I thought God was love not anger. I mean, the Bible even says so.
It’s Jonathon Edwards and his “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” with a Catholic bent.
This isn’t coming from one thing or article but multiple blogs, articles, and even CAF (Catholic answers forums).
I don’t understand this need to punish others. Reveling in the pain and suffering of others who have been deliberately hurt and abused in the name of God and saying this is a good thing. These are Catholics who are advocating Edwards’ tyrant of a god who dangles sinners over an open pit of fire and then throwing them in with glee even after the sinners beg for mercy.
These Catholics want God to hurt people. They would be extremely happy if God destroyed certain people. Their God is not the God of love that we hear about in the Bible. Their god is a bully and a tyrant and an abuser who only loves them and loathed everyone else. They make proclamations of judgment and condemn everyone who isn’t like them to a fiery Hell that is much worse and more violent than anything the Church teaches or accepts. They like to hurt people and they want their god to hurt people, to torture people for fun.
This is not the Catholic God. This is not the Christian God. This is no God. This is evil.
Wanting the destruction of another person is a mortal sin. It violates the commandment to love your neighbors as yourself.
God does not punish, at least not the way these people want. Most of our punishment comes from our own choice to sin.
Our sins hurt us, not just God. God does not seek our destruction but our salvation. He loves us. He doesn’t hate us. He doesn’t love our sins. Rarely does God need to actively step in and smack us down. And he doesn’t even smack. Mostly he let’s us suffer the consequences of our sins. He might magnify the consequences, make them worse or more painful but he doesn’t deliberately set out to hurt us. He doesn’t need to. We’re pretty good at hurting ourselves.
Yes, God did punish the Israelites in the Old Testament. But look at the context. This was a people who were like children in their faith and God acted like the father he is. Yes, there were time when his punishment seems excessive but then then look at what the Israelites were doing and the context. The Israelites got a lot of second chances. And I mean a lot. And they still kept being disobedient. So God escalated the consequences. But he kept giving them chances, kept forgiving them even after sending them into exile.
And Jesus changes the whole game. Forgiveness, mercy, grace, salvation are there for the asking. And if we fail, we sin, we have recourse to the Sacraments. We aren’t cut off or sent into exile or have plagues sent. We have grace and mercy and forgiveness and salvation all because God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us so that we might have eternal life.
Nowhere in there is punishment. God isn’t a pushover, either. We do have to repent of our sins and change our ways but God will give us the grace to do so. We have but to ask. We have but to ask.
People who want punishment don’t want mercy or love or grace or salvation or forgiveness. They want rules and formulas and lines and penalties and punishment. Oh, the grace and mercy they can have but they don’t want other people to have it. They want to horde it all to themselves. They refuse to understand or accept that God doesn’t discriminate in whom He gives his mercy, grace, forgiveness, love, and salvation to as long as people ask for it. They make god in their own destructive image.
I don’t want that god. I don’t want a god that is out to get me just so he can hurt me. I grew up with that god. That god was going to send me to hell just for existing. I don’t want that god. I don’t like that god. That is not god.
I want the God who is love. That God that forgives. The God that gives mercy. The God that gives grace. The God that offers salvation and eternal life.
That God is a much better God than the god that I grew up with. The god that certain Catholics want to impose on everyone. The god that hurts and punishes and isn’t a god at all but a bully and a tyrant and a condemner and abuser. The god that isn’t God but a demon, a devil, a god made in man’s image.
The Jesus we need.