Fast-forward to the aftermath. One example: In August 2013, the Presbyterian Church in the USA’s committee that compiled its hymnal, Glory to God, in majority decided to exclude the hymn “In Christ Alone,” because it was declined a request from the copyright holders to change the lyric from “the wrath of God was satisfied,” to “the love of God was magnified.” Understanding that to change a hymn is not to change Holy Writ, the lengths this denomination would go to discount the wrath of God from the message of the Cross, betrays an antipathy for the reality of God’s fury.
Another example: Many of my friends and I who live in the area see and are concerned with the billboard “GOD IS NOT ANGRY” every time we drive on Interstate 4 East through Longwood. I’ve heard a couple people defend this billboard by saying “it’s evangelistic.” The word “evangelism” is derived from the Greek euangelio, which means the proclamation of the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. This billboard is devoid of a gospel message. If anything, it undermines the gospel. “Good news” that is not given in the context of the bad news is not good news at all. It’s useless news. It’s trivia. It’s human-interest fluff — page-filler on today’s newsprint that will end up lining the bottom tray of the birdcage by tomorrow.
I realize it’s just a billboard. Normally, I am disinterested in paying any more attention to things that I think are wrong, than the attention they are already attracting themselves, but I’m making an exception because of the sheer potential reach of this untenable error and its ghastly conclusion.
How do we know “GOD IS NOT ANGRY”? Because he doesn’t split the earth where that sign stands and swallow it? Because he no longer unleashes his power by consuming us sinners in his holy conflagration simply for presenting strange fire to him, as he did in the days of Moses and Aaron (Leviticus 10:1-3)? If “GOD IS NOT ANGRY,” then from what must we be saved? Until a person is right with God, the one he has to fear is none other than God himself (Matthew 10:28). The wrath of God is what we have been spared, but until a person trusts in Christ (Romans 5:1, 8-9), God’s disposition persists as holy indignation (Psalm 7:11-13). Christians should not have the audacity to make a claim like “GOD IS NOT ANGRY” before a watching world, unless we are willing and able to give such a statement tremendous qualification right there (II Timothy 1:13-14).