The Tyranny of God

“Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” – William Penn, 1668
“Those who will not be gov­erned by God will be ruled by tyrants.” – William Penn, 1668

This image has been float­ing around Face­book late­ly. A few of my friends have post­ed the image to their walls, and i’ve been a good boy… I’ve kept my opin­ions to myself, for the most part. The extent of my com­ments on Face­book are lim­it­ed to a few i made to a post made by a more trust­wor­thy friend, one whom i can usu­al­ly expect intel­li­gent dis­cus­sion with rather than heat­ed arguments.

On Face­book, i sim­ply point­ed out that democ­ra­cy, god­less­ness, qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion, and per­haps even IQ all seem to be some­what relat­ed — or at the very least, cer­tain high­ly god­less nations seem to be not only incred­i­bly demo­c­ra­t­ic & free of tyran­ny, but they are bet­ter edu­cat­ed as well.

But beyond point­ing out that fea­si­ble, effec­tive gov­ern­ment can be achieved even by the god­less, i want to point out that the false dilem­ma of the quote (“Those who will not be gov­erned by God will be ruled by tyrants.”) works both ways:

Not only is the oppo­site of being ruled by God not being ruled by tyrants, but being ruled by tyrants is not all that dis­sim­i­lar to being ruled by God.

I’ll explain what i mean by tak­ing a look at the def­i­n­i­tions of tyrant, cour­tesy of Answers.com:

1) “An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions.”

Many Chris­tians will agree that God is sov­er­eign. I con­sid­er Calvin­ism to be the best the­o­log­i­cal frame­work for under­stand­ing a vari­ety of aspects of the Bible & the god described there­in, and so i find the Calvin­ist descrip­tion of God’s sov­er­eign­ty espe­cial­ly use­ful here:

For­tu­nate­ly, the scrip­tures are very clear on this mat­ter. The bible depicts God as the only and absolute King of the uni­verse, who rules over all, and does every­thing he pleas­es (Exo 15:18; 1Ch 29:11–12; 2Ch 20:6; Psa 22:28). And not only is he sov­er­eign in some abstract way, in that he retains the right to gov­ern all events active­ly accord­ing to his will, but choos­es not to do so; but he actu­al­ly and active­ly ordains and brings to pass every­thing that takes place on the earth (Deu 32:39; 1Sa 2:6–8; Job 9:12; 12:6–10; Psa 33:11; 115:3; 135:6; Isa 14:24; Isa 45:7; Act 15:17–18; Eph 1:11). From the small­est mat­ters of “chance,” such as the cast­ing of a lot into the lap (Pro 16:33), to the great­est events of the earth­’s mighty king­doms (e.g. Isa 45:1–4), God is bring­ing all things to pass accord­ing to his will. He gov­erns and super­in­tends “coin­ci­den­tal” hap­pen­ings (1Ki 22:20, 34, 37), the wicked actions of men (Gen 45:5; 50:20; Exo 4:21; Jdg 14:1–4; Psa 76:10; Pro 16:4; 21:1; Isa 44:28; Amo 3:6; Act 2:22–23; 4:27–28), the good deeds of men (Joh 15:16; Eph 2:10; Phi 2:12–13), the actions of both evil spir­its and good angels (1Sa 16:14–16; 1Ki 22:19–23; 1Ch 21:1/2Sa 24:1; Psa 103:20–21; 104:4), the habits of ani­mals (Num 22:28; 1Ki 17:4; Psa 29:9; Jer 8:7; Eze 32:4; Dan 6:22), and the oper­a­tions of all cre­ation (Gen 8:22; Psa 104:5–10, 13–14, 19–20; Mar 4:39).

Monergism.com

That’s a long quote, but it illus­trates the point well: God is an absolute ruler who rules with­out restriction.

Accord­ing to the first def­i­n­i­tion of tyrant, God is a tyrant.

2) “A ruler who exercises power in a harsh, cruel manner.”

The ques­tion here is whether God exer­cis­es his pow­er in a harsh and cru­el man­ner. If he does, he meets yet anoth­er def­i­n­i­tion of tyrant. Harsh is defined as “severe, cru­el, or exact­ing.” I could go through the sev­en def­i­n­i­tions giv­en for just “severe,” list­ing bib­li­cal exam­ples of each, but for brevi­ty’s sake, here are just a few considerations:

When two priests wor­shipped God by offer­ing up fire to him which was­n’t com­mand­ed of them, God struck them dead (Leviti­cus 10:1).

