So is one to preach only the kind side of God's love and exclude the parts of His Word showing our sinful side to help us face it and seek change?Thank you for your several answers, however I...
So is one to preach only the kind side of God's love and exclude the parts of His Word showing our sinful side to help us face it and seek change?
Thank you for your several answers, however I was seeking thoughts about the periodic, and not exclusive, preaching of God's Holy wrath, soverningty and judgemnt.
I would agree that omitting the positive sides and preaching only the negative would probably be spiritually destructive. Would it then also follow that preaching only the positive sides of God's love might be similarly destructive since His Word contains both (as well as many other messages).
In this way might it also help expand all our understandings' of God and His Sacrifice as well as how we can be changed to become more like what He wants for us.
Also, please accept that no name-calling was intended...it is actually an endearing term about those who "thirst" to know more about Him and His Word. Please forgive me; I meant no offense.
As far as I can tell, the issue is that your theology is different than mine in a number of ways.
For me, the Old Testament vision of a wrathful God does not make sense (in terms of what I think God should be like) and therefore I don't accept it. This comes of me not believing that the Bible is the literal revealed word of God as you probably do. It is for this same reason that I do not believe in all the stuff from Revelation -- the Rapture, the trials and tribulations, etc.
Second, I would hope that I could be motivated to do what's right by my desire to be a good person and NOT by my fear of eternal hellfire. That's one reason I don't believe in that vision of hell. I don't want my kids to behave because they're afraid I'll beat them -- I want them to behave because they know it's the right thing to do.
So I guess the major difference is that you are (I assume) Bible-believing while I am much more inclined to see the Bible as something written by ancient people and to take what seems logical (to my mind) from it and leave the rest.
Certainly, there is a note of reasonability struck in your argument which has many in the way of believers. In each religion, there is a sect or group that believes in a very strict interpretation of scripture set against one that might accept a more liberal read of it. This can also apply to the notion of the benevolence and power of God. There are those who believe that it allows for a greater sense of worship to emphasize the powers of the divine and those who believe that it might be better to stress its more tolerant notion. I think that each side has merits because each side believes in the sincerity of its convictions. Part of where one falls in this debate might have to do with upbringing and background. Namely, the view of religion that accompanied one as a youth or adolescent could play a formative role in addressing how one sees it as an adult or later on in consciousness. As with all questions (or many) in dealing with religion and the power of the divine, there is little in way of easy or simplistic answers.