I saw a recent presentation where the presenter presented the God doesn’t kill teaching and the presenter said this:
“God is saying to his children Obey me or I’ll kill you…this is extortion.”
Perhaps misunderstanding that the judgments are for the protection of the people, and also leaving out the cross and the fact that God has paid the price to redeem them from the penalty of this law. And also has suffered for a very long time, we could make God look really evil in the sight of others for executing his laws.
Are we stepping on Holy ground here? Extortion is criminal.
Consider the following: If a man killed another man, and then raped his wife, and the government in that land had pre-determined that the penalty for breaking those laws were death. And so to uphold the law the judgment was executed. Was the judge or executioner a murderer for upholding the law? Does the government then hire another government that is at war with its government to execute its laws? NO. Is it extortion for that government to execute their own law themselves? No. Obviously not.
I know these questions sound silly, but this is what is being presented out of the pulpit, and it is represented as more loving that God’s government and justice system is upheld by another government.
The problem with this presentation was that the presenter doesn’t realize if that was his view that God was using extortion, then now his new view is still the same, only now it becomes “Obey me or I’ll kill you by feeding you to the wolves .” According to this belief they say it is more loving to give them to torturous demons, then for God to do it Himself. I’ll come to why this isn’t more loving in a second.
When God leaves them over to the wolves to destroy them, this does not help show a more loving character. This is actually a worse judgment than God doing it Himself. What we need to understand is that God is just if He exercises destructive power Himself or if he leaves us over to be destroyed by the devil. We need to be very careful or we might be calling God an “extortioner”.
Sinners are destroyed in many ways in the bible:
1. Evil Angels
2. Evil People
3. God commanding His People
4. God commanding His Angels
5. God opening the earth
6. God opening the sea
7. God throwing stones from heaven
8. God casting fire from the cloud
9. Natural Disasters
Ask yourself: Do you believe that it would be more merciful to take the life of your child yourself, or give your child to a pack of wolves to slowly mangle and torture them?
Do you believe that it would be more merciful for God to kill you by withdrawing His spirit/life from you, or to give you over to the Devil and His angels to torture you? Who’s hands would you rather fall into? Who’s hands would you want your children/family to fall into? (2 Sam 24:14) God’s or Satan’s?
“While He does not delight in vengeance, **He will execute judgment** upon the transgressors of His law.” PP 628
“He ***makes and executes His laws.*** Law that has no penalty is of no force.The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power …to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man.” Manuscript Releases 12:207-209
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The devil is attacking the government of God. Trying to make his justice and judgments out to be murder, unjust, unrighteous. We need to realize this. Satan said “Thou shall not surely die”. From the beginning Satan has been at war with the word of God, and with the justice of God. This is what the Great Controversy is about. God’s justice and law and his right to destroy sin and sinners is being misrepresented.
The character of God has definitely been maligned, misunderstood and misrepresented by many people. And the God of the bible has been labeled a villain. There is a teaching that some are calling “The Character of God Message” which promotes the teaching that God is forbidden by the sixth commandment to kill or destroy despite hundreds of verses in scripture that say that He does.
One believer in the God Doesn’t Kill doctrine put it this way:
“The bible as a whole is so confusing that it makes the unconverted worse than they were before. They tap into all the violent, killer, vengeful stories like Killer Samson, killer God, killer Israelites and gives them excuses to kill their enemies.”
You’ll notice the distrust in the word from this person. This doctrine leads to distrust of the word rather than faith in the word. Perhaps there is a confusion, but it isn’t because of the bible. The bible is the word of God. It’s because of man’s misunderstanding of right and justice. They fail to understand that justice isn’t murder and is not contrary to the sixth commandment.
When God destroys, or commands destruction, this does not imply God is unmerciful, not loving, a murderer, a commander of murder etc. It is justice, mercy and love.
“God’s love is represented in our day as being of such *a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner.* Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice….
The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.
Who will say God will not do what He says He will do?”—Ellen White Manuscript Releases 12:207-209;
“Hath God said?” – Satan
Be careful you are not questioning His justice. The bible says “Woe to them that call good evil” (Isa 5:21) And so by portraying God in this light they feel they gain something by saying God is so loving that He won’t do it Himself. But in reality they are doing all this to gain nothing. In fact even worse they are misrepresenting the character of God and His justice, and discarding His plain word all to try to gain nothing.
Are we accusing the one who is upholding the laws of the land of extortion? Or Murder? Would the judge of heaven call in a corrupt government from another country to come and uphold His laws? This definitely is confusion. Where do these accusations come from? Only God can do infinite justice that none else have a right to do.