Is God so angry that he has to kill his child? Probably not.

It’s Good Friday, and my faith is changing.

One key thing that’s changing: my view around why Jesus died. There’s a cognitive dissonance when you speak of a “God of love” who loves you so much that he will punish another to satisfy his own rage, or to satiate his sense of honour. We condemn honour killings, but it’s okay for God?

I still believe in God (though, what I mean by that statement, is also something that is changing). But if it’s Jesus that I’m attracted to, and it’s Jesus that showed us what the god behind the universe is really like as a person, then I don’t think God is the sort that wants to kill people to defend his sense of honour and justice. In fact, one of the stories I like most is of Jesus non-violently de-escalating a situation, saving a woman from being the victim of an honour killing.

So what did Jesus death on the cross mean?  It’s something I want to learn more about.  I want to read NT Wright and I want to hear about the “new perspective on Paul” that is actually decades old.  But I read an article today that had good food for thought.

He became the lightning rod where the pent up oppositional energy of the powers that be (the world) became focused. In bearing the hate, evil and animosity of the world, he exposed it and exhausted it, thus overcoming it..

We, too, are called, on behalf of the kingdom of God, on behalf of mercy and justice, on behalf of what is good, right, true and just, to be lightning rods, to bear the hate of the world without returning it, so that it might be exposed and so that forgiveness is given a chance.

Here it is:

It’s time to end the hands-off attitude to substitionary atonement

 

2 thoughts on “Is God so angry that he has to kill his child? Probably not.

  1. Thanks for your honesty in sharing your thoughts!
    When considering whether the cross is a case of cosmic child abuse I think it’s important to note two things:
    1. Jesus is God Himself. (John 10:30, Col 2:9, etc.)
    2. Jesus willingly offered his life. (Ephesians 5:2, 1 Timothy 2:6, Heb 9:14, etc.)
    It’s pretty hard to miss the theme of atonement that runs through the Bible, and if you turn over to Revelation, it is this same Jesus who is overseeing the outpouring of God’s wrath. (Revelation 6:16-17, etc.)
    God’s love is very great to be sure, and his anger or wrath is completely just when it happens. If you want a different God you unfortunately must get rid of the Bible and make up your own “Jesus” and “God”, which could be anything at all but not based in truth.
    Blessings!

    • Thanks for taking the time to reply – great points. This post was very much me emotionally processing and I think you raise some good points – you can’t just make up a belief system based on what you want to believe, and still think it’s the same orthodoxy. I’m still making my way through Tom Wright’s book and he is going through these questions in detail and you can’t accuse him of not taking a biblical view. I think I’ll have to do a re-visit post when I finish reading :)

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