Is the Christian God a Vengeful God?

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I was surprised, to say the least, at Weissbach’s comments a few days ago on the radio.

Pat Robertson insinuated that the earthquake could be some form of punishment for the Haitian’s supposed pact with the devil.

Peter Weissbach thought that the Christian God, the New God of the New Testament (as opposed to the Old God?), had done away with interfering in people’s lives and wasn’t the kind of God that would send an earthquake to destroy an idolatrous country.

Peter, let me educate you on a few instances of God’s interference in man’s life in the Bible. I suppose you believe the Bible. Perhaps you don’t take it all literally, but you have to admit that certain stories stand out.

First, consider Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem. Wasn’t that vengeance, in one way or another, on those Jews who killed Jesus and otherwise killed his apostles and disciples?

Second, consider Saul’s experience on the road to Tarsus. Being struck dumb and blind is hardly the act of a kind God who doesn’t have vengeance of justice in His mind anymore.

The most stunning part of the New Testament is the last book of all–Revelations. In there, damnation is promised in a multitude of forms to the wicked yet to inhabit the earth. In the end, all the wicked will be completely obliterated, and only the righteous, those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, will inhabit the earth.

But the overriding lesson of the New Testament, like the Old, is that we are important to God. So important, in fact, that he would not only send prophets but His Only Son. And His Son isn’t someone who hid in a corner until it was his time to die in obscurity—no! He went about doing as much good as he physically could with His short time on earth. He touched people’s lives in a marvelously personal and profound way. That is the kind of God who is the God of the New Testament. Not a distant God who ignores humanity for the most part, but a personal God who desperately wants to touch everyone’s life in a profound way.

Personally, I fear God. Not because He is powerful, but because He is just. That is, when God’s eye pierces your soul, you will confess, loudly, your crimes against Him, and beg for Him to destroy your soul in payment. When Jesus comes back to the earth, the wicked will run and hide, trying to bury themselves underground to hide themselves from Him.

I don’t doubt for a moment that Haiti deserved what it got. Frankly, the whole earth, including myself, are sinners. We have all gone astray—every one of us. None of us are righteous, no, not one. God could’ve destroyed us long ago, and we would have praised His works as righteous and just as He did so. God does nothing except it is perfectly justified and perfectly merciful.

However, and this is the big point, Jesus commands us, the people, the followers of Jesus, to frankly forgive everyone. When we see someone in need, we are supposed to freely share what we have, and then some. The story of the Good Samaritan becomes even more powerful when you read what the victim was up to in the first place. He wasn’t randomly assaulted by thieves, he was one of the thieves himself! And yet, the Good Samaritan, perhaps knowing who he was and what he did with his life, gave him freely everything he had, and even paid out good money to see that he was taken care of.

So should we! I don’t care if the Haitians were in a pact with the devil, if they murdered and abused Christians and were the most vile and despicable people on the planet. When misfortune befalls them, it is my honor and duty, as a servant of Christ, to serve them.

I believe that the belief in the ultimate calamity that will befall all nations at the hands of a vengeful God is a reason why Christians are so anxious to spread the gospel. There is only so much time left, and so many people have yet to hear and accept it into their lives. If we truly have the saving message that can save people from the destruction of the world—and if it costs nothing to share and brings everything to you and those who receive it—shouldn’t it be the sole priority in our lives?

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