Did God always love us?

I’d like this to not turn into a ‘religion is BS!’ slamfest, just an analysis of His actions to and about us as portrayed in the literature. Consider the Abrahamic religions as fiction, if it helps you think more clearly.

I ask because, to all outward appearances, God sets us up to fail every day from the very beginning. The whole Eden debacle looks to be a setup, unless you consider the serpent as being an unanticipated distraction (sort of an ancient Eddie Haskell who gets Beaver to smoke a joint & gets him arrested). The Old Testament goes on to outline bunches of impossible situations followed by brutal retributions on even the family members of the sinners.

And so it goes, until this cat Jesus comes along and, for the first time in like, ever, gives humans the gift of an afterlife. Now I’m not an adherent of the concept of a Trinity, but I’m open to the idea of Jesus being God’s boy. And maybe junior, like Wally, is able to work with God to cut humanity some slack. Sure, The Beaver smoked the weed offered by Eddie, “…but he’s still a good kid. Gee Whiz, Dad, he’s just a goofy kid. Give him a break.”

My point: Yaweh was either not as powerful as he was cracked up to be (because he couldn’t keep the serpent from botching Eden), or he was a sadistic jerk, probably a drunkard even. And it seems like it’s not until Jesus takes the stage that we are finally delivered from the perennial beatings wrought upon us by our Father. I wish I knew how Mohammed fit in to all that. I suppose there are those who consider him the Lumpy in the metaphor?

Anyone have a different interpretation? One that maybe doesn’t make Yaweh look like a jerk?

In situations like this, I like the, “Silence, cretin! God will not be questioned”, explanation.

I think it’s just an elaborate ‘based-on-a-true-story’ tale, with the fictional ‘God’ character tailored to fit the agenda at hand. You wouldn’t expect an eternal being to be so changeable otherwise.

QS: I’m pretty sure my grandpa was God. He was usually right, but always refused to explain himself.

I have my own theory on this. Basically, you grow. Even parents change their attitudes as their kids grow, in part because of what they see their kids go through. Clearly, God had a reason for making us–maybe he was drunk and doing some unprotected creation, or maybe he genuinely thought he wanted humans and later resented us for being a filthy, whiny distraction from the business of making nebulae, rainbows, and galaxies. Maybe we didn’t turn out to be as intelligent as he’d hoped and he regretted us.

Loving the other party in a relationship doesn’t make you good at your role - loving your kids doesn’t make you a good parent, loving your spouse doesn’t make you a good partner, loving nature won’t stop you getting eaten by a bear.

So God is god - doesn’t mean he’s good at it, or wants to be good at it, or knows what being good at it entails, or agrees with anyone else’s idea of what being a good god is.

The Bible is the story of God’s slow and reluctant accomodation to agriculture.

In the early times, God curses Adam to eat bread, and rejects Cain’s offering of grain.

Even in Moses’ time, God provides manna, not bread.

But by Jesus’ time, not only is the miracle of loaves and fishes, but Jesus himself transubstantiates into the sanctified bread.

God didn’t have to learn to love us: God had to learn to love bread.

Pretty much the Book of Job, which is where God letting a human who loves him be tormented is “explained.”

No, his behavior is inconsistent with that.

Considering how easy it is to go to Hell and how extreme the punishment is, that’s not really a gift; more of a curse. Especially when Heaven is so often portrayed as not much more than constantly praising God.

Ask the Amalekites.

uh - hello - “Flood” anyone?

Have you read “Revelation” ?

He only loves his “select” few - and then only conditionally - if you’re using ‘Bible’ God as your reference and not some nebulous (and undocumented) “god is love” version.

If he always loved us all, it begs the ultimate question of why do so many bad things happen to so many people throughout the world? :confused:

Cthulhu is my close friend, and he told me more than once that he hates the lot of you.

Note that this interpretation (“I was set up! It’s not my fault!”) is the one given by Adam and Eve themselves (and we humans have been passing the buck ever since).

Anyhow, the notion of a loving God is not foreign to the Old Testament, but there are suggestions that God’s love is conditional and/or collective (i.e. directed toward Israel as a community rather than toward the individuals who make it up), and in any case not universal. (One cite I can find as a handy example is Deuteronomy 7.)

There’s always “It wasn’t God himself who changed and evolved, but people’s perceptions of God.”
You might find a better answer in God: A Biography by Jack Miles, but I haven’t read that book myself.

Speaking of passing the buck … This has been a theme of art since, probably, forever.

Link shows artwork on original door of St. Michael’s Church in Hildesheim, Germany. See here to read all about it.

But loves our taste, especially with some shoggoth gravy. So that’s love. Of a sort.

Meddle ye not in the affairs of Elder Gods, for thou art crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

Heh. :slight_smile:

He’s not only a vindictive bastard, he’s stirring up trouble amongst us on purpose. Why else would he make a world that looks like it developed gradually over 4.5 billion years, but give us a book that says he made it in 6 days just a few thousand years ago? And why have all the animal species on the planet disperse from a single point on Mt. Ararat, then magically redistribute themselves to the various continents? He just wants to sit around and watch us fight about stuff!

This is my view, along with a parent/child type of relationship, that the Jewish people are his child rather than each of them individually is one of his children. A lot of how he is portrayed in the Old Testament strikes me very much the way a parent would treat a young child, a lot of “because I said so” and some very strict punishment. But if we look at the Jewish people as a whole, rather than as a group of individuals, and see them misbehaving and being punished as a whole, it seems to fit that.

Where it seems to change is with Jesus who brings the love from the Jewish people as a whole, to each of them as an individual and then to the gentiles.