A “couple”:http://www.xanga.com/wildernesschild of “different”:http://bothworlds.typepad.com/both_worlds/2005/12/aslan_as_christ.html “discussions”:http://www.xanga.com/godchaesr have sparked my thinking on the juxtaposition of God’s mercy to His wrath. So many people in our culture today find it so very difficult to believe that love and wrath can co-exist in the same being. Yet, I find this not at all difficult to believe. Do not love and wrath co-exist in all of us, to some extent? Granted, the human version of wrath is often fraught with sinful weaknesses, such as hatred, jealousy, and the like. But to discipline a misbehaving child in such a way as to ultimately be for his benefit requires a level of love to meet that child’s need for instruction and correction, as well as a level of wrath to mete out the appropriate punishment. No less does our God mete out punishment and judgment from His holy wrath, yet He always does so in love, with the desire and the purpose of drawing us nearer to Him. Sin must be punished, and Jesus paid that penalty on the cross for those who would accept that gift. As such punishment for those believers is an act of correction, a notification, if you will, of disobedient behavior and a call for the wayward one to return to the only One Who can provide peace and contentment. God is a Father, our Father, and while He loves us very much, at times His wrath must be exercised in order to draw His children back to Him. His mercy and His grace stay His hand far longer than we deserve, but actions bring with them consequences, some of our own devising and some of the nature of correction. For this we should be grateful and rejoice, for we have Someone Whose entire goal is to bring us into full and complete fellowship with Him. I, for one, am grateful for the wrath of God, for the protection it provides me from my enemies and for the correction it supplies when I have gone astray. Love and wrath _can_ co-exist, for God is the very embodiment of such.
The columnist that authored this blistering review of the new _Chronicles of Narnia_ movie wrote a lot that was response-worthy, but perhaps this was the part that rankled me most:
bq. Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls. Did we ask him to?
Why is personal sacrifice so repugnant to some people? Grant that a large portion of the world’s population has no recognition of its sinful nature, does not recognize or acknowledge that anything is wrong with their lives. Hence, why should some nameless, faceless God, at whose very existence they scoff, offer up His Son, a part of Himself, to take some unknown, unacknowledged penalty for an evolved race of _homo erectus_ with non-existent sin natures? There is no problem, there is no need, so of course there is no personal request for such sacrifice. Such individuals are answerable only to themselves, for there is no other authority but to make sense of the world as one perceives it and to live as ‘rightly’ as one can. Rules and morality are derived from personal observation, shaped by experience and interpretation as founded upon circumstance and perception. It is an ever-changing, always-twisting, perpetually-shifting code of ethics with the self as the focal point (for what other focal point could possibly make sense in a world in which God does not exist?). Self is set up as the ultimate god, personal need is disavowed, disregarded, disdained; hence, the idea that someone else perceives a need in self, it is the worst sort of insult, to offend the sensibilities by suggesting that self might possibly not be as perfect as one perceives self. In a world with no God, where self _is_ god, notions of perfection and imperfection have no meaning, except as someone else defines them. There is no final destination, no higher goal, except to live life as one pleases, to do what feels good, and to reject, ignore, and deny that which does not fit this ideal conceptualization of the world. A perfect God is, therefore, offensive and repugnant because the existence of such insinuates, nay, directly states, that the world is not perfect, that self is inherently flawed, that self is, in actuality, answerable to something higher than self. This is hateful, intolerant, distasteful, for it violates and shatters the illusion that one has only to live for oneself in order to attain happiness and enlightenment. People would much rather live in their carefully crafted glass houses of personal illusion than admit the existence of a God to whom they must one day answer, and Christianity is, therefore, terribly repugnant.