The Problem of Devine Violence

 

If we take Jesus at His word, when He said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father,” and add this verse that says, “He (the Messiah) had done no violence,” (Isaiah 53:9) then it becomes clear to me that Devine Violence is an oxymoron.

Over the centuries theologians have attempted to deal with the “violent” stories of the God of the Old Testament in three different ways.

1. Discounting the violent texts.

2. Attempting to distance God from the violence.

3. By reinterpreting the violent verses.

But what if the root of the problem could be found in our definition of the word ‘violence.’

Some things that appear to be violent are medical procedures being done in love.

Tooth pulling, heart transplant, even amputations.

In an emergency in the mission field it may be necessary to pull an infected tooth without pain killer.

Sometimes punishment can be done in love.

Parents have the authority to punish a small child for running into the street, or for fighting with their brother or sister.

Police have been given authority to restrain and incarcerate a person who is a danger to themselves or others.

A judge and jury have the authority to sentence a person to a number of years in prison.

And God The Judge of the Universe certainly had the authority to banish Adam and Eve from The Tree of Life, thereby pronouncing a death sentence on the human race.

I contend that none of these actions are violent, because they were done under proper authority, from a motive of love.

April 5, 2017