Image by santacrewsgirl via FlickrBy KSS
Here I am again, after a frustrating Sunday at church, visiting this site to get some strength.
I can't believe I didn't see what a lot of fantasy we believe at church.
We sit there thinking we are the only Christians, we are the only saved, all other churches are in error. We talk about "the truth" as something we own: the truth about life, the truth about God.
I don't want to invoke God's ire. But I do want to understand the truth. We can't see how pathetic we are: a group of Protestants, mostly white, fat and affluent, with our property and our horrible exclusive theology, and our absurdly closed world-view.
We sing songs during Sunday School, including songs of praise to the Bible, "The Word." Then, during the main service we hear a message of "We should," and, "We ought" - because, despite being saved, we're never quite good enough, are we? Got to remain on the worrying edge of our seats -- keep us down. There's a judgment to come and it's soon. Will we be in the Kingdom? Live for the Kingdom!
Meanwhile, the more I read, the more I find that the Old Testament God seems very vicious, giving himself a license to kill:
"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers' wickedness". (Exodus 24)
And with that he approves of the massacre of men, women and children. I just can't get past that problem.
While in the New Testament, I find inconsistent views of God, including Paul in Romans (ch9) who says God can do what He likes with those He created, including killing them, because some were born for destruction. Good grief. But Jesus says we should call God "Dad", Our Father, and that He cares for us. God so loved the world that He gave His only son to die for us. And God stood by while that murder happened. God is rather familiar with murder it seems.
Visceral, visceral, visceral.
Trying to cram a nomadic God-narrative into modern heads takes some doing. But we do it, and it hurts. We have to switch off certain things for it to happen.
Someone on this site said, "Take it easy. It takes time to figure it all out." That was helpful advice.
We have a logic based on fantasy. Father Christmas is harmless - kids figure it out. But religion like this is dangerous - the kids don't figure it out ... not without a lot of trouble.
Within the confines of this thing are security and community and family and friends, many great benefits. It is just so strange and terrible that we should have this "fellowship" around these fantas-tic and awful ideas and this book. Is it possible to find goodness and closeness to a group of people without these beliefs?
I don't want to invoke God's ire. But I do want to understand the truth.
For now, I am keeping secret silence. I have to think about my family. But any tips or books on taking it slowly, are appreciated.