If my father hadn’t been an alcoholic, I wouldn’t be so messed up today.
If the coach had let me play, I would have won a scholarship.
If that stupid doctor hadn’t misdiagnosed me, I wouldn’t be dying right now.
Ever hear people talk like this? Have you ever talked like this? Blaming our current problems and miseries on the choices of other people can feel like a satisfying way to illicit sympathy while shirking all responsibility for our own choices. After all, some jerk raped you, and that means you now have a free pass to wallow in a victim mentality for the rest of your life. Or maybe you feel you can trace back your current health problems to the fact that your mother tried to have you aborted when you were still in her womb. Now you can blame her for everything while you play the part of the eternal martyr. See how it works? It’s fun to blame other people. It’s satisfying to point the blame in any direction but towards ourselves and make up all kinds of fantasies about how perfect our lives would have been if other humans hadn’t sabotaged us with their rotten choices or malicious actions. But here’s the problem with playing the blame game: if God doesn’t agree to play as well, then we’re going to end up in a heap of trouble. You see, we don’t get to judge ourselves. God is the One who judges us, and that means that we need to get an accurate understanding of how His judgment system works.
Now in the Church, we’re taught to play the blame game on some of the biggest issues there are. Good old Adam—that first human with the rebellious attitude—he’s the guy who got us into the nasty fix we’re in today. It’s because of Adam that the world is filled with pain, suffering and hardship. It’s because of Adam that we’ve got things like diseases, war, and death. But wait—does God really say all of this in the Bible? No, He doesn’t. The truth is that we humans have gotten carried away with this blaming Adam game, and we’ve stuck responsibility onto him for all kinds of things that God never said were his fault. In fact, if we read the text a bit closer, we’ll discover that it’s really God who claims responsibility for many of the things we’re always pinning on Adam. Take that time that Yahweh said to the Israelites:
“I kill, and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” (Deut. 32:39)
Wait a second—God is taking responsibility for killing people? But in the Church we’re told to blame Adam, sin, and Satan for death. And as for health problems, well, that’s all supposed to be Adam’s fault too. If he hadn’t eaten that stupid fruit, then we wouldn’t have been cursed right along with him. And yet here in Deuteronomy Yahweh says He’s the One deciding who will get injured, who will recover, who will live, and who will die. He goes on to warn that no one can save anyone from experiencing His will for them. In other words, if God decides He’s going to give your kid cancer, there’s nothing you can do to stop Him. If He decides He’s going to tangle you up in a car wreck, there’s nothing you can do to save yourself. We don’t like God taking responsibility like this, do we? It makes us squirm when He starts flaunting His sovereignty in our faces and reminding us that nothing happens in this world that He doesn’t want to have happen. We really don’t like the idea of God killing and wounding us on purpose—it’s much more satisfying to blame Adam.
“I have created the blacksmith who fans the coals beneath the forge and makes the weapons of destruction. And I have created the armies that destroy.” (Isa. 54:16)
Here’s another disturbing zinger from Yahweh. Here He’s actually boasting about being the Source of all war and violence. Weapons of destruction come in some pretty nasty forms. In Bible times, conquering armies delighted in holding sadistic torture fests on the battlefield. People would have horrible things done to their anatomy using the tools that Yahweh is boasting of creating here in Isaiah 54. Don’t think that the absence of nukes and drones meant the ancient peoples played nice together, because that was far from the truth. The Assyrians and Babylonians were so sadistic in their war methods that they made Hitler’s Nazis look like sweethearts by comparison. And then along came the Romans with their crosses—who was ultimately responsible for coming up with that hideous torture device? God was. God creates the weapons of destruction, and God controls who they will be used on. He says so Himself right there in the book we all use to try and defend the ludicrous notion that God has nothing to do with evil. How can God have nothing to do with evil when He created it?
