John Markum

2 thoughts on “What is God like?

  1. I generally agree with what you’re saying, but there is one thing of which you should be careful.

    You say: “God is holy […] on such a level that everything less than that must be eliminated.”

    If God is perfection itself, then His very act of creation is a paradox. To be perfect, it must be God, and if it were imperfect, it must be destroyed. But we know that creation is not God and therefore not perfect. Otherwise we’d belong to Hinduism, which teaches that everything is, in fact, God! But the universe is finite, and falls sort of God’s perfection by nature. God declared the universe, and humans, to be “very good,” not perfect.

    The greek word for holy, “hagios,” literally means “different, set apart, consecrated.” Simply put, the word holy does not imply the destruction of anything less than itself. In fact, because of this your second statement “God is love” seems to augment rather than contradict the holiness of God, because St. Paul says, “the greatest of these is love.” God is called holy because He is love!

    Finally, Christ never teaches that God condemns anyone to hell. Rather, in his many parables, He teaches that people condemn themselves through their words, thoughts, and actions. God, in His love, reaches out to all people. This is clearly biblical! As we see in the prideful Pharisees, the impassioned heathens, the ignorant heretics, Noah’s contemporaries, Sodom and Gomorrah, the rivals of Israel, Adam and Eve, and even Lucifer, humans in their sin reject God, and remove themselves from the communion and love of their Creator. You were correct in saying Christ did not come to save humans from God, but take it a step further: Christ came to save humans from themselves, and by rejecting this act of love they secure their own condemnation.

    King David says in his Psalm, “You do not desire the death of the sinner, but that he will repent and live.” To say that a holy God destroys anything less than perfect contradicts not only Christianity but God-given reason. I would urge you to reconsider your interpretation of this fundamental Christian truth. Perhaps you could read the writings of some early Christian theologians and apologetics to supplement your reading of the Holy Gospel? I would also suggest a few modern texts, particularly those written by Kallistos Ware. Please do not see this as a criticism, but as an encouragement to continue in the truth and love of our Savior.

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

    1. Of course God is separate from His creation. I never implied otherwise. I only mean “perfect” in a sense of good and evil, right and wrong, moral and immoral. And I was quoting Rob Bell’s assumption that mainstream Christianity teaches a God who “condemns people to Hell.” The rest of the distinction you make regarding what I said is somewhat minute. This 10 minute video could not possibly cover all of the nuances of theology. Suffice to say that you and I probably agree on almost everything shared here. Thanks for contributing!

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