If true, it means God has a boogeyman.
“God can’t abide sin. It offends him so much, he simply can’t have it in his presence. He’s just that holy.”
It’s an idea I’ve heard repeated by many a Christian. Evangelists in particular.
It’s particularly popular among people who can’t abide sin. Certain sins offend us so much, we simply can’t have ’em in our presence. We’re just that pure.
You can see why Christians have found this concept so easy to adopt, and have been so quick to spread it around. It’s yet another instance of remaking God in our own image, then preaching our remake instead of the real God.
Don’t get me wrong. ’Cause Christians do, regularly: I talk about grace, and they think I’m talking about compromise. Or justification. Or nullification. Or compromise. Whatever reason they can think of to ignore grace, skip forgiveness, disguise revenge as justice, and claim they only have those prejudices and offenses because God has ’em. You claim you practice grace? Then grant me some so I can explain.
God is definitely anti-sin. He told us what he wants and expects of his people. Both through his Law, and through the teachings and example of Christ Jesus. (I was about to write “and he didn’t mince words,” but Jesus kinda did in some of his parables. Regardless, any honest, commonsense Christian—and plenty of pagans—can figure Jesus out.)
Yes, God’s offended by our willful disobedience. And he’s just as offended by the sins of people who don’t know any better: They do have consciences, after all.
But the issue isn’t whether sin bugs God. It’s whether sin bugs God so much, he can no longer practice grace. Whether he can’t abide sin—and therefore he can’t abide sinners.
If that’s the idea we’re spreading, we’re also spreading the idea we gotta clean ourselves up before we can ever approach God. Like when the Hebrews had to wash themselves for three days before the L
We’re also spreading the idea because God can’t abide sin, he won’t forgive it. Some of us went beyond the pale long ago, and can’t possibly approach him now. The magical substance of grace may exist, but it’s not for people who call out to God; it’s only for people whom God’s pre-selected long before, and everybody else is just plain screwed.
Basically, in order to defend our own lack of grace, we’re slandering God and making people hesitant to embrace him. Or even driving them away. Driving them to despair.