Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of his possession? He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in showing steadfast love.-Micah 7:18
Dear members and friends,
As a teenager attending a Korean Presbyterian church, there were several matters I found very confusing among Christian teachings. One thing that I never understood until I studied Swedenborg was the wrath of God. According to the beliefs of the many Christian churches, God’s wrath was caused by the disobedience of Adam and Eve and resulted in eternal damnation upon humanity. The part that did not make sense to my mind – even as a troubled teenager – was that God was angry forever! The more I thought about this, the more it did not make sense. Even a troubled teenager would not stay angry forever. How could God, who loves humans, stay angry forever and the condemnation was final until the sacrificial death of Jesus?
My confusion became worse whenever I read a Bible verse like Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of his possession? He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in showing steadfast love.” It was after I entered seminary when things started to become clear, especially when I studied the history of Christian thoughts. In a nutshell, what enlightened my mind was the fact that most of those Christian teachings were actually written by humans, especially men who were greedy for power, wealth, and honor for themselves. For their own benefit, the almighty God had to be the ultimate tyrant who could not stand a single incidence of transgression, even though this is in direct opposition to the image of God portrayed in the Bible! This discovery strongly encouraged me to read the entire Bible attentively. As I was reading, I found many passages where God is attributed with love, forgiveness, justice, fairness, and faithfulness. But, I did not find a single verse in the Bible with the famous eternal damnation of God, except in the book written by Paul.
My brothers and sisters in God, as we all believe God is love who delights in showing steadfast love toward humans, let us believe in the God of love, and thus believe also that the core of our hearts is designed to receive and express love.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee