God’s Grand Castle in the sky


In the illustrious beautiful Grand Castle that sits on most high of the highest clouds

The one everyone knows is there though it cannot be seen. The Grand Royal family dwells there. I watch as tall arched gold decorated doors swing open and a crowd of colorfully dressed young people rush into the royal meeting room. The loving Father has called a meeting of his children.

god-on-throneThe Father adorned in his glowing robe sits in the large chair at the front of the room. The huge chair has a tall back with large armrests. The chair is beautifully decorated with golden fire like designs which also appear to glow as well. Their elder brother is already in the room (Him and the Father had previously been talking over how angry the Father was at the children. The elder son knew that his Father’s wrath had to be appeased and could only be satisfied by death so he agreed to take the punishment for his siblings; he loved them too you see) he was seated to the right hand of the Father in his usual place. He seems to be in deep thought looking out a window while the Father smiled at them as they all came in.

clouds_sun_outer_space_stars_earth_digital_art_1280x800_51872Through the huge windows all around the room you can see the blue sky with puffy white clouds extending up to the star studded blackness of outer-space expanding to the earth below spreading out to the curving horizon of the globe. The spectacular view of mountains, plains, and highways leading to cities big and small is breathtaking.

Although this is all very nice the children begin looking at each other as they notice the father’s countenance is changing to an uncharacteristic solemn look in his eyes as he scans the room. They all know father is about to talk to them about something of utmost seriousness.

As they realize the solemnity of the setting their thoughts drift from the beautiful scene through the windows to an awful gnawing feeling you get when you remember something you did you know was foolish and wrong but  as much as you would like to, you cannot correct it. One by one they all began to get this feeling as memories of mistakes they’d made begin to rush through their minds as if their entire life was flashing through their memories. Taking their seats they all now know this is not going to be a normal gathering…

The Father looks around at them all with a tender loving gaze; in a gentle tone says;

is-god-angry“Children, you know I love you, but I am so angry with you for your behavior; not to mention the attitude that brought it out. I cannot just let these things go and forgive You, I know, I know, you did not really know what you were doing or realize the seriousness of your actions. But You know I will not, cannot, rest until this appalling behavior is punished! Regardless that much of the time you did not know what you were doing; even the smallest of your abominable actions deserve severe punishment! You know you deserve it! I must judge what is right and when you are wrong even in the smallest matters.”

“I love you and I do not want to punish you all. Therefore, for your punishment, I have decided to send your elder brother into the gang areas of the inner city. These groups have special clothing and symbols one must wear along with special signs and words they use among themselves. You know the leaders of these gang territories enforce strict rules that must not be crossed in their areas; their followers are completely obedient to the leaders and so carry out their orders to a T’. Since your brother will not be wearing their unique colors and symbols and speaking unlike anyone else; he will quickly get their attention and be hated by the gangs. Therefore eventually they will be ordered to grab him, haul him off and beat him beyond recognition and torture him to death for breaking their rules – what you deserve for breaking mine…”

Then suddenly, the father raising his huge hands in the air says

“But rejoice my children! My anger will be satisfied! I will be relieved of this awful wrath and feel better toward you all; so then you will be saved from my righteous wrath which would cause me to have to punish all of you! When I see your brother’s beating, suffering and death that will have satisfied me!”

With a big smile says,

“Now isn’t that good news!”

Then the Father with loving observation gazes back at the children awaiting their response. They responded “Oh yes! That’s the best news we’ve ever heard!” except one…

That one seated in the back

A younger son seated in the back looking completely bewildered answered;

God-Is-Love“But Father; you can do anything! Nothing is impossible with you! Can’t you avoid this horrible treatment our brother will have to suffer for things we did!? You can do whatever you want: can’t you just forgive our wrongs? After all you are love! The author of grace, mercy and forgiveness! I don’t understand!” 

The loving father responded now with a fiery gaze that would seem to burn right through you; inciting great fear in all looking on.

“Son you know I’m just too angry for that! I have to get some relief from this burning wrath – SO I CAN forgive you.”

The young man reluctantly responds

“But father, excuse me for questioning; but if our elder brother has paid the price for us there is nothing left to forgive is there? He has already paid the price in full for us, the debt is paid in full!”

The father now answers sternly

“You just don’t understand! Somebody has to pay the debt before I can forgive it!”

The young man again reluctantly replies

“But, but, but, if the debt is paid?…”

Before he could get the rest of the sentence out of his mouth the father looking more angry than ever he has, excthunder-lighninglaims

“Cast that rebellious trouble maker out of my sight!”

The others gather around him, pick him up and cast him out a window into the clouds which had now turned dark and ominous, thundering and crackling with lightning.

Then, after throwing him out, the other children looked back at the loving father with a look of pride and satisfaction of having done the right thing, knowing they had pleased the

aerial-white-cloud-blue-sky-over-texas-p Father. The father returned the  look equally with a congratulatory nod and pleasantly satisfied smile. The dark clouds also begin to dissipate along with the lighting and thunder as the blue skies returned.

The father then says,

“Don’t worry, I’ll heal your brother and bring him back, though the scars of his suffering to satisfy my wrath against your wrongdoing will always remain as a reminder to you; he understands my anger must be gratified. So then we can finally all be happy again!”

The father then says,

“Forget about that troublemaker, I’ll deal with him too.”

Then he dismisses them with a loving-angry countenance.

Happily ever after…

imageThey all begin to file out, some quite relieved and happy that they will not have to pay for their wrongdoings; others wondering about what the rebellious son had questioned about having to be paid for a debt before it could be forgiven; knowing in their heart what their brother had said made a lot of sense and seemed right; but they were too afraid to say anymore about it. Two of them silently looked at each other as if they knew the other was thinking the same thing; but also knowing good kingdom kids don’t question authority around here…

So life returned to normal in the castle once again though some doubted as to what normal was…

The End

[Got questions? I do…]

Dennis D. Caldwell

{So, this story is obviously my take on Penal substitutionary atonement and the ridiculousness of it. I was once in that camp, never questioned it until I really gave it some serious thought which led me to see how it just does not fit with the character, nature and attributes of God; not to mention common sense…  So what are your thoughts on penal substitution? What is a better explanation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?}

3 thoughts on “God’s Grand Castle in the sky

  1. Yup. This story is entirely about sin and behaviour and so is essentially completely untrue. Sin is about a snake masquerading as a human being.


  2. So, this story is obviously my take on Penal substitutionary atonement and the ridiculousness of it. I was once in that camp, never questioned it until I really gave it some serious thought which led me to see how it just does not fit with the character, nature and attributes of God; not to mention common sense… So what are your thoughts on penal substitution? What is a better explanation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ?


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