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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hell: Calling God to Hell
ChristinaMarie
Shipmate
# 1013

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Erin,

I'm glad you agree with the sentiment. I'm not trying to FORCE anyone to change their beliefs, just give reasons why they should consider doing so.

I thought that was bleeding obvious since we're all adults here.

It's not me who is treating people like children here, it's the likes of Ruth who play 'Mommy Protector'. It's very patronising, which is quite ironic, as she and you are obviously seeing me in that way.

People can stick up for and argue for themselves, they are adults. They can choose to accept or reject whatever is posted by whom. They don't need your help to do this.

This is a thread about bringing God to Hell, and He has been accused, by some people.

Okay, this person will try to act in His defence, as I don't think He owns a computer at the moment.

1. God is Love.
2. God cannot lie.
3. God knows what it is like to suffer as a human too, He became one of us, and still is.
4. This planet is under the influence of Satan, as well as God and humans, we are on enemy territory and we need to bear that in mind.
5. The world isn't totally bad, there's a lot of goodness too.
6. If Christians don't understand that we are saints as well as sinners, we can beat up on ourselves too much.
7. If Christians work in charitable work, they should remember people are a mixture of good and bad, and not everybody will thank them for it. In fact, some will take advantage. If you're willing to be manipulated, it won't hurt so much when you are.
8. If your belief system includes 'really bad things like rape can't happen to a Christian' you are unlikely to take protective measures against rape. Don't listen to leaders or Christians who criticise you for lack of faith, coz you want to enroll in a self-defence class.
9. Don't get yourself in a distressed state about the problem of evil. Many philosphers and theologians have failed to work it out, are you so gifted that you can? Better to do something good to overcome evil instead.
10. If you're suffering and you don't know why, keep asking God for answers, and remember that 'all things work for good for those who love God.' It may not make sense to you right now, but try and hold on to this promise and pray about it.

What you choose to do with the above, is up to you, I offer them in hope that some will find them helpful.

Christina

Posts: 2333 | From: Oldham | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I think God is the most intensely interested lurker on these threads.

Kelly! [Not worthy!]

And quite sig-worthy.

Hmmm...wonder what kind of computer She has???

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
Erin,

I'm glad you agree with the sentiment. I'm not trying to FORCE anyone to change their beliefs, just give reasons why they should consider doing so.

I thought that was bleeding obvious since we're all adults here.

It's not me who is treating people like children here, it's the likes of Ruth who play 'Mommy Protector'. It's very patronising, which is quite ironic, as she and you are obviously seeing me in that way.

Did it ever occur to you, dearie, that maybe, JUST MAYBE, people on this thread are feeling a little too fragile to tell you to fuck off when you tell them that they're not trying hard enough to be good Christians? That all they EVER hear from their church is the same unadulterated horseshit that you are vomiting onto the boards? That they would like to be able to come to a place and once, just once, not have smarmy responses along the lines of "buck up, God CAN'T be the problem" which contains the unspoken, but nonetheless EVER PRESENT "so it must be you, you loser"?

Jesus H Christ, can't you just let people feel some fucking PAIN without having to have all the goddamned ANSWERS?

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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quote:
ChristinaMarie typed something remarkably similar to:
People have the right to post what they want, and I have the [right] to respond, if I want to. I will not be censored.

Well, technically, I could censor everything you posted on this thread, at least temporarily. So you probably meant "I should not be censored", because that is much closer to the truth - if we leave arguments about the value of your posts aside. All I'm trying to point out here is that, from a certain point of view, you were actually speaking UNtruths there - commonly referred to as lying.

As you can see, it's purely a matter of how liberal the observer wants to be with what you said/did. Maybe, with just this speck of perspective, you might grasp how someone could use this interpretive power to express frustration.

Or, maybe not. I am, after all, generally The Devil's Advocate.

Oh shit! Did I just admit to working for the Devil? Damn. I think I did. Oh well, the cat's out of the bag. Yeah, Satan is my boss. My whole mission, as appointed by Satan, was to make you look like an idiot. I thought it was a no-brainer, all things considered, but then I had to go and mess things up. I hope I don't get demoted back down to making tyres go flat again - that job blows.

Posts: 15274 | From: Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChristinaMarie
Shipmate
# 1013

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Erin,

Don't read into my posts your own feelings. When I say the problem is with you, I'm not at the same time saying people are losers, or even sinners, or anything like that at all.

If someone wants a solution to a problem, they have to look in the right places. It is a bedrock Christian belief that cannot lie, be unjust, etc.
If a person can accept that, they are then free to think about all the crap they've been fed in church, and start rejecting it.

