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Does God Always Take Care of His Children?

starving child

We get to choose if we participate in a recession or not. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, listen, either you believe that your Father is the King—you know, just like David said, ‘In all my years, I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.’ Either we believe this or we don’t. And here’s the thing: I’m standing on God’s Word that all 7,000 promises that He has for us are true.

Mike Signorelli, pastor of V1 Church in New York City, Charisma News, Pastor: Christians Get to Choose Not To Participate in a Recession, March 25, 2020

Evangelicals desperately need to believe that their version of the Christian God has everything under control; that Jesus is Johnny-on-the-spot; that whatever is befalling the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world, True Christians® will either be exempt from what other people are facing or their God will meet their every need. This thinking is reinforced Sunday after Sunday by countless Evangelical preachers, teachers, and parents. “The Bible says in Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” preachers thunder. “No matter what happens, blessed God, Jesus means it for our good!” As always, God is given a pass for the bad stuff that happens in the lives of believers. God can never do bad things, thus the bad things that do happen — and EVERY Christian has bad things happen to them — are actually GOOD things! As with many things related to religion, Evangelicals deny reality. Have a loved-one contract the COVID-19 virus and die? Praise God, that’s a good thing! Never mind the fact that they left people who love them behind or died way too young or soon, God meant it for good. Since his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways, (Isaiah 55:8,9) and he is the potter who made and formed the clay (Romans 9), who are we to object or complain when loved ones reach their appointed time of death and die? Besides, the dead are no longer suffering and are now leisurely relaxing with Jesus, Paul, Peter, Mary, Grandma, Grandpa, and a host of other likeminded people in Heaven. (Even though the Bible does NOT teach this, most Evangelicals believe the moment a believer dies she is transported to Heaven, into the presence of Jesus and the saints.) No matter the circumstance, God is praised and glorified. Evangelicals who can no longer profess fealty, loyalty, and devotion to the “God is good all the time, all the time God is good” deity either suffer in heartbreaking agony and silence or seek out churches where people embrace reality; people who admit that bad things happen to good people; that, for one and all, shit happens. For some hurting Evangelicals, the disconnect between the “good” God and reality is so great that they leave Christianity altogether.

In the quote above, Pastor Mike Signorelli repeats a common lie promoted by Evangelical preachers. King David said in Psalm 37:25, ” I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Evangelicals are the “righteous” in this verse, and according to an aged David, he has never seen God’s chosen people forsaken or begging for food. To that I say, “David, you need to get out more.” Even in David’s time, God’s people suffered deprivation. Numerous Old Testament Bible verses speak to the fact that God had abandoned his people. In the New Testament, even Jesus himself says, “my God, my God, why have you FORSAKEN me?”

Reality tells us that Evangelicals suffer heartache and loss just like the rest of us do. The difference being, of course, is that unbelievers don’t expect a deity to magically rescue them or meet their needs. As an atheist, I have no promise that tomorrow will be better than today. I embrace each day as it comes, knowing that it could be my last. And someday, sooner rather than later, it will be my last day above ground. Before then, who knows what may happen in my life, and the lives of my wife, children and grandchildren? I don’t want any of the readers of this blog to become infected with the COVID-19 virus and die, but I know it could happen. A year ago, blog reader and dear friend Steve Gupton dropped dead at age fifty-one from a massive heart attack. (Please see The Suddenness of Death.) I still haven’t gotten over Steve’s death. Over the past decade, several readers have died. Others have endured awful tragedies and illnesses. Life can be, and is, a real bitch.

I know that countless Christians need the escapism that Evangelical theology provides. Life is hard and uncertain. Most people want certainty and promises of a better tomorrow and life beyond the grave. For atheists, agnostics, and other nonbelievers, all we can do is face life head-on and deal with what comes our way. Harsh, to be sure, but people who live in the present have no other choice but to embrace life as it is.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    I have seen an upswing in the number of social media posts from evangelicals talking about how God is going to take care of everything and that we should give glory to God. They post photos of nurses praying before their shift (yeah, because they don’t have enough PPE and they are scared). Others are flat out denying that the media is lying and things aren’t so bad. Living in the epicenter by NYC I don’t hesitate to tell them his my health care professional friends are talking about the hospitals being a war zone, not enough supplies, some hospitals are turning away patients because they are at capacity – can you imagine having a heart attack and your nearest hospital is full? NYC is using refrigerated trailers as temporary morgues. So don’t tell me the media are lying. And others are complaining about the government curtailing their constitutional rights. Listen, your constitutional rights to assemble at church and go to your favorite boutique do not supercede my rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. (What I find interesting is many of these folks love Trumo but are terrified of government taking their rights away).

    I get that people are scared, but it still boggles me that in 2020 with all our technological advances, people still believe in invisible deities to save or punish them, and they do special chants and incantations and offer sacrifices just like our ignorant ancestors did. It all comes out even more in a pandemic.

    • Avatar
      Karen the rock whisperer

      “Others are flat out denying that the media is lying and things aren’t so bad”
      Others are flat out declaring that the media is lying and things aren’t so bad’?

      I think I know what you meant. but just making it clear.

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      I hear you. In the 21st century, we still have to tell people to wash their hands with soap and water after they wipe their asses. Now, everyone’s life is dependent on hand washing. This is where we’re at, with a moron at the helm of the ship.

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    Brian Vanderlip

    My older bro is an evangelical proselytizer and likes to say ALL news is lying because they all have their own or owned views. For him this is saying that the Bible is the real truth, the real news and he is proud to shout it.
    No matter what happens, even after a few hundred thousand Americans are dead, he will still stand with Trump. Belief is a virus that meshes/works with Covid-2 to destroy us. Facts do not matter: Fantasy rules.
    ‘It’s going to be great, really great, the best you’ve ever seen!’
    Belief prevents an otherwise normal person from seeing that the above bullshit blather from the president’s pie-hole is nonsense, bald lie number 6,658… Instead of telling him to shut his pie-hole, they nod and fall headlong into lah-lah, applauding idiocy.
    Wash your hands, try not to touch your face. Stay two meters away from others. Be kind.

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    Barbaa L. Jackson

    God is an excuse. This concept keeps us from taking responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones. The problem is we need to both enjoy life now as much as possible because there may be no tomorrow. The other problem is making reasonable plans for the future. A good example is Finland, which is considered one of the happiest place on the planet. However, after the cold war was over Finland did not get rid of it’s emergency supplies in it’s warehouses and it is doing better in with COVID-19 supplies for hospitals, and average people hoarding.

    Thank you
    Barbara L. Jackson

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    Yulya Sevelova

    It’s taken me a while to figure out that most of not all promises in the Bible were meant for only the person and that time they lived in, like King David saying he never saw the righteous begging for bread. Maybe he never did. Most people in that part of the world were poor,and at times were forced to beg. I think now that David’s promises were just for him, in that era he lived in.

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      Pretty much. More or less from 1 Cor 1:22, ‘the Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom’. The Israelites reflect God’s physical people, so the reference to David would reflect physical food, but for the gentiles it would be spiritual food that the righteous never go hungry from. Stuff like the prosperity gospel confuses the two things, at least this is my understanding, fwiw 🙂

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Bruce Gerencser