Is a loving God incompatible with a wrathful God?
(NOTE: Updated Aug 4, 2018 so it will not sound angry or harsh )
People ask, “What kind of a loving God could be filled with wrath.?”
But any loving person is often filled with wrath.
— Timothy Keller
As you might have already guessed, this is about the recent ruckus on President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s comments on “a loving God” and “hell”.
Now, first of all, I’m a supporter of President Duterte . I voted for him in the last presidential elections.
That does not mean, of course, that I agree with every decision that he has made or will ever make. (I don’t actually have enough knowledge to evaluate decisions of a president, but I think no one agrees with anyone on everything… that’s the reason why I say that I do not agree with his every decision… I think I don’t agree with anyone on everything, even though I believe that we all must eventually agree with God.)
“I’m a supporter” only means that I believe that he is truthful and sincere with his motives towards serving the Filipino people; not like some of the other politicians out there whose goal is just to make money or to make themselves famous out of politics. Being famous is not necessarily wrong, of course. A politician will become famous whether he likes it or not. But if becoming famous is the primary reason why one wants to run for office in the government… there are other ways to become famous… we should give government offices to those who really want to serve the people.
Okay back to President Duterte…
Did the President really said those things about God and hell?
Good thing that we already have google and youtube today… so even when we are very late with the news, we can still easily verify things…
… So those things I heard are true.
He is questioning what the God of Christianity did in the garden of Eden (or, as others put it, he is questioning the account of the writers of the Bible of what the Creator did).
Well, if the Creator is all-knowing and all-loving, as what the Bible depicts him to be, we can question all we want, but will we able to fully grasp the answer?
We will only become like Job who in the end just said, “I have spoken too soon…”
Of course the President is free to believe in whatever god he wants to believe in. But I have to disagree with him on his comments that a loving God should not send people to hell hehe.
A loving and good God must hate evil, just like a loving president would hate evil. The President himself says that he hates drugs (by that he means those drugs which destroys the mind), because these things destroy his people, and he is doing something to stop those who perpetuate these evil deeds. The same is true with a loving God, I believe.
I do not understand why God does not bring justice to all people in this life, or why he permits evil to even triumph sometimes, but I believe, through the testimony of Scriptures, that he will bring justice to everyone in the life to come.
Now, the President also said that he does not believe in heaven, so we cannot accuse him by saying, “Does he want Hitler to go to heaven also?”. We cannot say that.
Now, one is free to believe or not to believe in heaven or in hell. But to say that a loving God is incompatible with a God full of wrath… that is incorrect already, and we have to correct it.
And if a loving God can also be a God full of wrath, then those unrepentant people, even unrepentant priests, even unrepentant church leaders, even unrepentant me (I hope God will give me grace and mercy until death.), God will send them to hell. A God who loves his people will send those who want to destroy his people to hell.
Okay case closed…
And what about President Duterte?…
As Dr. Johnson said: “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.” Why should you and I?
— from How to Win Friends and Influence People
… Of course that does not mean that we cannot point out serious mistakes of people in this life… we should.. or else we will all be doomed…
I would just like to make it clear that I am not saying that because the president does not believe in hell he will surely go to hell . I’m not saying anything like that. I am just trying to make it clear that the assertion that a loving God should not be sending people to hell is wrong.
But I still have hope that President Duterte will someday change his mind on this issue.
You say, “Now, wait a minute. God doesn’t hate anybody. God is love.” No, my friend. You need to understand something. Jesus Christ taught, the prophets taught, the apostles taught this — that apart from he grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord, the only thing left for you is the wrath, the fierce anger of God because of your rebellion and your sin.
When I speak in universities, they’re always quick to point out, “No, God cannot hate because God is love.” And I tell you God must hate because God is love. You see, I love children; therefore, I hate abortion. If I love that which is holy, I must hate that which is unholy. God is a holy God. That’s something that the Americans have forgotten. Many of the things that you love to do, God hates. Did you know that?
— Paul Washer (in “The Shocking Youth Message”)