Why don't you wait for some others to respond to my latest post, instead of playing Mother Protector? Stop patronising them. Are you a Socialist or something? You're acting like one.

Christina

Posts: 2333 | From: Oldham | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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No, I am someone who's had a couple of offline conversations with some of the people who have posted on this thread. They have found your posts to be unhelpful at best and damaging at worst but aren't up to telling you to shut the fuck up. Not everything that gets posted here has to be solved, you know, so you can take a night off from the messianic complex. The world will still turn, cross my heart.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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ChristinaMarie, go read the Old Testament. Then go read Hebrews 11. Then come back and tell me that good people aren't allowed to get good and mad at God.

Sometimes it seems like I spend half my life trying to get people in my church to realize that Christians are allowed to be real people with real emotions. Where did you get the hell-spawned, bullshit idea that God is worried about us insulting him in our pain? What kind of minor-league god are you dealing with anyway?

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

Posts: 9515 | From: Southern California | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Eanswyth

Ship's raven
# 3363

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Did it ever occur to you, dearie, that maybe, JUST MAYBE, people on this thread are feeling a little too fragile to tell you to fuck off when you tell them that they're not trying hard enough to be good Christians? That all they EVER hear from their church is the same unadulterated horseshit that you are vomiting onto the boards? That they would like to be able to come to a place and once, just once, not have smarmy responses along the lines of "buck up, God CAN'T be the problem" which contains the unspoken, but nonetheless EVER PRESENT "so it must be you, you loser"?

Jesus H Christ, can't you just let people feel some fucking PAIN without having to have all the goddamned ANSWERS?

Since Erin brought it up, stuff it, ChristinaMarie. [Mad] I have spent my whole fucking life trying to feel what someone else tells me how to feel, and I really wish you would just shut up about it. If you could get off your damned pretentious pedestal for 10 seconds, you might realize that we’re actually fairly smart and actually KNOW ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE SAYING. But, and try to listen very carefully so as not to get confused, just because I know something intellectually and believe it to be true, that doesn’t mean that it feels true. I know God loves me. I believe God loves me. But it sure as shit doesn’t FEEL like He loves me. It feels like He doesn’t give a flying fuck about me. Do you understand? Because, frankly, I don’t care if you understand. If you don’t like reading people’s real heart-felt pain, DON’T READ THE THREADS. Easy-peasy. [Roll Eyes]
Posts: 1323 | From: San Diego | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Amos

Shipmate
# 44

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Christina Marie, you get the Eliphaz the Temanite Award for not saying the things that are right as God's servant Job has. Particularly for the remark that since the great theologians and philosophers have failed to resolve the problem of evil, the posters on these boards shouldn't trouble their scabby little heads with it but should just get out there and join a church group. You also get a collectible Medal of Mani for the thick smear of gnosticism over your argument. And you say others are condescending! God can defend Himself. What is more, He would rather be assaulted by the accusations of those who love him and won't let go of him even in their grief and rage ('Lord, if thou hadst been here our brother would not have died!') than praised with bullshit.

--------------------
At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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JimT

Ship'th Mythtic
# 142

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When you believe, or have been told, that God is in charge of everything, it is natural to blame God when tragedy occurs. It is also natural to become even more enraged that God does not step in and end the suffering.

For me, when I reached that point, I had to completely let go of the notion of any God at all. It was the only way to make the rage stop long enough to find out what was really wrong. The truth was horrifying and I had to spend years in therapy dealing with it. In a strange sense, I had to rebuild myself completely without God in order to come to the point where I could appreciate the true nature of Goodness, of Truth, of Love.

I note that at the moment of death, Jesus had to experience total rejection by God. That was the last thing he felt before he died a horrible death. I see a metaphor with that in my own experience, but other people might need to find another way through. Perhaps yelling and screaming at the God they believe in until they can't yell and scream any more will serve the same function. It seems to me that The God Who Could End Your Suffering But Lets It Continue and Compound For Reasons You Will Never Know must die. When He does, the last dumping ground for your anger is gone, and your last hope for a miracle is gone. Now you have to come up with a miracle yourself.

Generally, we suck at making miracles.

But we are capable of them. Luck can turn, too. Without knowing the people here, I believe that they will all find a way through. My hope is that it will be soon and free from any more tragedy.

Posts: 2619 | From: Now On | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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[Not worthy!] Eanswyth.

And JimT --You have no clue how your post made me feel. ChristinaMarie, it's really simple--we just want to know we're not alone.Maybe the methodology is crude, but as scot pointed out, God isn't exactly a wimp with no training in psychotherapy. And when we share our hearts, as yucky as they may be at some times, we're not alone.