“The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating evil: I am the Lord who does all these things.” (Isa. 45:7)
Yikes. No wonder people avoid the Old Testament. Our “God of Truth” is dishing out more truth than we want to deal with, and He’s leaving us with no one else to blame for our problems. After all, complaining about what crumbs your parents were starts ringing pretty hollow once you face the fact that God is the One who chose what family you would be born into. No one forced God to give you the mother and father that you had. He could have put you with anyone, and once you understand this, you realize that He’s really the One who you need to talk to when you don’t like how He’s running His game. And as for Adam—blaming him for your problems is a total copout. Adam isn’t being held responsible for any of the choices you’re making and you’re not being held responsible for the choices Adam made. Ah, but when you go to church, your pastor tells you that God is punishing you today for the choices that the first human made. And when you turn to the New Testament and flip over to Romans 5, you find the apostle Paul laying out this cockamamie theory:
Sin came into the world because of what one man did, and with sin came death. This is why everyone must die—because everyone sinned. (Rom. 5:12)
Paul says that “Sin came into the world because of what one man did.” What kind of sense does that make? Paul talks as if sin is some kind of virus that Adam cooked up in a private lab and then loosed upon us all. And yet what Paul is really referring to here is Adam’s decision to spiritually rebel against God. Well, so what? A man’s personal soul choices do not control anyone else’s soul choices. Think about it: if you decide to love Jesus, does that force all of your friends to love Him as well? If you decide to hate Jesus, does that mean the rest of the world must follow your lead? Of course not. Your own soul choices are not controlled by the soul choices of others, and yet this is what Paul teaches. He says that the moment the first human chose to spit in God’s face, all of humanity was forced to follow Adam’s crummy lead. According to Paul, sin only exists in the world today because of Adam’s personal choices. If Adam hadn’t botched things up, we would all be living in a perfect, blissful paradise. Paul was a spiritual moron who spins one absurd lie after another in his epistles. And instead of rejecting the man’s theological musings for the idiocy that they are, you’re taught to cling to them as infallible truths. So when Paul claims that Adam’s personal soul choices pitched all of humanity into some grave spiritual crisis, you just believe him. You don’t question it, because the Church teaches you that questioning Paul is somehow insulting to God.
Many people died because of the sin of that one man. (Rom. 5:15)
Paul is talking about spiritual death here—what Christians think of as eternal damnation. He’s saying that because Adam chose to spiritually rebel against God, every human born after Adam has been born under a “curse” of spiritual damnation. In other words, when you’re born, you’re automatically on your way to Hell because God’s default position is to hate you, not love you. And if you believe this fat lie, then you’re going to end up having all kinds of problems relating to God.
Today many people believe that God is some merciless Ogre who is punishing them for the choices other people have made. Since you can’t control the choices other people make, this pins you into a pretty hopeless position. It’s all fine if you think you come from good stock. But if your relatives are rebellious crumbs, then you’re an easy target for the old generational curse scam. Soon you’re trying to repent for the sins of your daddy just so that God will stop persecuting you for what your father did. Or maybe you’re losing sleep fretting over the soul tie that you’re now caught in because you accidentally hung out with some spiritual zero who has made a career out of rebelling against God. You see, once your spiritual leaders can get you to believe God is nailing you for the sins of others, you’ll be that much easier to con. And once demons can get you to believe that God is impossible to succeed with because He’s holding a bitter grudge against you over the things that other people have done, what hope will you have?
As long as you think God is hauling His ancient beefs with Adam into your personal relationship with Him today, you’re going to feel very frustrated about ever getting into a positive place with God yourself. God becomes as difficult to relate to as Rex, the man whose first wife cheated on him, thus he treats every other woman he dates like a scheming adulteress. Because Rex was burned once, he refuses to accept any other woman’s sincere attempt to love him. Instead, he’s always searching for evidence that his girlfriends are flirting with other men, and he’s quick to explode on them over the smallest things. Is that who you think God is today? Do you imagine Him up in Heaven with a big stick just waiting to nail you for one false move? Do you imagine Him scoffing at your sincere attempts to honor Him, and spitting on the gifts you try to bring Him while He demands that you grovel in the dirt over every mistake? There are several core lies that fuel the false belief that God is very difficult to succeed with, and the writings of the apostle Paul go a long way towards helping you form a very dark and dismal picture of God—specifically, God the Father, who we refer to as Yahweh.
Yahweh is the Jerk in Paul’s epistles. Yahweh is the wrathful, merciless, bigot who cherishes ethnic Jews while He grudgingly endures icky Gentiles (see More Lies from Paul: God Loves Jews More Than Gentiles (Romans 11)). To see how darkly Paul is portraying Yahweh in his epistles, you need to slow down and think about the implications of the statements that Paul fires off. For example, Paul says:
Many people died because of the sin of that one man. (Rom. 5:15)
What does this statement imply about the Character of Yahweh? Adam gives Yahweh smack, and every human after that gets spanked for it. According to this theory, Yahweh is like a father of five sons. One day the oldest son says something rude, and the father responds by beating to death that son and the four boys who were born after him. But is this really who Yahweh is? No, it’s not.
