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7/05/2009                                                                                       View Comments

The God of Abuse

By Fuego

I've been trying to figure out why it is so difficult to get believers to even listen to why we left Christianity. Even though some of us experienced decades of solid Christian belief, we are dismissed as having never believed, or never "truly" believed. No matter what evidence we bring, no matter if we are aggressive or kind, there always seems to be an invisible wall of condescending resistance to any criticism or evidence against Christianity.

This may not be a new concept to some of you, but it all fell together for me today. The pattern so clearly fits with another relationship pattern among humans that it startled me. Christianity is a form of abuser/victim codependency.

I know the word codependent seems way overused, but hear me out. Codependency is the perpetuation of an abusive relationship by two or more people, each of whom derives enough emotional support from the relationship that it outweighs the strife. In fact the strife itself fuels the emotional intensity of the relationship. Sure there are good times of singing, music, friends, and even an intense feeling of God’s presence. This is what kept us coming back and enduring the abusive side of the religion.

“Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?”
Right away, I anticipate that believers reading this will say “Abuse? What abuse? My God is the Shepherd of my soul, the Lily of the Valley, the bright Morning Star. He doesn’t abuse me. He may discipline me, but he does that because he loves me.” Many of us felt the same way, and clung to God just as fervently as any believers do today. The abuse I speak of is sometimes physical, often verbal, and always mental/emotional.

Just like in a human-to-human relationship, a believer invests trust, time, money, and emotion into the faith until the religion itself defines normality, and that person becomes quite unwilling to believe anything negative about the religion. The abuse may come through fellow believers or authorities in the religion, as well as in self-abuse over by guilt imposed by the religion. But ultimately the abuse comes from the God of the Bible. The believer is conditioned to think that the abuse is deserved due to his or her inherent sinfulness. Some go so far as to mutilate their own flesh because their natural desires conflict with the religious ideal and therefore must be subjugated to prove loyalty to God. Jesus himself said, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matt 5:29)

But even if the believer becomes desperate enough to want to quit the relationship, the circle of codependency is sealed by the fear of what will happen if the believer leaves the "relationship" (damnation).

Allow me to demonstrate how the Bible validates and promotes this abuse as right and proper. Compare what you typically hear in an abusive relationship to what you hear in the Judeo/Christian faith:

*If you leave me, I'll kill you (Exodus 20:3; 22:20)

*If you ever look at another man, I'll beat you black and blue you fucking whore! (Jeremiah 13:25-27, Nahum 3:1-7)

*I love you so much honey. I'm the best thing that ever happened to you. Look at all I do for you. You were nothing before you met me. You’d best start giving me what I deserve. (Exodus 20:4; Ezekiel 16) [Additionally, in Ezekiel 16, he says he raised Israel like a daughter until she started looking good, then wanted some sexual payback. When she rejects his advances, he calls her a whore and says he’ll strip her and let her be raped by groups of guys. But if she’ll change her mind and submit, everything will be peachy keen.]

*I don't think you love me enough. You better show some appreciation. (Psalm 2:11-12)

*My dinner better be ready when I get home. Thank you? Why should I thank you, it’s the least you can do, and you’re good at doing the least. (Luke 17:7-10)

*Do what I tell you to do and we’ll get along fine. Mouth off or start doing things your own way, and you’re gonna be in a world of hurt. (John 15:14)

*I should've aborted you. You're stupid and useless! (Genesis 6:5-7; Deuteronomy 32:6l; Jeremiah 5:21)

You are worthless! Without me you’re nothing, and every day you do something stupid and prove me right. Stand up like a man, you fucking pussy! I work my ass off, I put food on the table, I fix shit around the house, and you do nothing but sit around on your ugly ass and complain. You think you’re my equal? If I left you, you’d fucking die, and you dare to mouth off to me? (Entire book of Job)

You say you love me, but you keep going off to your parents. They hate me and I hate them. You aren’t worth the time and effort to deal with all their shit. Do you love me or not? If so, I don’t want to see their faces ever again. You owe me that much. (Luke 14:26; Matt 10:35-36; Matt 19:29)

(Holds a propane torch up to her face) You see this blowtorch, bitch? You piss me off again and I’ll burn you! I’ll take my sweet time, too. (Rev 14:10)

