Does God like to punish?

Anyone who’s read the Bible knows that punishing people took up a goodly portion of God’s time.  And it didn’t much matter if you actually did anything wrong or not, or if you were under a certain age.  Guilt by association was just as much a crime as the “crime” itself–just ask the Canaanites or the pre-Flood inhabitants.

And if you think the punishments have stopped because we live in some period of grace, think again.  With every calamity–natural or not–some “man of God” dutifully proclaims it divine retribution for one human “sin” or another–gay pride parades, gambling, abortion, dancing–you name it.  Some even believe calamities are a herald of the imminent end times–the fact that the same things have been occurring for millions of years doesn’t seem to phase these people, however.

The funny thing about these prognosticators of doom is that they also believe in a god who sends the unrepentant (read: those who don’t belong to their particular sect, in their particular religion) to eternal suffering in the fiery pits of hell.  Their god, apparently not simply content with punishing us forever and ever after death, also feels it necessary to mete out punishment during our lifetimes.  And if we poor SOBs should die as a result, then tough shit.  Out of the fire, and into the frying pan!

So, you can see, God really likes to punish. And, I gotta hand it to him, in a number of really inventive ways.  A virus which progressively destroys your immune system, leaving you to die a slow and miserable death?  Who da thunk it?!

But what about the the innocent casualties?  You know, those who’re did everything right, muttered the correct magical words, dutifully contributed to the collection plate every Sunday in the red brick church.  Is God punishing them too when they get run over by a hurricane or tidal wave?

Oh, no!  They are merely being “called home.”  At the worst, they should recall that this is a fallen world, righteously susceptible to God’s carpet-bomb justice.  ‘Cause, you know, sparing the good and innocent is too much to ask of the Omnipotent Creator of the Known Universe.  If I was one of those Rapturians–people who believe they’ll be magically beamed into the sky before the real shit hits the fan–I would feel a little worried about this divine tendency to simply blow everyone away.

The really curious thing is the response of these men of God and their fellow believers.  They sometimes actually help the victims. WTF? I can think of no more sinful act than working against God’s justice.  They may think that poor, hungry child in Somalia deserves food, but they should remember, that kid has got sin-tainted blood and is almost certainly headed for hell.  Best to send ’em a Bible instead (only the KJV1611 version will do).

You can’t help but get the impression God is chomping at the bit to annihilate His creation as soon as possible, and is blowing off a little steam in the meantime.  With divine love like this…

8 thoughts on “Does God like to punish?

  1. Hey I kinda understand where your at but there is a balance in this thing.

    When I was a child and I stuffed up, my dad would be there to correct me. That sometimes meant a whak on the bum, or a stern rebuke. Either way he was the kind of dad that was quick to punish for the error of our ways.
    When I was older and my mates started stealing cars etc….you wouldn’t have found me within a mile of that stuff….Why? Cause I knew dad would be so dissapointed in me and I still had a healthy regard for his stern rebuke.

    A healthy fear of my dad proved to be a guide for my steps in life.

    At the same time, I knew I was loved, he provided care, shelter, words of encouragement, everything I needed. This too was a guide to my path in life.

    Don’t make the mistake of being overly one sided in your view of God. Yes, you should have a healthy fear of the judgement of God, but you should also know that God has provided for his creation, and has provided a way of salvation.

    We ought to fear a God who has the power to cast us into hell, but we also ought to know that God made a way of salvation on our behalf.
    So is God bad for His concern that we should avoid hell. That He should instil a sense of fear into the hearts of men in order to direct their paths. I don’t think so.

    The devil is very good at making the world see God as a divine whip who has no regard for humanity. This is a lie from the pit of Hell.
    Take care.

  2. fleethewrath, I appreciate your comments. A common human tendency is to generalize from personal experience to a wider audience; what must be true for us, must be true for everyone else. So while a healthy fear of your dad proved helpful in your life, not everyone needs such a thing in order to remain a broadly moral person. The same goes for a belief in God’s punishment. Some feel they need it; others live fine without it.

    I suppose I would be more sympathetic to your argument if hell wasn’t God’s creation. (Actually, allow me to backtrack. I’d be sympathetic if I believed there was a hell in the first place, but of course there’s no evidence for such a place.) But God did create hell, and knew that most of his creation would end up there. And the claim is this god is all-loving…hmmm.

  3. Hi Robert, As a Christian I’m not sure I could say that God is all loving either.
    Personally I think that the all loving thing is so overplayed that God is ready to puke right about now.
    Heck! the bible says that God has made the wicked for the day of destruction. Does this sound like love!
    From your perspective I absolutely understand the difficulty in accepting an all loving God.
    From my perspective, as a man who believes wholeheartedly that Christ died for my sin, I see Him as a loving God, to be feared.
    Bless you mate, I know we’ll not agree but I appreciate your Blog and thoughts on the matter.

  4. Dawkins summed it up well; “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
    Great article, keep up the good work.

  5. God likes to punish people forever. He is punishing me over four years without grace and stop. He is continuing doing that and I asked why? He only replied from bible that I am god how you dare to ask me and argue? That’s fine, he is god and he can do whatever he wish? I am noticing many bad people in churches doing many bad things and protect by god. People try to closed to him and always get punish. Many people give up believing him, this is what salvation.

  6. Just follow up on my point of view. I am fear god and that my be god or gods exist. We only know after we die. may be there are many gods existing and they are against each other. It is depending which god has more power to control the entire universe. Just don’t do bad things and hurt people. It seems bible not true, I follow what it said and the outcome are very bad. God is not protecting me and drill in deeper worst. This god let bad people won all the times. This is enough for me to believe and the end of relationship.

  7. Well God has certainly punished me with no wife and family today which he gave to so many others. And he did say that man should never be alone. How rotten can God be to so many of us like that? Then again with the kind of women that are out there these days really speaks for itself.

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