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February 02, 2010

Comments

Famous James

"Why not just do it now? Why not just make us holy? If you’re going to wave the magic stick upon our entrance into the heavenly city, why not wave it now? Why not subvert our free will now for our own peace of mind and the peace of the entire fucking earth if you’re going to subvert it eventually? Why not end suffering, misery, rape, molestation, poverty, genocide, and every other evil free will allegedly allows if you’re going to end the shit eventually anyway? What sort of perverse concept of god allowed for this sort of malicious stupidity?"

Yeah, why not now? What purpose is being served to have so many thousands of years of humans treating humans so terribly? And why blame humans? If a machine breaks down, we don't blame the machine; we blame the mechanic or engineer who made the machine. Surely there is a better way to go about this thing called life than what we have now.

" Perhaps I’m a reprobate, that class of humanity that god cannot save because of my own stubbornness and hardness of heart. Perhaps the Calvinists are right, and I am not among the elect. I’ve been damned from birth."

Maybe those aren't the only two choices. It assumes one or the other is right. Maybe there is a third or one thousandth option--religious people really don't know what they're talking about. They've talked about it so much and so long that it seems true to them, but that doesn't exhaust all the possible explanations.

BTW I'm really enjoying your series. I grew up in a similar but different fundy group, and I'm still trying to get its stink off my mind. Your way seems like it helps purge both you and the readers who relate. Thanks for putting it out there.

gd

"narrowly defined as a list of sins to avoid" - I've always been puzzled how my God-fearing Nazarene grandparents in Birmingham, AL can keep playing cards from the four walls of their home but still use "n-----" loud enough in a restaurant to be heard by everyone.

Jesus Reyes

It is completely mind boggling. I don't even want to try and figure it out. Back in the fifties, in my childhood, the church was a painted cinder block backwater of a simple and even gentle people. They could splash and swim in this nonsense forever, it really didn't matter.

But in the mid seventies, they began to build mega churches and turn their faith and trust over to the neo-conservative republican party, a group of predators who have turned the country into a casino of RICO capitalism using these idiots as the guards to the exits of the asylum. And now we have a NEEEGRO president, sarah palin/eva peron populism and all the rest of it, while these hillbillies are praising god for superbowl commercials. The only bright spot is that they will get what they deserve. Unfortunately, they will be clueless of the fact that they did it to themselves - AND TO ME!!!

sc

yes i am not a fan of all the "code of conduct" of the church but still aspire to live a holy life. By holiness I do not meaning "not playing cards" or "not dancing" but radically giving my possessions and blessings to others who are in need around me. Holiness is more what you "do" than what you "don't do."

It seems that this author is forgetting the concept of grace- and temptation for that matter!

-sc

greg

sc, i have no idea what to do with that non sequitur at the end of your comment.

Kevin Powell

Maybe you need to be a Lutheran. Lutherans confess that are not "forgiven" but "declared forgiven." God has "done it now" in that sense. Don't feel forgiven? That's okay. That's not the point. Don't feel close to God? Who the hell does? God is hidden beneath God's opposite. Of course you don't feel God.

Luther was realist in that he knew that people stumble, fall, hurt each other, attain great spiritual heights before falling into spiritual depths. Luther's theology is not systematic. And it's not meant to be. It's meant to be earthy - incarnational. No one loved a good fart joke more than Luther.

But I think you've identified the problem of Christianity being a mere sin/forgiveness transaction between people and God. One pastor I know sarcastically calls this "The Deal."

I don't preach "The Deal" (well, sometimes I do). I preach the New Creation that is unfolding. We see signs, glimpses of it when we actually do things like loving our enemy. We don't love our enemy to earn favour with God. We do it because that is who we are becoming. But it's only a side glance at the promises that God makes for the world.

kgp

gary

"Why not end suffering, misery, rape, molestation, poverty, genocide, and every other evil free will allegedly allows if you’re going to end the shit eventually anyway? What sort of perverse concept of god allowed for this sort of malicious stupidity?"

Because God is God, that's why. Does the pot complain to the potter? Anyway that's what we were always told. So if you are suffering, are beaten, raped, etc it is because God has a plan and those things that happened to you are part of his plan.

Thinking like that, which has got to be some kind of insanity, is one of the reasons I became an apostate, denying the faith. So I guess I'll be cast into the outer darkness and will never get to see Christ's face at the Great Supper. That threat was something our pastor (he was a Covenant churchman of Baptist extraction but had bought into the Charismatic movement and Watchman Nee's nonsense) often included in his sermons. You could be saved and go to heaven but never see God because he was so pissed at you. Weeping and gnashing of teeth, oh my!

I am finding your story extremely interesting and looking forward to more, including maybe expanding on certain parts.

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