[Here’s an excerpt from this week’s On Guard post at Evangelical Realism. The post is about William Lane Craig’s defense of Hell, but this one part makes a nice Gospel Disproof all by itself. I’ve added an introductory paragraph at the beginning, but the rest is from ER.]
One of the big inconsistencies in the Christian Gospel is the whole idea of a “loving” God sending His own children to Hell for the trivial offense of failing to believe He exists—as though He Himself weren’t provoking this unbelief by His consistent and universal failure to show up in real life! It’s an issue that a lot of Christians struggle with even among themselves, and more than a few have become liberals or even agnostics because of the intractable nature of the problem. And in many cases, those who try to defend Hell, like Craig, end up making a bad situation even worse.
Craig tries to blame the victims for God’s harsh treatment of them. “Gosh, honey, I really don’t want to hit you, but you keep forcing me to. It’s really your own fault for choosing to provoke me.” Yeah, like that sounds any nobler coming out of God’s mouth than out of the abusive husband’s. Don’t believe me? Here’s Craig sharing God’s version of the abusive husband shtick.
God says through the prophet Ezekiel:
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?… For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the lord GOD; so turn, and live!…
Here God literally pleads with people to turn back from their self-destructive course of action and be saved.
“I really hate killing you and throwing you in Hell, but Me damn it, you’re just forcing Me to.” As though God were simply powerless to choose to, I don’t know, maybe NOT kill people and throw them in Hell? You know, because He truly wasn’t willing that any should perish?
Thus, in a sense, God doesn’t send anybody to hell… If we make a free and well-informed decision to reject Christ’s sacrifice for our sin, then God has no choice but to give us what we deserve. God will not send us to hell—but we shall send ourselves.
And who decides what we deserve, if not God? Craig is trying really hard to pass the buck here, but when you preach an omnipotent God Who is the creator of literally everything else, you don’t get to appeal to circumstances beyond His control.