He’s Love, But He Rejoices To Torture

January 24, 2013

There was a certain man who bought a farm. The man was the epitome of loving-kindness. He was full of mercy, justice, and compassion. On his farm, the man bred and raised dogs –small dogs, big dogs, furry dogs, and dogs of all sorts. This man raised dogs so that the people in the nearby town would come and see the dogs and then learn about the man’s wonderful character so that they could try to be like him. Some people hated the man, but many others walked around singing his praises and telling others about his love.

Now it was a known fact that this man actually raised the dogs on his farm in order to make himself famous. And he did this by randomly selecting each puppy at its birth, some to have their ears clipped, the rest to have their ears cut off. The puppies with the clipped ears were given good food, fresh water, and plenty of exercise, treats, attention, and love –all their lives. The puppies who had their ears cut off were treated well until they were grown, at which time they were then put into tiny cages, kept on starvation diets, and were let out only to be tortured several times a day, this continuing for the rest of their lives.

Some people asked why the man behaved this way toward all the dogs he raised. The answer, which came from those who wrote books about the man and claimed to be experts on him, said that it was because the man was not only Love itself, but also because he was the Mighty Ruler of his farm. Many people at first protested that this didn’t make sense, but that didn’t seem to faze the experts. They just rejoiced in their books and wrote more books and held meetings trying to persuade others to see how awesome this man was who was raising dogs on his farm. In fact, the meetings became so popular that anyone who wouldn’t join was looked down on as being stupid.

Once when someone new came to live in the town and learned about the man, that person asked in child-like sincerity the very obvious question, “But if the man is said to be compassionate and kind, why does he choose a destiny of torture for most of his dogs?”

At this, all the book-writers and their devoted followers joined in sharp rebuke, saying, “Who are you?! You know nothing at all! The man can choose to do whatever he wants with his dogs. He owns them, doesn’t he? He gave them life, didn’t he?”

This certainly is not a perfect analogy, but something that all of us can understand is that love and cruelty don’t go together. A person who is compassionate does not take pleasure in torturing anything, much less randomly predestining babies or small children for it. Yet we have a group of “wise men” who insist to us that the loving Creator God has done just that, and in fact creates souls which He foreordains (before they’re even conceived, and actually “from eternity past”) to be sent to Hell forever, and this so that He can be more greatly glorified. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that God’s Word states repeatedly that God is good, loving, and compassionate toward all He has made, and that He is perfectly just, fair, merciful, forgiving, gracious, rich in love, is Love itself, and never does anything evil or wrong. (Dt. 32:3,4 // Ps. 145:8,9,13 // 1 John 4:8 // etc.)

These “wise men” (otherwise known as Calvinists) seem not to understand that with God there is no partiality or favoritism (Eph. 6:9), but that He repays people according to their deeds (Jer. 17:10 & 32:19 // Col. 3:25 // Rev. 20:12,13), that deeds do determine salvation and damnation (John 5:29 // Eph. 5:5,6), and that sinful deeds are a rejection of God’s offer of salvation from sin and Hell. (Rom. 6:22 & 8:3,4 // Heb. 10:26-31) They seem not to understand that God laments over the unrepentant (Jer. 48:31,32,36 // Luke 19:41-44), that He died to ransom every human (1 Tim. 2:6 // 1 John 2:2), and that He wills that none of them perish. (1 Tim. 2:3 // 2 Peter 3:9) “I long to redeem them,” God says in Hosea 7:13. However, by remaining wicked, a person has chosen to remain under God’s condemnation of all that is of the evil realm. (Matt. 13:41,42 & 25:41 // John 3:18-21 // Heb. 2:1-3 // 1 John 3:8) Sinners who continue to rebel against the Creator and King who is Goodness and Righteousness and Love, are themselves choosing to go to that place where God is absent, that place where all evil-doers, by having refused to be cleansed of their evil-doing, will reap God’s wrath against evil. It’s that place called Hell.

But let’s get it straight: God has not chosen Hell for anyone. He came to save everyone from it. (John 3:16) But because He forces no one to choose Him over sin and the kingdom of darkness, the salvation comes with a stipulation: Renounce sin, believe the Gospel, take hold of the salvation Christ has provided by being born anew, and follow Christ . Satan, who is the epitome of evil and hatred is the one who is trying to keep people bound under the condemnation he is under. So he relentlessly tries to lure people to Hell –the place of torment, anguish, regret, and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As I just heard a leading theologian (who also claims to be a moderate Calvinist) say on the radio tonight, idolatry is to believe things about God that aren’t actually true about Him. Hmmm… with such a teaching, one would think that Calvinists would be a lot more careful then concerning what they believe and teach about God. One would think they’d read the Word of God with much greater care and humility. One would think they’d choose to better discern the difference between that which Calvinism teaches and that which the Word of God reveals. Because the difference is like night and day. Or like the difference between love and evil.

with love,

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