When Jesus sought some figs from an out-of-sea­son tree, he did­n’t humbly admit his mis­take in tim­ing but cursed the tree out of frus­tra­tion, result­ing in the tree shriv­el­ing up (Matthew 21:18–22).

Adul­tery? Death for both par­ties (Deuteron­o­my 22:22)!

Rape a woman? Pay her dad 50 shekels then mar­ry her! … Actu­al­ly, that one’s not very severe at all. Con­sen­su­al adul­tery has a more severe pun­ish­ment than rape? And they say that athe­ists are the ones with moral difficulties…

And let’s not for­get the most strik­ing evi­dence of God’s harsh­ness: com­mit just one sin — just one! — and you will be pun­ished with eter­nal hell­fire, and it does­n’t mat­ter if that sin is wear­ing poly­ester. Burn, baby, burn!

3) “An oppressive, harsh, arbitrary person.”

Is God oppres­sive? If a human ruler demand­ed your absolute obe­di­ence under penal­ty of eter­nal damna­tion, would you con­sid­er that ruler to be oppres­sive? What about one that does not shy away from refer­ring to his cit­i­zens as “slaves”? God does both… unashamedly.

Is God harsh? Yes (see above).

Is God arbi­trary? To be arbi­trary is to do things accord­ing to your own desires rather than accord­ing to rea­son, and it comes as no sur­prise that Chris­tians speak so often of “the will of God.” All of the crazy laws of God, all of the ran­dom pun­ish­ments (why some folks are instant­ly killed for minor offens­es [Nadab & Abi­hu] while oth­ers are allowed to per­pet­u­at­ed thou­sands upon thou­sands of heinous sins [Hitler] can only be explained by believ­ers as being part of “the will of God”)… If any­one is arbi­trary, God is.

God is a tyrant, meet­ing every cri­te­ri­on of being a tyrant… What­ev­er facets of love, mer­cy, or grace that Jesus or the dis­ci­ples would go on to laud, it is impos­si­ble to escape the fact that for the major­i­ty of the Bible, God is por­trayed very sim­ply as a cru­el, vin­dic­tive, arbi­trary tyrant…

…and those atti­tudes run through­out the New Tes­ta­ment as well, from Jesus’ “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” speech to the vio­lent inau­gu­ra­tion of the king­dom of Heav­en in Revelation.


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36 responses to “The Tyranny of God”

  1. nielish Avatar
    nielish

    Please for­give me if I am mis­tak­en, but you seem to be an athe­ist. I am try­ing to under­stand how you can pre­scribe some­thing as good when you believe there is no such thing as good or evil. Chris­tians use God as a moral ref­er­ence point. I am not say­ing that indi­vid­u­als who are athe­ist or non Chris­tians are not moral, but I just do not under­stand what is your ref­er­ence point for morality.

    1. Rick Beckman Avatar

      For­give me, but i’m try­ing to under­stand how athe­ists hav­ing no moral absolutes under­mines any­thing i said above. Under­stand­ing the God of the Bible to be tyran­ni­cal does­n’t require moral judg­ments; it requires under­stand­ing what a tyrant is (the dic­tio­nary affords us that much) and how God gov­erns (the Bible affords us that).

      Yes, i am an athe­ists, but you’re set­ting up a straw man argu­ment by hon­ing in on the source of moral­i­ty and so forth. (Moral­i­ty is noth­ing more than soci­etal mores; folks have had moral stan­dards through­out his­to­ry, chang­ing with time and cir­cum­stances… No god(s) need­ed. It’s sim­ply how human­i­ty works.) You’re also ignor­ing the point of the above. If God isn’t a tyrant, then how do you define “tyrant”? And if God is a tyrant, what then should Chris­tians do with that knowledge?

      1. faith a grace Avatar
        faith a grace

        but if, as you say, God is tyran­ni­cal than why would he send his only SON whom he LOVED to DIE on a cross for US. we don’t even begin to deserve his love or forgiveness!

        1. Rick Beckman Avatar

          You empha­size “die,” but when some­thing is dead, it does­n’t walk around for weeks, giv­ing final lessons or hang­ing out with friends. Jesus’ so-called death does­n’t fit the def­i­n­i­tions of either death or sac­ri­fice; it’s a farce, invent­ed by Paul and embell­ished by the gospel writ­ers… and log­ic was­n’t exact­ly what they are going for.

