One of the saddest questions I see in the search logs is:
I have ____________________. Is God punishing me for my sin?
In today’s search logs someone who has fibromyalgia asked this very question.
If a person believes the Bible, as written, the answer to this question is Yes. God does afflict people because of their sin. God maims, sickens, and kills people on a routine basis. The Old Testament is a written record of God using affliction and destruction to either make a point or to get someone to do what he wants them to do. God is definitely a hands on kind of God, punishing sin to the third and fourth generation.
According to the Bible, God doesn’t a-l-w-a-y-s afflict people because of sin. Sometimes God afflicts people so they will be stronger or so HE will be glorified.
Christians believe God is the creator of the universe and that God is in complete control of his creation. So when a person is afflicted, God is behind it. To punish you, to teach you, to make you stronger, or because he gets a perverse form of glory when he afflicts you.
This is one of the reasons I am no longer a Christian. What kind of God operates in this manner? Of course, I am sure someone will tell me……who are YOU to question God’s work?
Not only am I questioning God’s work, I am accusing God of crimes against humanity. If a human being did to another human being what God does to human beings, they would be tried before a world tribunal and sentenced to death.
Better to believe that shit happens in life. People get sick, crippled, and die. Through genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices people are afflicted with all kinds of diseases. In many cases, these diseases are what will eventually kill us.
Better to believe this is how life is than to believe there is a God in Heaven set on afflicting you for your sin, because you need to be made stronger, or he needs some glory.
The liberal Christian is likely to scream foul and say, G-A-W-D is L-O-V-E. According to the Bible he IS love but he is ALSO everything I have mentioned in this post. Take off your blinders and read ALL of the Bible. Ignoring vast portions of the Bible that make you uncomfortable or make your God look like a mean, vindictive, son-of-a-bitch, doesn’t change the fact that those portions ARE in the Bible.
If God is unchanging, and Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever, then we must take the Bible as written. Either that or we must admit that the Bible is not a divine book and it is just a work of fiction written by men thousands of years ago.
For most of my life, I lived as a stoic, come what may Christian. No matter what suffering came my way I believed God was either making me stronger or teaching me a lesson. Like Pilgrim on his way to the Celestial City, no matter what came my way, I continued to run the race set before me.
Polly and I are quite matter of fact about life. This drives some people crazy but our Christian past taught us to bear whatever burden came our way. God was faithful, God would never give us more than we could bear, you know all the one-liners Christians quote when their life is a shit-storm.
This kind of thinking can make someone quite passive about life. Since God is behind everything you just keep trusting and believing right up to the moment you draw your last breath. No kicking, no screaming, no defiance……..just a sweet, thank you Jesus, smile as you draw your last breath.
I have come to see that this kind of thinking makes people LESS human. It often robs them of their will, their desire to live. Many Christians are like the Apostle Paul who wished he could die and go to a better place. After all, according to the Bible, this world is such a sinful, wicked place. Death becomes the sweet release.
But what if you are wrong Christian? A little reverse Pascal’s Wager here. What IF this life is all you have? What if death really is the end of it all? Wouldn’t you want to enjoy THIS life to its fullest? Wouldn’t you want to live every moment and every day in such a way that reflects the brevity and finality of life? Instead of living according to the notion that we are most miserable if this is all there is, how about seeing how great a blessing it is to have life, often LONG life, even if there is no afterlife.
Even with all the pain I have to deal with, even with the physical debility I suffer with every day, life is still a blessing. I want to live…….after all what is the alternative?
I am not ready to become worm food. I am not ready for people to say lies about me at my funeral. Oh no, I will not go quietly into the night, I will not stand like a lemming in line waiting for the Wraith to come by and turn me into food.
Life IS worth living and I don’t need the promise of eternal life to make it so.