“Is Yahweh An Angry God?”
I grew up in rural Arkansas during the great depression years. Those were very stressful days for our parents, but at the same time they were good times, especially for the children
I well remember how the whole community gathered in a one room schoolhouse to worship on Sunday morning and night. Well, I really can’t say everyone gathered into the church house, a few of our good neighbors, my parents, and those awful heretics down the road that belonged to some strange denomination were usually absent.
Otherwise we, I should say they, all seemed to be in perfect harmony. I was a very serious youngster, and I tried to believe everything the preacher and teachers said. But I was having a secret problem.
I found out early on that God was very angry at me over Adam and Eve eating an apple. I really did not understand why he was so mad over them stealing one little apple since he owned the cows on a thousand hills, but I knew that I was in danger of being burned forever.
I gathered from what I perceived that there was only one way to keep God from putting me in his huge lake of fire to burn forever with Adam and Eve and everyone else that stole apples. This escape operation entailed getting his son, Jesus, to leave heaven and come and get inside of me. Now from where I stood that was going to be a major problem; I could not understand how a grown man could do that, since I was so small. Besides I was not sure how Jesus felt about the stolen apple, since his father was so upset.
I worried about hell continuously. In those days we heard a lot more about hell than we ever heard about heaven. We heard a lot more about judgment than we heard about grace and redemption. We certainly heard more about the devil than we heard about the Holy Spirit. In fact I did not hear about the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes I felt like the minister would pick me up and shake me over a bottomless hole. I gathered that there was fire connected with this hole, but I had no idea what kept the fire from falling through, since it did not have a bottom. Maybe we would just fall with the fire and burn while we were falling. Most ministers gave us a very explicit picture of miles and miles of flames leaping and dancing around the heads of millions of screaming people who were pleading for mercy. While a few saints that had barely made it in to heaven by the skin of their teeth looked on the sad state of their former loved ones. In my dreams I was never fortunate enough to be the onlooker.
Not only was I confused about the lake of fire idea, I could never get the story straight about where most of the dead were. Sometimes the minister said they were in hell burning, and then he would tell us about judgment day when the graves would open and the people would get out; then we all had to be judged. I wondered how we would get from our grave into hell or heaven. Since Lazarus never went to the grave at all.
It was also an unsolvable mystery how we could get out of hell back into the grave to be resurrected and judged, and sent back to hell. I was troubled about how we could wash our garments in lamb’s blood and get them as white as snow. My sister could not figure out why we needed to rejoice when we were “bringing in the sheets (sheaves).”
I had a very poor image of the object of my adoration; I always pictured him as having one eye and being a bit pudgy. He was always sitting in a big chair with an arm missing; this accounted for him having the ability of “leaning on the every lasting arm.” This constant leaning position gave him a very clear view of the earth at all times. He grew a bit when they sang, “There is an All Seeing Eye Watching You.” It was well known if you had only one good eye you would wear a patch over the other one. I felt that one useable eye following me everywhere I went, even to the old board outhouse. Remember the words, “Every step that you take this great eye is awake. There’s an all-seeing eye watching you?”
Maybe this comprehension sounds funny to an adult, but it was everything but funny to children who were somewhere between three to ten years of age.
I wonder how many children suffered the same nightmares that I suffered in those days. I do not condemn the scriptural truths that some of these old time favorites represent, but I do condemn this manner of presentation of the wonderful story of creation and redemption to children. How could any child love a god that was presented in such a manner?
I wish I could say that all the confusion and misunderstanding of my childhood vanished with my advancing years, but I am still perplexed with the solution to my former questions of how we could get from our grave to hell and then get from hell back into the grave in order to be there on judgment day to be judged and sent back to hell again. I still do not know how I can invite a man-god into my body. I do not condemn our forefathers for their lack. The conflicts they faced back there slowed the progress of the civilized world; besides it has taken some difficult suffering and a lengthy time to emerge from the dark ages. Every generation of Christians must struggle for more light while they are trying to escape the wrath of blind religions.
Now that we have all the wonderful Bible helps, words of spiritual wisdom of the ages made available to us, we need to use them to expand our spirit’s horizon enough to answer this question more accurate than most. Who destroyed the World Trade Center?
If the atonement of Christ reconciled the world to Yahweh, why are we yet teaching an angry God theory? Is it not time to preach the good news? People are in bondage to their nature. They need a solution to the entrapment; they need a way out. They need a Savior.