          Also…

          • Cre­at­ing peo­ple know­ing they’re going to sin,
          • cre­at­ing a ser­pent know­ing that it’d tempt those people,
          • putting those peo­ple in a sit­u­a­tion that just about guar­an­tees they’re going to sin,
          • con­demn­ing all of human­i­ty to death as a result of it,
          • promis­ing hell­fire and tor­ment to any­one who does­n’t wor­ship and adore you,
          • then solv­ing the prob­lem by hav­ing Jesus “die” so that believ­ers won’t be punished?

          No, that’s extreme­ly tyran­ni­cal behav­ior: cre­at­ing a prob­lem, push­ing your peo­ple into it, and then solv­ing it through no real sac­ri­fice of your own, all so that you can be glo­ri­fied and praised?

          That’s “How to Rule as a Dic­ta­tor 101,” right there.

      2. faith a grace Avatar
        faith a grace

        also, is there ANYTHING more hum­bling than dying on a CROSS?

        1. Rick Beckman Avatar

          Is there any­thing less hum­bling than an all-pow­er­ful per­son pre­tend­ing to die for a weekend?

      3. faith a grace Avatar
        faith a grace

        you are miss­ing the BIGGEST part of Chris­tian­i­ty. God LOVES us with a nev­er stop­ping, nev­er end­ing, nev­er fail­ing, ever­last­ing love. GOD LOVES US. God loves us so much he sent his son to die for us. how can he be a tyrant? God isn’t cru­el as many would like to believe. God is JUST. there is a HUGE dif­fer­ence between those two words.

        1. Rick Beckman Avatar

          If God is just, he would kill those who com­mit the sins, not some­body else on their behalf.

          If God is not cru­el, he would­n’t have sent his son to die a bru­tal death. (I mean, seri­ous­ly, you made those two claims right by each oth­er; you do see the con­tra­dic­tion there, right?)

          If God’s love is nev­er stop­ping, nev­er end­ing, nev­er fail­ing… then there’s no way he’d suf­fer any­body to burn in Hell and we can all live and let live with­out fear of future consequence.

  2. Gordon Avatar
    Gordon

    I don’t think the Bible nec­es­sar­i­ly ‘por­trays’ God as any­thing. If you’re going to stay con­sis­tent with God being respon­si­ble for the entire­ty of scrip­ture, then you are sug­gest­ing that He is call­ing Him­self a tyrant. Bible believ­ers believe that every­one is born depraved and deserves pun­ish­ment, but the plan of sal­va­tion pro­vid­ed through Jesus is accept­able pay­ment for our pun­ish­ment. Offer­ing up your son to die does­n’t sound very tyran­ni­cal to me. I def­i­nite­ly under­stand what you’re say­ing about the old tes­ta­ment pun­ish­ments that are talked about. I, too don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly under­stand them oth­er than it was deserved. Romans sug­gests that God will have mer­cy on those he choos­es… but for Him to be God, His char­ac­ter and attrib­ut­es must be per­fect­ly bal­anced. I trust that his sense of jus­tice and right­eous­ness would be bet­ter than mine. Now before any­body starts mak­ing assump­tions about blind­ly fol­low­ing a tyran­ni­cal dic­ta­tor, this is God of the uni­verse — not Sad­dam Hus­sein. I think the stan­dard is divine — much more seri­ous than some sort of polit­i­cal argu­ment or world­ly def­i­n­i­tion of peace. Some­what relat­ed to the sub­ject, I’ve heard and read all these quotes about why does­n’t God stop all the evil in the world? The short answer — He has. The long answer — What is evil? Sup­pose we define evil as what­ev­er is moral­ly wrong or against God. If that’s the case, where does it stop? The mur­der lev­el? The adul­tery lev­el? The lying lev­el? The thought lev­el? If God were to wipe out all evil, He would have to wipe us all out because our thoughts are evil. That’s where — again — Jesus came to die for us. That’s the plan to destroy evil. God, not being bound by time, sees it as done. Us being bound by time, well… here we are try­ing to fig­ure things out. You say you are an athe­ist, but you are acknowl­edg­ing his exis­tence by call­ing him a tyrant. I am chris­t­ian and believe He is mer­ci­ful and choos­es to use the Bible as a means for us to know Him and for us to share with oth­ers the idea that there is for­give­ness. I guess the bot­tom line for me is this — I believe it. Just like you might believe he’s not there… it takes faith to believe either one. Now, where did evil come from? Haha­ha! …I don’t know. Sor­ry, though… my thought process is a plate of spaghetti.

