Sat | Jun 19, 2021

Letter of the Day: Abrahams should stick to comedy and leave theology

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM


In his online column, 'The God of the Bible is not merciful', dated September 7, 2015, Michael Abrahams wondered "how literate and intelligent people of sound mind can read the Bible and proclaim that the deity described in its pages is merciful?" He crossed the Rubicon when he said that describing God as merciful smacks of dishonesty, ignorance or denial.

Mr Abraham has convinced himself that he has put distance between himself and those "ignorant who are incapable of comprehending the fact that the character who unleashed the kind of fury on humans in the passages he has cited cannot be deemed merciful".

From his extensive quotations and the conclusions he has arrived at, it is manifestly plain that Mr Abrahams has no regard for, or knowledge of, the dialectical approach and treatment of the issue he attempts to interfere with.

By its very nature, mercy is a voluntary/optional exercise. In other words, if one does not have the power to punish, he cannot extend mercy. It, therefore, means that if one can only extend mercy but cannot execute judgement, he is merely a de facto ruler, whose decisions are made by someone else outside of himself.

According to Mr Abrahams, the passages he cited show that God murdered more than two million persons. However, when we look at the more than 4,000 years which the Old Testament spans, we see God dealing and interacting with about one and a quarter billion people, most of whom took great pleasure in displaying some of the vilest and basest of human conducts.

The abominable and shocking evils that defined the vast majority of civilisations and cultures, extending from Cain's first city to this present day, are such that society is always perched on the brink of oblivion.

But despite the growing wickedness of the seven billion of us living on the earth today, plus the scores of billions who have died already, Dr Abrahams is only able to single out just two million who have been killed by the hands of God.


rescuing of man


This has led him to conclude that God cannot be deemed as merciful. If punishing a mere two million of the more than 25 billion persons who have violated his commands and statutes is not merciful beyond understanding, words are without meaning.

Not only that God is merciful, but His mercy is past finding out. It is new every morning.

If Dr Abrahams is disposed towards biblical exegesis, I would like to inform him that even the judgements he has identified as God killing persons were never meant to be viewed as destructive but, rather, as the rescuing of man from a far more sorrowful end.

Can the mind conceive what would be the end result of the conducts of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the generation of Noah, and the builders of the Tower of Babel, if left unchecked?