Do As God Says, Not As God Does

God will judge the secrets of our hearts (Romans 2:16, Hebrews 4:12), but we humans cannot and should not try to imitate the coming apocalypse. God does some things we cannot do, and that we should not do. Sometimes we are to obey God rather than to imitate God.

Some liberals think that any notion of God being judgmental in the future only leads to violence now. But historically that is not how the “peace-churches” have understood it. Instead of reading current events as divinely right (or wrong) we quote Romans 12:19-“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

In Luke 13:4-5, the Lord Jesus responded to those attempting to interpret current events: “Those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them; do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you will likewise perish.” That threat from Jesus is not an endorsement of violence, nor is it an excuse for us to kill anybody.

God judging justly is one reason we are not to kill. The other reason we are not to kill is that, when the soldiers killed Jesus, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” (I Peter 2:24) Liberals will tell us that this event was only humans killing another human and that God had nothing to do with it. But I Peter in context assumes that God does indeed punish His Servant for the sins of the others. Isaiah 53: “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; his soul makes an offering for sin…”

As I Peter 3:18 has it, “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous.” There is no need for any of us to be killing, since there is now no other sacrifice for sins. Liberals will deny that Jesus was punished for the sins of His friends, but it is that very hope which serves as the reason for patience in the face of the history which is coming toward us.

I Peter 2:21—“leaving you an example, so that you would follow in his steps…when he suffered, he continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

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9 Comments on “Do As God Says, Not As God Does”

  1. mark mcculley Says:

    most Reformed do not think it is their responsibility to love their enemies. They may talk about God’s “ordained” (and thus they think legitimate) nation-state, but the reality is that they are packing guns and ready to kill, and tell you that you are tempting God if you don’t plan to kill for your family.

    I guess I think the key, both to pacifism and to the duty of Luke 6, is the distinction between God and us humans. We are not God. We have no right to act like God, or as if we were his agents.

    So we can be commanded to do “more” back to them than they would do, without this saying that God is going to love them more than they love God.

    I don’t think God loves them at all, at least not our non-elect enemies. God is going to get even, more than that, God is going to destroy them. So the “be ye perfect” (not Luke but Matthew) is a command for us to not discriminate, even though God does discriminate.

    Some of those condemned have already stolen one car, and will be in jail for years, so why not steal another, and get more years? Romans 1:32. Even though they know that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Having exchanged the true God for a lie, their next sin becomes God’s wrath for their last sin, and God’s wrath is being revealed not only in the future but even now in their sin.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Twisse, The Riches of God’s Love, 1;125–If human justice be of the
    same nature with divine justice, it followeth, not only that, that
    which is just in man is jsut with God, but that it must be after the
    same manner just: that like a man’s justice consists in obedience to
    God’s law, implying subjection thereunto; So divine justice must
    consist in obedience to God’s law. And like as man is obliged to be
    just, in the same manner God is obliged to be just.”

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Bosso to Anselm, Cur Deus Homo–“when God commands us in every case to forgive those who trespass against us, it seems inconsistent for God to command a thing upon us which is not proper for God to do HImself.”


    I meet lots of people who think Christians are basically narcissistic. As opposed to our selfishness, they are willing to be damned if any other person is going to be, They are even willing to say there is no such thing as wrath or damnation if anybody besides them would have to suffer it.

    They seem to agree with Kant’s position–any action done with self-interest is suspect, any fact believed while thinking that those who believe that fact will be rewarded is a suspect fact.

    I do get it. I myself suspect myself, and everybody else, including of course also those who think “morality means no reward”.

    I suspect that those who think that “Calvinists want to get paid”, that these critics want to get paid for not being Calvinists.

    But the basic problem here is not “Calvinism”. It’s Jesus, who talked about reward, about good stuff like resurrection and immortality for those Jesus loved. The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7.

    Would it be less narcissistic to say–well, Jesus loves me because I love him, and He would love you too, if you only would—-

    They think any notion of reward is narcissistic. Thus the only basis for true morality ( which they define as selflessness) is atheism. This doesn’t mean they claim to be especially moral. Only that they think, if there were a moral person, that person would go to “hell” until the last person came out.

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Exodus 32, the Levites ordained themselves by jealous violence against other Israelites, also Phineas (Numbers 25) who killed another Israelite for having sex with Moabite woman (even though David was a descendent of a Moabite woman, Ruth). But Christ brought in righteousness by being killed by other jealous villent Israelites

    Mark Mcculley Levi’s descendants followed in his footsteps. The Levite Moses struck out in anger and killed an Egyptian. Levites ruthlessly slaughtered the worshipers of the Golden Calf, as well as Israelite men who consorted with Moabite women. The ultimate expression of Levite violence was the death of Jesus Christ, which was masterminded by priests from the tribe of Levi.