    1. Denizen Avatar
      Denizen

      “Bible believ­ers believe that every­one is born depraved and deserves pun­ish­ment, but the plan of sal­va­tion pro­vid­ed through Jesus is accept­able pay­ment for our punishment. ”

      This state­ment is irra­tional and arbi­trary. . God declared some­thing like dis­obe­di­ence to him as evil, and then declared an arbi­trary sac­ri­fice to clean it. Oh, and those that are “saved” are expect­ed to serve both Jesus and God in Heav­en for eter­ni­ty. You are just con­firm­ing that God is a tyrant by bring­ing this up.

      “but for Him to be God, His char­ac­ter and attrib­ut­es must be per­fect­ly balanced. ”

      Omnipo­tent beings are be def­i­n­i­tion not lim­it­ed by any­thing, even things like bal­ance. The god of the Bible fre­quent­ly acts imper­fect and unbal­anced. Your argu­ment is invalid both ways.

      ” If God were to wipe out all evil, He would have to wipe us all out because our thoughts are evil. ”

      Appar­ent­ly you do not under­stand the state­ment of being all pow­er­ful. If one is all pow­er­ful, one can change rather than destroy. An omnipo­tent being can elim­i­nate evil with­out violt­ing free-will or elim­i­nat­ing thoughts. God’s pre­vi­ous attempts to “destroy” evil failed. Even after the Flood and Jesus’ sac­ri­fice, evil is still here. God either failed or he desires evil to exist.
      Oh, and why has­n’t God just elim­i­nat­ed Satan? No one can answer me that.

      “Jesus came to die for us.”
      But he did­n’t stay dead for us. Not much of a sacrifice.

      “You say you are an athe­ist, but you are acknowl­edg­ing his exis­tence by call­ing him a tyrant.”

      He exists as a fic­tion­al char­ac­ter. There are many many fic­tion­al tyrants. Are hypo­thet­i­cal sit­u­a­tions beyond your ken?

      “I am chris­t­ian and believe He is mer­ci­ful and choos­es to use the Bible as a means for us to know Him and for us to share with oth­ers the idea that there is forgiveness.”

      Sounds like you’re excus­ing his tyran­ni­cal actions. It’s okay. Abused spous­es often do that, as do cit­i­zens in dictatorships.

      “Now, where did evil come from? Haha­ha! …I don’t know.”

      It came from God. Isa­iah 45:7 “I form the light, and cre­ate dark­ness; I make peace, and cre­ate evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.” I sug­gest you read your Bible in its entire­ty rather than let your pas­tor feed you tiny eas­i­ly digestible bits.

  3. DP Avatar
    DP

    God as a tyrant.
    Seems to believe that the God of the bible is tyran­ni­cal you have to accept the idea that He is in con­trol of every­thing. That idea is not scrip­tur­al though.
    Seems appar­ent that God does not always get what He wants. God would that ALL be saved. Are ALL saved? It is almost like He has left us with choic­es to make and respon­si­bil­i­ties to car­ry. Quite the tyrant.

  4. Donnie Rich Avatar
    Donnie Rich

    you com­plete­ly mis­in­ter­pret­ed the bible its not hard to but noth­ing you say when you say that God is a tyrant is true because God does­nt do any­thing harsh to His peo­ple He gave up His only begot­ten son so that we did­nt have to die the bible says for the wages of sin is death but guess what God was­nt going to sit back and let us die He died on the cross so that we could be free and not have to die to me dude that looks like a real­ly lov­ing God who obvi­ous­ly isnt a tyrant and like the oth­ers niel­ish said how are you going to try and act like you know any of this when you dont believe in God.your an athe­ist and your try­ing to quote the bible that does­nt make any sense when you don’t believe in it I was in no way try­ing to make you mad or offend you I just want­ed to under­stand why you believe what you believe

    1. Rick Beckman Avatar

      I am ful­ly aware of what the Bible says regard­ing all of that (a quick perusal of old posts here will show that), but ulti­mate­ly it boils down to the fact that the Bible is a nov­el where­in the main char­ac­ter (God) threat­ens the read­er with a dis­ease (sin) which not only is the main char­ac­ter the only one able to diag­nose this dis­ease but is also the only one who can pro­vide a cure.

      And that’s not the worst part… The worst part is that it’s the same sto­ry told by many reli­gions through­out his­to­ry, such as the sto­ry of Horus in Egypt­ian mythology.

      More to the point, though, you began your post with “you com­plete­ly mis­in­ter­pret­ed the bible.” Okay, as they say, put up or shut up: How did i mis­in­ter­pret what i was talk­ing about? Sim­ply point­ing out some­thing per­ceived to be a pos­i­tive (“We’re doomed, and God has the cure.”) does not dis­cred­it any­thing i said, espe­cial­ly when what you said is reword­ed to be more hon­est: We’re doomed because God dooms us, but he also pro­vides a means of being saved, itself an entire­ly arbi­trary choice on God’s behalf.