Enabling the abuse

Believers perpetuate the relationship through submissive dependence on the abuser. The submissive one minimizes her sense of self-worth, while actually defending the perceived good qualities of the abuser. Believers justify this abuse because "God is holy, and if he hadn't gone to extremes to show us mercy we'd all be damned." So there is this sense that we owe God big time for making a way of salvation, and that we really are unworthy of his presence, and very worthy of torture in fire for all eternity. (Matt 18:7-9; John 15:6; Rom 7:21-25; Rev 3)

The church is taught to take all this and more, and to respond with agreement, worship, reverence, and most of all obedience. This allows the abusive "god" to continue his reign of terror, and his henchmen to carry out his directives. The church is afraid to do anything but submit, because of the threat of torture in hell, or at the very least the withholding of blessings.

As in regular human relationships, codependency in religion is a hard behavior pattern to break. I never even saw it when I was a believer. It is only now that I am on the outside looking in that I see the inherent abuse in these verses and in the thousands of sermons that echo the same attitude. To compound the strangeness of this relationship, the abuser (God) never really does anything since he doesn't exist [well, at least the Bible god and all like him don’t exist]. The fear of damnation or at least being judged is enough to get the church to punish itself. This is also how the inquisitions were justified, since clearly God wasn’t going to do anything to the “sinners”. I preached hellfire myself because it was the orthodox faith. I didn’t like it, but I believed it was true.

Abuser/victim codependency also explains the anger I have when I hear Christianity being called something good. It was and is an abusive relationship and I want it exposed as such, not held up as something wonderful. I realize there are some teachings that are healthful to mankind in the Bible, and I'm not spitting on those. But the primary thrust of the scriptures is that man is separated from God and worthy of punishment. This is why verses like the ones above were written. This concept, and the imaginary god that is the kingpin of the system, are what I revile.

Of course, many believers will scoff at this whole concept, proclaiming their joy and love for God, and their enjoyment of his love for them. "My God would never be an abuser. He is a gentleman. You’ve obviously never tasted of my Jesus." The problem with this "pop" faith is that it is made up on the fly, it is not based in scriptures and yet it is still labeled Christianity. The most common theme throughout scripture is the anger and judgment of God against wicked humans. To selectively only hear the love parts fits in quite well with my diagnosis of codependency, since the abused one doesn't recognize abuse as abuse. Instead she defends the abuser as "a good father" "a good husband" "I don't know what I'd do without him" “I need to quit being so selfish” “He really knows what is best” “I should have no secrets from him” “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” (Job 13:15)

Have you ever been told that the love of God is unconditional? What do you think now that you’ve read the verses above? You did bother to read them didn’t you?

Remember that according to the Bible, Israel would not have been in captivity if God hadn’t arranged it. He told Abram back in Genesis 15 that they would be enslaved for four centuries. He even arranged the famine that drove them to Egypt and turned Egypt from a place with individual landowners to a fiefdom where the land and people all became property of the king. This was all so they could be dependent on him when he “called them out”. Then he continually compares Israel to a whore, and boasts about coming to her rescue after allowing her to be brutalized by other kingdoms.

Mysticism and Stockholm Syndrome

Some Christian mystics describe the death of self and utter submission to God as a deep and wondrous thing, likening it to the passion of two lovers. They seem to wallow in their complete subjugation and humiliation. But many of us who have come out now see the relationship as a betrayal of our love and expectations. We heard about God's love for us and were drawn in by the promises in scripture and the friendships we found in church. Then when we started hitting sour places in our "walk with God" and the promises fell flat time and again, we were told to have faith and continue pursuing God, or to act as if our prayers had been answered (1 John 5:14-15). Or else we were taught that our own desires were sinful or tainted, and that we should learn to be without any desire except for more of God (James 4).

This concept of not only validating the abusive attitude of God, but venerating it as well generates a lot of anger in those of us who have left the faith. It’s like telling a woman to trust her abusive husband and see his abuse as helping her to overcome her selfish nature, when all the while she knows that something is wrong. Her boundaries are being violated, her body is beaten, her self-esteem is crushed, and she wonders if it would have been better not to have been born at all. But then the abuser woos her again with words of kindness, and she thrills to the sudden sense of being loved by this powerful person, and thinks it all must be right after all and that she was stupid to have doubted his love.

