Monday, August 15, 2016

Theology I can't get on board with

Seen on Facebook, "a friend of a Christian friend":

"Beautiful work of God in a heart abandoned to Him
Trials are His beautiful ways of shaping us and carving us to be a purer image of His Son to a needy world"

If God sent me Lipedema then He is meaner then Queen Spider and her consort could ever hope to be.  I meet people who are atheists all over who say God is cruel because of this false theology. How can I blame them when the Christian world is basically telling us, God is sending us all the bad stuff?

That famous Christian, the lady in the wheelchair, doesn't help matters either telling people that in other words that God sent her breast cancer.

I heard this years ago, when I have heard people say "Cancer is a gift". They believe God sent them the cancer. I remember saying to these people at my book club, "This would make God an ogre then!"

I wrote this to the people on Facebook:

"Trials are not from God. 20 years of chronic illness if I believed that, I'd be an atheist tomorrow. There's nothing beautiful about trials. I don't mean to be picky about this, but I know many people who are atheists because they got this false message that God sends suffering. This is a hard world that brings many bad things. People lose faith over those messages. This is why I point this out, do not want to upset anyone."

Don't get me wrong, I believe God can use the bad stuff for good, but if I imagined God up in heaven being responsible for sending Lipedema my way, me and Him would have some issues. Am I unfair to think that people who refer to beautiful trials, have never really had any?

Where does compassion go if people think Suffering is good for you? Will they try to end your suffering?  I ran out of Catholicism over one of those theological points.Yes there will be some gospel based persecution and affliction but to think God sends diseases and suffering bothers me.

Maybe I overthink some of this religious stuff but something bothers me about people who refer to trials as beautiful. Something is not honest about it. It's religious virtue signaling. The people mean well probably trying to make the best of things but it seems more damaging in a way. Trials suck. This world is full of too much suffering and hardship. I do not believe that God sends people evil things. This natural fallen world produces the I wrote in that other post.


  1. These people are spiritually abusive. Some people like a woman in wheelchair who has a cancer have been victims of spiritual abuse themselves. People who believe that God allows or bring evil to my life in order to make me a stronger Christian or to make me a better were at odds with me.

    I noticed that these people are usually middle class and some are religious narcs. Wealthy people who said these things could have ulterior motives in not wanting to compete with us for resources or wealth. They are afraid that if good things happen to us, we could be their competitors for marriage, business, job, education, and their children's access to education, etc.

    I think people who could embrace these messages are religious narcs or who have been around with many religious narcs when severely bad things happened to them. Joni Erickson-Tada experience after she had a life-changing diving accident was an example. She was with many narcs when she was in her recovery stage. It was awful.

    My adopted narc mother watched "Joni" movie with me in 1980. She used to harp narcish message she heard in this movie until I put a stop to it by complaining to her parents that I wanted to cancel my adoption.

    I'm sorry you found this message online. It sounds like your Christian friend has a religious narc friend and she has been targeted by narcs.

    1. I think this belief brings out the spiritual abuse too, after all if God has sent you suffering whose going to want to stop it. You got that lesson to learn, or something like their minds. For me to be so poor when I was in churches, there was this undergirding that I must be doing something very bad, or have sinned in my past to be so poor and have such scary things happening to my body.
      I see Joni as a victim too, she definitely had the worse happen becoming paralyzed. So I see her as vulnerable to what others told her. She wanted to find meaning in her severe injuries and later her cancer, but I still think many will be harmed with this false theology. What happens when she gets very old and knows the end is coming and there's no cure? Lazarus at the gate died with sores all over him. If he believed the sores were sent by God, how messed up is that?

      I agree I am at odds too with people who believe that God allows or brings evil into my life to make me a better or stronger Christian. If anything I have noticed in some Christian circles, they glamorize poverty and suffering, they imagine poverty is sitting on the street in perfect health street preaching when the reality is the poor are living in squalor and their health is destroyed.

      I agree about those kind of people being at odds with me too. I know I have referred to spiritual abuse I underwent and they said bad things were happening to me from sins I had not overcome or evil things I had done when younger. It got more messed up because as more bad things happened, I thought what am I doing? I had this severe rare disorder too.

      I have noticed there seems to be a class difference here too. Most of the people saying these things are wealthy people who see trials as "beautiful". None of my trials in life have been beautiful but terror inducing, embarrassing, life destroying, confusing MUCK. I could not claim to people oh look my trials have strengthened me, as my body got more and more battered with the years, and the poverty grew. One thing if you are poor long enough, everything gets old and shabby. I am wearing a dress right now I bought off ebay in 2002. How old of a dress is that, 15 years old LOL?