      1. faith a grace Avatar
        faith a grace

        the bible isn’t a NOVEL it is the WORD OF GOD!

        1. Rick Beckman Avatar

          Your state­ment car­ries with it the same rig­or as the state­ment, “Moby Dick isn’t a nov­el; it is the word of Ishmael.”

          Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no rea­son to believe that the Bible is the word of any­one oth­er than the kings, apos­tles, and oth­ers who put pen to parchment.

    2. Denizen Avatar
      Denizen

      “He gave up His only begot­ten son so that we did­nt have to die ”

      Chris­tians STILL die.

      “the bible says for the wages of sin is death ”

      No. The wages of Sin is HELL.

      “but guess what God was­nt going to sit back and let us die He died on the cross so that we could be free ”

      No. Sin­ners that are “saved” are then enslaved to Jesus and God for enter­ni­ty. That is the very defin­tion of “not free” 

      “a real­ly lov­ing God who obvi­ous­ly isnt a tyrant and like the oth­ers niel­ish said how are you going to try and act like you know any of this”

      It’s obvi­ous you’re the one who knows nothing.

      1. faith a grace Avatar
        faith a grace

        Chris­tians do die on this earth but we have ETERNAL life in heav­en with God!

        1. Rick Beckman Avatar

          I’d like to believe that, but unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no evi­dence to sup­port that faith. Evi­den­tial­ly speak­ing, it is just as like­ly that Mus­lims will enjoy Heav­en while every­one else will be damned. That’s the prob­lem of believ­ing things which aren’t sup­port­ed by what we can know: Just about any myth can be sub­sti­tut­ed in with­out a change in logic.

  5. Pulse of Religion Avatar

    Yes, God is a tyrant. Offer­ing up a son to death is human sac­ri­fice even if the son “vol­un­teers” or fol­lows a tyrants com­mand. There is no sal­va­tion in human sac­ri­fice, even if some­one calls him a lamb. There are ancient pagan rea­sons for this sto­ry and oth­er sto­ries in almost all attemp­t’s and suc­cess­es of orga­nized reli­gion through­out his­to­ry. Now we who live in the mid­st’s of these reli­gion, myths, mys­ter­ies, the­o­ries of the­ol­o­gy must put up with tyrants. Even our denial of the myths leads them to believe we must be sent to hell or killed by them act­ing as God’s tyrants. We are in a sad affair of cul­li­fied sheeple will­ing to go to wars to kill mil­lions and for var­i­ous rea­sons not based on truth but, on fear. Fear of ter­ror­ism, fear of hell, fear of life so that oth­ers can con­trol us … or so they think.

    Because men use God as their jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for wars, death, and evil of all sorts, we are left to the atroc­i­ties we see today and through­out his­to­ry. We even con­grat­u­late the war­riors of the wars and pro­mote sac­ri­fices of the most inno­cent, the unborn chil­dren. God will not allow these mis­deeds to go unchecked. We need bet­ter moral poli­cies and a more hon­est, least threat­en­ing gov­ern­ment stance. It may be too late since we have pret­ty much offend­ed the whole world with our atroc­i­ties and wars so now it seems all stops have been pulled out and wars, abor­tions , death (death with dig­ni­ty), health care death pan­els, etc. are to become the norm.

    1. Dan Avatar
      Dan

      (im not com­ment­ing on this post, as i havent read it fully,
      so instead i will write of some­thing that i have learned)

      Here is a view, which most Peo­ple, dri­ven by their Ego’s dont want to accept.

      God is the Ruler of the Uni­verse. Ruler is inapro­pri­ate here, because God is every­where, but need­ed to be writ­ten, as under­stand­ing to the humans.
      Bee­ing every­where and bee­ing the first what there was and what there ever will be, it makes him , in Human terms a Ruler.

      The next thing is, that he did­nt want­ed to be alone, and he has Cre­at­ed a Son, which is in His mind Forever.

      Bee­ing of God, and a part of God, he has the same pow­er to cre­ate like his Father.

      And he has to cre­ate like his father did, because, in this case a+a=a.
      This is sim­ple matem­at­i­cal for­mu­la, what is a, needs to cre­ate a to be a.
      In his uni­verse if Love cre­ates Love, it turns out to be Love.

      This Brings us to the next for­mu­la, on which you will agree, a+a=b.
      Because you have learned that, 1+1=2, you do not under­stand that for God is a+a=a, and that it needs to be so.