Thanks, Jim. I don't feel so alone. [Tear]

--------------------
I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Tau
Shipmate
# 614

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[pastoral psychology 101] Listen. Don't preach.[/pastoral psychology]

And JimT, [Not worthy!]

AW

--------------------
There is no fear in love.

Posts: 191 | From: over here | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Huia
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# 3473

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I have read and re-read the posts on this thread with tears streaming down my face. At present I am having difficulty believing - no stuff that- at present I don't believe in God. I am really depressed and feeling the closest to self harm I've felt in years.

This thread has been helpful because people have been both honest and courageous about their difficulties and I don't feel so alone. Thank-you.

ChristinaMarie - I'm pleased you've found some things that are helpful to you in your situation. I have found your posts to be singularly unhelpful.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

Posts: 10382 | From: Te Wai Pounamu | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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ChristinaMarie, do me a favour, please drop it. Hey look at all the people who have disagreed with you, apologise and drop it. I know what you are/were trying to do was a good thing but you have gone of on a crusade.

I see the sense in all that you have said. I see how you are trying to not only help people and I see where you have come from, how you got where you are and how proud you are, of God and of those who have helped you.

However it is probably not right to A/ tell people they are wrong. B/ tell people THE way forward. There are many paths each has to find their own. Yours would not have worked for me or for many others.

My point, I think is that it is great to tell people how you got out from under (this time) but not so great to tell / expect them to do the same. It just does not work. You may offer hope by showing how you were helped but you may not enforce your regime on others.

And I agree with the vast majority of posters on this thread. There are types of aloneness, forsakenness and anger that are inexplicable, awful, undeserved and seemingly endless. I have been their, God knows I fear any return (…… lead me not into temptation) but as the bizarrely wise JimT implied it seems to me part of the (my) Christian experience. My hope I have clung to has been the cross, for in it lies an empty tomb. I pray for those who feel so broken.

P

--------------------
It is better to be Kind than right.

Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lata
Apprentice
# 2618

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I would rather rant at God than know that He isn't there, and know that the world cannot ever make any sense.

Does that makes sense?

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:

Okay, this person will try to act in His defence, as I don't think He owns a computer at the moment.

Christina

Ah, but surely, as the Psalmist says: 'the computers on a thousands hills are mine, says the Lord,' or was that 'cattle'? Damn, I guess we'll just have to do a bit of discernment ourselves then, without the aid of the internet. Let's hope God can find some way of getting through to us..... [Big Grin]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

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ChristinaMarie:

quote:
9. Don't get yourself in a distressed state about the problem of evil. Many philosphers and theologians have failed to work it out, are you so gifted that you can? Better to do something good to overcome evil instead.
Oh for fuck's sake.

I could spend hours - fruitless, pointless hours, but hours nevertheless pointing out the bullshit in this last post, but never mind eh?

It is exactly because this problem is so intractable that we get into a distressed state about it. If it had a good answer, we'd not have the problem! Comprendez?

Your wonderful insight has so far boiled down to:

* [smarmy grin]God feels far away? Must be you that's moved[/smarmy grin]
* Pretend it isn't happening and think about whiskers on kittens and fluffy bunnies
* Don't worry about things you don't know the answer to.

Exactly how useful do you possibly imagine this could be?

--------------------
Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
I am really depressed and feeling the closest to self harm I've felt in years.

Please don't hurt yourself, Huia. You matter!!!

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Originally posted by Anselmina:
Ah, but surely, as the Psalmist says: 'the computers on a thousands hills are mine, says the Lord,' or was that 'cattle'?

Oh, that's it--God must use a Gateway computer, with the fetching cow pattern on the box! [Wink]

Damn, I guess we'll just have to do a bit of discernment ourselves then, without the aid of the internet. Let's hope God can find some way of getting through to us..... [Big Grin]

I'd settle for "one rap for yes, 2 for no"!

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Christina, I'm not trying to play Mother Protector for adults. I'm saying you're dead wrong and insulting, to boot. I've felt the way Nunc and others on this thread are feeling - God be praised, that's not the case right now - and if I had had to listen to your particular brand of crap it might very well have made things worse. The bullshit you're perpetrating helped keep me out of the church and away from God for the better part of a decade.

Have you noticed that no one has said, "Gee, Christina, that was very helpful"? Whereas several people have said it's not. So get a tiny clue and stop being such an idiot.

Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Jesus H Christ, can't you just let people feel some fucking PAIN without having to have all the goddamned ANSWERS?

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]

"Weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn," as I recall... not "tell them that they're wrong yet again" ...