Those that actually do surrender their sense of self are exhibiting a form of Stockholm Syndrome, which is a behavior that captives exhibit to lessen the stress of being different then their captors. In order to remove the threat of harm (and ultimately, to fit in with the group) a captive will take on the cause, values, and manner of the group. Being abused no longer seems odd; it seems normal. Reality gets redefined according to the rules set by the abuser. The abuser is seen as a great benefactor or lover. The victim glories in the patience and self-sacrifice the abuser has shown by stooping to rescue the victim from the shame of being different from the abuser.

A popular Christian song is indicative of this attitude:

“King of dreams, now You’ve got it all
All I ask is that you show me how to live without them
Show me how to live with only You”

An older hymn expresses the idea more clearly:
“Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?”

In secular counseling, one of the most often referenced images of a codependent family is the elephant in the living room. Everyone bumps into it, and it really is inconvenient and difficult to live with, but nobody wants to talk about it. “Problem? There’s no problem. You’re the problem!” Rather than deal with the thing causing the problems, people invent solutions for living without having to correct the obvious issue. Similarly, questioning the faith openly or questioning God’s character isn’t tolerated for long in most churches. And rather than really answer questions, the responses range from instant rebukes to phrases like “Well, it’s not that you can’t believe, but that you don’t want to believe”, implying that the questioner only wants to enjoy sin rather than submit to God, and that any questions are mere impertinence rather than legitimate issues.

This issue of God as the abuser is one that needs to be brought to the front more often. The church uses this all-encompassing love to draw in the unwary. It is generally later that they are introduced to the bloodthirsty nature of this deity, and slowly they are taught that this bipolar attitude is normal and good. A few preachers still start out with hellfire and then use love and mercy as a contrast to draw in those that were spooked by the stories of hell. But reduce it back down to the nature of this god, and you still find a being that is willing to set people on fire and not let them die because he sees that as right and just. He is an unapologetic abuser. We were right to dump him.

37 comments:

webmdave said...

*ahem* First of all, I am not a poor soul, nor am I angry or abused by legalism. Nor am I twisted in my understanding of the nature of the God of the Bible. Nor am I a confused child. You however are continually condescending in your words, trying to defend a "true Christianity" (which of course you follow) that is different than common Christianity, and make no reply to the scriptures I pointed out, or the arguments I spelled out. True Christianity has its foundation in the scriptures, and it is the scriptures that point out the bloodthirsty and abusive nature of the God of the Bible. God demands blood, and is willing to take an innocent life in place of others. That in itself is evil. To burn alive all that reject this "grace" is doubly evil. To call that attitude "holy" instead of evil is exactly what I describe in the article, codependent and accepting of abuse in the name of God. You have a pop-Christianity that only focuses on what you like about the faith, rather than the entirety of scriptures which give a startlingly clear view of the nature of the God of the Bible. And that is by far the most common Christianity.

But thanks for reading the article. It was posted over a year ago and all the previous comments seem to have been removed, and there were a lot.

webmdave said...

Ah...isn't it nice to be "understood" instead of judged? And by someone who has all the REAL answers about TRUE christianity, no less! I'm glad someone like that has finally shown up at this site to give us all the truth we've been searching for.

Gag.

Fuego, this is a great article! I'm tempted to post it on my facebook, but I'm not that brave. I've been struggling to figure out how to get around these kind of arguments by my christian friends. When I first deconverted, someone on this site brought up the image of god as an abusive husband who leaves his wife bleeding and crying, but assures her that he has a plan for it all and that it's for her own good. She gave this example to a friend, and the friend said that while she wouldn't put up with that in a human husband, it was okay for god, b/c he's perfect.

WTF??? But that's the mindset. God can do whatever he wants, b/c he's god. And there is almost no way to get around that thinking. I always wonder how my friends who are parents can continue to see god as a good father, when the things he does to "his children" would be punishable by death (or at the very least imprisonment) in society.

webmdave said...

The comments haven't been permanently removed, but it might be awhile before they are all back.

webmdave said...

Mobilemover: "You poor soul."

*WHACK* Shaddup, you deluded loon.

"You have evidently been abused by overzealous, abusive religious legalism in a denominational church of some kind."

This isn't the job interview lineup for the Psychic Woo-Woo Hotline. Stop pretending you understand the experiences of people you've never met.