      When God says that, if you do not fol­low His rule, which is love, then the mean­ing is, that you will be ruled by an Tyrant.
      This is the case where a+a=b is.

      As God gave his Son all the pow­er which he has, the mean­ing of giv­ing is to hav­ing. The for­mu­la for this is aswell a+a=a
      If you want to have Love, you need to give Love, to have it.

      If you think about this like Sun and sun­rays, then you will under­stand, if the Sun wants to have its Sun­ray, He needs to give it.
      You will under­stand that this is the basic rule, which have to be, because the Sun is giv­ing the sun­rays automaticaly.

      So when the Son of God dreams, only then it is pos­si­bile for him to have things like a+a=b.

      Where the humans are, in this God-Son of God rela­tion­ship, i cant tell, only guess.
      And my Guess is, that the Son of God has tried, to Cre­ate unlike his Father did. The Son thougth that he Cre­at­ed his Cre­ator. And because of his Pow­er, he did cre­at­ed some­thing, (a+a=b) which is
      the Ego of the Son. And the Son, beliv­ing in what he has cre­at­ed, gives pow­er to his Cre­ation (sun-sun­ray principle).

      Cre­at­ing unlike his Father did, is a try to Cre­ate what God has not willed. But what God has not willed, has no power. 

      As God is Love, he can Cre­ate only Love.
      As God is Life, he can Cre­ate only Liv­ing things.

      Humans may think of them­selfes that they are God­less, but, if you remem­ber that God, bee­ing life,is always giv­ing life, so it also fol­lows, that if your alive, you are living.

      If you Choose Death, it auto­mat­i­caly fol­lows, that you are choos­ing against God.
      If you Choose to Hate, Then you auto­mat­i­cal­ly choose against God. 

      Ok because to explain all this would take ages, ill stop here,
      because there are Many Books arround which can help you in Your Awakening.

      The way to God is the way Back to Love, and the way back to Life and Live.
      May God Bless you all.

      1. Denizen Avatar
        Denizen

        That’s the Greek def­i­n­i­tion of the Supreme Being, not the Bib­li­cal one. Chris­tians will often use this argu­ment which was stolen from Greek Philso­pheres. The God of the Bible is not per­fect. The God of the Bible is not all lov­ing. The God of the Bible hands out death by the mil­lions and fre­quent­ly hates.

        eviti­cus 20:23 — “And ye shall not walk in the man­ners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they com­mit­ted all these things, and there­fore I abhorred them.”

        Leviti­cus 26:30 — “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your car­cas­es upon the car­cas­es of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

        Deuteron­o­my 32:19 — “And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the pro­vok­ing of his sons, and of his daughters.”

        Psalm 5:5 — “The fool­ish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hat­est all work­ers of iniquity.”

        Psalm 5:6 — “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leas­ing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceit­ful man.”

        Psalm 10:3 — “For the wicked boast­eth of his heart’s desire, and bles­seth the cov­etous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”

        Psalm 11:5 — “The LORD tri­eth the right­eous: but the wicked and him that loveth vio­lence his soul hateth.”

        Psalm 53:5 — “There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scat­tered the bones of him that encam­peth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”

        Psalm 73:20 — “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awak­est, thou shalt despise their image.”

        Psalm 78:59 — “When God heard this, he was wroth, and great­ly abhorred Israel:”

        Psalm 106:40 — “There­fore was the wrath of the LORD kin­dled against his peo­ple, inso­much that he abhorred his own inheritance.”

        Proverbs 6:16–19 — “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, sev­en are an abom­i­na­tion unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed inno­cent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imag­i­na­tions, feet that be swift in run­ning to mis­chief, A false wit­ness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth dis­cord among brethren.”

        Proverbs 22:14 — “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

        Lamen­ta­tions 2:6 — “And he hath vio­lent­ly tak­en away his taber­na­cle, as if it were of a gar­den: he hath destroyed his places of the assem­bly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sab­baths to be for­got­ten in Zion, and hath despised in the indig­na­tion of his anger the king and the priest.”

        Hosea 9:15 — “All their wicked­ness is in Gil­gal: for there I hat­ed them: for the wicked­ness of their doings I will dri­ve them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

        Zechari­ah 11:8 — “Three shep­herds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.”

        Malachi 1:3 — “And I hat­ed Esau, and laid his moun­tains and his her­itage waste for the drag­ons of the wilderness.”

