(By Joseph Mattera) There has been a tendency in the Body of Christ for the past several decades to simplify our understanding of the nature of God and the bible to comport with our rational understanding of good, evil, and justice. Consequently, this quest to simplify everything has resulted in a definition of God’s goodness that focuses on His love and ignores His justice and sovereignty. What people fail to realize is that, God is always good—even if we do not agree with or understand His ways, actions, or judgment. He is always good even when there are scriptures that seem to assign to Him acts of cruelty and violence as an expression of His just wrath.

In light of this, I have been shocked by the biblical ignorance of many preachers as well as some of the posts on social media related to how people narrowly define the goodness and nature of God. Unfortunately, the popular thing many preachers have done the past few decades is to confine our understanding of God to a narrow view of the four gospels to the exclusion a contextual reading of both the gospels and the Old Testament as well as the rest of the New Testament. This simplification of the nature of God and His actions has resulted in a semi-Gnostic dualism, in which we define everything we perceive as good as from God and everything bad as from the devil. READ MORE