Can God be Vengeful?

The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.

A Christian and an atheist waiting in line at a movie theater.

Hailey: I hope this isn’t going to be another one of those "wronged guy out for vengeance" movies. I can’t get into those. I can’t root for a hero whose motivation is something immoral like vengeance.

Gabriel: What’s your problem with vengeance? God’s vengeful all the time in the Old Testament, and He’s as moral as you can get.

Hailey: In Romans, God says vengeance is His. This means that seeking vengeance is a right reserved for God, not for people. People can’t be trusted to be justly vengeful, but God can so he takes the right for himself.

Gabriel: How can something be moral for God that isn’t moral for people?

Hailey: Because God created everything, He has certain moral rights that people don’t have. All life belongs to God because He created it, so it’s moral for God to take life but it’s immoral for people to take lives. Murder is like stealing from God. God can also demand worship because He’s our creator, but we can’t demand worship. God can use a disaster to take things from people, but if humans take things from people that’s immoral.

Gabriel: How can there be separate moral rules for God and people?

Hailey: There aren’t separate rules. If you ever use your omniscience to create a universe, you’ll have the same moral rights there that God does here. It’s not God’s fault that you don’t have the ability to exercise those rights.

Gabriel: Funny. Anyway, I think the movie’s about a guy that kills because he’s frustrated about his job.

Hailey: Oh, that’s okay then.


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Posted on July 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Conversations

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