God never punishes us. That’s what Glenn Beck said on the radio on Friday, November 9.
There are some who classify him as a right-wing nutter. I listen to his show (obviously) from time to time whenever I’m in the car between 9 am and noon. I listen because he can be very funny. He and his team make some good points as well, though I don’t agree with everything.
Somebody I had coffee with last week noted his own propensity to challenge the validity of everything he heard. He was apologetic. I assured him that his approach was a good thing as long as his purpose was to search for Truth instead of making truth fit his desires. I told him that because I’m the same way, and I’ve learned that this approach is far better than to just accept everything someone tells you.
Beck’s message was that everything negative that our Father allows to happen to us is for our good. God loves us, so he wouldn’t punish us. I wish I could find the transcript so that I could quote him.
Beck is Mormon, and I don’t pretend to know the full extent of the differences between our faith and theirs. I know that they don’t believe that Jesus is God. Maybe his Bible is different with regard to Hebrews 12:5-9 as well, particularly verse 6:
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. (NLT)
Can’t be any more clear than that. Beck’s reasoning may have sounded right, but it wasn’t biblical. He was partially correct in that everything God allows Christians to go through is for our own good. That makes it more confusing because truth lined up next to error makes us lean toward believing the error as well.
So, what’s the big deal? Great question. The Bible is God’s self-revelation. He wants us to see him as a loving Father. He wants us to know that his love for us goes so deep that he would rather punish us so that we can become the people he wants us to be than to let us drown in ineffectiveness and spiritual mediocrity.
It’s the opposite of what Beck preached: God does punish us because he loves us. Flippant adherence to Beck’s reasoning distorts your understanding of the True God, and He doesn’t like that.
My point about being careful with regard to Beck’s religious comments are obvious to many, but I wonder how many Christians who listen to Beck said a quiet amen that day. It’s easy to be led astray by people we may have come to agree with and admire. I urge you to be careful about forming what you believe about God outside of sound Biblical teaching.
It’s more than okay to check up on what you’re hearing about God. You’ll be like the Bereans, who had a pretty good rep:
Now these Jews [Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11, ESV)