Almighty And Holy God
by Fr. Robert D Smith
The impression given by the secular media is that Christianity itself has
become one huge tower of Babel. Each demonination disagrees radically from the
others, disagreeing on even the most basic points such as whether Christ is Divine
or not, and on what the meaning of Baptism is.
Similarly, even within each group,
there seems to be a wide spectrum of opinion, each claiming legitimacy, ranging
from what is close to outright relativism all the way up to various kinds of rigorism.
Then, too, there are the store-front churches, which seem each to be making up
their own version of Christianity from scratch.
In this chaos of opinion, each contradictory, but each claiming to be true,
how is anyone who is looking for truth going to be able to find it? The vast majority
of people claiming to be Christian agree that God exists and that they believe in
God. But how can one distinguish truth from falsehood in all this?
One of the first things to look at is this very first notion: the idea of God.
What kind of God is it that people are claiming to believe in? Noticeable right away,
in today's world, is that most people are professing belief in a God who is a sap, a
fool, a stooge, who is, in spiritual terms, a rabbit. What they claim to believe in is
utterly impossible, right from the start.
The God spoken of today by worldlings is one who sees all behavior as good, sees everyone, including those who seem to be utterly debauched, as at least
meaning well in their debauchery. What is more, the God they profess to believe in
approves and is beforehand guaranteed to approve all changes for the worse in one's moral code. The person who up to a certain point in his life has been
honest, finds that he needs to steal, does so, and along these lines will tell himself that his God will approve. And so forth with the rest of sin.
Such people defend this idea by explaining that all this means is that their own God is immensely charitable, infinitely charitable. But their God cannot be intrin-
sically charitable at all. He approves in this way of the cruelty involved in sin.Murder, theft, adultery, sodomy, rudeness of speech, mugging, etc., are all acts of cruelty, and admiration for cruelty, esteem for cruelty, cannot come from charity.
No, for the idea of God to mean anything at all, God has to be seen as in-
trinsically holy, as the source of the very definition of holiness, and, in some way, to be the Judge of all men on the basis of this same holiness. The God who is not
holy, the source of holiness, the ultimate judge of holiness, is not merely a mistaken idea of God, but an impossible God.
In fact, there is no real way of reverencing a God who saves all men, repentant or unrepentant. People who think of their own God as some kind of stooge in this way tend to be extremely feeble in their efforts to worship their God. They tend in fact to be irreligious, and if they start to practice religion, worship, churchgoing, Bible reading, their efforts will soon peter out.
No, the right track and the wrong track in religion are easily distinguished.
Those who claim to worship a God who ultimately blesses all kinds of behavior are claiming to believe in a God who is the product of a dream, the product really of a nightmare. True worship shows itself to be true by being offered to a God who is seen as intrinsically Holy, who is to be loved, reverenced, and even re-
spected on the basis that He is, in fact, both Almighty and Holy.
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'The Other Side of Christ' copyright © Fr. Robert D Smith. All rights reserved.