Saturday, September 15, 2007

Crisis of Faith

I've been struggling with a crisis of faith for some time now. Here's some things that I don't get:

Why is it that if God is all-powerful, that He turns His back on His children? The Bible asks the question, If a child asks his father for bread, will he give him a stone? Sure looks to me like a whole lotta God's children get stones for supper....

Why is it that the Bible says God will heal us, and people believe this through cancer or other disease, and they still die, leaving behind young children and spouses that needed them? Before the person dies everyone involved claims that they've heard from God that they will be healed....and after the person is dead, we're told that they go their "ultimate healing" instead. Well, um, no.....dead people aren't healed. They're DEAD, for cryin' out loud.

The more I live and read and hear and see, the more I feel like the whole God thing is set up to make excuses so that God can always come out on top. God didn't use His love and power to heal your God has a "better" plan and gave you "ultimate healing." God doesn't step in and save his children from poverty, sickness, crime, or torture very often. So, then those people are supposed to thank God for withholding all that power from them and leaving them to suffer. Right.

As I teach my children about Native Americans and early Indian people and we read about the "myths" that they used to explain how and why the world works as it does, I find myself thinking that many of their explanations are just as good, if not better, than what we've got for God.

In the book Blue Like Jazz the author talks about his former perception that Christianity was a bunch of falling apart pieces that the Sunday School teacher tried to hide behind her back with one hand, while doing a felt story board presentation with the other. That's exactly how I feel.

In reading the Bible I see liars, cheaters, and schemers rewarded by God (Sarah and Jacob for two examples), and others left in dire circumstances (Hagar and Ishmael, Esau) even though they did nothing wrong. We see men considered good hosts for offering their virgin daughters to would-be gang rapists. We see God-honoring people left bereft and despondent while God looks the other way for a time, seeming to take for granted the devotion of His followers.

Does this seem loving? Does this seem like a religion you'd really want to sign up for? Does this seem like a situation you really want to get on board with?

I still believe that Jesus lived, died, and rose again. I still believe that the example of the life of Jesus is one worth following. I've got no beef with Jesus. What I can't reconcile is why would I want to worship a God that I constantly have to make excuses for?


Kat said...

I am so with you on this...

Mimi said...

I was thinking about this post yesterday while listening to the Sermon at church - when God tells us to take up our cross and follow him, he never says it will be easy - in fact, he says the opposite. Despite it all, though, he is the source of life, light, and love.

Dollymama said...

Thanks Kat and Mimi.

It's not that I'm expecting it to be easy. It's that I'm trying to reconcile a hodgepodge of pieces of evidence, and be able to make sense out of it.

I understand that we'll all have troubles in this world. I understand that life won't be easy. What I don't understand is why so much of what God is supposed to be (according to the Bible) He doesn't seem to be. I don't understand how we're supposed to believe when we see so many evidences of being alone. Honestly, it seems like a weak, sad little faith if we are constantly having to face being left to our own devices as God withholds His power and love from us, and we have to just accept what we get, shrug our shoulders meekly, and make some sort of excuse so that God comes out smelling like a rose while our lives are in shambles.

Anne said...

Yeah, I've wondered some of the same things. Some of the horrible stories in the O.T. have made me wonder how our God is any different than the way the Muslims portray him. But then I think about Jesus and I know that Christianity is radically different.

I guess for me it comes down to just having faith that God is love and perfect and just. I may not understand it all and some things seem downright wrong and unfair, but God is either what he says he is or we're in big trouble!

I guess we'll all find out after we die!