I have recently read the book A God Who Hates by Wafa Sultan but even before reading it I have often thought about the title since hearing about it and it left me with the uncomfortable thought that many (even most?) religions teach that God hates including unfortunately Christianity.
As one blogger I read puts it many Christians believe in a might makes right God. Yet I don’t see that being what Jesus modeled or what God really claims to be about despite my issues with various passages in the Bible that could be used to make the case for that view.
Fact is I can sometimes understand the pull to be an atheist if the alternative is to believe in a hateful god. I mention this just because I sometimes do wonder what’s the point of believing in any god since they all seem to be very picky and are only interested in “saving” their own while happily torturing the rest who didn’t get things figured out in time.
And the sad thing is most Christians are so use to rationalizing the disturbing aspects they’ve been taught about God they don’t realize they are in a similar mindset to other religions out there. Take Islamic terrorists for example. We wonder how they can believe in a God who needs (or straight up orders) terrorist acts to be done in His name not realizing how much those outside our faith see our beliefs in the same way.
Even with claims of Him being loving in this life we don’t bother pretending He will be loving to most people in the next. But thats ok because thats just the justice/wrathful side of God coming out (so the reasoning goes). But how ‘loving’ can He really be if He has chosen to pour out His wrath and judgement on the majority of those He made? Say you have a parent with five kids and he beats three of those children regularly to the point of bruising, bleeding and broken bones. Does he get to call himself loving because he spared two of his children from abuse?
I recently read of a man who could no longer believe in hell after seeing a video of ISIS burning a man alive. Yet most Christians have made peace with the idea that God will torture most of humanity (in a way similar to this) for all of eternity.
Many Christians will simply state that the God of the Bible is a certain way (translation: their personal/theological/denominational understanding) and we must not make Him into whatever we want (into our image so to speak).
But the more I’ve thought about this and considered many of the attitudes and beliefs of Christians I know (including myself here) the more I’m realizing we are already guilty of doing this. Take hell for example. Look at our world with its love of violence and dare I say revenge (particularly in areas of justice) and you’re going to tell me Christians acceptance and sometimes even boastful attitude of certain people “getting whats coming” in hell isn’t a reflection of bloodthirsty, violence loving sinners?
I often think of this quote by Anne Lamott.
” You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
And most Christians have made God in our own image to some degree.
But lets just say for the sake of argument that you really do think that the most objective understanding of God leads to seeing Him as being fine with eternally burning the vast majority of people He created. And lets also say that He can do whatever He want for the simple reason that He is God.
Seems like God is wasting a lot of lives (in regards to potential in this life as we’ll as the next) to prove some sick point about being in charge. As one writer put it we seem to believe in a two faced god.
And yes I’ve read and heard the arguments about freewill, predestination, His sovereignty and the like but it still hasn’t helped me get this idea out of my head: that God, even the one in three persons, hates more than He loves. And this is why I think I will always have questions and doubts.