Friday, November 13, 2009
Love God or Get Squished?
Reading the first book of the Confessions of Augustine yesterday I was stopped to contemplation (now that's good thing - usually) by this phrase: "Or what am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and, if I give it not, art wroth with me, and threatenest grievous woes?"
Now first off, I must admit that I am not a fan of Augustine. This is because he was instrumental in pushing for the eventual excommunication of Pelagius, whose story reads like a classic frame job. Aside from this I am enjoying the reading. There are some fantastic declarations of praise in Augustine's Confessions.
This quote stopped me, because I considered it from the perspective of someone who struggles with the idea that an angry god might also be a capricious and cruel god. This concept that the Christian God is demanding love, and is angry to the point of destruction and killing if He does not get it certainly makes Him appear wildly capricious at best, and a cruel murdering megalomaniac at the worst.
So, these questions comes to mind:
Is God really declaring woes on those who do not love Him simply because they are suppose to love Him, and when they don't He gets really ticked?
OR is there something intrinsically insidious, and potentially dangerous in the heart of those who do not love God?
OR is this quote altogether problematic for Christian doctrine, and instrumental in establishing a bad way of viewing God?
OR is there altogether another way of looking at this?
OR, maybe you have some thoughts?