Corinthians Correspondence - when God is not pleased
Join LibraryThing to post.
This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.
"For the one eating and drinking is eating and drinking judgement to himself, if he is not examining the body. 30) Because of this many among you are weak and ill, and a good number have died."
Paul suggests here and elsewhere that there are quick and definite repercussions if God is not pleased.
In chapter 10 Paul encourages against idolatry with the warning in vs 22, "or will we cause the Lord to be jealous? We are not stronger that he is, are we?"
Another verse from 1C - 3.17 "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him."
Examples from the days of Moses are offered in 10.1-11.
Do you think God's retribution is swift and direct? Is this your actual experience?
If yes, how would you correlate a good or bad event with a specific action that is pleasing or not pleasing to God?
If no, how do you understand Paul's meaning? Is he just wrong?
I thought this might be worth its own topic, rather than adding it to the Corinthian Correspondence topic
One contextual thought on this question - Paul was under the impression that the end times were very near. Does that have any impact on how we might consider his teaching about quick and responsive punishment.
God's retribution is not always swift and direct. As we study the Bible, we can see where evil and wicked rulers often were on the throne for many years, but good and Godly people died young.
But retribution/judgement/punishment is a guaranteed, eventually, after death if not while still living here on earth.
Paul did teach that the Lord was returning, soon, but as we know, the Lord does things in His time, not our time. If we think that the Lord isn't coming back for years and years, won't we act differently than if we thought He was coming back tonight?
"Paul did teach that the Lord was returning, soon, but as we know, the Lord does things in His time, not our time. If we think that the Lord isn't coming back for years and years, won't we act differently than if we thought He was coming back tonight?"
So, even though Paul was divinely inspired in all he did, and therefore knew that the Lord wasn't returning soon, it was sort of like a useful lie for him to write differently?
Might be a good idea to read a few Psalms to help put things into perspective.
Sorry, I don't think Paul was infallible
What do you think about Paul attributing the death of a good number to a lack of due reverence given for the Lord's Supper?
It is not my experience at all that God acts with such directness, and if he did, how would we know?
In certain circumstances, God's punishment is quick, in other cases, it is postponed for years. Why? God works in His own time, for His own reasons. But certain sins- especially blasphemy or mocking God- tend to get a more immediate response-perhaps as a lesson to others.
Of course, this is all very un-PC. These days some Christians don't want to talk about God ever punishing anyone, for anything. God is merciful, yes. But God is also just.
I haven't seen this kind of immediate retribution personally, though. Which I'm very thankful for...
>7 So far, I don't think I've noticed that God acts with directness to our sins. Else why do some just keep "getting away with it?"
Okay, you can tell me they aren't REALLY content, that in their own hearts they know they are wrong. First, big deal. Second, I don't think so. I know some very happy sons of bitches, who haven't a clue how they have hurt others.
> 8. God is also just.
So how does God assure justice to the victim of injustice?
In any act of transgression against another, there are two parties (at least two). The perpetrator(s) and the victim(s).
All this talk about "God's justice" focuses almost exclusively on punishment of the perpetrator(s). What about the victim(s)? Punishing the perpetrator is hardly adequate compensation for most of the abuses in our world.
And how about the victims that go on to become perpetrators? Our courts flail around clumsily in trying to address that problem. Hopefully, God has figured that one out better. It's certainly beyond us here on earth.
"In certain circumstances, God's punishment is quick, in other cases, it is postponed for years. Why? God works in His own time, for His own reasons. But certain sins- especially blasphemy or mocking God- tend to get a more immediate response-perhaps as a lesson to others."
So what you are saying is that your G-d really really hates and reacts against any affront to himself, but not so much as to affronts to his creation.
It is good that we have different G-ds. I don't think I like yours.
>11 Are you serious? God, as represented in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible is a lot sterner than God as represented in the New Testament.
The reason God's judgement is often postponed is to give those who sin opportunity to repent. However, if their heart is hardened towards God there is little likelihood that they will repent, and so there is no reason for God to put off judgement. Thus, for those who openly scorn God, God's punishment is more swift. Sometimes. But only God really knows the heart of anyone.
"Are you serious? God, as represented in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible is a lot sterner than God as represented in the New Testament."
Of course that is true. Christians have taught that fact ever since that first Christian prince of peace, Constantine, ever since those benevolent Christian monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, ever since the Crusades to save the souls but torment and maim the bodies of the Heretics, both among The Saved and elsewhere.
Christians have taught the difference, well, forever. Their G-d of Love (and the eternal hell fire of damnation for those who don't tow their particular theological line ).
