Clear Word vs Bible: The Wrath of God

download

A few years ago I was up at a Men’s Retreat in Leoni Meadows with my father.  It was right about the time that I was seriously questioning and comparing SDA teaching to the Bible.  While I was there, they had a popular SDA speaker who was preaching through a series on the sermon on the mount.  His name is Herb Montgomery, maybe you have heard of him.

After one of his sermons I pulled Herb Montgomery aside and asked him something that had bugged me about one of his sermons.  My question was, “Are you saying that God has no Wrath at all?”.  It was an honest question to ask in the context of the sermon he was giving.  I noticed that he backed up and got really uncomfortable, then he told me that he wouldn’t answer that question.

Why would SDA be uncomfortable with the doctrine of the Wrath of God?  As usual this post isn’t really going to dig into that concept.  I have covered this theme theologically in my series on the Great Controversy, which I recommend that you read if you have not already.  Today I am going to present a comparison between the Wrath of God in the Holy Bible with that of the Clear Word.  Did the SDA feel the need to change any of these verses?  If so why would they?

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36 KJV “That’s why obeying God’s Son is so important.  Those who keep on believing in Him will have eternal life, but those who do not believe and obey will perish in their sins.”

 

Notice that both verses above compare the disposition of believers to unbelievers with regards to eternal life.  But the Clear Word leaves out the Wrath of God abiding on those who do not believe in God.  This is likely because the idea of something abiding on someone that doesn’t exist doesn’t really make any sense.  Which is one of the reasons why annialiationism doesn’t make very much sense Biblically speaking.  Obviously the concept had to be removed entirely from the Clear Word.

Also notice that Wrath though isn’t even a thing in the Clear Word, that gets pencil whipped out of the text altogether.

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26:21 KJV “The Lord is coming from his dwelling place in the heavens to vindicate His name and to carry out justice.  The murders that were committed in secret will be made known.  The earth will no longer conceal the bodies of her slain.”

 

Notice that the Clear Word adds in this concept of God needing to vindicate his name.  What kind of puny idol needs to be vindicated? Who could remove God almighty from his throne to such a degree that vindication is even warranted?  And if such were possible would not the one that knocked him down be more powerful?

Also notice that punishing man for iniquity is removed and replaced with a vague notion of carrying out justice.  All I am saying here is that the latter lends itself to a wider degree of interpretation than the former.  What kind of Justice?  Social justice?  Civil Justice?  The Holy Bible is very clear as to the kind of Justice being administered, but the Clear Word seems to seek to obfuscate that clarity.

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.” Ezekiel 25:17 KJV “I will punish Philistia and they will know that I am the Lord when they feel the extent of my great displeasure.”

 

In the Holy Bible we see that God defines himself and his actions by carrying out his great vengeance.  In the Clear Word we see that this is dialed down to great displeasure.  On the one hand you have the Wrath of Almighty God and on the other you have someone in tears having a temper tantrum.  These two different books are not teaching us about the same Being.

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“2 God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” Nahum 1:2 KJV “The Lord does not tolerate evil.  He is jealous for that which is good and punishes the wicked.  The Lord takes action on His adversaries and rages against His enemies.”


Let’s just be honest, the Holy Bible is giving us a much clearer picture here.  Also, we see again that the Clear Word has deleted the word “wrath” altogether.  I guess that wrath might simply be a no-no word in Adventism.  

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.” Nahum 1:6 KJV “Who can stand against Him?  Who can survive His displeasure?  He is like a burning fire; even the rocks shatter at His presence”

 

Here we see that word displeasure again, it’s almost like the writer of the Clear Word just wants to dial down the wrath of God as someone would a thermostat.

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalms 7:11 KJV  “He is a righteous Judge who will reward the righteous and punish the wicked.”


Looks like the anger of God just had to be pencil whipped right out of the Psalms, we can’t have that now can we!  

