckycountry

    A genuine fair dinkum miracle might prove the existence of a god or gods, I still don’t think I would like him(them) though, too capricious for me.

  • theluckycountry

    any act between two (or more) consenting adults does no harm as there is CONSENT. Children can not give informed consent.

  • PsalmSinger

    This is a good example of why I firmly believe churches should sing the psalms (not exclusively). God’s attributes are all there: love, mercy, and kindness, to be sure, but also His wrath. The early American colonists sang the psalms, often exclusively. The Geneva Bible, which the Pilgrims brought to our shores, contained a metrical psalter, from which they sung. The first book published in British North American was a psalter, The Bay Psalm Book. We have lost a great heritage and a great teacher by not singing the psalms. The subject of this article is but one example of the consequences, shying away from some of God’s attributes.

  • gnelsonsbts

    Stafford: Any law which is passed by our legislatures is an imposition of some sort of point of view. As a result, no matter what law gets passed, somebody’s individual beliefs will almost always be offended. This is true whenever you live in a pluralistic society which attempts to shape its laws in a democratic sort of way. It will be messy and some won’t like it. Those who don’t want certain laws passed have a First Amendment right to express their displeasure and have a right to attempt to change laws through our process. If they fail then they must make a decision about how to respond. Always, however, at the core, is that we all have a worldview that shapes how we think about the reality around us and this gets reflected, in part, in the laws we believe should or should not be passed. Arguing that it is somehow wrong to seek laws that impose a point of view must ultimately lead to the conclusion (if taken to its logical extreme) that we should not have any laws at all, since all laws start with a concept shaped by a point of view.

  • drmwlau

    The Language of God by Francis S. Collins, HEAD OF HUMAN GENOME PROJECT, now Director, NIH. Excerpts, pp 66-67: “The existence of the Big Bang begs the question of what came before that, and who or what was responsible. …. For faith traditions that describe the universe as having been created by God from nothingness (ex nihilo), this is an electrifying outcome. ….Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow wrote….’Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements and the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.’ ….The Big Bang cries out for a divine explanation. It forces the conclusion that nature had a defined beginning. I cannot see how nature created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.””

  • drmwlau

    The existence/non-existence of God is scientifically/empirically unknowable. So PROOF and BURDENS OF PROOF are IRRELEVANT until science yields evidence otherwise. Meanwhile, the options, for theists and atheists, are limited to three beliefs/assertions:

    1. THEISTS: God created the multiverse, all material reality, and maybe space and time.

    2. ATHEISTS entertain one of two assertions:

    a. The multiverse, or necessary physical elements, have existed without beginning.

    b. The multiverse, including any contributing physical realities, created itself out of nothing.

    Or atheists assert they have no beliefs (wink wink), giving themselves perceived license to burden others to prove the unknowable.

    All three asserted options are sensational and unproved. So asserting someone else’s “burden of proof” is ignorant arrogance unless that someone else is foolish enough to claim “proof.”

  • Catken1

    I guess you don’t know that many pedophiles and child rapists have proudly claimed the mantle of Christianity, therefore putting you in the same boat as them, and making your religion by association a sexual perversion. Right? And sorry, you’re wrong in thinking that the general consensus of Christians is that child rape is wrong – Christians approve of child rape every bit as much as ordinary gay people do. (OH, wait, that’s “not at all.” But I, too, can make baseless assertions about other people’s opinion of child rape, with every bit as much justification as you have.)
    Or is it not FAAAAIR to judge groups you like by nasty fringe elements?

    ” You would also be doing the same by using you government to impose your views”
    Indeed, and the day someone tries to veto your marriage because you disobeyed someone else’s religious dogma is the day you can complain about that, and I will fight on your behalf with vigor and energy.

    The Bible is part history, part myth, and partly the religious ethics of a patrilineal, nomadic society (or societies) written down over a couple of thousands of years. It is no more entirely accurate than the Koran or the Bhagavad-Gita.

  • Catken1

    You don’t have to silence yourself or shut up, but you don’t actually convince anyone by asserting, “There is a god and you need him even if you don’t think you do, because I say so!”

  • Catken1

    ” This gay agenda wants you to assimilate or else.”

    Yeah, right. When you see someone trying to dissolve your marriage because you chose an opposite-sex partner, then you can whine about being forced to “assimilate or else”.
    What you are being forced to do is to accept your neighbor’s right to live and marry as they please as long as they harm no one else and have full adult consent to do so.

