Friday, October 17, 2014

What if God wasn't good?

"No one is good except God alone."  - Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19

"For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You."       - Psalm 86:5

"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love..."  - 1 John 4:16

I don't know about you, but I am so thankful that God is good!  We may declare, "God is good!" in word or song; we may even think to ourselves, "Of course God is good! What else?"

What else. Well, I actually stopped recently to think that very thought. I asked myself: what if God WASN'T good. (Scary right?) What would that be like? What would He do?

This line of thinking is a bit disturbing, and I'm sure there are those who will really think I'm over-the-top here (or heretical), but it seemed like a valid question. Ask yourself: If God wasn't good, what would that look like? What evil could you imagine that an all-powerful Creator would inflict? What is the worst He could do, if he were to create beings as ourselves?

I know, it's hard to go there. I don't suggest staying 'there' for long. It's not really healthy thinking, but it may give some perspective to our idea of GOOD. When you consider the alternative to God being good, then you really begin to grasp how thankful we ought to be for His love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, comfort and fatherly care. The list could go on and on. What a relief that we are not created by an unloving, sadistic tyrant.

So, what have you thought of? If God wasn't good He would... 

_____________________________________________________________________ .

I'm curious what you would come up with. If it isn't too detailed (or inappropriate for all audiences), I would like to hear your answers.

I actually thought of somehow doing a survey of folks and asking them what they thought would be the worst thing an all-powerful 'bad' God would do to them. I decided against it, as that probably wouldn't go over very well! So, I asked myself.

Perhaps I lack imagination, but as I thought this over, I kept coming back to different forms of torture that such a One could inflict (even mental torture, for example, those you love being hurt mercilessly). And of course the person couldn't escape, either through unconsciousness or even death. It would be this suffering (with no purpose but to inflict pain and anguish) but the person couldn't escape and couldn't die because the all-powerful One is able to keep them alive even against their own will. This torture would go on and on, maybe even forever because that is the worst possible thing that could happen, right?

And that scenario sounds very familiar. Very familiar.

Don't think for a moment that I am saying God isn't good. He is good. If that thought crossed your mind it is because of what you believe about God, not what I believe. I don't believe that He will torment His fearfully and wonderfully made creations for eternity. (However, beyond me and my beliefs, whatever God does is righteous and just and His ways will prevail. "Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar." Rom. 3:4)

So, there it is. Something to ponder, to wonder, to consider.

I told my husband I was a bit reluctant to post these thoughts because of their offensive and controversial nature. He read it and said, "Post it now" so I did. God's word has nothing to do with people-pleasing, but with Spirit and truth. So, go to God's word and learn who He is, through the Spirit, and reject traditions of men and doctrines of demons.

The God I know is Jesus revealed in His word, the Holy Scriptures. He is good.

What else?


  1. This comment from another post applies to this subject, in my opinion. What do you think:

    "Ultimately, getting caught up with doctrines, reading the bible with scientific exactness, waging fact wars with biblical “data,” etc. is not the point. It is useful among certain expressions of the Christian faith. But it is good to remember that love is the best, and ultimately the only real argument. Meister Eckhart, in a wild blaze of passion, said once that he opt for hell with Jesus than have a heaven without Him. This is love. If God is a god who puts people in eternal conscious torment, I would have to take my stand against him. That god is simply evil." - Patrick

  2. Robert West makes this comment concerning the traditional view of hell:

    "God has been made so cruel, and this doctrine is so unthinkable that it has probably created more atheists, and caused more weak believers to fall away than any other false teaching. The dread of Hell has caused misery and mental anguish to countless millions and instead of the horror of hell turning many to God....many millions have been turned away from such an unjust God."

    (The Resurrection and Immortality, William Robert West, Xulon Press, 2006, p. 313. See for more info.)

  3. Clark H. Pinnock states:

    "Let me say at the outset that I consider the concept of hell as endless torment in body and mind an outrageous doctrine, a theological and moral enormity, a bad doctrine of the tradition which needs to be changed.

    How can Christians possibly project a deity of such cruelty and vindictiveness whose ways include inflicting everlasting torture upon His creatures, however sinful they may have been? Surely a God who would do such a thing is more nearly like Satan than like God, at least by any ordinary moral standards, and by the gospel itself. How can we possibly preach that God has so arranged things that a number of his creatures (perhaps a large number predestined to that fate) will undergo (in a state of complete consciousness) physical and mental agony through unending time? Is this not a most disturbing concept which needs some second thoughts?"

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I understand this is a difficult subject and there are different views from folks who all value God's inspired word. I value your feedback, corrections and questions. Please leave a comment!