David
happens to be an economic Socialist himself, actually, but fails to see the connection

also wonders, what the HECK does the H stand for?

also glad Huia knows she (he?) is not alone too...

--------------------
My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
...snips a bit... Not everything that gets posted here has to be solved, you know, so you can take a night off from the messianic complex. The world will still turn, cross my heart.

But Erin, if the question can't be solved, then the error is in the question itself, not in the solution. [Wink] [Wink] and then a [Razz] to those who won't let people rant

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

Posts: 5025 | From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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But I didn't say can't be solved, I said it didn't have to be solved.

--------------------
Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
auntbeast
Shipmate
# 377

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Posted by Huia
quote:
At present I am having difficulty believing - no stuff that- at present I don't believe in God
I have also felt that way (and go in and out of it on a fairly regular basis). Several years ago I got the worst case of "God does not exist and this is all just crap" that I have ever had. It was the scariest thing I have ever experienced (and that's saying something given some of my job responsibilities). I am not entirely sure what turned the tide and got me back to "God exists so what the hell does it matter to me" and then onto "God exists and pisses me off repeatedly" and sometimes onto "God exists and is very large and powerful and I want to find a way to tap into that". Some of the things that I think helped were taking some time off work, getting more active, changing diet, and spending some time meditating (well, doing relaxation. I realize meditating while being absolutely convinced there is no God is a little contradictory). I don't know you so don't know if any of this is helpful at all. If it is not, please simply ignore me.

I hope that for you too this will be a passing season and if you are close to harming yourself please consider some intervention at a mental health level, whether medication or hospital. Not believing in God does not necessarily preclude continued life, there are many happy atheists out there too.

As for the OP, I have not had the energy of late to come up with a really creative rant at God and have really been enjoying other people's thoughts and rants. Some days the psalms just seem so antiquated.... "miserable squirming GIT of a being-creator-of-the-universe" seems much more relevant to me. Someday I hope to use it in conversation.

Hang in there to all. It's nice to know we are not alone in this.

All good things,
Auntbeast

--------------------
"My vices are the children of a forced solitude that I abhor; and my virtues will necessarily arise when I live in communion with an equal" - Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

Posts: 820 | From: Vancouver, Canada | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Originally posted by auntbeast:
and spending some time meditating (well, doing relaxation. I realize meditating while being absolutely convinced there is no God is a little contradictory).

Depends on the style of meditation. Many don't focus on any deity at all--much of Buddhist meditation doesn't.

Some days the psalms just seem so antiquated.... "miserable squirming GIT of a being-creator-of-the-universe" seems much more relevant to me. Someday I hope to use it in conversation.


Presumably to the Git in question? [Two face]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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I've had my share of strong reactions and hatred of humans and omniscient beings. I think it does a person well to remember that hate and love are sides of the same coin.

Our passionate reactions (be they positive or negative) say a lot about what we consider important--important enough to become angry about.

If it's any help at all to those who are currently having a crisis of faith, know that by investing so much of yourself in the anger, you are actually investing yourself in a relationship. I can't imagine this goes unnoticed by God.

I also know the same principles apply to human relationships. When we care enough to get really p*ssed, we care about something. Sometimes it's good to stop and think about what is underneath the anger. I may get knocked on the virtual head of my avatar for this, but I happen to believe it's true. Our passions inform us if we care to look inside them. Or at least, this is how it has worked for me.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

Posts: 5887 | From: the US Heartland | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Golden Key
Shipmate
# 1468

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Yes, Sabine.

Hence the usage "I don't give a damn" for "I don't care".

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
KenWritez
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# 3238

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ChristinaMarie: Perhaps the following will help you understand what people are meaning when they're posting angrily on this thread to you:

A few years ago I had to change the bandages on the head of my 81 yr old Dad, who, unbeknownst to us, was to die a few months later.

He had spent his life outdoors as a large animal vet and general manager for our family's dairy; consequently, he later developed several skin cancers on his head from decades of unprotected exposure to the sun.

Those cancers had been excised, the skin cut out around them, all the way down to the white bone of the skull, the largest of the excisions the diameter of a golf ball.

The dressings had to be changed every day. The procedure was simple: Soak the bandage with warm water in the shower, or with sterile saline solution for several minutes, so as to help soften and weaken the bonds formed between the healing wound and the fibers of the bandage.

Once the soaking was done, we had to very carefully remove the adhesive tape holding the bandage on, then peel back the bandage, gummy strands of clotted blood cells and serum and white cells requiring delicate handling, to expose the wound.

Throwing the old bandage away, we irrigated the wound with more saline solution, Dad holding a towel to his face to prevent the solution from dripping into his eyes or ears.

