Giving God a bad name

I have a lot of questions. Not so many answers.

But some questions need answers.

Like why does it matter so much “proving God” – why does faith and belief need to be supported by evidence – is that not an incompatible mix – and are there areas of our lives where belief and supporting evidence are missing – yet we live quite happily with that gap – and if we can do that – why can we not with “God stuff”?

Because I find that a lot of people who need “proof of God” have been “hurt by God”. That the God they were taught, browbeaten into believing – “that God” – let them down.  “That God” doesn’t fix everything as they were taught He would … “That God” doesn’t care like they were taught He did care.

And just like so many relationships that end badly – where “it ends” can become fixed in time – where everything changes but the hurt – and the hurt festers – and “the wounded party” festers.  And every injustice thereafter, every God-lover thereafter, every prayer and hymn and innocent enthusiasm for God stuff thereafter … that just rubs salt into an open wound.

I see no difference between “that” and any relationship that was so important, so sustaining, so life-giving – but was then torn asunder – without closure – with no tidying the loose threads – without any moving on.  It happens.  And there are lots of ways we learn to live without healing every “rift” that happens in our lives.

But when it comes to God?

I see “membership issues” – I see “believers” arguing with “non-believers” – I see both sides applying “logic and objectivity” to ”faith and belief” – refusing to see that they are opposite sides of the same coin (“opposite sides of different universes” seems to be the preferred starting point).

Jesus was a cool dude when it came to demolishing “non-believing-believers”:

Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that ‘if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children; and the second married her and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had married her.” Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mark 12:18-27

I read the verses above and focus on the final four words: “You are quite wrong” – I read the verses above and hold it as a lesson learned: how to deal with those who have not healed, who do not wish to heal – how to deal with “non-believing-believers”.

And I am quite wrong to do so.

Because when someone tells me I am wrong to believe in God, wrong to have a relationship with God, asks for my proof, demands to see the archaeology, insists on historical evidence outside of the bible, smirks at my living my life on a lie … all of that and more (the stuff I see below so many posts) … I always wonder: If you have no “God” that you believe(d) in – why bother to even ask the question?  And why waste your time listening/reading an answer we both know you will reject?  So what more might we have in common?

But if that is not enough, I am reminded of  some post-Jesus verses that are relevant (and which everyone loves to paraphrase): “If I am this … that … or the other – AND DO NOT HAVE LOVE – I am only … I am nothing … I have nothing – because love does not … love never fails … and the greatest is love” 1 Corinthians 13  

But if love is too “nice” for you …

If I am really in a “healthy relationship” – why would there EVER be a need to hurt others (and because I have no idea what may happen tomorrow in my life and in my relationship with God – just as those who hurt had no idea what was in their “tomorrow”)?

But if that cuts no ice …

Even God Soft Hands Jesus never “healed them all”. So when you can’t either … why would you even think you could?

And if none of that does it for you …

Please don’t do God a disservice by beating-up others because they disagree with you.   It just gives God (and me) a bad name.

16 thoughts on “Giving God a bad name

  1. “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ― Stuart Chase

    If someone asks for proof of God respond in kind, ask for proof that everything came into existence with no outside intervention. Neither possibility can be proven beyond, as lawyers like to say, a shadow of a doubt. You can take the creation of the universe back to the moment of the singularity, but you cannot take it beyond that to when nothing existed. Believers in the multiverse say that a universe comes into existence by the collision of two universes, but offer no proof of how the other universes came into existence.

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  2. I think that our little pea brains cannot understand God, I find it is easier to believe with faith and not doubt God, he shows us each day that the Sun rises and the Moon comes out at night and all these things together work in harmony. I guess maybe my child like mind is good enough!

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    • Hiya Cathy – I think each of us is “good enough” in His eyes. I also think (and I am guilty!) that so often we do not view others through His eyes – but through the sophisticated and grown-up eyes we all value so much in each other. The ones where you get kudos for looking good!

      Here’s to His eyes!!

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  3. Oh brother Paul, brother Paul! I have so missed you and the way you make me think and to evaluate and re-evaluate! You make me HAVE to know why I believe why/what I believe! That is a GREAT thing! That is the Spirit that searches our hearts and that is the same Spirit that continually woos us back to Him; with questions, or with answers!!

    I have found trinkets such as “you are quite wrong” the perfect example of Godly love, God’s love used in admonition. They may have thought He was beating them down because of their egos, but He was demonstrating His love by correction which is a “loving” tool of the Holy Living Word!

    I have enjoyed this brother! You have a perspective that is unique and yet right on and I thank our Heavenly Father for giving you such a great gift to share with us all!!! Love You!! God bless you greatly and continually!

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    • Roland, seeing you here is liking breathing in a great lungful of supercharged oxygen! HELLO!! ((hugs))

      “trinkets” – what a lovely description. Of how easy it is to adorn ourselves with “shiny paste” that looks good in my mirror – that we imagine is “God” – and which misses the mark so often (perhaps always).

      The word He keeps bringing me is “allow”. No matter how great His love, no matter how great my desire – I have to allow Him. And more and more I find that “allowing” removes “correction”. More and more “allowing” is a gift rather than a discipline. And whether He “changes His mind” over one fragment of one verse countless times (see today’s post on Just Me Being Curious) – whether what I thought He was saying He now says differently – ALWAYS it is a gift of love. If I allow.

      Big Love always – you are beautiful!

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      • Actually, I probably should have said gems, or maybe nuggets, you know, little treasures that are pretty, shining yet valuable!! I wonder about words like nugget, what is a nug after all and why would I “get” it?!

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        • A nug is a portable hug. One that can be carried anywhere the carrier wishes. And at times the carrier wishes can be held and “hugged” albeit in a symbolic sense rather than literal. As a companion in the dark hours, a nug is a valuable asset to find and hold. We all live better with a nug or two about our person. And our Lord and Father has endowed each of us with a surplus of hugs. An abundance. And some of us have no idea these nugs are falling in our path. And some never look for these freely available nugs. And some think they have none to spare – so walk their path with inadequacy – never realising what a bright path they leave for others.

          Nugs are a gift of grace. A gift we all get in abundance.

          🙂

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          • A portable hug! I’m going to be keeping my eyes open and a little bit more focused! I don’t want to lose any of my nugs, needlessly! I can’t help but laugh and had to read to Susie your reply! Thank YOU for the inspiration!!! ((nug)) For later if you need it!

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