Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Would a loving God never judge or condemn someone?

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" - 1 Cor 13:4-7

1 Corinthians 13 gives a great definition of love. Surely any loving God would fit this description.

And in this description Paul says that love 'keeps no record of wrongs'. So how can Christians say that there is a perfectly loving God who will judge humanity? Surely no one has anything to worry about. A lot of people think that a loving God will never judge anyone.

But what about 'love always protects'?

Consider someone who commits a murder. 'Love always protects', and so the loving thing to do is to protect everyone in the community from future murders by putting the murderer in prison.

Surely many people throughout history have refrained from doing evil because God has said that evil acts will receive punishment, which has protected vulnerable people. If you believe there's a God who will judge you for hurting someone, then you will definitely not hurt them, even if you won't do so for moral reasons.

What if significantly less evil has occurred throughout history because of God's promise to judge? This can't be proved, but it would be a good reason for God to make and carry out that promise.

This judgement is not hell (which is a separate issue). It's a proportionate 'payback' for whatever evils someone has done (Rev 20:12-15). Hell is not the result of a specific wrong act that we do so much as a consequence of choosing not to be with God forever, which means separation from God who is the source of true happiness (a happiness that will never get tedious).

This judgement does not apply in the same way to Christians (Rom 8:1), because Jesus took our moral failures onto Himself on the cross. "We know that the person we used to be was crucified with him to put an end to sin in our bodies" (Rom 6:6), which is fully manifested after we die. But we still have to give an account to Jesus about our life (2 Cor 5:10).

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