Peeling off a fresh bandage, we gently placed it over the wound, then oh so carefully taped it at the very corners so to keep it on Dad's head.

The kicker to this ostensibly simple procedure is that Dad had hives on his head, a condition that magnified every pain on his scalp a thousandfold.

Now, you should know my Dad had been around pain and hard work all his life, he was no stranger to it. You get that way being raised on a dairy during the Depression and working 10, 12, 14 hours a day with your brothers when you're not in school, up at 4 a.m every day and not in bed 'til after sunset. He's dug birdshot out of his ear with his own pocket knife when he was accidentally shot while out hunting. He was, absolutely without exaggeration, one of the toughest men I've ever seen.

The times I had to replace his bandages, I could feel his shoulders shake with pain, and I could hear him gasp and moan, "Oh shit, oh shit that hurts, ohshitohshitohshit...."

At that point, at that point of his greatest pain, (and here's what would behoove you to grasp) he did not need a lecture on pain management skills!

When people are in pain, the very knowledge you feel they lack is the very last thing they need from you.

When people are suffering in front of you, Rule #1: Shut the fuck up. Rule #2: People don't care what you know. Rule #3: People need your heart, not your head.

My Dad did not need me telling him to buck up and cheer up. He needed me to be as gentle as I could, which I was, to do the job as quickly as I could, which I did, and to let me know he appreciated my act of love to him, which he said.

People in pain don't give a rat's ass what they ought to do, should do, or where they've gone wrong in their theology or worldview.

People in pain want to be out of pain immediately. Sometimes, "immediately" isn't an option.

People in pain need to be loved sacrificially, unconditionally accepted, they need to know YOU are there with them, YOU, you as in your heart and soul and spirit, NOT your lectures or good advice. They know you can't take away their pain, that's not the point! The point is that you give of the one thing no one else can duplicate: Yourself, your essence, your identity as a fellow human and fellow sufferer.

Every atom of lecture or pedantry you deign to give them is magnified through the terrible lens of suffering into one more metric ton of shit and suffering dumped on them by your well-meaning hand.

CM, I quite like your posts in other threads, so please accept my explanation that I'm not trying to jump up and down you with hob-nailed boots; tuly, I'm not. My purpose in posting is to try and explain to you that your posts, though well intentioned and technically true, were the equivalent of sticking your finger bluntly into a raw and open wound.

Speak the truth in love, yes, but also know when to shut up in love. Save the lectures for debates or when someone asks you. It's a lesson most of learn imperfectly, me most imperfectly indeed.

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Huia
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# 3473

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quote:
Originally posted by auntbeast:
Not believing in God does not necessarily preclude continued life, there are many happy atheists out there too.
Auntbeast

Auntbeast, you chose your ship name well - that is one of the most comforting things anyone has said, not because I will necessarily become an atheist, but because it takes some pressure off.

Thankyou. I will keep myself safe.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Eanswyth

Ship's raven
# 3363

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O Dear God, thank you for Ken, my brother whom I love greatly. His words have touched me most deeply. Please give me a portion of the compassion and wisdom you have given him.

P.S. God, I'm still mad, but I love You anyways.

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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Kenwritez, [Not worthy!]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Linus
Apprentice
# 3961

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The issue here is not one of depression, or feeling unhappy, or even how to feel happy again. It's deeper than that. It's about being real. It's about wanting a relationship with God that's more about honesty than it is about putting up the right front. It's about crying out in our despair to the God of love and justice, asking Him to hear us and answer us, challenging him to comfort us, not manufacturing by our own strength a false belief in A god like that, but calling on THE God like that to hear us in our desperation, to respond to us in our pain, even when we feel He is not there, or not like that, or just plain not interested. I often struggle to act according to what i truly feel instead of what i think i should be - i find it hard to be vulnerable even before God. Please give those who have the courage and the need to be real with God in public the chance to do so - I for one have found their honesty cathartic, inspiring and uplifting. Do not "add heavy burdens to people's backs, while not lifting a finger to help them" I do not claim to understand the experiences of Chronic depression, bipolar, alcohol addiction etc. I thank God for the testimonies of those who have felt and seen God's grace at work in their lives in this way and pray it may continue - thankyou for the encouragement that God does act and help us to change, but this is different - this is pouring out the way we feel before God, not what we SHOULD feel, but what we do feel, in all honesty and openess and brokeness.
Here's mine:

Oh God of the heavens, all knowing one, creator of all things
why is your wisdom so far off
and your salvation so distant from those who seek it? How come my friends don't turn to you, and i'm plagued by confusion and doubt?
what is your defense - nothing makes any sense?
I don't get it.
I want to go home.

