“I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.’ (Zephaniah 1v2)
For many, God’s judgment runs something akin to the man in the picture (above) who stands ready to squash some bug under his shoe. An indifferent and wanton deity who is as ready to crush humanity as much as he is to leave it unharmed. But is this a fair representation of how the majority of people see God? Although a large proportion of believers from many religious backgrounds may assert God exists and will one day judge the world, they can no more prove this than those who are opposed to God can prove that He won’t. And of course, this does not even consider those who believe God to be a watchmaker diety who in creating earth, winds up it’s mechansim, sets it in motion and stands back as it disappears on its eliptical journey around the solar system for the next six billion years.
Now, while the idea of a non-existent or “hand’s off'” deity allows people to sidestep the issue of being accountable to God, the issue of a Day of Divine Judgment is kept alive by those who believe the Divine Creator has set out moral standards and values for humans to follow. A Creator who will return to hold everyone accountable for their actions, bringing judgement on those who are found wanting and rewarding those that are considered just and obedient.
In the following posts, we will consider some of the issues this raises for believers and sceptics in the acceptance and belief of a Deity who holds us to account. Questions that will consider:
- the way we imagine and understand God?
- the human need for judgment?
- the fairness of God’s judgement given the frailty of human recognition of right and wrong
- the degree to which we can understand the Divine from our human perspective?
- the way in which humanity is considered culpable for the ills of the world?
- the notion of an actual ending of time and everything as the Day of Judgment arrives?