God punish us for our sins?
short answer is no. Let me attempt to explain that answer.
we need to understand that God cannot be defined, only experienced.
Each person's experience of God varies, and people have a tendency
to make their experience into a definition; that is simply poor
we need to find a theological expression of God that befits the
experience of many of the world's greatest religious leaders,
among whom we Christians number Jesus. There are many theological
expressions floating around in religious circles. Most of them
place God outside of space and time, and see God as intervening
in response to human prayer and needs. This view is called supernatural
theology. I tend to call it "God as a vending machine" theology.
It doesn't work because some people's prayers seem to be ignored
and some good people seem to experience terrible deprivations
of all kinds.
great religions of the world—Judaism, Islam and Christianity—have
the overall view of the Creator as a benevolent, redeeming and
reconciling power beyond logical explanation. A theological view
that fits into this is panentheism, which states that all Creation
is the product of God's action, that it is a continuously unfolding
process, and that all Creation is within the Creator. The Creation
is not the sum of God's essential nature, yet in Creation we
can find glimpses of God's essential nature. And we need to remember
that humans are a part of this Creation.
hold that Jesus is God's revelation to all humanity about what
to be a human and what God's intentions are for humans. In
Jesus we see a God who is caring, healing, redemptive and reconciling.
We do not see a God who punishes, but rather
a God that seeks to restore us to our full humanity. We see
a God who is more interested in blessing than punishing, more
to raise up than strike down. Our human propensity to misuse
power distorts our humanity, sometimes to the point where it
is unrecognizable. The result of this separation from our full
humanity—the humanity God created us to have—is that we suffer,
and then we tend to call that suffering God's punishment rather
than taking responsibility for it ourselves. It is not God who
punishes us, it is we ourselves. As the cartoon character Pogo
once put it, "We have met the enemy and they is us."
Rev. C. Douglas Simmons
first reaction to questions like this is "I don't know!
Neither does anyone else."
it's fun to speculate. And that's what this response is—a
bit of speculation.
don't imagine God as a cosmic Santa "making a list and
checking it twice." I
believe in God as the loving intelligent energy within and
greater than all that is. I believe God is using infinite
divine creativity and love to draw us into fullness of life.
the wisdom of God, it seems to me that there are profound consequences
that are wrapped into our acts. I believe that we pay a price
for our wrongdoing, and I believe virtue has its rewards. That's
a matter of faith for me. Often I find it impossible to see justice
in the observable consequences of our acts. I trust that God
will use every good deed and thought to bring about God's intended
healing of the universe. I believe God is absorbing and transforming
every sinful and evil act, suffering with us, and ultimately
Rev. Lowell Grisham