How Much Does God Love You?
Amongst the rhetoric spouted by Christians is the claim that makes up the title of this hub, the claim that their God, the God of the Bible, loves you. However any amount of time spent studying most versions of Christian doctrine, at least studying critically, will lead one to conclude that God most certainly does not love you or, at the very least, that God hates sin more than he values your life.
Wages of Sin
The Bible states quite plainly that the wage of sin is death. If you sow sins into the world and do not repent and turn away from those sins to follow Christ you will be cast into the second death, Hell aka the Lake of Fire. At least that's one version of Christianity, the brand I was taught was very similar and I grew up believing that the slightest sin, from telling a little white lie to saying a few bad words, could get me burned forever.
At the same time I was being taught that God loved me. At the time it all seemed to make sense, mostly because I didn't question it. Looking back however I am both amused and disturbed by how perversely backward the idea of death being the punishment for sin really is. This is especially true in the context of modern “lovey dovey” Christianity where God's undying love for you is endlessly spouted. People will even claim to you that Christ's dying thoughts on the Cross encompassed every single individual on the planet.
After all Jesus' entire sacrifice is to pay the wage of death once and for all, for all sins, and so long as you accept that sacrifice and repent you don't have to have your flesh melted off for eternity. The entirety of Christian doctrine regarding this subject shows God's values to be sickening.
What Does God Care About?
God supposedly values and loves every human life. What God doesn't do is tolerate sin. I've had Christians tell me this to my face while defending God's decisions to commit horrific genocide against nations in the Bible. Apparently God's love is conditional, it extends only until you sin, and then is revoked in favor of wrath.
Some would argue that God still loves those he kills and damns to Hell, however no loving human being would willingly send their child to a place called the Lake of Fire for a few minutes let alone an eternity. A parent's discipline is quite opposite to God's final judgment and thus the parent analogy some apologists hide behind falls flat on its face. After all a parent's punishments are designed to correct behavior, but if God has, say, all of the Amalekites wiped from the planet down to the last child how the hell can they learn their lesson? Once you're in Hell there is no way to learn your lesson or be rehabilitated, at least not according to the vast majority of interpretations of Hell.
So God cares more about sin than he does about human life as he only rarely spares the life of those who commit sins. God also apparently cares more about the petty misdeeds of our species than he does his own son. Jesus was sent on account of our sin, was sent to save SOULS but not to save lives.
The sad part is many sins are meaningless or victimless crimes or things that quite simply shouldn't be wrong. Should working on a Saturday, the Sabbath, really be punishable by death as the Bible demands? God never retracts his statements that working on the Sabbath is a sin, or that sex before marriage is a sin, or that lusting after a married woman is a sin (although that one was Jesus). These are petty breeches of social mores.
Why would the God who created the entire Universe really give a shit about what days of the week you worked on? Are people seriously willing to believe doing these things makes you worthy of eternal punishment? If so than you've proven my point – God cares more about sin than he does about you.
The Brick Testament
The idea that God loves you sounds good on paper, it helps win people over to Christianity. After all there's lot's of people who feel alone, unloved, and who want to feel special. Telling people the creator of the vast cosmos cares for you can be emotionally persuasive. The Bible even goes so far as to say that God has the hairs on your head counted, but then he is supposed to be all knowing so perhaps that's not even a function of how much he supposedly cares about you.
In truth though the Bible presents a very different picture of God from the one that Christianity likes to parade around the public square. While it's true that the Bible claims God loves everyone it's also quite clear that God will kill you in a heart-beat if he feels like it or even torture you at the request of Satan for no reason (Job). After all we have all sinned according to the Bible, and the wages of sin are death, thus by the Bible's own logic God can kill us all and send us all to Hell, and we all deserve to go apparently.
That's divine love? A God whose rules and morals are so absolute that the slightest breech makes you worthy of eternal punishment without a chance for parole? Human love can transcend misdeeds and sins, people hurt each other all the time, they lie and cheat and steal and still find a way to forgive each other (and they forgive each other without sacrificing animals or their only son) but God's love, not so much.
Those that cling to Christianity will always have apologetic answers to skirt around these issues to the satisfaction of other believers. But for those of us outside the belief all we can do is shake our heads and wonder how they can continue serving so heartless a deity. The Bible describes a vile God who thinks that slavery is okay but that each and every human being is worthy of death. And yet many Christians will tell us that human life is precious Christians, it seems, are better than their God.