Classic theology teaches that God is impassible… as the Westminster Confession says, He is “without body, parts, or passions, immutable”.
This has led many to teach that God is emotionless and wholly separate from most of what makes us human.
I dispute this.
Jesus incarnated as a man and lived as a man…laughing, crying, and even using whips to express His anger.
We’re supposed to think that after the Ascension He forgot all that foolishness and lives in some state of holy indifference and passivity.
Having said that, that main reason I know that I know that God has emotions is because He is both a Father and a Son.
One of the techniques we are trying to help my son is a disciplinary method where in which if he disobeys certain rules he loses all the things that bring him joy for three days.
No electronics, no Ninjago, no playmates, no phone, no Youtube.
A three day discipline…which to a ten year old equals about 120 years.
When the sentence is imposed for disobedience committed there comes wailing such as has not been heard since Lazurus tomb.
My boy chafes and fights and struggles under the discipline, then pleads for injunctive relief.
He doesn’t mention any deep affection he may hold for me in these seasons of pain.
It is a difficult and harsh experience for him…and it’s supposed to be.
The discipline is rehabilitative, not retributive, but those fine points of explaining pain don’t carry much meaning to him.
What he doesn’t understand is that I suffer with him.
I desperately want him to learn to live in such a way that this sort of discipline is unnecessary.
I want him to enjoy life to the fullest and to enjoy all the things and people that are part of his life.
I am most happy when he is most happy and I suffer every moment that he does.
I wish he understood that underneath the discipline there is hidden a well of inexhaustible love that knows that this pain has a purpose and will end as soon as possible.
He also doesn’t understand that I am both a father and a son as well…and I’m struggling to learn the same things about my Father…or maybe just believe what I’ve learned.
Make your own application…