Bob  Burney

Oh, and then there is that terrible topic of Hell! Talk about unacceptable! In a recent blog from the Emergent folks—the God who created a placed called Hell was actually described as worse than Hitler. To quote Jeromy Johnson, “’Cause if God behaves, and thinks and is like that, that is not a God worthy of my—nor anyone else’s worship or love or even respect. This God would be deemed as evil, hating, unjust, and demented.” There you go, an offensive, repulsive God by the standards of today’s culture! So, what do you do? You lobotomize Him! You take away the offensive part and create a god more suitable to your sensitivities. Now, you can do that like Mr. Johnson in a very direct manner (and honest) or you can be far more subtle and write a book that simply says, “Love Wins.” The surgery here to remake God is much more delicate, though no less radical. You cut out a little Biblical truth here, a little there and you replace it with strategic questions sown skillfully into the new and improved god. Voila! Under the skillful surgeon’s hands a totally new, unbiblical god has been created that is new, improved and far less offensive. The new, lobotomized god, only loves—never judges. He sits in a corner, gleefully looking into eternity until you want Him or need Him. He’s nice, but not particularly Holy. He’s full of questions, but offers few answers because a God who proclaims absolute truth would be far too narrow and nasty to endure. After all, it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey! Or so the lobotomizers tell us—so that strident, “I am the truth” stuff was also removed in the surgery. I mean, who wants to be told they might be wrong? Doesn’t everyone possess a “truth” of their own?

And so there you have it—a new, improved god. All the stuff you like, none of the stuff you don’t. Under the skillful hands of a few theological surgeons all the offensive characteristics and traits of God have been removed.

There is a raging debate within the Evangelical community about this new and improved God. Blogs are filled with this thought and that. Some like the new, more “loving” God. Some are “concerned”, while some are downright offended. I wonder what God thinks? I can’t help but be drawn to Hebrews 10:28-31:

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

I have a feeling He may not be too happy.

Bob Burney

Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of Bob Burney Live, heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio.

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