Much less "stern" than the G-d of the "Old Testament."
Yes, indeed, anyone could see that......
God is portrayed in multiple ways in scripture - loving, vengenceful, merciful, jealous, creator, destroyer.
In this Corinthians passage, Paul alludes to Nu 14.29, 25.9 16.35, 16.49 (among others), but there are many other portrayals of the Lord's vengeance - Sodom and the Flood itself come to mind.
Does God act this way, then or now? The God of the Hebrew Bible or the God of the OT/NT? The God you worship?
My experience is that God does not act with this directness. My experience is that is not possible to find correlation between sin and divine punishment.
A believer suffers and it is a test?
A non believer suffers and it is a punishment?
Picking up on some of what you say and elaborating a bit more on the discussion above:
The "stern" G-d of the "Old Testament" was "stern" toward Peoples who had become utterly corrupt. He laid down rules of behavior, but they were rules similar to general laws IN HIS SOCIETY. Similarly, the punishments for breaking those rules were collective. No one was sent to prison or struck by lightning. Similarly, they were not "sent to eternal hell fire."
Instead, the rains did not come. Your society was conquered, etc. For instance, the Shema, considered the central prayer of Judaism, states: http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer/shema.htm In this view, G-d disciplines the society and the society disciplines its members. A large part of societal discipline of its members was adherence to the system of material as well as spiritual repentance required by the Torah.
This changed toward the end of the Second Temple period, and particularly with the Greek influence of Christianity. The rules, to the extent there remained any rules, were those laid down by G-d for individuals. Individual sin was, apparently, thought to be unavoidable. And if someone appeared not to be a sinner, well there was always "original sin."
The nature of the rules of the game were different. You, in principle, could not abide by them because they involved thought as well as actions see the Sermon on the Mount. The slightest deviation from these rules was an individual transgression, the divine reaction to which was extreme - you burned eternally in fire.
This was wholly unlike prior Jewish behavior codes and Jewish punishment. For the Jewish individual in the traditional Jewish society you had certain duties, some negative, some positive. You performed those duties with the understanding that you might not do so perfectly, but that you would try to improve over time. The emphasis was on developing good habits, not on the perfection of individual acts.
If you clearly transgressed, the Torah taught you how to obtain forgiveness - which more times than not started with making amends to your fellow men and seeking their forgiveness.
As you say, it is a matter of weighing values as to which system is more "harsh" (and more "just"). Obviously, there are many people that weigh these things differently than I do, but I do not think that the choice is "obvious" or that the "Old Testament G-d" was obviously "more harsh" or "more temperamental" than the "New Testament G-d". In my world, a G-d that condemns one to eternal fire without being consume for lusting in one's heart or being the descendant of Adam and Eve is both harsh and a bit psychotic. On the other hand, a G-d who waits to destroy a society until the society is so corrupt that a handful of righteous men can no longer be found in it it is not all that "harsh."
Just FYI, I actually believe that the God of the Hebrew bible and the God of the OT/NT is the same. There are however it seems to me to be variations in the portrayals of God.
Does that speak more to the one portraying or to the one portrayed?
Well, of course, it depends on how you read each text. I actually read much of the New Testament as do fuzzi and company, with the difference that I take seriously the comments about the Son of Man and Kingdom of Heaven coming within the generation of the Apostles.
I don't think that the extremism of these texts was common in the late Second Temple community, but it was there, particularly among some extreme sects like the Zealots. Jesus was simply nonviolent and not all that adverse to Greek Judaism whereas most of them were violent and more Orthodox. Otherwise, there wasn't much difference.
You know, we seem to agree on many things, but not on this point. May I recommend a book that is fairly well written and at least gives some surface illustrations showing that not all gods are alike? God Is Not One
>16 Does that speak more to the one portraying or to the one portrayed?
Good point, and yes, I think it does. Different societies at different points in history have used different images to describe the God who is beyond human description. All are necessarily incomplete, and represent how that society, era or writer understands God.
Hmmm. "the God who is beyond human description." Well, if He is truly beyond human description then perhaps the correct action is not to try to describe Him. Some forms of Judaism, in fact, suggest that it is sinful to try to do so.
OTOH we "know" that Man is made in G-d's image, that G-d has a back, an arm, a hand, a sense of Justice, etc. Something a bit strange here.....
>20 There is an apophatic tradition which does not try to describe God. God has also been described as "Nothing", ie "No thing", ie God is not a thing. But nevertheless, humans have always attempted to describe God. The problem comes when people assume that these partial descriptions are in fact complete and definitive.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.