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The definition of the word cruelty is "extreme indifference to suffering, or deliberate infliction of pain and suffering."

The Bible tells us God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, and a healer to the brokenhearted. Anyone who truly understands the nature of God knows that he hates cruelty. Yet sadly, many skeptics of Christianity would argue that the God of the Bible is cruel. I like how GotQuestions.org contends with this position:

The atheists/agnostics who claim that God is cruel have a large burden of proof. They are not merely claiming to know about the actions of God; they are also claiming to sufficiently know the circumstances in which He performed those actions, as well as His motivations. Additionally, they are claiming to know the very mind of God, ascribing to Him the attitudes of indifference and/or sadistic pleasure necessary to define Him as cruel. Quite frankly, this is beyond the skeptics’ ability to demonstrate—they can’t possibly know the mind of God.

The article goes on to point out several valid reasons for actions that might appear cruel to us, but in actuality, are God's goodness at work. For example, punishment for evil may appear cruel, but if it is just, can it then be considered cruel?

Those who believe in the God of the Bible and study his Word closely, will seek to understand the circumstances behind the actions of God. As we do this, we realize that God is good, merciful, loving and holy. And when we don't fully understand his actions, we trust him, knowing that his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Once we're certain of God's goodness, his constant compassion and loving empathy, we're ready to examine what the Bible says about cruelty.

In this study, Jack Zavada of Inspiration-for-Singles.com looks at passages in both the Old and New Testament, clearing up any doubts on what the Bible says about cruelty.

• Read: What Does the Bible Say About Cruelty?

August 29, 2009 at 10:31 am
(1) Ephrem Hagos says:

The cross of Christ is like the bikini (What a comparison, indeed). Yet, it is a Biblical truth that what is underneath is by far more exciting than what is above!

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