    James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

    Psalm 76: 7 But you, you are to be feared!
    Who can stand before you
    when once your anger is roused?
    8 From the heavens you uttered judgment;
    the earth feared and was still,
    9 when God arose to establish judgment,
    to save all the humble of the earth.
    10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you;
    the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt.
    11 Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them;
    let all around him bring gifts
    to him who is to be feared,
    12 who cuts off the spirit of princes,
    who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

    Son of Eleazar, grandson of Aaron. His quick action halted the violent scourge from Jehovah after 24,000 Israelites had died on the plains of Moab because of fornication and false worship to the Bael of Peor

  6. markmcculley Says:

    his also needs to be stated: although God does not desire the salvation of all men head for head, the Christian’s calling—your calling and my calling—is to desire the salvation of our neighbours. This is biblical. The apostle Paul said to King Agrippa: “I would to God, that not only thou, but also all those that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds” (Acts 26:29). Paul desired or wished or wanted (“I would to God”) that everybody there (Agrippa and “also all those that hear me this day”) would become a Christian, though not a prisoner, like himself (“altogether such as I am, except these bonds”). This apostolic desire is our example for emulation.
    Paul says something similar at the very start of Romans 9, that great chapter on unconditional, double predestination (even in the generations of believers). First, he affirms three times that he is speaking the truth: “[1] I say the truth in Christ, [2] I lie not, [3] my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost” (v. 1). His solemn assertion is that he is deeply grieved and burdened: “That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart” (v. 2). About what is he so heart-broken? “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (v. 3).
    But this is Paul’s attitude or desire; not God’s.15 Paul, of course, says I “could wish,” that is, “I know I can not perish for them and atone for their sins. Only Christ can do that. But if I could, I would do it.” The Christian also feels this. If, by our suffering, we could see our unbelieving family members or neighbours or countrymen saved in Christ, we would do it.16
    But there is a difference between what we are called to do as creatures and what God does as the Creator whose will is one, undivided, sovereign, omnipotent and irresistible (Ps. 115:3; 135:6). God is Almighty God and we are of the dust.

  7. markmcculley Says:

    Calvin on Romans 9:2: “… the obedience we render to God’s providence does not prevent us from grieving at the destruction of lost men, though we know that they are thus doomed by the just judgment of God; for the same mind is capable of being influenced by these two feelings: that when it looks to God it can willingly bear the ruin of those whom he has decreed to destroy; and that when it turns its thoughts to men, it condoles with their evils. They are then much deceived, who say that godly men ought to have apathy and insensibility, lest they should resist the decree of God.”

    Herman Hoeksema on Romans 9:3: “What the apostle means is: were I placed before the alternative that my brethren according to the flesh be saved, or I; were I permitted to choose between their salvation and my own, could I effect their salvation by my being accursed, I could indeed wish to be accursed from Christ in their behalf … Without wishing to place ourselves on a par with the apostle, we may safely say that, in a degree, we can often repeat these words after him. Just imagine a pastor, who, in the course of years becomes attached to his flock and earnestly desires their salvation, but who beholds many of them that are not the objects of God’s electing love. And what is true of our own flesh and blood in the narrowest sensecan be applied to mankind as a whole. Out of one blood God has made the whole of the human race, and they are, according to the flesh, all our brethren. And we can understand a little, at least, of the attitude of the apostle when he speaks of the great heaviness that burdens him and says that he could wish to be accursed from Christ for his kinsmen according to the flesh. And in as far as we could wish in our present flesh and blood, we could indeed desire all men to be saved.”

  8. markmcculley Says:

    Should we kill people in order to show them that killing is bad?

    Since some nations are so evil that they kill some of their old children, should we kill all of their children to teach them a lesson?

    God and us are very different, divine and human morality

    I Samuel 15: 3 Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, children and infants….18 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingship of Israel away from you today and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. 29 Furthermore, the Eternal One of Israel does not lie or change His mind, for He is not man who changes his mind.”
    30 Saul said, “I have sinned. Please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel. Come back with me so I can bow in worship to the Lord your God.” 31 Then Samuel went back, following Saul, and Saul bowed down to the Lord. 32 Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of Amalek.”
    Agag came to him trembling, for he thought, “Certainly the bitterness of death has come.” 33 Samuel declared:
    As your sword has made women childless,
    so your mother will be childless among women.
    Then he hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.
    34 Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Even to the day of his death, Samuel never again visited Saul. Samuel mourned for Saul, and the Lord regretted He had made Saul king over Israel.

    Psalm 139—If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

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