...yet i will rejoice in the Lord, the God of my salvation. In Him i will take great delight. Even if i don't feel like it.

God bless you all, and may the God of love shine his light upon you, and lead you in the way everlasting.

Linus:>

sorry didn't mean it to be preachy if that's how it comes across - just strugglin along trying to be helpful as you guys help me so much.

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"In a world full of fugitives, the one taking the opposite direction will appear to run away" - t.s.elliot

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sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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Dear Linus--I know how you feel. It's difficult to express concern and a loving tone in plain text, even with the aid of smileys, and it's easy to look back on one's words and wonder if something can be read into them that wasn't there when they were written.

Something I hope will be of some solace to the people who are suffering on this thread:

The OP was a rant at a God who seems indifferent. So far, this thread has not been indifferent. Some may say there has been some preaching and lecturing, but that is not inidifference.

So, taken as a whole I would say that this thread is doing what some feel God is not doing.

Perhaps we care enough to argue with each other and we care enough to respond.

I pray God's presence be felt soon by those who feel it's absence. It's my belief that God is here among us on this thread.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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I would imagine that I am one of those horrid creatures for whom the great god Christina Marie wishes to offer 'help.' That is why I hate to waste my time, because it may only lead to more posturing.

Well, it all has been enlightening! What a new Christianity! One may not question God, admitting, as centuries of Christians have, that there are many things we cannot understand, many questions for which there are no answers. But be of good cheer - one can actually be God. If one has total control over everything which goes wrong, one must naturally be the creator of one's own universe, where one also has control of everything else. Other people do not have free will - no, the newly created god is responsible for everything.

I have never in my life, for example, heard anything as ludicrous as that anyone thinks that bad things don't happen to Christians - if nothing else, the cross proves that wrong. But I suppose that, if someone was the victim of a criminal attack, s/he must not only take the blame for the other's action, but know that some bizarre thought of being invulnerable caused this.

One may not admit to being a sinner, of course (there go Paul's epistles, the four gospels, and so forth.) But one has a wicked power of conjuring! One's very thoughts cause such things as criminal actions. And of course one is very, very wicked! Those who innocently acted in trying to live the gospels, and who had no idea that another was lying, manipulating, or whatever, chose to be manipulated. We can read minds! We can see inside another's soul! We can know everyone else's motives!

We are perfect! Unlike the true God, who allowed his creation such things as free will, we can control everything. Damn all those sick apostles who cautioned their flocks against sin and encouraged them in persecution! Damn those martyrs who let themselves be manipulated! All they needed was exercise! And damn all of those endless Christians (and not only Christians, of course) who, in admitting that there were no answers to problems of evil and the like, were just deluded. After all, if one admits that there is much one cannot understand, but admits, as well, that this can be agonising, one thinks one is so gifted that one has the mind of God.

Someone else on this thread made an apt reference to John of the Cross. John had more than his share of suffering (he was imprisoned by his own community, for example), but he was not writing of depression. He was writing with the knowledge that much is beyond us. He was not looking to self-mutilate or commit suicide (nor is anyone on this thread, as far as I can see... I don't know where that rubbish came from)! John was not being destroyed - but his false self, admitting that divine power is beyond the limitations of his vision, was being crushed in a sense that the genuine lover of God could come through.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by Newman's Own:

Someone else on this thread made an apt reference to John of the Cross. John had more than his share of suffering (he was imprisoned by his own community, for example), but he was not writing of depression. He was writing with the knowledge that much is beyond us.

<snip>

John was not being destroyed - but his false self, admitting that divine power is beyond the limitations of his vision, was being crushed in a sense that the genuine lover of God could come through.

Newman's Own, I agree with your interpretation of John of the Cross. I've had to be crushed more times than I can say. I think the struggle is worth it, but I have never been able to say this in the midst of the struggle. I guess that's why I look up to John of the Cross.
****
Dear God--May some new aspect of your interest in our lives be made visible to us today, and if that is not possible, may we be strengthened in our resolve to keep knocking at your door.

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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Og: Thread Killer
Ship's token CN Mennonite
# 3200

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
But I didn't say can't be solved, I said it didn't have to be solved.

Agreed Erin; but for those who believe every question must and does have an answer, a conundrum exists when faced with an unanswerable question. Unfortunately, in order to keep their belief system intact, many will say the question is wrong; or, in the face of being told their answer is incorrect, they will insist their must be an answer and blame those who refute their proof for standing in the way.

Being a person involved in community work, I have learned to despise such behaviour. It leads to pat answers and simple programs and meglomaniacs.
I prefer to call such people
[Mad] Bastards.