"First of all, true christianity is a whole universe apart from what is commonly called christianity..."

Wrong. They differ only in that one has the word 'true' in it.

"...that faith is based toward a human sacrafice through Jesus..."

Ah, so you admit that you're a wilfully immoral person who gladly allows another sentient being to be sacrificed in your place? Glad we cleared that up. Now tell us all about this Christian morality we keep hearing about, and how condoning human sacrifice makes you a *better* person than people who reject human sacrifice.

"I dont know why your so angry, and now blame God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the whole plan of salvation as if you have a right to do so."

*KLONK* Mobile, Fuego does indeed have the right to blame or criticize anyone or anything without limitation. If your trio of invisible friends has problems with that, they can jolly well come here themselves to do their own scolding.

"For what it's worth, I'm not judging you, I'm just saying, I understand you."

How very odd, Mobile. A cursory reading of your deluded screed shows a great deal of judgmental nonsense and almost zero genuine understanding. B%gger off.

webmdave said...

I have to agree, great article! I stumbled upon it somehow in a ramdom Google search and I was entertained and certainly inspired by your message. I, infact, have been a Christian AND married to an abusive man.....I can totally see the similarities. Now, being free from both situations, I have never know such joy. In reference to what you said about parents, I have asked myself (and others) about that many times....what parent who loved their child could turn them out of their lives, and on top of that punish them so harshly, and for eternity?! My son need only look up at me with tears in his eyes and I am filled with nothing but overwhelming love for him, regardless of his mistake. How can we expect our creator to be feel anything less than this in the same situation? It makes no sense at all. So thanks again for the article, I especially liked that last paragraph. We WERE right to dump him!

webmdave said...

All the comments are back now.

webmdave said...

Why arn't I getting everything I want?!?

That's not the question being asked. The question to which we seek an answer is, "Why is god not doing everything we wre promised he would do when we were first sold this crock of shit at our conversion?"

The answer seems to be that all is fair in marketing and evangelism!

May you discover the peace that does not depend upon a deluded belief in a myth,

David

webmdave said...

And how ironic it is, that Hmmm.. like all other christians, want to blame the victim and not the abuser.

"You didn't have enough faith."
"You didn't pray enough."
"You don't love him enough to make it work."

The only thing worse than the abuser are those who support him (or her).

webmdave said...

Okay, I gotta ask 'cause no one else will: What the effing hell do you mean by "the healing power of a special ghost"? If your special spook has healing superpowers, then why is Yahweh's kid constantly walking into the nurse's office with skinned knees and holes in his hands? Yahweh's kid can't even hold on to the pennies for his lunch money...Pennies slip right through his hands!! None of the other kids want to play "Duck, Duck, Goose" with Yahweh's kid 'cause he keeps bleeding on them! In a school environment, bloodborne pathogens are a serious threat.

I am committed to turning in evidence of Yahweh's abusive parenting to Child Protective Services:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49556906@N04/4927682413/

webmdave said...

Thank you! You've hit the nail on the head! I grew up believing my dad was going to hell, and it was, well, pure hell! Crying myself to sleep many many nights. I've always thought to myself that was child-abuse, but this is the first writing I've come across that does a great job of making this point! THANK YOU!!

webmdave said...

You're very welcome! I hope to get the message out in a more public way soon.

webmdave said...

Hmmmm. .. .

Might you be experiencing cognitive dissonance after receiving information with which you don't want to deal ?

You're right. It may be inappropriate to apply the language of psychology to biblical statements attributed to god. However, it is incumbent on you who objects to look at how such language is being applied and point out where it fails to accurately or fairly fit the phenomena we see in the bible.

Whenever you have power oppressively applied to humans in a punitive and controlling system, you have abuse. If the biblical statements compared to the language of abuse and victimization have striking similarities, then doesn't that indicate that Fuego is on to something?

It sounds as if you are saying that it is okay for god to use abusive language and tactics because he is god. But you don't really deal with the question of whether the god of christians is in fact abusive or not. You say it is dead wrong to apply the language of the stockholm syndrome to the relationship between believers and god, but you don't explain how it is wrong.

