Questions on Christianity Part 3: Does God discipline his followers?
This is the final part of this blog. Often I have seen in my experience as a Christian, though I am not one now, different perspectives on whether God actually disciplines his followers. At the moment, it would appear he does not because there are a lot of Christians that get away with doing the wrong thing and harm the reputation of the one they supposedly represent. Some Christians say God will punish these people, when they are dead. I am not sure why this is even considered a good rebuttal. It’s kind of like how God allows the devil to indirectly lead thousands to hell and he will only judge the devil after the damage has been done at the end of time. How does this help the people who are turned away from God because of hypocrisy to wait and let God sort it out once they are dead. I am quite sure if someone was going around murdering people nobody would say ‘let’s wait until he dies to do something’, yet apparently that is similar to what God does because the people turned away end up in Hell (I could be wrong but this is how many theologians I have met and heard seem to think it goes) When it comes to disciplining Christian’s for doing the wrong thing, does God discipline Christians doing the wrong thing? It would appear not. One pastor I have heard have stated that such people who committed wrongs while claiming to be followers were judged because they died, this is obviously not a good explanation because that fate awaits everyone, including Christians (I discussed earlier why the punishment for sin is not death since Christians also share this fate).
Although many would disagree and say that Jesus died so that they would not have to be disciplined, or rather punished eternally, I still think it would make much more sense if it said the New Testament that Christians would be disciplined for doing the wrong thing. This would most certainly discourage hypocrisy, because suggesting that Christians don’t have to worry about punishment or discipline, because someone else received it (i.e. Jesus), sets a sort of precedent whereupon some people believe they can do what they like and not expect to be disciplined. If Christian’s were still punished for doing the wrong thing and the only difference was they didn’t face eternal punishment, this would make more sense. This would most certainly be a remedy for the hypocrisy present in the Christian church. Of course saying that Christians still have to worry about discipline would probably be a poor method of evangelism. An assurance that they will not be punished seems more likely to encourage someone to do the wrong thing than not to do it. Even if someone who is being charged for a crime apologises and acknowledges they've done the wrong, that doesn't mean they get off though they are more likely to receive a lighter sentence. The problem for Christianity is that some people believe that because Jesus was punished for the crimes they committed, they no longer fear punishment or getting disciplined and this makes them think they can get away with doing the wrong thing.
If God treats us all as equals, then it would make more sense for Christians and non-Christians to have their actions treated, and where necessary, disciplined in the same manner so that if they both commit the same crime one was not treated more favourably over the other. There are, unfortunately, some churches that believe that God does punish non-believers for their sins in this life despite not showing much interest in disobedient Christians that wilfully hurt Christianity’s reputation. There are even some churches who believe that some disasters, man-made or natural are the result of God being angry at non-believers for one reason or another. Thankfully, they do not account for the majority of believers because these same disasters tend to not discriminate between religions, hence Christians suffer just as much as anyone else in this regards.
In conclusion, to summarise my questions, which I’m sure some reading may have been hoping I would do, my main question in regards to Christianity is the same one that every inquisitive child asks their parents.. Why? Simply typing in such questions in google will usually result in a plethora of results with the most common appearing in google instant. Some of them are stupid, as with anything on google, but many are quite valid.