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I wish I was seeking justice loving mercy and walking humbly but... "Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st."

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Ok, God.

All those cozy promises about providing for and protecting people, and not giving anyone more than they can handle, don't hold water.

Occasionally, they seem to work for *someone*, *some* of the time--but most of the time, it's just crap. [brick wall]

So...

are you erratic?

did you make those promises? If you didn't, why did you let someone write them down in your name, and get our hopes up?

Get down here. You owe us one heck of an explanation! [Mad] [Waterworks]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Lata
Apprentice
# 2618

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I often think that what I think I can handle and what God thinks I can handle are two very different things....

Haven't worked out how to reconcile them...

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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Ken and sabine--wow.I can't come up with anything else [Not worthy!]

And linus, I think you really hit the nail on the head with your post. Thanks for putting into words what i've been sensing about this thread.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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I'm trying to avoid hugging people in Hell, so here is a free coupon for such, to be used on other boards.

Lots of wise things being said about the right ways to deal with people in pain... [Not worthy!]

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

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quote:
posted by golden key:
<snip>
Get down here. You owe us one heck of an explanation! [Mad] [Waterworks]

Hmmm. I like that one, perhaps I'll make it part of my daily prayers (Ok, they're not daily, and they're not usually very prayer-like).
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Newman's Own
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# 420

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I think we forget that God never 'said' such things as "I'll never give anyone more than s/he can handle," nor did he promise to provide for us (in any sense other than salvation and his presence.) Those are popular expressions - nowhere recorded in the scriptures, for example. He did say "I am with you always," but, for all that we believe this, it is small comfort when one is torn by confusion, doubt, pain, or fear.

I believe that, during true faith crises, it is not a matter of saying, "God, you are a liar." Rather, it is "What did you mean? How do I know you? How do I act in order to live as one sanctified?" (No - I do not mean we think we are especially saintly! I mean sanctified by Jesus' Incarnation, resurrection, and ascension.)

One of Francis of Assisi's favourite prayers was "Lord, who are you? Lord, who am I?" It's an interesting prayer.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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Sorry - I forgot an important point. God does not give us suffering. (I do not mean our suffering is not real, nor that it is manufactured by us. What I mean is that God does not directly will suffering, despite all that He permits.) He cannot reveal "I shall not give you more than you can handle," because he did not directly 'give it to us' in the first place.

The struggle often is with "will You please help me? At least inspire me? I have done all I can - and cannot seem to find any solutions."

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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Ophelia's Opera Therapist
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# 4081

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Newman's Own wrote
quote:
I think we forget that God never 'said' such things as "I'll never give anyone more than s/he can handle,"
To contradict, the passage that came to mind was 1 Corintians 10 v 13, though when I looked it up it was more about being tempted beyond what we can bear. But sure enough the Amplified version has it as:

quote:
1 Corinthians 10
13For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [1] adjusted and [2] adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear].

I would say God has tested me beyond my limits, not saying my limits were that high, certainly not compared to the experiences and endurances of others on this thread. [Not worthy!]

The upshot being that I am virtually not speaking to God, out of some childish defiance maybe. Reading this site is about as close as I get to even vaguely Christian activity at the moment but there is something that keeps me curious, willing God to somehow come through for me and prove that he was right all along. (though I shan't admit it easily).

It's not much, but I haven't totally given up yet. Lord have mercy.

--------------------
Though the bleak sky is burdened I'll pray anyway,
And though irony's drained me I'll now try sincere,
And whoever it was that brought me here
Will have to take me home.
Martyn Joseph

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JimT

Ship'th Mythtic
# 142

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This was the way "God won't let the Devil give you more than you can take" was always handed out to me. This is 1 Corinthians 10:13 from the amplified Bible, then the NIV.

1 Corinthians 10

13For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [1] adjusted and [2] adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [3] a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

1 Corinthians 10
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

While this passage seeks to comfort and assure people, it has an unintended flip side that implies if you succumb to despair it is your fault. It paints a picture to some that depicts God as the world's omniscent drill sargeant: he knows you can take more than you think you can and will push you to the limit, which is far beyond what you ever dreamed you could endure. You'll make it. You'll come forth as gold. He is like a refiner's fire. That's God's promise--if you'll believe. Remind yourself of that. He doesn't lie. That should comfort you.

Wrong. While it may bolster some, many deeply despairing people are going to be crushed by that kind of "comfort." It deepens their crisis of faith and confidence, which is the whole problem in the first place. For them, the attempt at encouragement has backfired.

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JimT

Ship'th Mythtic
# 142

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That's a pretty amazing cross post, right down to the translation.