You also seem to doubt the sincerity and adequacy of the experience of ex-christians who leave the faith. You almost seem to be saying, "Surely they left for more than just feeling abused, or their faith was superficial anyway." That's an astounding position. Many christians have left the faith because the the cruelty and injustice of the god they see in the bible. It is a powerful and typical reason for deconversion. I can't think of a more noble reason to leave a faith than to realize the god who is an object of your faith is cruel and anti-human despite the glowing words some of his followers use to describe him.

I had not yet done the side by side comparison that Fuego listed in this post. But I shall do so now. But in the mean time, I would hope you would consider how dismissive of people's feelings you sound in your comments. You essentially tell readers that unless they saw the same things you see in the christian faith, they were deficient in their faith. You have no way of knowing that and you seem to show little interest in hearing the experiences of people who have left the faith - - unless those experiences support your preconceived notions about people who leave the faith.

OB '63

webmdave said...

Although I agree that abuse is not to be taken lightly and that label should not be thrown around, you have completely lost the point. You also proved what this article and so many ex-Christians here have been saying. The tone of your post is: You didn't really suffer abuse. Don't call it that. You just didn't try hard enough. It was your fault.

Way to show God's love. Please, tell it to the people who ended up in therapy or clinically depressed because of their faith. I'm sure they'll appreciate seeing the cold, cruel, dismissive face of God through you. What a good witness you are.

By the way, calling yourself "Hmmm..." does not denote that there's any actual thinking going on.

webmdave said...

Hmmmmm,

I wonder... did you read the whole article?

Fuego: "In secular counseling, one of the most often referenced images of a codependent family is the elephant in the living room. Everyone bumps into it, and it really is inconvenient and difficult to live with, but nobody wants to talk about it. “Problem? There’s no problem. You’re the problem!”

Hmmmmm: "... but any who would maintain that they never saw more goodness (the easy & the hard) than they previously had in their lives likely did not embrace Christian spirituality to it's most full and fulfilling extent..."

Classic... Hmmmmm does a great job validating Fuego's insight... by pointing the finger and suggesting "you're the problem"...

D8

webmdave said...

"real human abuse happens & has happened throughout history"
Delusional behavior is often a sign of abuse. I think I'm starting to understand you. It's the abuse your receiving from your religion that is speaking loudest.

Are you trying to say we need to put blinders on in order to see god?
See no evil...

webmdave said...

I would argue that applying modern psychological vocabulary to this type of abuse is only giving a name to something that has existed for centuries. Just because the terminology is fairly recent doesn't mean the patterns and similarities are recent.

The dynamics are the same and have always been, the only difference is we now have a name for it. Gravity was at one point considered a modern term even though it existed long before the vocabulary for it existed.

Why would anyone leave the faith if they saw more goodness in it than they previously had? If your line of reasoning is true no one would ever leave. People don't usually walk away from goodness.

dt

webmdave said...

because God is perfect and holy, sin must be punished, but because God is also merciful and loving, he made a way for the price to be paid so we cold be free. Wow, that's love! That's amazing grace.

No, that's 2,000 years of human-authored theology, which seems reasonable to you because of your low self-esteem. You've allowed them to convince you that you're so worthless, that you deserve nothing better than eternal damnation. Wake up.

Like a parent, he must discipline us so we can learn the truth and grow in character and self control. Any of you parents out there?

So if your children misbehave, you'd set them on fire for all of eternity? Oh, I know - "God's ways are not our ways." There, you don't have to bother; I said it for you.

I pray that you will return to the One who loves you more than you'll ever know.

Right - he loves us so much that he'll torture us for all of eternity for not returning that love, for being as flawed as he made us.

You're trying desperately to cling to a belief you know is abominable.

webmdave said...

I'm a parent.
Are you suggesting that I should torture my child FOREVER because she disobeyed me?
Holding forth this gawd of yours as a good example of parenting is pretty offensive and disgusting, Chris.

"but because God is also merciful and loving, he made a way for the price to be paid so we cold be free. Wow, that's love! That's amazing grace."

I don't tell my kid that there's a "price" that has to be paid for her to "earn" my love. What a disgusting concept.

Are *YOU* a parent, Christopher? if you are, I feel sorry for your kids, because if you parent like gawd "parents", they're in for a lifetime of therapy once they realize they've been duped all their lives.

"I pray that you will return to the One who loves you more than you'll ever know."