        Romans 9:13 — “As it is writ­ten, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”

  6. EJ Avatar
    EJ

    you need to cor­rect the date on the quote, this is not a 1966 — quote or William Penn would have been one old dude

  7. Rick Beckman Avatar

    Fixed. Thanks!

  8. mike Avatar
    mike

    Rich, you bring up some inter­est­ing points. The most inter­est­ing of which I find to be your con­clu­sion that if God is indeed a tyrant, which I believe you have rea­son­ably deduced that he is, what should a Chris­t­ian DO with this knowl­edge? While the word “do” pre­sup­pos­es that there is some sort of free will in which a believ­er can choose this way or that, I pos­tu­late to you that there in fact no choice what­so­ev­er, and that the only way to please this tyran­ni­cal oppres­sor is in fact to obey his every whim and command.

    1. Rick Beckman Avatar

      What a bleak exis­tence that would be.

    2. mike Avatar
      mike

      It would be bleak except for the fact that there is a promised reward to those who fol­low the Cre­ator. It is not unlike a despot­ic monarch grant­i­ng titles and land to loy­al lords.

      1. Rick Beckman Avatar

        We moved past despo­tism for a reason.

        1. mike Avatar
          mike

          Well said, but we arent talk­ing about King George here. How can a man fight God?

          1. Rick Beckman Avatar

            The pow­er of super­sti­tion is only so great as one’s belief in it. The gods — any gods — can be fought effec­tive­ly through unbelief.

            1. mike Avatar
              mike

              You’re cor­rect again, but unfor­tu­nate­ly for me I was robbed of that. I could no more dis­be­lieve God than deny my own exis­tence. I’m sor­ry if I’m com­ing off snooty, but I believe this mind­set to be a curse, not a bless­ing. Woe is me. I envy those with the willpow­er to dis­be­lieve an omnipo­tent being. May the spir­it of true rebel­lion reign supe­ri­or over the plan of the Creator!

              1. Rick Beckman Avatar

                Once you real­ize that there isn’t a being out there that cares that you’re hav­ing doubts or rebel­lious thoughts, then sim­ply con­tin­ue on from there and live as though there isn’t. Final­ly, allow your­self to for­get all about him/her/it and enjoy life in its hon­est simplicity.

                I know I’m over­sim­pli­fy­ing the process — it isn’t always easy — but the pay­off is well worth it: a free mind.

              2. Denizen Avatar
                Denizen

                We can try nuclear weapons. 

                Also he dosen’t like iron chariots.

            2. Terence Avatar
              Terence

              If God is not real, why do you need to fight a non-exis­tent God through unbe­lief? There is noth­ing to fight against. 

              Being an athe­ist requires an unshak­able faith. You must pos­sess a rock sol­id belief that there is absolute­ly No God. Not an iota of a per­cent­age point that God exists. Zero.

              If you are fight­ing still, you aren’t an atheist.

              Romans 1:
              20 For the invis­i­ble things of him from the cre­ation of the world are clear­ly seen, being under­stood by the things that are made, even his eter­nal pow­er and God­head; so that they are with­out excuse: 21 because that, when they knew God, they glo­ri­fied him not as God, nei­ther were thank­ful; but became vain in their imag­i­na­tions, and their fool­ish heart was dark­ened. 22 Pro­fess­ing them­selves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glo­ry of the uncor­rupt­ible God into an image made like to cor­rupt­ible man, and to birds, and four­foot­ed beasts, and creep­ing things. 24 Where­fore God also gave them up to unclean­ness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dis­hon­our their own bod­ies between them­selves: 25 who changed the truth of God into a lie, and wor­shipped and served the crea­ture more than the Cre­ator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

              1. Rick Beckman Avatar

                Do Chris­t­ian apol­o­gists that speak about Islam often believe that Allah exists? Do cre­ation­ists who spend their days fight­ing evo­lu­tion while nev­er actu­al­ly doing sci­ence believe that evo­lu­tion is real?

                No?

                You see now how stu­pid it is to claim that argu­ing against the idea of God means that some­one must believe in said God is.

                Being an athe­ist does­n’t require any faith. Babies don’t believe by default. Plen­ty of peo­ple are athe­ist and sim­ply don’t think about or con­sid­er God or reli­gion in their lives. I’m an athe­ist because I left reli­gion when I real­ized how immoral the bib­li­cal god is and found that I could­n’t then find rea­son to believe in any oth­er god, so I’m an atheist.