Sorry. I took a long time writing and didn't see the previous post.

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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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To which I would add: Sirach 2 1.7
quote:
1 My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. 2 Set thy heart aright and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. 3 Cleave unto Him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased at thy last end. 4 Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate*. 5 For gold is tried in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. 6 Believe in Him, and He will help thee; order thy way aright, and trust in Him. 7 Ye that fear the Lord, wait for His mercy; and go not aside, lest ye fall.
*some translastions say "humiliated"

There seems an implication that suffering and humiliation are part of a godly life. I would also wish to add that the suffering. Anger, and feelings of forsaken aloneness are the result of many reasons. Some of which are unfathomable. Some of which are due to our own mistakes, sins and pride. John 15 has been a touchstone for me. Knowing that which does not bear fruit is pruned, I may not like it, it is losing part of me but I try and trust Him.

When the cause of the pain is unknowable or unstoppable then comfort, prayers and love must be the right response. In other places and times it is not so. Indeed sometimes one needs to be nasty. It is all about discernment, experience and giftedness for this work.

P

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Pyx_e, funnily enough the bit of John 15 that has been a comfort to me is that every branch that does bear fruit is pruned. For me that is a way of valuing those things I have lost. They were good, and got taken away - not because they were worthless but for reasons I cannot fathom. Recognising that they were valuable helps me in my loss.

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin

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Newman's Own
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# 420

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What follows is dreadful theology, I know, but I cannot be alone in having dealt with this. In fact, I believe that some Christians who end up in cult like settings are trying to find a way to God that involves his helping us, with varied difficulties, here and now.

One element which bothered me especially, particularly during a faith crisis I had as a young woman, was that it appears that God has promised to give us the strength to keep from sin (however much we fall into this - but sin involves turning one's will towards doing the wrong), but has never promised to assist us in temporal needs (by which I do not mean only financial sustenance, but anything else related to 'this world.') I would imagine that, in the time when the epistles were composed, many of the new Christians were in quite a period of confusion themselves. God would give them the strength to continue in their faith... but that very faith caused them every sort of trouble, and the second coming of the Messiah, which would lead to glory for all, was taking its time about coming.

(I blush to even include this, but I think it is a common pain.) One very difficult element is that the other side of this was feeling God does not care about us in our pain here. All we are supposed to care about is not falling into sin, yet many terrible predicaments had nothing to do with sin at all. It practically seemed as if, were we to approach God with our pain, He'd coldly respond with "the only hope that you should have is to see me in heaven." (That line is not original with me, by any means - I shudder to think of some of the times I heard it used.)

Pyx_e makes an excellent point about discernment (etc.). Few of us have that gift, and, more often than not, we do not know the circumstances of another's life (nor are these often apparent at first glance.) Not to mention that our own sinfulness and weakness can blind us - I have seen many an occasion where telling another to 'stop feeling sorry for himself' boiled down to 'look at how much worse I have it!' As another simple example, sometimes people who grew up in extreme poverty assume (without having any knowledge of the struggles another has) that anyone who is not dirt poor has a marvellous life.

I am of southern Italian (peasant) parentage. As a rule, members of that set have a very open, rather homely approach to God - they think nothing of shouting at him (you should have heard mama at dad's funeral), but also talk to him (and to the saints, their 'extended family') in a very warm and confident manner. There is something very 'real' about this that makes God as Father seem very near.

--------------------
Cheers,
Elizabeth
“History as Revelation is seldom very revealing, and histories of holiness are full of holes.” - Dermot Quinn

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sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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I had a hard time knowing where to "prune" a quote from Pix-e's great post, so I didn't prune anything [Smile] and I simply refer back to it.

After many years of intermittant raging at God, I finally adopted an attitude of

This is the life I have, now what am I going to do about it?

By being pragmatic, I took the pressure off me and God at the same time.

I'm not saying this will work for everyone (hey, I don't have 100% satisfaction myself). However, there are a couple of situations in my life which will never change and must be endured, and raging at God was just sucking away energy that I needed to get on with life in general.

Amazingly, once I adopted a more pragmatic attitude, some adaptive behaviors became obvious when they weren't obvious before. And my friends all thanked me for it, too. [Wink]

I'm not saying that we have no right to our feelings or dark nights of the soul or bitter words for God, but I've found there is a lot to be gained by just doing the dishes when other, more important issues don't seem to have answers.
****

May the Healing Light of God illumine all paths in the darkness, all hidden gates in the walls before us, and all opportunities for creative, honest, and passionate communication with The Divine.

sabine

--------------------
"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

Posts: 5887 | From: the US Heartland | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged



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