I have been in Skeptic forums and have noticed a big accusation toward God as being a tyrant or bully. But are these claims valid?
A bully is a person who has some kind of power or authority over another and takes advantage of the other. It is basically abusing one's authority. Bullies in school are usually bigger than those they pick on, or they could just be more clever and sarcastic.
Bullying is a serious problem. It can happen in marriages. It can happen between parents and children. It is a very unhappy situation for all.
Why would people think of God as a 'bully' though? I think the answer can be reflected in a common scenario between teenagers and their parents. Parents have rules, or boundaries for their teens, but sometimes the teenager wants to resist this authority. They do not enjoy having boundaries and think they should have freedom to do what they want to do. So, are parents who have boundaries 'bullies'? Are they abusing their authority?
I think of a story in the book, 'Little Women'. Scarlet Fever was going around and the mom of the March girls did not want them to catch this disease, so, Marmie instructed the children to not go over to another girl's home, because she was sick and Marmie did not want her children to bring Scarlet Fever home with them. I believe it was Beth who defied this rule. Maybe Beth's heart was right as far as wanting to help her friend, but she was instructed to stay away from this family until they got well. Beth sneaked out a couple of times. Eventually, she contracted Scarlet Fever.
Another true story that I have heard is the one where there was an expected eclipse and a girl was told not to look at the sun. When the eclipse came about, the girl looked at the sun and guess what happened to her? She went blind. She did not obey the instructions she had. Do you think her mom was a bully for telling her not to stare at the sun?
While it is true that many times people get away with breaking rules and going against authority, God knows what is going on. He wants us to repent when we know we are doing wrong. He gives us the strength to repent if we want it and ask Him for it.
Is God mean for having boundaries though? Is it mean of God to command people to not commit adultery? Is it mean for God to tell people not to murder? Is it mean for God to tell us to honor our parents? Is God mean by having a judicial system which holds us all accountable for our sins?
Deep down in each person's heart is written a law of right and wrong. There are some basic things common to every human being which knows what is right and what is wrong. When I was a child, I learned the 10 Commandments. I was a very literal person, so, if I lied, I knew I broke a command. But not everything was spelled out as wrong. But I knew deep down inside that I did something wrong. We do know when we do wrong.
There was a remote civilization somewhere I read about, and they had never heard of the 10 Commandments, yet, in their community, there was a stiff penalty for committing adultery. We know when we are doing wrong. God gave us a conscience to help us know when we are doing something wrong. A dog knows when he is doing wrong, but it is only because he knows that there will be a penalty for what he is doing wrong. But when a person does something wrong, we feel bad. We feel shame. We feel guilt.
But we don't like the boundaries God has placed around us, and we also believe the culture's lie that we have a right to do whatever we want to do. Where does this lie come from? The Bible does not say anything about a woman's 'right' to her own body. It isn't even found in the Constitution. It doesn't exist. It never did.
Whether we want to believe this or not, God has put boundaries around us, not only for our protection, and the protection of others, but He wants to protect us from sinning against Him. All sin has to do with going outside of the boundaries, but sexual sin is even more defiant. This sin is not only against God, but it is against ourselves.
Because our culture teaches us that we have certain 'rights' that we can act out, doesn't mean that that belief is true. When culture and Scripture do not agree, then culture must bow to Scripture, not the other way around. God makes the rules and He calls the shots. But does this make Him a bully?
The people who call God a bully are the ones who say that the Old Testament portrays God as a monster. But is that really true? Let's look at some situations and see what they really indicate.
God created Adam and Eve and walked with them in the Garden of Eden. Keep in mind that God is the Creator, not us. God is big. We are not. God told Adam and Eve clearly not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Let me ask you here, do you think God was a bully for telling them the rule concerning the Tree? Of course you probably don't (unless you are a super strong willed person!). There are consequences when we do wrong. Adam and Eve went ahead and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, based on the lies of the devil. God told each one what the consequences would be for doing that action.
God told them ahead of time what the consequences would be. So, they went ahead and did it anyway, even knowing there were consequences for their actions.
We have God's word for us today. His rules don't change. God never changes. He tells us not to sin. He tells us that He will judge immoral people and whoremongers. Why do we think we can get away with being immoral? And even more, why do we complain when we face consequences for our actions? We call God a 'bully' because He gets to call the shots and He doles out the consequences when we do wrong. We don't like His rules. We certainly don't like His consequences.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see Israel continually going astray. They told God that they wanted a king, when God said that He was their king. They told God that they wanted to be like the other nations. God told them what would happen if they were allowed to do what the other nations did.
God told Noah to build an Ark. Now this thing was probably very obvious to all. Talk about a good evangelism ice-breaker! People were being warned of the Judgment that was to come. No one paid attention. No one cared. Only 8 people believed God. God sent the flood finally, and closed the door of the Ark. Was God a bully for doing that?
God is a bully in the eyes of those who hate boundaries. Just as children sometimes think their parents are mean because they don't get them that car or latest toy or video game, some people think God is mean because we can't have sex with whomever we want to.
God created sex in the beginning as part of the reproduction method. Because we are human beings, there is a bond between people who have sex. They become 'one in spirit'. This is good in a marriage relationship. It is not ok outside of marriage. Sex is not ok in a porn shop. Sex is not ok by looking at playboy. God created sex for people to enjoy, but only in the context of marriage. God forbids same sex relations. In fact, it is called an 'abomination' in the book of Leviticus.
Also keep in mind that God didn't have to intervene at all. But remember, His holiness requires us to be punished for our sins and wrongdoing. God's intervention would help people to avoid His wrath. But instead, we think His intervention is ruining our lives and taking our 'rights' away. Again, there is nowhere in the Bible that says we have 'rights' to what we want. We don't have rights to sleep around. We don't have rights to have sexual relations with people of the same sex. We don't have rights to sexual relationships outside of marriage. We don't have rights to abuse our spouses and use them in a wrong way sexually. We don't have rights to pornography. These things are forbidden by God, and will face a severe penalty in the end.
This God, whom many would call a 'bully' is the same God who continually intervenes so that we can be saved from our sins. This God is the One who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. This God is the One who has the greatest love out of any living being anywhere. If we spurn Him, we should spend eternity in torment forever.
Any person who hates boundaries because it takes away his or her 'rights' needs to examine what the issues are. Is society more powerful than God, or should we fear the One who created us. The choice is really ours. If we don't like His boundaries, then we can just send ourselves to hell. It really is our choice. God paid a great price so we don't have to be in hell, but if we don't like His rules, we should end up there. That is the default for us who want to be autonomous of Him.
If you or anyone you know has been duped into believing in any of the false Gospels going around, please consider what God says. God is not an all-loving God who 'understands' and lets us get away with sin. God loves us too much to let us stay in our sins. We can shake our fists at God all we want, but we are the ones who will lose. Those who reject Him will be shaking their fists throughout eternity. Does that sound like a nice way to spend the life that never ends?
Technically, bullies are those who abuse their power. If you think God is abusing His power, then you are most ungrateful. God didn't have to give you life in the first place. He could have withheld life from you by not even allowing you to come into being. Are you grateful that He gave you life? Are you grateful for the life you have been given, even though you don't always get your way?
If you are interested in knowing this God who created you and will redeem you if you respond to Him in repentance and faith, please go to http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com or http://test4gp.wordpress.com