I realize that everyone is not attuned to the jaw-dropping ways that humans have perpetually demonized God. But it seems to me that the demonization is so over-the-top during Holy Week that at some point in our history as thinking beings, it should have caught our collective attention.
An online search turned up results about the demonization of America, the Queen of Sheba and others. But not one word about the demonization of God. Fascinating.
Not only are we oblivious to the fact that we daily demonize God, we seem to be completely unaware that Holy Week’s underlying message is that Yeshua (Jesus) didn’t understand God at all.
Consider what we’re called to worship this week, and ask yourself: Am I celebrating divine or demonic behavior?
1. God sent Yeshua on a worldwide “good news” tour that was doomed from the start.
As the story goes, God sent Yeshua to Earth to set the record straight on a few things:
- God is not the angry, vindictive brute described in scripture;
- God does not solve human problem through murder, as described in Genesis;
- God is within us;
- God loves us unconditionally, and we should love each other the same way;
- God forgives with no strings attached;
- God welcomes home even the prodigals among us;
- All we really need to do is treat others the way we’d want to be treated;
To make sure that this good news was spread, God entrusted “His only begotten son” with the task. I’m not going to address claims that Yeshua was half god and half human. At a later time, we’ll discuss the intersection where mythical gods who impregnated human virgins without semen and Old Testament midrash met.
If midrash is an unfamiliar term, I’d suggest insightful articles such as this one by theologian Robert M. Price. There also are a number of fascinating resources about the long history of virgin births that might interest you. These legends preceded Yeshua’s birth by many centuries, as outlined in this article by theologian John Keyser. They all were born on December 25, healed the sick, raised the dead, were executed by the establishment and rose from the grave in three days. But I’ve digressed from Holy Week’s demonization of God:
As we all know, there was no Internet, radio, television or even a printing press in Yeshua’s day. My goodness, there wasn’t even a public address system for him to speak to thousands of people at a time. (Yes, I took a swipe at that fish story, too.) But God allegedly had charged Yeshua with this task, and he was compelled to do it to the best of his ability. Unquestionably, it was his life purpose and passion.
So Yeshua set out on foot, donkey and the occasional non-motorized boat to share his good news. Three short years later, after he’d only reached a small fraction of the humans on earth, he was sadistically tortured to death.
Why? Well, according to scripture…
2. God planned all along to have Yeshua murdered.
To recap: God sent Jesus to Earth to tell as many people as he could, without electronic or social media to amplify his message, that God was not a tyrannical hypocrite who solved problems by killing humans. I suspect that part of the good news was that we should ignore the 50+ circumstances outlined in scripture, in which God allegedly mandated us to kill each other.
God gave Yeshua only three years to accomplish this mass communication campaign. Yeshua recruited and trained others to help him spread the message. Most of their time, however, was spent with him.
When the clock ran out on the campaign, God simply solved the sinful-human problem by having “His” messenger sadistically tortured to death. The murder didn’t put an end to sin. But of course, the Omniscient would know that.
After all, in Genesis, God had boasted that “He” was killing every living thing and starting over. Then, after surveying the mess made by the Great Flood, “He” lamented that it was all a mistake because man was naturally sinful. What that story alleges is that God not only makes mistakes that “He” regrets, “He” is not omniscient and has no clue about the outcome and effectiveness of “His” actions.
So, in a way, it almost makes sense that this God would rectify that by killing one person instead of everyone. Again: Is God’s behavior scripturally depicted as divine or demonic?
3. Yeshua knew all along that God planned for him be a live sacrifice.
Live sacrifice was a sacred ritual of ancient people who believed that they had to kill something (or someone) to please God. You’ll recall that after the deadly flood killed everything from animals and infant humans to plants, trees and the elderly, Noah grilled one of the surviving animals and God was pleased with the smell. (So much for repopulating that species.)
This a barbaric practice was widespread because then, as now, people believed in a quid pro quo God. They worshiped a God who required an offering in exchange for granting their wishes.
Live sacrifices have been abandoned in most cultures today, but not all. Today’s headlines bear witness to the lingering barbarism of people who worship a violent god who requires mercy killings, even of loved ones.
What we are to believe here is that Yeshua knew from the beginning that God’s forgiveness was conditioned upon his excruciatingly painful live sacrifice. Despite that we are told that he taught that God was unconditionally forgiving. If you do not find that to be contradictory, I invite you to explain it to me.
4. God would forgive “His” bad kids on one condition: “His” only good kid was brutally tortured to death.
Suffice it to say that Holy Week teaches us that Yeshua and his lovely Prodigal Son parable got it wrong: God is not that father; “He” does not forgive unconditionally.
The natural question is: If God was going to solve “His” human-sin problem by having Yeshua heinously tortured to death, what was the point of sending him on that impossible worldwide journey to teach that God is not the Old Testament brute? Clearly, “He” is, according to the New Testament passages we celebrate this week.
Like the God portrayed in Genesis, “He” is not omniscient. “He” didn’t even know that murdering “His” only good kid was not going to make “His” bad kids walk the straight and narrow.
So the question remains: Was God’s plan for Yeshua, as outlined in scripture and celebrated during Holy Week, divine or diabolical?
5. God views the murder of an innocent child as an act of love.
To that, I have two questions:
- Under what circumstances is it an act of love to have one’s child tortured to death?
- Would the Divine or the Devil have an innocent child murdered so that guilty children can go free?
6. God’s plan is to brutalize all of us, unless we believe that Yeshua was heinously murdered instead of us
The Bible, the billboards, the placards, posters, magnets and Internet posts proclaim: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) In other words, God loved “His” bad kids so much that “He” gave his only good kid to the sadistic Roman soldiers so that they could subject him to a long and painful death.
The message here is that those who don’t believe that God ordered this inhumane deed will be severely punished. Rumor has it that this time, the torture will last throughout all eternity.
Does this align with the good news that Yeshua taught, including his Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)? The behavior of the God that Jesus described during his much-too-brief good news ministry appears to be dramatically contradicted by his gruesome murder. Yet we are encouraged to celebrate this inhumane act of God. We even wear replicas of the murder weapon around our necks, in our ears and hang it in our homes, and places of business and worship.
Ironically, we call Satan the “enemy,” yet we worship behaviors that are nothing short of satanic. We have absolutely no awareness of the horrific things we are saying about God or how our worship of evil has perpetuated a world in which problems are solved by killing people. The reason probably lies in the fact that we are threatened that if we don’t believe what others want us to believe, God’s gonna get us.
Why do we believe that God behaves this way? Is that the kind of behavior we choose to worship?