Now if you’ve been raised in a Christian community, then you might find all of this quite disturbing because you’ve spent your life thinking Paul is the “apostle of grace” who paints God in a rosy light. This is what you’ll be told in church, but it’s really not true. Paul clearly teaches that Yahweh has been holding a grudge against all humans because of one rebellious act on the part of Adam. Such a God is not only merciless, He is a God who airs on the side of brutality—a God who prefers punishment over mercy, and wrath over grace. Is this who Yahweh says He is? Not at all. In giving a quick summary of His Character to Moses, Yahweh once said:
“I am Yahweh. Yahweh is a God who shows mercy, who is kind, who doesn’t become angry quickly, who has great love and faithfulness and is kind to thousands of people. Yahweh forgives people for evil, for sin, and for turning against Him, but He does not forget to punish guilty people.” (Ex. 34:6-7)
Here Yahweh presents Himself as being a God who is not a boundaryless pushover. Yes, He punishes people who defy Him. But He emphasizes forgiveness and mercy. Yes, He has anger—but He doesn’t have a short fuse. Notice how mercy is the first quality Yahweh lists about Himself in this speech, and this speech comes shortly after Yahweh dished out His famous ten plagues on Egypt. Those plagues would have certainly raised fears that Yahweh was an extremely wrathful, brutal Deity. But here Yahweh clarifies who He really is. He is abounding in mercy, kindness, love and faithfulness. When we read through this speech, it’s clear that Yahweh likes humans—He doesn’t generally despise them. And yet this is thousands of years after nasty Adam sinned. According to Paul, Yahweh turned against the whole human race after Adam flubbed it. He viewed us all as His enemies, which is why Paul says:
While we were Yahweh’s enemies, He made us His friends through the death of His Son. (Rom. 5:10)
Christians are taught to view this verse as a cheerful, comforting sentiment. And yet what is comforting about Yahweh taking a hostile stance against the entire human race because of the choices one man made? According to Paul, Yahweh’s wrath burned against all humans because of Adam, and there was no hope for anyone until the coming of Christ.
So through Christ we will surely be saved from Yahweh’s anger, because we have been made right with Yahweh by the blood of Christ’s death. (Rom. 5:9)
This isn’t comforting, it’s deeply disturbing. Thousands of years of human history passed before Christ showed up in Israel and died on a Roman cross. Where was the hope for the billions upon billions of humans who lived and died between Adam and Christ? According to Paul’s theology, there was no hope for those people. They were hopeless and helpless—targets of Yahweh’s insatiable wrath that burned against them all because of what one man did. Paul says:
For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:6)
What does it imply about the Character of Yahweh that the humans who lived before Christ were helpless to get into a good position with God? According to Paul, there was no hope for anyone before Christ. But why? Because Yahweh is such a Creep, of course. You see, it is impossible to embrace Paul’s theology without making Yahweh out to be a merciless Monster. And yet according to Yahweh, the theory that He spiritually punishes people for the sins of their ancestors is hooey.
If you want to understand how Yahweh judges humans, then reading through Ezekiel 18 will be far more beneficial than Paul’s garbage epistles. In Ezekiel 18, Yahweh directly counters the theory that He is the kind of God who punishes people for the sins of others. Back in Ezekiel’s time, the Jews had a saying: The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. In other words, suppose your father decides to suck on a lemon, but instead of having his own mouth pucker up at the sour taste, yours does. His lemon makes you pucker. His bad choices make you suffer. That’s what the griping Jews in Ezekiel’s time were saying with their “sour grapes” jingle. They meant that Yahweh was unfairly punishing them for sins they didn’t commit—for sins their ancestors committed. So what does Yahweh say in response to this? Well, He takes the whole chapter to respond to it, but His bottom line is simple: the Jews are wrong. Yahweh doesn’t hold grudges against people for the sins of others. He doesn’t spiritually damn anyone because of the soul choices of others. Instead, He judges each individual by his or her own soul choices.
“Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yahweh, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. For all people are Mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.” (Eze. 18:2-4)
Yahweh then goes on to describe several scenarios that emphasize how individually He judges people. First He describes a man who cares about Yahweh and makes wise soul choices. He then says that He will reward such a man with spiritual life. In other words, that man will be granted eternal salvation.
But suppose the good man then has a son who embraces spiritual rebellion? He defies Yahweh and rebels without repenting. Will Yahweh judge the son by the choices of his father? No, the father doesn’t come into it. Yahweh judges the son according to the son’s own choices. Since the son rebelled against Yahweh without repenting, he ends up eternally damned.
Now what if the evil son has a son who decides not to be like his father? He chooses to submit to Yahweh on a soul level and obey Yahweh’s convictions. How will Yahweh respond to this good son? Will He punish the good son for the sins of his wicked father? Certainly not.
