Growing up listening to old school Lutheran ministers berate their congregations of farmers about their sins for an hour each Sunday morning and then at the end of the sweaty, red faced and angry sermon shout, “God is Love!” I’ve often thought about the dichotomy of an angry and vengeful Old Testament God and Jesus his forgiving son. Maybe that’s been the plan along…
Consider this, we’re at a point that many Christians believe God will forgive anything as long as you confess and pledge to give up your bad behavior, ask for forgiveness and promise to do better in the future. The transgressor is immediately forgiven by his fellow believers and life moves on. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana is a perfect example of this, caught via phone records and credit card receipts using prostitutes in Washington DC, not only did Vitter get the normal services he had some special needs, he liked to be diapered and treated like a baby by the working girls. Caught red handed, he confessed, promised, asked for forgiveness from his wife and the electorate. Since then Vitter has been reelected twice and will probably be the next governor of Louisiana. Is this a true story of redemption. The story of a man who simply made some bad choices? An old friend of mine used to say, “Maybe, maybe not.” Maybe Senator Vitter just figured out a way to duck the bullet.
The list of fallen Christians is long and now we come to Josh Duggar, serial molester of underage girls, including 4 of his sisters. Confronted with his police record he finally confessed yesterday, resigned from his job at the Family Research Council and asked for forgiveness from his wife and children and his family and from his Savior. Of course Josh will be forgiven, might be hard for his sisters, but his Mom has already forgiven him and the Duggar patriarch, Jim Bob has as well. As a good Christian family, the Duggars will, with God’s help, get through this. Maybe, maybe not.
The scenario I like to imagine goes like this, these good Christians show up in heaven, expecting their reward and instead of being received in the loving arms of Jesus they are ushered into the chamber of the angry, vengeful, Old Testament God, who after ripping them from asshole to elbow, introduces them to his cohort Satan who escorts them off to their true and just reward. They join their fellow hypocritical Christians, fallen Catholic priests, Orthodox Jews who have participated in similar abuse and since the Old Testament God is the God of Abraham, the good Christians join Muslim Jihadists in their eternal toil in the fires of hell. No harps and halos, no streets of gold and no virgins.