The Unforgiving Christian God

The Unforgiving Christian God

Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”. – Matthew 18:21-22


Christians constantly tell us that Yahweh is incredibly forgiving as he loves us so much. In the verse above, our Sunday school teachers told us that Jesus didn’t actually mean that Peter should only forgive his brother 490 times, but as many times as was necessary. We were told that Yahweh loves us so much he would always forgive us. But hold on – his forgiveness does have a limit if you think about it, it only lasts for a few decades during the time you inhabit a physical body. After that, well, his forgiveness runs out and if you are not a christian you will then be cast into hell and never forgiven, ever.

This is absurd if you think about it. For a start, why does his forgiveness end with physical death? He sets the rules so why not change them? If he loves us infintely and can do anything, why can’t someone in hell ask for forgiveness? Just imagine it, someone has been burning in hell for over 999 trillion years and has had enough. “Ok” he begs, “I’m sorry for the sins I committed in those few decades I was in a physical body over 999 trillion years ago. Please forgive me now!”. “Sorry”, says Yahweh, “that’s the rules, I can’t forgive you now.”. Surely if he is so powerful he could find some way around his own rules for goodness sake!?

I realised just how utterly illogical christianity is when my own small children were naughty. There was even a time when one of my children physically lashed out at me in a tantrum, but a few minutes later was very upset about this, said she was sorry and begged me to forgive her. We had a hug and I told her it was alright, I was her daddy and nothing she could ever do would stop me loving her, ever. I knew there would never be a day when I said “That’s it, you’ve had enough chances now, leave my house and never come back”. I realised that as I had unlimited forgiveness for her, logically this made me more of a forgiving person than Yahweh, as he has a cut-off point where his forgiveness runs out.