    2. I think they don't want to compete with us either. Many are so lavishly blessed with good jobs, secure living, families and health, that when they face a trial, perhaps they really are character building enterprises, they see a problem and they solve it, and they grow in confidence. These growth enhancing situations and problems build their confidence, and the situation is hope inspiring to them instead of hope destroying. They are not stuck in ruts for 20 years. If the worse happens and someone dies, they have loving families and beautiful deathbed moments and goodbyes, they don't have Aunt Scapegoat who you can't afford to get to driving into guardrails and then later dying of something you never are able to find out exactly about. I don't want people to have bad brutish lives. I wouldn't wish my worse enemy on this earth to ever feel the way I did on a Chicago street in 1996, I had gotten lost on the South Side looking for some charity--I think I was trying to get a bed, and this was before I gave up and just took a mattress out of a dumpster, and was walking down the street at near 700lbs knowing I was going to die soon.

      Those feelings stayed with me. I didn't know how to survive and did almost die. Would I say that trial was "beautiful"? No it almost destroyed me. I have had times in life where there almost has been nothing left and trials have almost destroyed my faith where I have hung on by a thread. I fear hell if I get sick enough and limbs rot off and that if I have enough pain I will be like Job's wife telling God off. I am having weird thoughts lately about God, and if God is this cruel monster sending us death, and disease, we are all in big time trouble. I may be going through a theological change here, a deepening of sorts. God is love according to the Bible, not a monster but these people are almost promoting a cruel false "god".

      I saw the movie Joni sometime in the 1970s and kept crying. I don't know why I had such a bad emotional reaction to her movie. I actually became an atheist back then as a 10 year old, telling God to shove off, because I remember thinking "Why didn't God save Joni?" I had the Catholic suffering stuff too. My atheism was entrenched when they made us read a story about this saint that allowed herself to be stabbed to death instead of being raped.

      The Christian friend believed like her friends. I put up my message and got a bit chastised being told we should grow closer to God via trials but that God still was sending them to us. I decided to back out of the argument. I didn't want to fight with people trying to find meaning in tragedy....but it still makes me worry to this day. A lot of people are walking away from God from all the suffering in this world blaming Him for it.

  2. Dear Peeps, once again you are on target. And it's alot easier to go through sickness / lack of funds when surrounded by atleast a few loving family members - who atleast stop in once in awhile for a visit and bring along a crossword puzzle book or some kind of little something for you to enjoy.

    1. Thank you Sue. I really have faced the reality of no family. I am seeing a wound care nurse to culture this bad infection today. I am laying in bed by the phone on this laptop. I did shower but am very weak. I told him go clean the toilet in case the nurse sees it. LOL I hope he did. Other disabled people in my town including this one lady with severe diabetes who has a sister I know has the families helping and caring for them.

      My husband is helping me. He has to go to the food pantry today to get food. I am glad I just got into this church co-op, and praying for cool weather, there this group shares food. I was on the waiting list for 6 months.

      They would drive by here, even to go see each other on thousand of miles trips. It's like I was written off as already dead before I went no contact. I still think about sending a family wide no contact letter, but never sent it. Maybe I should post it here. They can read it if this blog is ever found. Yes a little company would be nice and a little help. Even with Aunt Scapegoat while they obviously neglected her to a certain point, they made sure she got to family events and reunions giving her rides. They would show up and take her out to eat. She had a house trailer bought for her--no rent, and when she became a hoarder and was unable to clean, they got her new carpet, painted and cleaned the place up. I saw those differences for years.

  3. I think I've been on both sides of this thing. Suffering is not from God, even Job in the bible, his suffering came from Satan, the thing is that God allows it. I know we suffer, some of us suffer worse than others, in any case, our bodies are considered just temporary tents. It is the soul which needs to prosper, and how we do that, I think can come about by intense suffering. But with Job, his part was to not curse God and die, told to him by his wife and friend. His part was to trust God, and if he was going to die, still trust God. These bodies are just tents, and tents are temporary.

    I think it all comes down to faith that we are going to go on, and none of this will matter in a 100 years anyway. I mean, who was my mother? Did she even matter? I know the intensity that we feel now, will not even mar eternity.

    So to get back on topic, no God does not send us suffering. To me it is part and parcel of living in a temporary tent, that won't even exist forever. But how we always trusted God, no matter what is all that matters.

    1. Good post Joan S. I agree about the temporary tents, this life is fleeting and not eterntiy. I agree about the soul. Glad you agree suffering is not from God. LOL I have told myself this won't matter in 100 years to get through a day. :p Yes we are to trust God no matter what. The Bible warns this place is done up. Too many of the churches teach it's a candy land and if you are not partaking something is wrong with you.

  4. I'm a Buddhist, and there are some Buddhists who believe that suffering is due to bad karma from past lives and so the person suffering "deserves" it, but many of us don't believe this. Karma isn't as simple as people like to think it is in any case.
    I believe that everyone suffers, and we can learn from our suffering. However, suffering isn't always punishment for ill deeds by any means, and compassion is the most important trait that anyone can have.
    If I believed there were a deity that was so cruel as to afflict people with horrific conditions, I would have big problems with that deity.