For good reason it is hard for many to respect a God who thinks killing animals is a good thing just so people can feel better about wronging others.
Would a loving God really desire killing of animals in the Old Testament to supposedly atone for sins rather than confession and amends for harmful behaviors?
OT laws involving sacrifice may have originated from assumptions that God was like all the other gods in requiring sacrifices to be appeased. Over time OT writers seemed to understand and wrote that God doesn’t like animal sacrifices but contrite hearts (Ps. 51:16-17, i.e. Jer. 7:22, Amos 5:21, Micah 6:6). The writer of Hebrews says God did not desire or was pleased with sacrifice and offerings though offered in accordance with the law (10:8).
God out of uncontrolling love allows others to form their own views of God but hopes to influence through a relationship over time.
God didn’t approve of Israel’s desire for a King rather than looking to God for dependence, but God didn’t prevent such behavior. I doubt concubines were God’s idea, but God didn’t threaten to burn in Hell those who had concubines. God doesn’t overthrow but works within societies for freedom is necessary for authentic, lasting change. Loving control is an oxymoron.
If God didn’t approve of animal sacrifice, what implications does this have for how we interpret Jesus’ death on the Cross?
Why didn’t Jesus overpower His accusers if God doesn’t demand blood to be satisfied? Displays of power grab attention but then things just go back to the way they were. Jesus sought to change hearts by not responding evil with evil. God is not an enabler but simply retaliating rather than working to influence for good is a vicious cycle. The Cross wasn’t meant to change God’s attitude but our attitude. God seeks to influence us to change our unloving attitudes toward others.
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