And I pray that you'll return to a belief in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, Christopher.

You know, if this gaws "loves" me, he sure had a funny way of showing it. I never felt more alone than when I believed. I'm alone now, but I have to tell you the pain of being alone because you *ARE* alone is nowhere NEAR as sharp and killing as the "love" I was supposed to be getting from this gawd of yours.

Gawd's love is like a deadbeat who contributed nothing to his child's lives beyond an ejaculation, yet he claims to love them. "I love my kids, I just don't ever talk to them and I've never paid one cent of support, or contacted their mommas, but I love them".

Blessings in Winnie-The-Pooh

webmdave said...

RevN,
You seem a bit confused. The author never said these were quotes from the bible. He was making a comparison between what we might hear a typical abuser say today with a bible verse that can be seen to represent the same ideas.

Fuego said: "Compare what you typically hear in an abusive relationship to what you hear in the Judeo/Christian faith: "

So he put words of an abuser followed by a reference to a biblical verse that shows the bible god acting in a similar fashion. It is up to you to open the bible and make the comparison for yourself.

Fuego is not trying to deceive at all. Don't accuse someone of deception simply because you have low comprehension skills.

webmdave said...

The "God lets people choose hell because that's what they want" argument which has become the fashionable way to let the clearly sadistic-vengeful biblical god character off the hook while he presumably now just weeps big sad tears at our "personal choice," is again exactly in parallel with an abuser who says "you chose to do what you know bothers me, so you CHOSE for me to smash your face in. I didn't want to have to do that , why did you make me?"

webmdave said...

Well done, Fuego! I was thinking about this the other day, but I couldn't have said it better myself. Late last week, a pastor grilled me on whether or not I was ever really a believer. He said that I chose to walk away. I said that it wasn't a choice. He was completely mystified, saying that God would not send people to hell, but that most people would choose to go there. He's still in that abusive relationship, so he doesn't understand that if there really were a loving, all-knowing god, such a god would have foreseen that most people would "choose" to suffer for an eternity and he would have either not gone ahead with creation or he would have done something different so that his children would not suffer eternally. The thick-headed pastor couldn't get his mind around that.

After trying to explain to him how someone could be an ex-Christian, I went home angry, upset, and full of rage. I didn't owe him an explanation in the first place. These people think they're led by a holy spirit, yet they have no idea how much they can and do hurt people. How holy is that?

To me, it's like blaming the doormat spouse who stuck it out in a very bad marriage, put everything they had into it for decades, and finally escaped after a grueling ordeal. The "loving" Christians gather around to counsel, and add insult to injury by accusing: "But did you really love him?" Excuse me? You know how long I was in that and you know how hard it was to get out?! I've been through hell! Thanks for the extra pain, a$$hole!

I've decided that there's no use trying to convince these people. They are abusers, too. When I was in the thick (i.e. dense) of my faith, no one could have convinced me that there was such a thing as an ex-Christian. Whatever "persecution" I got was well-deserved.

If Christians can so cruelly, casually, and callously dismiss what I and so many other ex-Christians went through to escape that mindset, then I can simply dismiss them, too. I tell them that there's no way they could really be Christians because if they were truly of God, then they would understand human suffering more, not less.

webmdave said...

A well written and thoughtful response. Hopefully you aren't just another hit and run Christian responder. What undeniable fruits of Christian living are you referring to? I have attended numerous churches of many different denominations during my Christian years, and never saw living that seemed any different than secular living. Perhaps less drinking or cussing in public, (although not always), but an equal divorce rate, a similar loss of virginity or premarital sex occurence. In truth, it seems that most Christians behave no differently than their secular counterparts. If you are talking about loving your neighbors, most Christians only love other Christians, but tend to look down upon non-believers. So, what fruit are we talking about here?

webmdave said...

