God cannot look at sin…really???

Hand-questionmarkCan God not look on our sin? Are His eyes actually too pure to look on wickedness?

This post is a continuation of our look at our deeply held, but conflicted, assumptions about God. You can find the last four parts of this series here.

And I’m really not trying to be provocative here. I’m doing this because it’s these very things we believe about God that makes us keep our distance from Him, even though we may love Him with all our heart.

And this particular assumption is insidious in that it locks us out in shame and condemnation, believing one of the devil’s favorite lies–that God will have nothing to do with us until we “get our act together.” After all, His eyes are too pure, right?

Of course, we have our doctrinal band-aid solutions to the theological dichotomies we’ve created–in this case, as long as our scary Father has His “Jesus glasses” on, He can then stand to look at us…but barely. Okay, I’m being facetious, I will try to tone it down a little…. 🙂

Sadly, it’s not too far from the truth of many people’s perception of Him…

…and we do need to resolve our “Daddy” issues and stop projecting them onto God…

…and I’m only trying to wake us all up to a very terrible lie. Besides, how horrible do we really think our heavenly Father is that we must have Him be this blood-thirsty beast who must kill His own Child in order to like us?

Oops, there I go again…sorry for the digression….

Okay, think through this with me…the question is, can God really not look at our sin?

I mean, doesn’t the Bible say exactly that…that He couldn’t even look at evil? Of course, this idea comes from our response to a verse in Habakkuk (bold-text added)…

“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
and cannot look on wickedness…” (Hab.1:13 NKJV)

I’ve heard this line quoted at least a hundred times, usually in some canned salvation appeal, but did we ever bother to read the rest of the verse and find out the context?

why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours…”

Do you see Habakkuk’s problem? He’s asking why God is actually looking on when people are doing evil things, when He’s supposed to be acting like a god who can’t even look at such things.

Back in verse 3, we see Habakkuk lamenting over the same issue. I will use other translations to bring this out more clearly (bold-type added)…

“Why do you make me see wrongdoing?
And why do you watch wickedness?” (Hab.1:3 GWT)

“Why do you make me see such trouble?
How can you stand to look on such wrongdoing?” (Hab.1:3 GNT)

So who’s the one with the perception issues here? Yeah, Habakkuk! Much like Jonah…and us…he was having a “grace-hating” moment with God.

And aren’t you glad God isn’t like us? Hey, if I were God, the world would be starting over and over like the latest software re-boot.

But no, God is not like us…He actually loves His enemies and even sends them the same rain and sunshine He sends our way (Matt.5:44-45).

Isn’t it time we left the superstitious bad karma theology of Job and his friends and embrace the theology of Jesus? But I digress again…

As I said in my other posts, this faulty understanding has created a very conflicted Trinity. We have God the Father who can’t even look at sin, yet Jesus–who we believe to be God the Son–accused of being a drunkard and a friend of sinners! (Luke 7:34)

And why did they accuse Jesus of these things? Because He actually hung out with drunks, prostitutes and the low-life’s of His society…all the time!

So, again, I put this question to you…if Jesus is God as we say He is (and I affirm), then why was He constantly exposing Himself to wickedness if God cannot countenance such things?

And, if He was truly in the Father, which I believe He was, wasn’t He dragging His Father into all this evilness too?

In fact, you could make the theological case that He only hung out with the wicked. After all, weren’t we all “going astray?”

Jesus said this about Himself (bold-text added).

“Then Jesus answered and said to them,
Most assuredly, I say to you,
the Son can do nothing of Himself,
but what He sees the Father do;
for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
For the Father loves the Son,
and shows Him all things that He Himself does….” (John 5:19-20 NKJV)

So, my question is this. Whose lead was Jesus following here? Was it not the Father showing Him how He should countenance wicked people?

How then does this statement of Jesus inform us about what our heavenly Father can or cannot look at? Let me make it perfectly clear to you.

It was the FATHER’S idea to look demon possessed people straight in the eye, touch lepers, heal a heathen Roman soldier’s servant, forgive the adulterous woman, talk to and not condemn the Samaritan divorcé (married five times, shacking up now), embrace greedy Zacchaeus, hang out with the worst of His culture, pick low-life tax collectors to be His closest friends; not to mention, embracing those who would kill Him…

Beloved, He’s the Prodigal’s Father who throws a party when religious people demand retribution, doing good to evil people through His Son wherever He goes…


“If you had known Me,
you would have known My Father also;
and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (Jn.14:7 NKJV)


About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Father Heart of God, Grace, Theology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to God cannot look at sin…really???

  1. Steven Sawyer says:

    WOW! and OUCH! I have not read your previous posts. Yet. But after reading this one, rest assured I will. Your challenge to our “Standard Christian” thinking is certainly provocative and thought-provoking. I’m going to pray about this and seek answers for myself from God in His word. Thank you for sharing your as-always thoughtful, Biblically-based thoughts.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks. I totally understand, Steven. Hey, it always hurts at first when the band-aid gets ripped off. 🙂 Seriously, it took me years to get here, undoing a lot of conflicted paradigms I had embraced about God. I’m finally working through them and seeing our heavenly Father in the right light. But He doesn’t need me to defend Him, He can speak for Himself to our hearts and through His Word. So I don’t expect anyone to buy into these challenges without searching it out for themselves.

