So I feel that yesterday’s post was a little unbalanced, and hopefully I can add some context to explain some of it. My grandmother and many other evangelical Christians have an annoying tendency to thank God for every good thing, even things that he may or may have had any involvement in. I have no issue with this – not directly at least – but with this tendency comes the burdensome ball-and-chain attached to it, namely, that when something is wrong, it’s not God’s fault, but either our mistakes or our attitude that needs to change. I do take issue with this, because it’s thoroughly illogical. For example, someone wants to thank God for the internet, not because he directly created it, but because he allowed such technology to be invented. Alright, but by that reasoning, he also allowed child pornography websites to be invented. And yet, we’re not allowed to blame him for that? People say, ‘Oh, that’s just free will. And those people will be judged. It’s not God’s fault.’ But when people use ‘free will’ to invent good things, why should God get the credit?! See, from my perspective, if I thank God for nice weather, then by the same logic, I should be able to blame him for crappy weather.

This ‘we suck, God rules’ mentality is what motivates most of my rants against him, because along with it comes the Christianese complex (for those Christians who are really honest with themselves) that when something’s wrong, it’s always, in some way, our fault. If we’re angry, we need to let it go, or pray, or allow God to comfort us. If we’re anxious we need to ask for peace, and if we still don’t feel peaceful, well, then that’s because we don’t have enough faith for God to do the work properly. And if God is withholding it, it’s because we’re not ready, or we need to just wait a little longer, or we need to change this, or change that, or accept this, or let go of that, or ask the Holy Spirit to tell us what’s wrong (so still, it’s our fault for not asking). These people talk as if the ball is always in our court when there’s something wrong, but when it’s a good thing, oh, then God is behind it all and is deserving of all praise! Seriously, and please forgive my language, because I only say this to express the vehemence of my frustration, it’s one giant mind-fuck to those like myself who haven’t been shown God’s glorious favour.

So this is some of the context for why my depressive states inspire questions like, ‘What good are you, God?’ Because, really, if ‘every good thing comes from God,’ and ‘he answers all who call on him,’ and ‘insert every other oft quoted biblical promise,’ then, if logic serves and if God is really who he says he is, a Christian should not be sitting in a bathroom, telling herself that she’s worth nothing, looking to God for relief, and getting none. So my beef is that more often than not, this ‘God’ leaves me to figure things out myself – to find a way to pull myself out of whatever hole I’m in, no matter how deep and dark, when that’s the one situation where he’s promised to rescue us from. I am more than willing to give credit where credit is due, but practically speaking, if God expects us to do the work, then why are we so concerned with thanking him?

And as a final word, I’m not an atheist, just a thoroughly honest, self-aware Christian who would like some real answers from the God who claims to love me more than I could possibly imagine, yet has somehow failed to show me the strength of his affection: a logical inconsistency in itself.


2 thoughts on “Context

  1. I’ve currently settled into working on orthopraxy – right action – rather than concerning myself attributing my ups-and-downs to a lack of faith, or worrying about my inability to believe certain aspects of the religion. I think it’s more important to try to do good in the world and love the people around me than it is for me to thank God because I got a good parking space. I do believe in the divine but I don’t really know how to explain who he/she/they/it are and how they interact with us. So I fit in at the Anglican church pretty well – a lot of us have more murky faiths and we’re okay with that.


  2. I kind of like that. It’s a very honest way of looking at both religion and the divine, instead of pigheaded-ly insisting that THIS is the way it is and/or has to be. I still think there’s interaction between the human and divine, and I’m trying to keep myself open to its/his/her/their voice (I’m open to all the possibilities, so I guess I use ‘God’ as a shorter distinction (:), but sometimes that leads to worries that I’m crazy. Unfortunately, this worry remains even if I venture to distrust God’s ‘voice,’ since that’s what I’ve been trying to do for almost four years. I don’t know. It’s all a work in progress, and what I am completely convinced of is that none of us knows exactly how any of this works.


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