Incompatible "Christian" Views of God
There are various things about God that have been disputed in the
Christian community. This is to be expected as what we know about God is
written in the Bible, but absent of a comprehensive explanation there
are issues of interpretation when trying to derive from the text more
than what the text clearly and explicitly states. Such is the case
particularly with historic passages, but also when an interpretation
hinges upon the nuances of grammar of a single verse.
The most fundamental concept of interpretation is to get at the meaning
the author intended. To read the Bible in the sense in which the author
wrote. I say this because, well let's have the Bible say it "the
time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead,
to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number
of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will
turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2Tim 4:3,4
Catholicism is an appalling example along those lines. But in fact I
would argue heretical interpretations have become popularized throughout
the "Christian" community.
Consider the Catholic Mass in which the people are to say, "Accept this offering made by our hands for the praise and glory of your name for Your good and the good of all your Church."
What offering? The priest was offering the eucharist and breaking it,
which representing Christ being crucified (or re-crucified in the case
of what Catholicism refers to as "the sacrifice of the Mass") and the
people were condoning it. In other words the priest was playing the role
of the religious elite of Jesus' day who had him executed and the
Catholic congregation is playing the role of the crowds crying "Crucify
him! Crucify him!" And this despite the fact that the Bible
characterizes such people as wicked in doing so. "You, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." Acts 2:23b And Stephen declared of them, "Was there ever a prophet
your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the
coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered
him—" Acts 7:52
Judas, who handed Jesus over to these people, Jesus himself
characterized as a devil. And yet Judas could very well pray along with
the Catholics, "Accept this offering made by my hands for the praise and glory of your name for Your good and the good of all your Church."
Yet the theology behind this practice also has roots in Reformed
Theology. For much of the Christian community has been indoctrinated
with the idea that God was actively involved in crucifying this innocent
man. Yet God said, "Have
nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest
person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty." Ex 23:7 For my view of the theory of atonement see http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/atonement.html. So the question is, does God do that which He Himself condemns as evil?
Now some Christians have said, yes, God can do whatever He wants. Yet
the Bible indicates that God cannot do that which is contrary to His
character. For example it says, "God, who cannot lie" Tit 1:2b Or more generally, "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 1John 1:5,6
Likewise, God's character is called into question more generally
concerning dogma of sin and guilt. Consider the misguided doctrine of
"Original Sin". Under Reformed Theology the idea is that one is reckoned
guilty of Adam's sin. Imputed guilt is nothing more than prejudice. God
says, "The son shall not bear the guilt of the
father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of
the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked
shall be upon himself." Ex 18:20
The "god" of Imputed Guilt is not the God of the Bible. Guilt is not
imputed to people who haven't actually committed the sin for which they
are held accountable. Nor does God hold people accountable for that
which they have no control over, whether it be their birth or the
actions of other people. Even among those Christians who deny the
doctrine of imputed guilt there are those who reckon that people have no
choice but to sin and therefore are personally guilty for that which
they had not control over. Those who hold such views essentially believe
that their "god" is unjust. Indeed I have had Calvinists tell me "God is not just in human terms".
But the Bible is using human terms when it speaks of justice. Such
people are essentially saying that injustice is justice. They are
calling good evil and evil good. "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness" Is 5:20
While the God of the Bible is good, the "god" that many "Christians" believe in is evil.
Which is your view of God? Does your God condemn the innocent? Does
your God impute guilt to the innocent? Does your God cause people to sin
apart from personal choice? Or do you believe in the God of the Bible?
It's appalling that such blasphemous heretical theologies of God have
propagated throughout the history of post-Biblical Christianity. Yet
they justify such heresies by misreading the Bible, not
interpreting the Bible in light of God's character.
The Berean Christian Bible