Let’s step into dangerous territory and speak directly about the anger of God.
Our own worldly hearts testify with the liberalism entrenched in Western churches: speaking on this topic is both dangerous and unpalatable. Preachers, including this author, dance around hell when speaking to a friendly congregation, let alone the outside world. A colleague answering a work-mate during a smoking-break, waters-down God’s wrath to make Christianity seem almost acceptable. We never quite succeed, but we do our best to make God more like us, or at least how we like to project ourselves.
Children’s Bibles, like the Jesus Story Book Bible, amongst others, morph God’s holy anger into longing sadness; his judgement against sin becomes a hovering pity that people don’t understand that he loves them. Modern approaches to Christian education avoid God’s anger and righteous judgment, at least, not in front of the children.
If a young person’s world-view is shaped by the age of seven to twelve, and they’ve never heard that from the Bible: God not only loves his people, but also breaks out in anger against sinful behaviour, then sentimentality and self-esteem will eventually clash with scriptural truth. A hundred and fifty years have taken us a long way from JC Ryle’s, Children’s Stories which opens with the story of Elisha and The Two Bears. God judges children because he actually takes them seriously.Read More