Abuse and narcissistic parents can lead to troubled relationships with God or viewing God as a cruel tyrant like in the above meme. Our early experiences with our parents can influence our view of God. In the above meme it is obvious the person who wrote it had some control freak abusive parent who gave them negative concepts of God. This happened to me too as I will describe more later in this article.
I have struggled with some anger at God lately. I know that sounds bad. It is. I can't lie to God. Becoming an atheist is not a way out, I've already taken that route for anyone who wants to recommend it. I have asked God for justice and some peace in this life. It seems like God is not answering my prayers and those of others I care about and I am not sure why. It has left me very troubled. People don't want to be squished and wrung out so there is nothing left.
I am even worried about falling away lately and have enough bible verses in my head to know that I am in a bad spiritual position. I am sure God can take some yelling and "wrestling with Jacob" moments but ever since Aunt Scapegoat died and I felt like evil won, I have been feeling a bit spiritually sick to my stomach. I even shouted to God, "Why are you letting these evil people always triumph and why didn't you answer my prayers regarding Aunt Scapegoat?". I was even angry that I didn't have the money to go down there and visit her. What she went through was too much.
It's like God is saying NO to everything. The legions of clean and well-heeled middle class church people who have judged me went through my head in a negative fashion. If it wasn't for the bible verses about the wicked prospering and other warnings, I don't know where I would be. The Bible warns that the world system is corrupt, and has many verses about the oppression of the poor. The false Christians who talk about the world being a great place and that being positive will make all your dreams come true are cracked in the head and living in a bubble. It is God's Word that has kept me a Christian and trying to see through all the lies and nonsense.
God is not like our parents. It's something I have to remind myself of now. God is not your enemy. God does not hate you like your mother. God did not do this to you, the other guy and his minions did. As I have written about before and a guest blogger did too, I don't want to hear about great plans for life or how God is wanting to teach me a lesson either, that is the kind of stuff in churches that is making people all lose faith. Also when people are told that blessings come via being "obedient to God' and they get hardships from being "bad people", that is not good either. There's no truth out there. This world is a hard place, and many deny it's realities, it is affecting people's relationship with God.
Here is a place where spiritual trouble can await even someone whose been a Christian for over a decade, I start thinking God is against me too and have visions of God having turned his back on me with a giant thumbs down! The false stuff in churches doesn't help with this. They preach "Honor thy mother and father" and never address child abuse. I never once heard this verse ever read in a church!
Even after 14 years of being a Christian, I avoid personal prayers where I refer to God as "Father". I know that is a biblical title but may some can guess why I leave the parental references OFF. It comes with too much baggage. Sometimes when I am facing spiritual turmoil, I can feel the bad parental stuff mixing with creeping negative thoughts about God.
I became an atheist by the time I was ten years old. That's pretty young to renounce God. I would not believe in God or even entertain the thought of God. I remember being that young and saying to friends, "There is no God" and "Church is bunk". I would be an atheist until my thirties with forays into comparative religions and paganism while in the Unitarian Universalist church before I became a Christian.
At the age of ten, I was busy reading Thomas Paine and other books, that questioned God. I was a strange Aspie who read everything I could get my hands on. Catholicism didn't seem to add up. I don't want to start a religious argument on my blog here, but once one of my nun teachers sent me to the principal's office for questioning Purgatory. They were horrified by me. I was forbidden to quote the Bible in religion class. Later when I went into full atheism, I figured I got smarter after too many visits to the principal and the rectory to be lectured at by priests, and kept my mouth more shut.
It was weird to be confirmed into the Catholic church as a full blown atheist. No one cared what I believed or did not believe. It's not like I could talk to my parents about God without being screamed at. My religious and spiritual questions remained unanswered. This would put me on a path of being a seeker, for YEARS.
When I told my parents, that I did not believe in God which was a mistake, they saw me as the devil's seed. They called me evil. My grandmother screamed at me in the car one day, that I was horrible girl and would see hell for renouncing God. This is ironic to me now given the evil I've seen on that side.
There is the psychological and spiritual danger of abusive parents where God Himself can be defined by the example of the parent to a young child. Some of us have to work on separating these things out for decades. Even this week I am facing it, feeling like I am being "punished" inside having to go to God's Word to work my way through this stuff. It is hard to imagine God embracing, loving and comforting you when your parent never did so.
Years ago I drew a blasphemous cartoon during my years as an atheist where I drew "Budgie" getting dropped kicked like a football by a large halo wearing God figure--kind of like how God is drawn on the Simpsons. Sure, one's view of God is influenced by early parental figures.
Add in spiritual abuse and abusive authoritarian churches that teach blind obedience to parents and authority and you get a mess. God is seen as a narcissist, a cruel tyrant who seeks to only punish and beat you down. There were times as a child, I thought, "Look at this world, God must be cruel, to have given me these parents." I remember one day standing in my bedroom, thinking "Forget God, and look at these jerks!" Thinking of my parents. I even thought God was evil a few times to put me with such a horrible family.
Escaping this view of God has taken me a lot of prayer and bible reading. A lot of the churches don't help either. In fact many of them are making this problem worse. I haven't talked about this except in a few articles but leaving the church system has been a big deal for me and especially leaving the churches I was affiliated with, which was your independent Baptist churches.
The politics ground me down and I always thought they were cruel. I still think they are. The evangelical churches have gone authoritarian to the max, where God is presented as a cruel tyrant and with the prosperity gospel stuff, there is even more oppression of the poor and the abused. Some young people are abused too by religious narcissistic parents who go to town, with life being nothing but legalism and endless rules. The "god" they present is cold and capricious and all about the rules and a lover of the oppressive narc and sociopathic system. It is not a "god" I can get on the team with. Young people who question Christianity don't freak me out because I was there, and with religion being used in the way it is, so wonder many are thinking poorly of how god has been presented to them.
I understand when people say forget "God" in the way that narcissistic parents influence our view of God when young. I even worry when I get angry at God like this, it is rooted in some of this false stuff. I have to go read God's Word and calm down.
1 John 4:8King James Version (KJV)
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.