You poor soul. You have evidently been abused by overzealous, abusive religious legalism in a denominational church of some kind. You dont specify which denomination, which is inconsequential, but it does point to where the abuse began, and why your so angry, frustrated, and twisted in your understanding of the true nature of God the Father, Jesus, and the healing power of the Holy Spirit.
First of all, true christianity is a whole universe apart from what is commonly called christianity, and christian beliefs, etc etc by main stream denominational religions from all over the world. True christian ethics, morals, belief, and the love of God toward mankind is based upon faith, and that faith is based toward a human sacrafice through Jesus, who came to earth to provide all humans with a way of life through his own life, death, burial, and resurection.
You took several quotes from the old testament, and superimposed your anger, with quotes in the new testament; and by doing so......you equate one historical approach of Gods dealings with an unbelieving generation, with that of the new testaments accounts with how God's plan of salvation for mankind and attempted to show that it is irrevalent.
I dont know why your so angry, and now blame God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the whole plan of salvation as if you have a right to do so.
I think your anger is like that of a hurt, confused child, who needs a loving father to pick you up, and love you unconditionally. For if you have ever felt the love of God, by his spirit.....then you have forgotten it.
Don't let man made religionistic, legalistic, denominational drivin, ways, means and methods get twisted in your desire to enjoy the love of God, the sacrifice of his son, Jesus, or the poweful healing power of forgivness through the holy spirit.
If you dont........it's a sad loss, and all those that have had a hand in your present state of mind/heart........they wont give a damn.
For what it's worth, I'm not judging you, I'm just saying, I understand you.

webmdave said...

The comments haven't been permanently removed, but it might be awhile before they are all back.

webmdave said...

Oh yes, so much I recognise there. Why did I ever think that giving up myself completely and just serving God was what life was about? I lost myself as a person and was deeply unhappy. I can see the parallels with an abusive marriage now.

And what you said about those who insist theirs is a god of love. I know someone who takes that line of thought and has pushed it so far trying to make sense of what's happened to me without condemning me or faulting Christianity, the religion he believes is can't even be found in the Bible IMO! I wonder if these people have ever read the Bible, especially the OT. But then I remember, that they have but they read it with special "Christian eyes" where everything has to be interpreted, even twisted, to fit with whatever version of god is presented to them by their denomination.

webmdave said...

Fuego,
Spot on, Dude! You nailed it!
-WizenedSage

webmdave said...

While I have already come to accept the concept of christianity as codependency your article is one of the best explanations of it I have seen.
I hope to hear from you again here.

webmdave said...

John 3:16 was the one that got me, because it was beat into me, along with Psalms 23, but at the risk of sounding like Spong, because this is where we do agree on matters of religion, these ideas are all human concepts, right down to the Bible. The God of the Bible is a human creation. Religious ideology, dogma, etc are also human creations. Religion, created by humans, is a mechanism of controlling the vulgar. "The Church is in the guilt producing control business", "I think the Church fired it's furnaces hotter than anybody else" "The Church doesn't like anyone to grow up because you can't control grown-ups". ~ Spong

"Hell is an invention of the Church": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF6I5VSZVqc

Bottomline, no god inflected the abuse, but rather humans abusing each other right down to the religious texts. This is not saying there is or is not a god, it is just saying that religion and the texts there of that are imposed on people were created by humans and inflected on humans clear to the point of psychological abuse. The argument of whether there is a god or not, is a totally different argument, IMO, but that too is a human concept and there is rarely agreement there of.

webmdave said...

This is so very true. The fact that millions of people are so utterly incapable of manifesting the level of introspection it would take to see this behavior in themselves has convinced me that humanity can't solve it's problems.

webmdave said...

Fuego -

You deserve the 2009 "EXIE" Award! (Ex-Christian's version of an Academy or Pulitzer Prize).

You have diagnosed the core of the problem (at least for Fundamentalism based churches, i.e. Pentecostals, Baptists, etc. the ones that I have personal knowledge of).

When I was de-converting, I had a very personal heart to heart talk with my brother, who is still a pastor. I asked him a very broad and leading question......"What is the most important thing in life; what is the most important message from God?"

His answer knocked my over! I thought he would say Love (which even the scriptures proclaim as 'The Greatest' in I Corinthians).

He said, without hesitation or a moment of thought......'RIGHTEOUSNESS'!

WTF? I had no words, I was blown away. A man who had spent the better part of his adult life in Christain Ministry, still felt like a 'worm' who was unworthy and trying to be accepted by God, by being 'good enough'....Righteous!?

That was the day that I decided I would find Truth and I had to look somewhere else. My brother's Truth was a death sentence!

Thank you for bringing this issue up in such a concise and cogent manner. Great thinking and Tremendous writing!

