For Part 3, click here: The Faulty Foundations of Faith Alone – Part 3: It’s Impossible to Satisfy God?
Or start at the beginning: The Faulty Foundations of Faith Alone – Part 1: God is a Trinity of Persons?
Based on the previous faulty foundation of faith alone—the idea that we can never satisfy God’s perfect justice—the doctrine of justification by faith alone then goes on to say that because we can never be perfect in God’s eyes, God continues to be angry and wrathful toward us, and condemns us to eternal hell.
And that is a terrible smear on the name and character of God.
4. God the Father therefore condemns us to eternal hell?
Let’s put it in human terms.
What would you think of the leader of a nation who laid down a long series of very exact and very strict rules, and decreed that anyone who committed the slightest infraction against a single one of them would incur the death penalty?
What if the next time you came to a stop sign and didn’t come to a full and complete stop, but kept rolling just a little bit, the police arrested you and sent you straight to the electric chair?
Would you consider that nation and its leader to be good and just?
In fact, such a leader would not be considered a real leader at all, but a tyrant, a despot, and a madman.
And yet, that is exactly how the doctrine of justification by faith alone describes God.
If we are not perfectly sinless, that doctrine says, God is so angry at us that God will send us to eternal torment in hell.
We shouldn’t even have to quote Bible passages to show not only how false this teaching is, but how utterly disgusting, horrendous, and blasphemous it is.
But here’s one anyway. Jesus said:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43–48)
God, who is perfect, is perfect precisely because God loves all people, both the evil and the good, and sends the rain of divine truth and the sun of divine love on the evil and the good alike. And if we want to be perfect in God’s eyes, we, too, must learn to love both our friends and our enemies, just as God does.
No, God does not condemn us to hell for the slightest infraction. God is not angry and wrathful at us if we commit the slightest sin.
The idea that God is such a tyrant as to condemn every one of us to eternal torment in hell because we’re not capable of being perfectly sinless is the fourth false and non-Biblical foundation of faith alone.
And it is one that blasphemes the name and character of God.
For Part 5, click here: The Faulty Foundations of Faith Alone – Part 5: Jesus Paid the Penalty For Our Sins?
For further reading:
- What is the Wrath of God? Why was the Old Testament God so Angry, yet Jesus was so Peaceful?
- What about Violent Religions? Is God Really Bloodthirsty and Vengeful?
- Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? What about that Holy Spirit?
- God is Love . . . And That Makes All the Difference in the World
- The Logic of Love: Why God became Jesus