      But also don’t assume that what we’ve been taught is right, just because it’s deeply rooted in our religious upbringing. As Sam Soleyn has said, “Cultural longevity legitimatizes absurdity.” 🙂

      Blessings brother. Your comments are much appreciated.

  2. C.A. Davis says:

    He came to heal the sick – How could He know who is sick if He isn’t looking? Great post.

  3. paulfg says:

    Having followed this sequence with interest I must confess a confusion with the need for presenting a case. Either God is Jesus is God is Holy Spirit is Jesus is God is … Or we have been happily partaking of the greatest con-trick ever. I struggle with one being something the other is not. We all get they “are of one” and then persist in maintaining they are not.

    • Mel Wild says:

      You’re right, we shouldn’t need to make this case. The truth is, there is no difference between the Father’s heart toward us and Jesus’ heart toward us. They are one. And whatever doesn’t look like Jesus is not the Father either. We are the ones who’ve created this convoluted theology of punitive justice that’s made Him into this awful contradiction. It’s a very long story but I think the Holy Spirit is helping us unravel these things so we can see Him in the right light. There are a lot of things I don’t know, but this isn’t one of them. 🙂 So I will keep plugging away and try to explain this Love with my very inadequate words. Blessings.

  4. “Oops”… you almost got carried away several times back there… I had to smile. You’re lopping off the heads of those sacred cows one right after another. As I said a couple years ago, “If we knew what we were going to believe 5 years from now, we’d probably call it heresy.” But the limits of God’s authentic goodness are getting expanded more quickly than we thought. More, Lord!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Haha…hey, I AM trying to behave…really…I’ve really toned these posts down from my original drafts…. 🙂
      And I’m totally with you what we will believe in 5 years. At this rate, I have no idea! But as they say, today’s heresy is tomorrow’s orthodoxy. Maybe a better word is upgrade. And, of course, there’s always excess and error when there’s a major shift, but we must never fear stepping out onto the water of God’s vast ocean called Love. Yes, it’s absolutely not safe or comfortable, and there’s no shore to row back to, but it’s really good and overflowing with His peace, love and joy! And I have found that the Holy Spirit is SO good at keeping us above water and steering us in the right direction and making course corrections. So, yes, amen…more Lord! It’s too good to settle for less. 🙂

  5. Cindy Powell says:

    Good stuff Mel. Some of our ideas about God are so dang inconsistent – they NEED to be confronted. We can believe stuff for years just because someone taught us a particular way – before we ever realize that isn’t what the Bible teaches at all (ask me how I know 😉). Some of it is so insidious that we need to get hit upside the head now and again – with love of course. In fact that’s a great way of looking at it – we’re getting “hit” with His love! How can that ever be anything but good? Blessings to you!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks. You know, I wouldn’t even care about this stuff if it didn’t paint our Father as some angry orphan house head master from an Oliver Twist plot, and keep His beloved children hiding from Him like scared little bunnies. To me, this is intolerable and makes my iconoclastic blood boil.. about then my loving Papa hits ME on the head with His love and then I’m okay again…and after I’m calm…I can write what I write about it with His love. As Eric Liddell said (Chariot’s of Fire), I can feel His pleasure…aahhh! 🙂
      Blessings to you, too. Your encouraging comments are always appreciated.

  6. “I will keep plugging away and try to explain this Love with my very inadequate words.” I think in this church, Mel, many of us are trying to explain His inexplicable love and grace with words that somehow seem to come up short. We’re attempting to restore a once beautiful canvas smeared with centuries of cultural condemnation and dogmatic definitions of God that have little to do with His nature.
    And, of course, when WE use the wrong tools, Father and Spirit poke and prod to ensure this restoration occurs precisely His way, using His words. While He is the Master Restorer, IMHO, you are one master apprentice! 😉

    • Mel Wild says:

      “We’re attempting to restore a once beautiful canvas smeared with centuries of cultural condemnation and dogmatic definitions of God that have little to do with His nature.” Amen and amen! That’s exactly it!
      And thanks. I LOVE being whacked by our Papa’s love and learning how to grow up to be just like Him.
      Blessings to you, fellow apprentice… 🙂

  7. gahigi says:

    Dang! (another word actually comes to mind). I guess it was over a year ago Joseph Prince was preaching about the woman at the well. Then JESUS reavealed she didn’t have her act together and He still stayed and talked with her (no hurdles to jump through before they could fellowship). But this was the Father’s idea. CRAZY. Plus all the other things He did. Our Father’s crazy good.

  8. Amen! God was IN Christ reconciling the world to Himself!

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