If you are a Christian, you have experienced the unmerited mercy of a loving God, as did I. After being confused by religious people for over twenty years I finally accepted the love of a merciful Father. No works, no mighty deeds, no change, no cleaning up; I had nothing but a plea for mercy. And, bang-go! It happened, instantly. I had a divine experience. The heart of stone could, and did, love the unlovable. My burdened soul could laugh again. The tears all dissipated, and as the cross was lifted from my shoulders old self-pity and his army packed up and moved out of my temple. I came alive, vibrant, excited. I had hope. Halleluyah! I was still ignorant about everything except one thing; I was no longer ignorant about a living, loving God.
My God was alive and because he was alive, I could live again. My afflicted lungs did not prevent the breath of life from entering into my body. Hey! I had a spiritual experience that day that lifted me above my old nature and got my foot out of the grave. I became a member of the new creation, and I felt it. The sky took on a deeper blue; the trees were much greener than they had ever been. The birds sang louder and more beautiful and best of all I lost all sight of hell with its ghastly flames. All of a sudden the All Seeing Eye became my constant keeper. He was not a spiteful pirate with a bandaged eye any more. He was my all wise keeper.
I yet marvel that he was able to penetrate my head—it was so padded with false religious concepts that had built a wall too high for me to hurdle to make any sense out of my life, Yahweh, or the world.
Yahweh alone bridged the gap. I was surprised to learn that he had never been angry at me. He had not been angry at Adam and Eve. He clothed them. And finally we hear Eve say, “Yahweh has appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”
Did you notice that Mother Eve blamed her oldest son for the death of Abel. She did not say “God has appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Yahweh slew?” Is it not extraordinary that she failed to blame Yahweh?
I would like to make one statement here. I hear many of the, so called, “Son’s of God” making derogatory remarks against the Church and all kinds of people making derogatory statements against Yahweh. We should never fight the Church or our Creator. Our enemy is religion (religious doctrines created by the carnal mind). It is not the Church. The Church is made up of individuals that have been born from above and as such they are the Body of Christ. They are one with him. To fight against the Church is to fight Yahweh. We fight the war of faith by putting on the mind of Christ, so we can love our enemies. We do not fight the fight of faith by killing the victims of sin, or lack. We fight our fight with Wisdom’s great attributes.
The computer is full of junk about God destroying the World Trade Center and the Pentagon because of sin. And I will agree they were destroyed because of sin. But when I see the faces of the enemies on television that did this act, I do not see the face of Yahweh. I see the faces of ignorant religious people venting out a wrath that did not originate in the heart of the Father.
Come on saints; stop agreeing with the devil and his ignorant slaves. Yahweh said, “Let them have dominion.” We’re not puppets. They’re not puppets. We rise above this dilemma by faith demonstrated through love, or we sink into their heathenish demonstrations of ignorance.
Read the Bible, read history; all of the wars against truth of the past were hosted and waged by false religion.
If we have an angry deity that is yet struggling against his enemies to gain his supremacy, we are into false religion. If we are true messengers of Christ our message should be in harmony with the truth expressed by Paul in Second Corinthians 5:18-21, “And all things (‘things’ was added by the translators) are of Yahweh, who has reconciled us to himself by Yasha Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, that Yahweh was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though Yahweh did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to Yahweh. For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we (human beings) might be made the righteousness of Yahweh in him.”
This same degree of mentality nailed the Savior to the cross almost two thousand years ago. Did the Savior cry, kill every last one of them and their families. No! He said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” And the Father did forgive them-see Acts 2:22-23: “You men of Israel, hear these words; Yasha of Nazareth, a man approved of Yahweh among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which Yahweh did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of Yahweh, ‘you’ have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
Acts 2:37-39: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yasha Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
When you preach an angry, vindictive god, you do it by the sacrifice of the redemptive work of the cross. You trample under foot the Gospel (good news) that Christ was crucified to demonstrate.
If the disaster in New York and Washington DC was ordered by Yahweh to punish us, then is not this saying that he sent that bunch of killers to murder 6,633 unsuspecting people? Who is the rogue here?
If Yahweh sent Osama ben Laden to kill our people, would this not then suggest that Laden was in touch with Yahweh’s will and we are not? Are these messengers of doom suggesting that we should get behind Osama ben Laden’s effort to judge and destroy civilization and start following him so we can get in tune with Yahweh? I do not think so!
What do the children think about their loving Father when they see the horror of this barbarous deed and hear their spiritual leaders preaching that it actually came from the hand of Yahweh?
Evil men did this. They meant it for evil, but Yahweh will direct our steps to work it out for the good of those that love the Lord, the called according to his purpose.