Christ's Love and God's Wrath

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Freshchicken, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    What would you say to someone who believes that God's wrath in the Old Testament is not consistent with Christ's Love in the New Testament? He believes that the Old Testament writers must have misunderstood God and gave Him credit for things He had no hand in. He say's there are many things in the Old Testament that aren't consistent with Jesus therefore much of the OT cannot be trusted.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Johnv

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    It's not a matter of "inconsistency". It's a matter of growth. Humankind was not at a place where seeing God as a parental figure was beneficial to them. Early OT history was very autocratic, militaristic, and imperialistic. God knew this. Hence, God revealed Himself as they could relate to him: A sovereign ruler. As history rolled on, and it came time for the Messianic priphecies to be fulfilled, we were finally "grown up enough" to grasp the concept of us not only being God's subjects, but being God's children.
     
  3. superdave

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    How is it inconsistent, specifically. In many ways, God requires more from those of us in the age of Grace. Jesus addressed the heart issues, not merely robotic obedience to the law. Paul belabored this point as well.

    I agree it was more an issue of growth. The first step in raising a child is obtaining simple obedience, evidenced by this common sentiment "Because I said so, thats why" That is a fine answer for a 2 year old, but as children get older you have to start addressing the heart attitudes, or when they no longer are afraid of the consequences that you can bring to bear, they may very well stop obeying outwardly as well. God has moved through history to reveal many of his attributes to us, and has demonstrated the consistency of all of his attributes and the balance between such issues as his justice and his mercy. Jesus said we must exceed the righteousness of the religious rulers of his day.

    Mat 5:21-22
    (21) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
    (22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    Mat 5:27-28
    (27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
     
  4. DHK

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    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

    2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

    The wrath of God is taught in the New Testament. In the Book of Revelation we have a picture of God pouring out his wrath upon this world of wickedness.
    But wrath in God's sight is righteous judgement, judgement that man has justly deserved. God never loses his temper. He is always in contol. If God lost control of himself (as man does when he loses his temper) than He would not be God. For God is always in control.
    Man's idea of anger and wrath are different than God's or the Bible's view of wrath. The lexicon may give the same definition. But the connotation that we carry is different. God is not a hot-head that loses his temper, as man does.
    When Christ cleansed the Temple, that was righteous indignation. He did not lose his temper. He was always in control of his emotions. That is the big difference. Thus God can be loving and just at the same time. He is a just, loving God that metes out judgement when required.
    DHK
     
  5. Marcia

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    God in the OT is just as loving and merciful as the God of the NT! He was patient with the wicked in the days of Noah; He was patient with the Israelites who kept rebelling against Him; He showed mercy over and over again.

    There are passages showing a loving God, slow to anger in the OT, and a God whose wrath rests on the unrepentant in the NT. It is the same God in OT and NT and His attributes of love, mercy, and justice never change and are perfectly balanced.
     
  6. Freshchicken

    Freshchicken
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    Thank you all for the responses. They have been helpful. I have found out this person believes in something called Progressive Revelation and Progressive Understanding. Does anyone know what these are?
     
  7. Matt Black

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    Basically, it's a rather liberal approach to Scripture, based on the premise that the Bible is primarily a collection of human documents and also that the revelation of God revealed in Jesus is supreme or superior to the OT: the guys who wrote the earlier books of the Bible had an inferior understanding of God to those who wrote the later books who were in turn inferior to those who met Jesus; the early OT view of God as wrathful is thus inferior to the later view of Jesus being loving. I don't think that's what some of the posters here are arguing when they talk about 'growth',but let them clarify...

    I started a couple of threads on this Board a few weeks ago entitled 'Jesus the Word or the Bible the Word' and 'God and genocide in the OT' which touch on this subject, so you might want to look at those (perhaps a friendly mod can put up a link for us - pretty please?)

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. superdave

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    I guess the difference is that I believe that the OT scriptures are not inferior when it comes to describing the character of God. He was revealing his attributes to us in many different ways.

    If you want to see growth you have to look at the religious leaders and the change in the seat of power.

    Paul is a great example, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, the elite, most spiritual example of piety, and he didn't get it. He had all the revelation he needed to determine that Jesus was the Christ, but it took a personal experience with Jesus to get him to realize the truth.

    We have more concrete revelation now than the OT saints did, but that does not mean the OT scriptures were because of inferior human documents, or lesser understanding. God chose to reveal truth in the way he did. The scriptures in the OT were just as much God's word as those in the new.
     
  9. Artimaeus

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    No conflict whatsoever. If you see a difference then you have a perception problem. One does not have more or less love than the Other One and their wrath is also equal.

    John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

    John 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
     
  10. Freshchicken

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    Now this guy says he believes in something called Dynamic Inspiration. Does anyone know what this is?
     
  11. superdave

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    I have heard the term. Is it the belief that scripture is re-inspired by the Holy Spirit either over time in various versions, or by the actual reader? I am not sure, ask him for an explanation.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Or don't ask. All that you've asked from the "friend" is very questionable theology. You would be better to get a solid handle on the basics before you find yourself in a stewpot. [​IMG]
     
  13. Freshchicken

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    Well, from what I understand he believes that some scripture is inspired and some isn't. And it is up to the believer to decide for themselves what they believe is true. Which is why my friend decides to believe in God's love but not in God's wrath and justice. I'm just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to say to this person if they don't believe all of the Bible is true.
     
  14. Marcia

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    Yes, I think that may be dynamic inspiration - the reader determines what is true or what is from God. I would ask him things like this:
    1. If God has not wrath on sin why did he send Christ? (If he says to show that he loves everyone, ask why the atonment was necessary and what did Jesus suffer for?)
    2. If there is no wrath on sin, ask him if Hitler and unrepentant rapists and murderers are in heaven. If they are not there, why not?
    3. Ask him if he is a universalist (everyone goes to heaven), and if he is, then you can go back to the issues of #1 - why the atonement and why did Jesus say that we must believe in Him or perish?
    4. Point out that if we are all just deciding on our own what is true in the Bible, then we will come up with different beliefs which would reflect a very inconsistent God. How do we know what is true if we all have our own version of what God said?
     
  15. Matt Black

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    Spot on, Marcia! Dynamic Inspiration is yet another manifestation of liberal higher criticism - apparently man is supposed to judge and weigh Scripture; call me old-fashioned but I always thought it was the other way round...

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  16. Rooster

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    There is no contradiction : Acts 17:31 (KJV) Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in Righteousness ( THE LAW) : by that man whom he hath ordained (JESUS) ; wereof he hath given assurance unto all men , in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    no contradiction between old and new testiment, or in any of Gods Word, if we have the Holy Spirit we can clearly discern Gods Word it tells us that in 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
     

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