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Old 03-23-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Do you think it's possible to be TOO merciful/sympathetic towards people who might 'deserve it' (but seem not to), according to the Bible and God's actions in the Bible? For instance, some Christians insist that God will actively torture/torment/cause misery on some people just because he can (let's not twist things here, he has the power, and this is his will and his intent). Can anyone give me a straight, honest answer. While it's not our place to judge, are we to agree that this is right and JUST, even if our very conscience, which God implanted into us, tells us that is wrong?

Or many examples of wrath in the OT. Are we too believe that these people are so evil and thus deserving of their punishment?

Of course there are situations which seem more just by our human standards, but are your instincts not always 'right'? I've been told to just be 'humble' because I don't 'understand' God's ways and his standards, yet Jesus tells us to be merciful.etc which is pretty easy to understand. I guess those who aren't literalists feel intuitively that some of what God did in the OT wasn't really just or merciful. When in doubt is it better to just say whatever God does is right, no matter how bad it seems to us? If one believes a Holy book, one will believe almost anything.

Last edited by Trimac20; 03-23-2013 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Do you think it's possible to be TOO merciful/sympathetic towards people who might not 'deserve it', according to the Bible and God's actions in the Bible? For instance, some Christians insist that God will actively torture/torment/cause misery on some people just because he can (let's not twist things here, he has the power, and this is his will and his intent). Can anyone give me a straight, honest answer. While it's not our place to judge, are we to agree that this is right and JUST, even if our very conscience, which God implanted into us, tells us that is wrong?

Or many examples of wrath in the OT. Are we too believe that these people are so evil and thus deserving of their punishment?

Of course there are situations which seem more just by our human standards, but are your instincts not always 'right'? I've been told to just be 'humble' because I don't 'understand' God's ways and his standards, yet Jesus tells us to be merciful.etc which is pretty easy to understand. I guess those who aren't literalists feel intuitively that some of what God did in the OT wasn't really just or merciful. When in doubt is it better to just say whatever God does is right, no matter how bad it seems to us? If one believes a Holy book, one will believe almost anything.
I want to give you a "straight honest answer", but I'm not clear on what you are asking Trimac.

You actually know some Christians who "insist that God will actively torture/torment/cause misery on some people just because he can"?

Who says that kind of stuff, and in what context?

I can tell you this, in general, giving too much sympathy or mercy can be a bad thing when it allows someone to excuse bad behavior instead of correcting it or changing it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:16 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
I want to give you a "straight honest answer", but I'm not clear on what you are asking Trimac.

You actually know some Christians who "insist that God will actively torture/torment/cause misery on some people just because he can"?

Who says that kind of stuff, and in what context?

I can tell you this, in general, giving too much sympathy or mercy can be a bad thing when it allows someone to excuse bad behavior instead of correcting it or changing it.
My uncle said that it's God's good pleasure that he will select some to torture forever. He's Calvinistic and thinks modern Christianity has sugar-coated God too much. At least he makes no bones about it.

I think having sympathy and mercy on someone is different to condoning their bad behaviour. You can still acknowledge what someone does is wrong without wanting them to pay. I'm talking about an appropriate penalty for them to learn their lesson and change (which might require some pain for them).
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:22 AM
 
14,991 posts, read 7,526,891 times
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My uncle said that it's God's good pleasure that he will select some to torture forever. He's Calvinistic and thinks modern Christianity has sugar-coated God too much. At least he makes no bones about it.

I think having sympathy and mercy on someone is different to condoning their bad behaviour. You can still acknowledge what someone does is wrong without wanting them to pay. I'm talking about an appropriate penalty for them to learn their lesson and change (which might require some pain for them).

Well said.

Aisi, there is no such thing as "too much" mercy. God desires mercy, not sacrifice ... but too often we are willing to sacrifice love and mercy on the altar of what we think is justice.

Last edited by Pleroo; 03-23-2013 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My uncle said that it's God's good pleasure that he will select some to torture forever. He's Calvinistic and thinks modern Christianity has sugar-coated God too much. At least he makes no bones about it.

.
Well, I would caution you against believing that Christians in general carry such an erroneous belief about God just because your uncle has somehow twisted his understanding of God. I'd do my best to just ignore that uncle if I were you. God is certainly NOT a sadist.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post

I think having sympathy and mercy on someone is different to condoning their bad behaviour. You can still acknowledge what someone does is wrong without wanting them to pay. I'm talking about an appropriate penalty for them to learn their lesson and change (which might require some pain for them).
I didn't say having sympathy and mercy were the same as condoning bad behavior, they aren't.

I just answered your question about "can too much mercy/sympathy be a bad thing".

And yes, I think it can be when it is used by the person receiving it to justify not changing or correcting what they may have done to have gotten themselves into some kind of bad fix or situation (though of course, not all who need mercy or sympathy have done a thing to cause the situation they are in).
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:52 AM
 
14,991 posts, read 7,526,891 times
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Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
I didn't say having sympathy and mercy were the same as condoning bad behavior, they aren't.

I just answered your question about "can too much mercy/sympathy be a bad thing".

And yes, I think it can be when it is used by the person receiving it to justify not changing or correcting what they may have done to have gotten themselves into some kind of bad fix or situation (though of course, not all who need mercy or sympathy have done a thing to cause the situation they are in).

I don't think mercy has to do with removing natural consequences for someone, either. That would be an unloving thing to do if the person has not come to a point of desiring to change their behavior. I see mercy as simply, as Trimac said, not having a desire to see people "pay" for something they've done. That punitive mindset is humanity's idea of justice, not God's, whose judgments are always intended to correct, not punish.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:10 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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Originally Posted by Pleroo View Post
I don't think mercy has to do with removing natural consequences for someone, either. That would be an unloving thing to do if the person has not come to a point of desiring to change their behavior. I see mercy as simply, as Trimac said, not having a desire to see people "pay" for something they've done. That punitive mindset is humanity's idea of justice, not God's, whose judgments are always intended to correct, not punish.
Well said Pleroo, and if we are merciful in such manner, how can God not be more so ?.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:14 PM
 
4,221 posts, read 1,962,669 times
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Scripture says;" Whoever is of the world belongs to the world and speaks in a worldly way."

"My ways are not your ways nor are my thoughts your thoughts. As high as the heavens are above the earth, that is how high my ways are above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

Going by those verses one must assume that to God His thoughts are different than mans. Mercy is not what man thinks it is at least in the way God thinks.

Sympathy is not mercy. To have sympathy is ok if that's what your feelings tell you. To act on that sympathy is another story.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:21 PM
 
Location: East Coast
30,138 posts, read 19,958,111 times
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Originally Posted by Peacegiver View Post
Scripture says;" Whoever is of the world belongs to the world and speaks in a worldly way."

"My ways are not your ways nor are my thoughts your thoughts. As high as the heavens are above the earth, that is how high my ways are above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

Going by those verses one must assume that to God His thoughts are different than mans. Mercy is not what man thinks it is at least in the way God thinks.

Sympathy is not mercy. To have sympathy is ok if that's what your feelings tell you. To act on that sympathy is another story.
"My ways are not your ways nor are my thoughts your thoughts. As high as the heavens are above the earth, that is how high my ways are above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts."

We have used this scripture to lower God in His thoughts and ways than our own thoughts and ways. The beautitudes bare this out.
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