                I fight against God because the god of most reli­gions (main­ly Chris­tian­i­ty as it is most com­mon in Amer­i­ca) is abom­inable and as a result fol­low­ers of those gods tend to push abom­inable things onto non-adher­ents of those reli­gions. If believ­ers in God would keep such belief to them­selves and out of sci­ence, schools, hos­pi­tals, state­hous­es, etc., then per­haps I and oth­er athe­ists would­n’t need to fight so hard.

  9. kangkana Avatar
    kangkana

    With our con­di­tioned brains we think of reli­gion and our god with the usu­al ideas and how they are impor­tant and how it makes sense. We find com­fort in the tra­di­tion espe­cial­ly those which is relat­ed to our per­son­al beliefs and sen­si­tive and inti­mate to us. We are ter­ri­fied of new ideas espe­cial­ly that which tries to explain the things we have always val­ued with total­ly new rea­son­ings and yet sound­ing log­i­cal though hurt­ing to the sen­ti­ments of a the­ist like myself. But its human and noth­ing to be ashamed of. Its nat­ur­al. And I find myself com­fort­ing with the con­cept that its okay to be a the­ist and its also okay to have a flawed god. Its okay to have an imper­fect god and its okay to have imper­fec­tions. So long our beliefs com­forts us its okay to hold on to those beliefs. Its also okay to not agree with some our beliefs of our reli­gion like eter­nal hell or pun­ish­ments or gods wrath to those who dis­obey. We can always choose what beliefs suits our per­son­al under­stand­ing of god. After all all these gods descrip­tion was con­cep­tu­al­ized by some indi­vid­ual who found all those con­cepts suit­ing to his per­son­al beliefs and com­fort­ed him. Its okay to agree to some and not agree to some. And just because some athe­ist comes and explain that reli­gion and god are all man made con­structs its okay to agree to them and still remain to be the­ists. After all god is god. No one can ever come to deci­pher all of God ever. Its basi­cal­ly impos­si­ble. Some expla­na­tions will work and some don’t. But we can’t ever fig­ure out all of God ever. God works in mys­te­ri­ous ways as they say. And the debate of good vs bad. I do get the point its all about ref­er­ence points and will dif­fer and vary among indi­vid­u­als. But its some­times nice to have a per­son­al set of what we con­sid­er good and bad for our own relief. Some turn to reli­gion and some turn to rea­son like the athe­ists. Also I get the point that good vs bad is some­thing point­less espe­cial­ly for God. Its all about his mys­te­ri­ous ways of which we are a part. But its okay to have cer­tain goals and try and work for them even if they are des­tined for us or not. Its okay to work with free will even though it may not exist. Just like we do know the world can nev­er be per­fect but we should still thrive for it right. But dan­ger­ous­ly its also okay to not thrive for it. Every­thing is okay atleast for god cause every­thing is point­less and infi­nite. But I pres­on­al­ly am more includ­ed to the thriv­ing active camp rather than the pas­sive. But its real­ly up to indi­vid­ual what path they choose. The real­ly pow­er­ful part of god is with his tremen­dous poten­tial for good comes with the poten­tial for bad as well. That does­n’t make him bad or tyran­ni­cal. He is tyran­ni­cal but actu­al­ly it is some­thing beyond that. He is beyond the def­i­n­i­tions of good and bad or may be both or nei­ther. He can nev­er be ful­ly under­stood. So yes god is dark and dan­ger­ous but I think for my per­son­al com­fort I would like to lim­it to God’s only pos­i­tive aspects. At least it helps to go to sleep rather than sleep scared. So for all the the­ists like me out there its okay to be the­ists alright. And to those athe­ists out there its under­stand­able that you wish to share your knowl­edge with us. But if you all are so intel­lec­tu­al then you should be under­stand­ing towards feel­ings as well. All humans whether the­ists or athe­ists crave love. So you can always make your point by being polite and respect­ful to oth­ers. That does­n’t mean you have to omit or with­draw some of your points. Just explain it more at length and detailed so that the oth­ers know what you are talk­ing about and under­stand what you say with­out being hurt. Every body will lis­ten if the lan­guage is respect­ful with­out sub­tle attacks on theists.

  10. Bob Lobo Avatar
    Bob Lobo

    This is a trite mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of infor­ma­tion with poor con­text and vast­ly lack­ing in research due to a one sided view of the top­ic. God dis­plays tyran­ni­cal attrib­ut­es but for man to come to any real under­stand­ing on this top­ic we need non-bel­liger­ent study and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Just because the com­menter’s ideas are not yours does not mean they are false because some of their infor­ma­tion is bet­ter for­mu­lat­ed from in depth study of the bible. This arti­cle needs more research and less atti­tude to be credible.

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Rick Beckman