“The son will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin.” (Eze. 18:17)
But wait—this isn’t what we’re taught in church. According to Paul, we’re all being spiritually punished for the sins of our ancestor Adam. According to those who promote the idea of soul ties and generational curses, God is spiritually punishing us for the sins of other people all the time. But what does Yahweh say? Well, Yahweh knows how certain people are that He nails them for the sins of their ancestors. So in Ezekiel 18, He says:
“Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all My decrees, he will surely live. Only the one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” (Eze. 18:19-20)
If we want to know how Yahweh operates, should we listen to Him explain Himself or should we listen to dingdong Paul? Paul tells us that Yahweh has been spiritually punishing the whole human race for the sins of Adam. Paul tells us that Yahweh left humans devoid of any hope until He finally introduced Christ. Paul makes Yahweh out to be a vicious, brutal God who is quick to establish epic grudges, and extremely slow to offer mankind any hope of reconciling with Him. Remember that thousands of years of human history passed between Adam and Christ—years in which there was no hope for anyone because we were all “the enemies of God.” At least that is what Paul says, but Paul’s absurd theories only demonstrate how clueless he was about who Yahweh even is. For it was long before the coming of Christ that we find Yahweh shredding the theory that He spiritually punishes anyone for the soul choices of others. And after making it clear in Ezekiel 18 that every human is judged only by his or her own soul choices, Yahweh then goes on to emphasize what a gracious God He is.
“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all My decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do You think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Yahweh. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live! However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins.” (Eze. 18:21-24)
Because the New Testament writers pushed legalism—the theory that God judges you by your external actions instead of your soul choices—and because the Church promotes New Testament theology as brilliant, many Christians read a fabulous passage like Ezekiel 18 and they totally miss the point. They hear Yahweh using extreme words like “all” and they think He’s saying He’ll only accept people who act morally perfect on the outside. But no, this is not what He’s saying. He’s talking about soul attitudes—something which becomes very clear when you read through the rest of the Old Testament and observe how He interacts with people.
There were no morally perfect people in the Old Testament. There were only a bunch of chronic sinners, and yet we find Yahweh speaking very highly of certain individuals and saying that He was quite pleased with them. Well, according to the apostles John, James and Paul, Yahweh will condemn anyone who claims to be a His follower, yet keeps on sinning (see Salvation According to 1 John). But according to Yahweh, it’s quite possible for a man to commit grave sins and still end up in a fabulous place with Him because Yahweh judges us by our soul attitudes. King David stole another man’s wife, committed premeditated murder, and did a host of other wrong things. But because Yahweh is so gracious, He gave David the chance to repent out of his rebellious snits. When David did, Yahweh forgave him and moved on. After David was dead, Yahweh described him in this way:
“…My servant David, who kept My commandments and who followed Me with all his heart, to do only that which was right in My sight.” (1 Ki. 14:8)
How insanely gracious is it for Yahweh to describe David as only ever doing what is right when David committed such terrible sins? And why does Yahweh say David followed Him with “all” of his heart, when David wrote so many psalms that are filled with bratty, rebellious snark (see Psalm 35: Bratty David Bosses Yahweh)? This just proves how incredibly gracious, kind, and merciful Yahweh is.
Yahweh has always been extremely easy to succeed with. The revelation of Christ did not alter Yahweh’s Character in any way. Christ didn’t wipe away some epic grudge that Yahweh was holding against all humans because there was never any such grudge. Yahweh has always judged each soul individually and He has only ever held people responsible for their own soul choices. So the next time you hear someone suggesting that God is taking a dim view of you because of what Adam did, or the next time you hear it said that you needed Christ to come and make it possible for you to get into a good place with Yahweh, you need to recognize that idiocy for what it is. No one is easier to succeed with than the magnificent Yahweh. No one is kinder, gentler, or more loving towards us little humans. The fact that our Church leaders continue to preserve so much Yahweh bashing rot in the New Testament, and the fact that they label such garbage as “God-breathed” and actually say that the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to portray Yahweh in such a negative light just shows what spiritual morons we have at the helm in every denomination. If you want to know the truth, you need to talk to God directly, not just believe what others say about Him. And whenever you are listening to human teaching on God, remember this key discernment principle: any teaching that makes you feel discouraged or hopeless in your relationship with God is a lie.
Romans 5: Paul Leads Us Astray on Sin & the Character of Yahweh
Romans 6: Paul Baptizes Christians Into Despair
Salvation According to Paul: If You Sin, You’re Damned (Romans 7-8)
The Great Gift of Sin: Why Our Depravity Gives Us Hope
Confession, Penance & the Old Covenant Sacrificial System: Unlearn the Lies
Songs that God Hates: Before the Throne of God Above
Understanding Divine Judgment: Illumination, Empowerment & A God Who Delights In Mercy