    No, this will not lead to pedophilic marriages any more than interracial or interfaith marriages did, for the simple reason that adult consent is and always will be needed for any civil contract or for any sexual activity. If you do not understand why a consenting adult relationship is fundamentally different from a non-consensual relationship, or a contract/sexual relationship with someone who cannot give adult human consent, then come back and talk to us when you understand why it is that rape is a crime. Give you a hint – it’s not because it’s not “traditional,” as sadly, it all too often is.

    Do you understand, for example, why it is not reasonable to ban black adults and female adults from voting to appease racists and sexists who don’t want to alter their “tradition,” but perfectly reasonable to bar children, animals and non-citizens from voting? Do you understand why we may not discriminate as employers against employees who do not share our ethnic background and our faith, but we may choose not to employ (indeed, may be outright forbidden to employ) a twelve-year-old or a horse? Do you understand why it is that children and animals are considered incompetent to agree to any civil contract?

  • Catken1

    Using God as a three-letter word meaning “I don’t know and I’m too lazy to do the work to find out” is a dangerous, foolish, and lazy tactic.

  • Catken1

    You have not disproved the existence of a Goddess who finds your worship of Jesus immoral, or a group of deities who want you to get naked and party every Thursday, or of a Giant Spaghetti Monster in the Sky who thinks it’s viciously sinful of you to eat anything but pasta, or of a cat-deity who wants you to proffer tuna daily unto Her children…why do you arrogantly refuse to believe in all of these? Do you think you’re smarter than them? Do you think you’re better than the Gods? Or do you just selfishly want to do what you please, and therefore only worship the god who tells you to do what you already want to do?

    At least we don’t think we know exactly what the Infinite is and what S/He/It/They want from all of us.

  • Charles Page

    The PCUSA had reviewed a Baptist hymnal that had already made the lyric changes to “..love of God was magnified” but still sought copyright permission. The PCUSA chose the high road and deleted the song altogether while the Baptist went ahead and used the song, changing the lyrics, thus taking the low road. Both the Baptist and Presbys shared the same view of atonement, compromising propitiation and wrath. But the Baptist were the first to laud the lack of Presby’s good theology.
    The Baptist profess with their mouth Penal Substitutionary Atonement but in practice they hold a less than orthodox view of atonement. Preferring the theory that grants more cooperation of man with God. The wrath of God is such that it leaves any hope that man can bring anything in his heart, mouth or hand to produce any appeasement to an angry God. Christ is the substitute.

  • drmwlau

    What a non sequitor! Prove the non-existence of that silliness yourself. I stand by my statement that proofs and burdens of proof are irrelevant until science yields evidence otherwise. Not yet.

  • drmwlau

    Your talent for name calling is no match for the scientific credentials, achievements, and responsibilities of Collins and Jastrow.

  • That’sWhyISing

    The God of the Bible is much bigger and much holier than we can imagine. We think he’s so small, but he is the one who gives life and breath to each creature. The pottery thinks it is greater than the Potter, in a very real sense. The Bible says he is so holy, and we are so sinful (down to our very thoughts), by our own actions we choose condemnation, because sin naturally separates us eternally from his holiness. Even our best works are like filthy rags before him (the Bible’s words, not mine–Isaiah 64:6), if our attempts to please him are done in our own strength.

    According to the Bible, yes, God is wrathful against sin. He created us to know him, but we choose to turn our backs on him through preferring sin and rejecting him. He showed us the ultimate form of love by coming to earth in human form, experiencing life as a created being, placing himself in a sinful world, though he remained sinless. His whole reason for doing so was to die a criminal’s death and rise again to pay the penalty for our sin and buy us eternal life, but we can only know that forgiveness and life by choosing to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and believing that he did that for us (Romans 5:6-11). Belief in the one true God is so different from any other religion in that God accomplished salvation for man; Jesus did the work, and grace is given freely. There is no way and no need for us to “work our way” into heaven. It is a gift! (Romans 6:23) But only those who choose to accept it and believe will receive it. He wants you to know his love, but he doesn’t force it on anyone. Yes, the Bible teaches that God has wrath against sin. But there is a way to know his love. Jesus is that way.

    I did not make any of this up; it’s all in the Bible. If you have an argument against these words, your argument is not against me, but God. Please search the Bible and see for yourself. I write this because of the life he has given me, and I want others to know that life!