You deserve the "EXIE" Award!!!!! My vote goes to Fuego!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Fuego -

You deserve the 2009 "EXIE" Award! (Ex-Christian's version of an Academy or Pulitzer Prize).

You have diagnosed the core of the problem (at least for Fundamentalism based churches, i.e. Pentecostals, Baptists, etc. the ones that I have personal knowledge of).

When I was de-converting, I had a very personal heart to heart talk with my brother, who is still a pastor. I asked him a very broad and leading question......"What is the most important thing in life; what is the most important message from God?"

His answer knocked my over! I thought he would say Love (which even the scriptures proclaim as 'The Greatest' in I Corinthians).

He said, without hesitation or a moment of thought......'RIGHTEOUSNESS'!

WTF? I had no words, I was blown away. A man who had spent the better part of his adult life in Christain Ministry, still felt like a 'worm' who was unworthy and trying to be accepted by God, by being 'good enough'....Righteous!?

That was the day that I decided I would find Truth and I had to look somewhere else. My brother's Truth was a death sentence!

Thank you for bringing this issue up in such a concise and cogent manner. Great thinking and Tremendous writing!

You deserve the "EXIE" Award!!!!! My vote goes to Fuego!

XPD (Ex-Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Christians know that the god of the bible is negative and abusive. In fact, in order to put a more positive spin on it, they even changed the hymn you quoted in the Southern Baptist Hymnal back in the 1980's.

What was:

“Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?”

Became,
“Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For a sinner such as I?”

Why did they make the change? They knew that the song fostered "low self-esteem" in christians and sought to have the offensive lyric changed.

The change was only cosmetic however. And, it didn't do much good. By the mid-1990's the dark cloud of fundamentalism had completely swallowed the SBC whole. But, that's another story.

webmdave said...

You hit so many nails on the head I can't see metal.

Well said!!

Howie

webmdave said...

I believe Christians think their ticket to Heaven has been punched. Therefore, they don't want to "jeopardize" the eternal paradise they believe they have coming. I believe that is why many refuse to listen to criticisms of their faith. If people of the Christian faith were so dogmatic over the centuries that they would kill others who opposed their beliefs, it is not surprising that many people would refuse to listen to criticisms now.

webmdave said...

Nah -- you know the drill....

God
'
'
'
Bible
'
'
'
Church
'
'
'
Husband
'
'
'
Wife
'
'
'
Kids


Obviously, I lose.

Except I win, don't I?

webmdave said...

"Old Testament" God's record as CEO (according to Christian tradition):

Lucifer (the #2 in Heaven) led a revolt and took 1/3 of the angels with him. This supposedly happened before the earth was created, so this clearly shows evil existed before we did. You would think God would know what would happen if Lucifer were put on the earth with innocent humans.

Lucifer deceived mankind on earth and all of the earthly creation fell.

God destroyed the world by flood and killed all but the 8 folks on Noah's Ark. No telling how many people and animals were killed.

God confused the languages of mankind when they built the tower of Babel.

Untold numbers (maybe 2+ million) or people and countless animals have been killed when God got angry (totals do not include the Great Flood).

That is a pretty sorry track record for the "Old Testament" God.

As Donald Trump would say, "You're Fired".

webmdave said...

I have had thoughts along this line for some time, but Fuego did a terrific job of putting them into words. Knowing that we cannot controvert victims thinking I reasoned that whatever techniques professionals have developed for dealing with Stockholm Syndrome should apply in the case of rescuing victims of an abusive religious situation. I found this very illuminating article:

http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/stockholm/index.html

I know a couple of people who follow exChristian are counselors so perhaps they can comment or add any other thoughts. For myself, I think the advice in this extensive article should receive wide distribution in the groups who are fighting to reduce the negative consequences of organized religion.

I extracted a portion of Fuegos post and published it with my comments here:

http://www.endhereditaryreligion.com

Believing as I do that prevention is better than cure, I am striving to understand the phenomenon of childhood religious indoctrination to work out some antidotes of my own. One of my weapons in this fight is to refer people to this web site and many others like it to show parents what ultimate consequences their decisions to consign their toddlers to a religion may have.

This site is a tremendous resource to aid people who have escaped and those who are desperate to find a way out of the trap. Now I find it a valuable resource to persuade parents not to trap their children in the first place.