The preacher says, “And only if he had walked out of that room, it all would’ve been different.”
The church nods, of course. Everyone agrees that getting your eyes gouged out by uncircumcised Philistines is pretty much an undesirable thing.
He adds, “He totally missed out on God’s Perfect Plan. All those blessings, gone.”
It’s a good way to increase offering. Keep the people scared, guilty, guessing, confused. You thought you would never see people fighting for the offering plate.
I remember first attending church those years ago, seeking for truth, hearing the preacher fire arrows at the drunks, the addicts, the divorced, the criminals, the perverts — and I kept thinking, But I’m that guy. I’m the guy he keeps talking about. That loser is me.
Sometimes the preacher reams on the consequences: but many of us are still living through them.
Might as well be yelling, Yeah, screw those guys! Those wicked, baby-hating, Wizard-of-Oz-loving, liberal-commie, vegan-environmentalist pagans! Am I right? Huh? The church keeps nodding.
But where is the grace for them? Does God love them less somehow? How does God feel when we fall off His Will?
With all those people you listed, God worked through them after they did the things that they shouldn’t have. How much better Abraham? Well, how could Abraham be much more honored, in retrospect? Like you say (and Paul too?), all the more for grace.
Former atheist/agnostic, now a pastor and professional rambler. A recovered porn addict, skeptical Christian, intense introvert, loves Jesus. Have a B.A. in Psychology and M.Div from SEBTS. Both degrees negate each other, i.e. I'm still a dummy. Have a 5th degree black belt and I can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting. I gave away half my salary in 2012 to fight human trafficking. Have a mixed German shepherd named Rosco, have two toenails growing out of one toe, and I'm addicted to coffee, ginger ale, and tomato juice.
Christ Is King.