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Thursday, August 22 2013

 

 

 

By Katie Altobellis

I am no theologian but I address things the best way I know how—

When is the last time you went to church and heard a sermon that addressed the subject of wrath and were told it was an attribute of God?  Naturally, no one likes to hear “fire and brimstone” lectures coming down from the pulpit, but if one denies wrath is not an expression of God’s displeasure with man, then they are simply reinventing the Gospel to accommodate and make it into only those things that make them feel comfortable.

Many who worship God incorporate the singing of hymns and recently, the Presbyterian Church (USA) started theological debates among the masses due to their challenging the words of the song, “In Christ Alone.”  They have dropped this hymn from their repertoire because the song’s authors refused to change a line in the song. 

One of the song’s lyrics say, “on that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.”  The song committee of this church wanted the line addressing God’s wrath to be changed to, “the love of God was magnified.”   Some think by removing the word “wrath” the church is burying its head in the sand by refuting the truth of the Gospel. Others think the church made the right move wanting the line removed because they feel like the wrong impression is given. They say the song implies God took His wrath out on Jesus and in turn killed Him.  Where do people come up with this stuff?

Why are we always trying to redesign the Gospel so that nothing in it sounds offensive?  And it is mans’ offenses that make it that way anyway because there is nothing offensive in God at all. There is instance after instance of God’s chosen people and pagans alike having to drink of God’s cup of wrath because of their insistent and consistent love affair with sin. 

Hebrews 12:5-6—“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 02:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 15 2013

We have come to expect outrageous statements that frequently flow from the mouths of atheists like physicist Stephen Hawking and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.  Dawkins, in particular, works hard and has made quite a living at attacking God.  Some of us will never get used to what they say. However, as offensive as I find their suggestions, I do not think  that anything they have ever said has taken my breath away in quite the same manner as what Desmond Tutu recently announced to the United Nations.

The now retired black African leader campaigned hard to end apartheid and was well-deserving of his Nobel Peace Prize and other prestigious awards for his no less than heroic attempts to end the ongoing racism, violence and intolerance in his country.  Now this man of God has turned the Gospel around, put his own sway on it, and in no uncertain terms, put God to a test.

During a July appearance before the UN for the “Free and Equal campaign in South Africa at which Tutu spoke, he declared that he “refused to go to a homophobic Heaven,” and would rather go to hell than worship a God who was homophobic.  He was adamant and said his feelings about this were as deep as they were for the cause of antiapartheid. 

I understand his hard-lined stance about the many countries in Africa who enact the death sentence on those committing homosexual acts. The governments making these policies are evil but you are asking to go to the same place others have tried to make your people feel like they were in.

I am appalled and distressed that a peaceful man of God who has championed such outstanding human rights causes would then turn around and challenge what God has said is right.  Do you know what doors you may have possibly opened up not only for yourself but for others who hang on your very words, sir?  And I am not talking about the doors of Heaven. 

Do you really realize what you have said, Tutu? You could have wished nothing worse on or for yourself. 

Katie

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 11:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 01 2013

While I was doing some research, I came across a book written over a decade ago called, God Owes us Nothing and thought, How interesting. This is what I have been taught and it is a phrase that has been repeated many times over the past several years, but up until now, I have mostly rejected this concept. With that realization, I thought that it might be a good topic to write on, because I cannot be the only one with this “entitlement” brand of thinking.

At first, I thought, Now this is a depressing thought that God should not be somehow in my debt, but because I have accepted the foolishness in my thinking and repented, it has turned out to be quite a liberating realization. It has been revealed to me that this has been nothing but pride on my part.

For some reason, I thought that if I do all the right things and live according to God’s precepts, when something comes up that I need some divine intervention on, it will be granted to me because I deserve God’s favor in any given situation. Excuse me, God, please forgive me… Who do I think I am?

What I think has been destitute in my thinking is that being self-centered, I have never really taken into consideration how much God has done for me…just because; not because he owes me one thing.  God owes no man on this earth; He lacks nothing and nothing man can do for Him make His existence any better.

We do not have a business type relationship with God.  He owes us nothing for being “good” servants.  All God does is give and give and give…His grace is a gift, and Jesus dying on the cross was our ultimate gift.

This has been a hard article to write but if it can serve to help others resolve their brattish and arrogant way of thinking, then it has served its purpose.  Sometimes we need to be reminded to take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on Heaven where they belong.

 

Katie Altobellis

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 12:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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