In this the third installment of “A Holy Corrupted” God, I want to examine both extremes and opposing views about an angry God: “God was never angry” and “God was and still is angry.”
Before I do let me give a bit more time to the question of God Himself ever being “corrupted”.
In the discussions I have had about this and with the questions that have been raised, the issue of what the meaning of “corrupt” is seems to be a snag for some folks.
In our society the term corrupt is most commonly used to refer to morals. However, not only can one’s morals be corrupt, but government, law enforcement, etc. can also be. Let’s benefit from the Merriam Webster definition, shall we?
Definition of CORRUPT
1a : to change from good to bad in morals, manners, or actions; also : bribe
b : to degrade with unsound principles or moral values
2: rot, spoil
3: to subject (a person) to corruption of blood
4: to alter from the original or correct form or version <the file was corrupted>
The one I believe best describes God’s particular kind of “corruption” is definition #4 .
We have no indication that God was ever angry “before” He actually became angry. Even when Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, no anger is mentioned at all. Yet, if we believe the Scriptures at all, we must accept that God DID BECOME angry eventually and even increasingly so as time went on. A full 80% of the Law and Prophets are replete with God’s anger, wrath, judgment, jealousy and vengeance. Any honest and rational reading of the Holy Writ HAS to come to that conclusion—again if we’re to believe anything about the Scriptures to be true.
Are ANY of the above qualities “good”, even or especially by God’s own definitions? None.
I can even accept President Richard M. Nixon’s adjustment of the definition of corrupt. “If the President does it, it is not a crime!” But to say God was never angry is to take away every foundation of the understanding of the truth of the Gospel all together.
According to the very same Scriptures, God’s anger would be satisfied, taken away, ended at the sacrifice of the Anointed One—the Messiah. I believe Jesus accomplished all of that at the Cross! Do you?
If indeed God was NEVER angry, then there is no such thing as a “Gospel of Peace” or any need of it. One of the main reasons spoken of by the prophets for the Cross was to remove the judgment of God from us, judgment that would bring utter damnation.
On the other hand, Evangelical Christianity says God was and is STILL angry. Just ask Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Jimmy Swaggert and their ilk. This view is the ultimate insult to God’s Grace. If God is still angry or never was angry—both—then the Cross is reduced to, as Carlton Pearson describes it, “This bloody mess that took place 2000 years ago.” That statement was made by Carlton at our First Gospel Revolution Convention in Houston. Carlton also stated in that same meeting, “I also utterly reject the foolish notion that the Cross saved us from God!”
However, if the Scriptures are correct, IT DID save us from God!
And it may have saved God, too.
So, if there WAS NOT an angry God and He BECAME angry, then His anger was certainly taken away. Is that not good evidence of the temporary corruption which He found Himself in? Especially in light of one of His very own early commandment to Israel from Deuteronomy 4:16: “Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.”
Did God not make man in His image? Did the very same God not say, making an image after yourself will corrupt you? Did God know what He was talking about?
When I was less than five years old, while visiting my aunt and uncle in the country side of Tennessee, I dropped a kitten down what is called a cylinder well. The opening to the well was about the diameter of a stove pipe with a four foot long, smaller cylinder that was lowered into the well. The flap at the end would be released to close the bottom of the cylinder. The rope would haul-up a fresh cylinder of cold well water which was released into a waiting bucket. Wanting ONLY to know if a kitten could swim, I folded extremely resistant paws and legs together until I heard the sound of kitten claws scraping down the inside of the piped entrance to the well, then after a long silence from deep in the well I heard a faint “splash”.
OMG! I cannot believe I am telling you this! I simply refuse to tell the rest of the story. YES, IT GETS WORSE! Let me truncate. The jet black, yellow-eyed kitten survived. My Aunt gave the poor thing to my family. We named her Betty. Yes, her name was “Black Betty” long before the song would ever come out by that name! We should have gotten royalties.
Back to the issue of “corruption”, my uncle said that I had “corrupted” their well. There was even talk of having to drill another well. Why was the well corrupted? It had a cat in it. Was the kitten a bad kitten? No. Was the water in the well bad water? Nope. What made the water corrupt? Kittens and water simply do not go together! Just ask any cat!
In the same way as the cat and water: anger, wrath, vengeance, jealousy and God do not mix! Ask any good Hebrew that experienced it prior to the Cross. Oy vey!
I have taught for many years now that ALL the Law, Psalms and Prophets are all about Jesus. Even when I cannot see the connection in those Holy Writings, I know it is still about Jesus. However, in this particular Law about not doing images, I TOTALLY see Jesus. He not only destroyed the corruption of unbelief in man but He destroyed the anger, wrath and jealousy from the character of God, too. Wow.
After removing God AND man’s “corruption”, if we indeed accept God’s anger as corruption, He joined us ALL together to make a totally New Creation, a New Creature. Again, call him a God-man or a Man-god, you get the point.
Is there something to be gained by this understanding? Yes, in so many ways. Still, let’s look at the most obvious and tangible benefit.
If the Cross took away God’s anger, wrath, judgment, vengeance and jealousy, is it possible for its understanding to take away ours? If it could it would alter life forever for us, wouldn’t it? What if a major part of the population benefited from this knowledge the same way as God did? Could it change existence as we know it on Planet Earth for the better? I am thinking, “YES!”
There is so much to learn and to be understood. If one “thinks” the world just might be round instead of flat, one will never know until one sets sail on the voyage of a lifetime, will one?
We are voyagers on a sea of revelation, far from the devastation of religion in our lives!