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.1 Samuel 15:3 KJV “Go and attack them and completely destroy everything they have.  That’s the only way to stop them from attacking my people again.  Let nothing live.  Put to death men, women, infants, children, cattle, sheep, oxen, camels and donkeys.  That will make a statement to other nations to leave Israel alone.”


In the above passage, in the Holy Bible, you have God’s righteous judgement on a wicked people.  In the Clear Word you have an idol doing the best he can to stop another nation from attacking Israel again.  He is like a mob boss trying to send a message or something.

How ridiculous!  

Notice that in the Holy Bible no such excuses are given, and that is because God doesn’t need an excuse!

God is righteous and just to condemn and judge sin any time he sees fit to do so.  In this story in 1 Samuel we see types and shadows of the judgement day to come.  In the Clear Word we have another temper tantrum of a tear faced and scratchy voiced idol doing the best he can to stop the amalakites from harming Israel.

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.; 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.; 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” Psalms 5:4-6 KJV “You are not a God who finds crime and violence entertaining.  Evil finds no place in your presence.  Pride is offensive to you and you recoil at the sight of wickedness.  You do not give the gift of eternal life to liars, to the violent or to those who are deceptive.”

 

God does not recoil at the sight of wickedness, but rather it is wickedness that is damned the sight of God.  Notice that the Clear Word reverses this concept altogether and makes God bend to the wicked rather than the other way around.  We see God’s power and wrath burning in the Holy Bible against evil, and in the Clear Word we see God recoiling and turning his nose up instead.

These texts are not talking about the same Deity.  One is the God of the Bible and the other is an idol.  Which do you serve?

 

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” Rom 1:18 KJV “God’s displeasure is shown from heaven against all who suppress the truth about Him by their ungodly and wicked lives.”

 

We can’t just leave the word “wrath” alone can we?  That has to go no matter the context.  Displeasure and wrath are not interchangeable words.  Why would we want an idol that is  merely displeased by murder and rape?  It’s almost as if the author of the Clear Word just doesn’t think God cares about these things.

 

The Holy Bible The Clear Word
“3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Eph 2:3 KJV “All of us in times past felt Satan’s wicked influence.  We lived to please ourselves and did whatever our sinful bodies and minds wanted us to do.  [DELETED BY SDA] We were no different than anyone else and deserved God’s punishment for what we did.”

 

 

 

Notice that the Holy Bible teaches that we are by our very nature under the Wrath of Almighty God.  This is inescapable on your own.  Each of us need the Blood of Jesus to cover and wash away our sins, for which we rightly deserve God’s present and eternal wrath.

In the Clear Word it’s not even there as an afterthought.  He doesn’t even bother to water it down for us, the author just nixes the teaching out of existence.

 

Conclusion

Whether they use the Clear Word or not the doctrine of the Wrath of God isn’t really a thing in Adventism.  The Holy Bible teaches the Holiness, Wrath, and Love of God as these three infinities.  God is Holy and perfect in an infinite sense, and because of this aspect regarding his nature his just Wrath burns against sin.  To say that his wrath is less than eternal would be to also say that he is less Holy for the scripture equates the two in many places.

Without the Wrath of God one cannot theologically understand the Love of God.  For just as his Holiness and Wrath are eternal and infinite so is his Love which he expressed on the Cross.  This is why in SDA theology the Love of God becomes rather vague and ill defined.  In removing the Wrath of God you also remove the other two, your source can no longer be the scripture and you end up defining the Nature of God philosophically instead.

All of that is getting a little deeper than I intended to go in this post, but since I have touched on it before I think it is a fair wrap up.  Clearly though SDA are quite uncomfortable with the Wrath of God, were they not then there would have been no need to remove it from so many clear passages as seen above.

 

Advertisements

About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Leaving Adventism, The Clear Word and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Clear Word vs Bible: The Wrath of God

  1. L A B says:

    Great job. You should consider seminary (if you haven’t already!) Yet again, I am amazed at the degree the SDA system will go to change the nature of God to it’s believers, literally twisting scripture to fit Ellen’s teachings. Yes, SDA’s, that IS a problem. The only churches that do it are cults.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s