Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

When good things happen to bad people – wait, what?

18 Comments

Here’s just an assembly of today’s thoughts on God. Very random, not many answers.

God, that’s that big teacher up in the sky, living outside of time, in heavenly Jerusalem, from where he will judge the good and the bad.

But before he judges, he makes sure to be all loving and caring, making us learn. He’s basically the boss teacher. And I have to admit, his style of teaching is unconventional, to say the least.

I have been taught all my life by my dad. My dad’s voice was God’s way of speaking to me. God speaks through dads.

My dad said that bad things happen to bad people. Like tsunamis, or earth quakes, or something like that. And when those things hit, they swipe away only the bad ones. The good ones are taking away into safety by God himself before hand. This always made sense to me.

But then why do bad things happen to good people? And likewise, why do good things happen to bad people?

Imagine there was a really evil man. Let’s go with a pedophile. He meets a woman whom he marries. She’s godly in every way, inward and outward. She possesses all qualities of a P31 woman and she cares for him every day of her life. They have a hand full of kids, all just as godly as the wife, being obedient, cheerful and just overall good kids. A family, who’s just as godly as our first family, lives in the house right next to them. Now one day, the pedophile dad loses his discipline to ignore his sexual preference and goes abusing the godly neighbor’s little boy. What’s up with that? What went wrong? Why are two families being punished when really nobody did anything ungodly?

Imagine being a wife for 5, 10 or even 50 years and you find out you have been lied to all of your life by the person you trust the most. That’s a straight punishment. Imagine one of your kids being hurt or abused by somebody evil. That’s a punishment too. Why does God punish good people?

No worries, we have an answer for that too! It’s because God teaches us. I said before that his methods are a bit unusual. God teaches us by doing bad things to us. He tests us and our faith.

Why does God have to test us when everything, all events of time, are just the way he designed it. If he could foresee everything we’d be, do and have, where’s the need to test?

Why does God make us so we need teaching? I thought creation was good, creation was perfect. After all God is perfect. Why did he make us defect beings who need teaching like a pack of naughty kids? There’s only one answer I can give: God is a mean boy.

He likes watching us suffer, he likes us as defect beings, because that’s the only way we can humour him with our sad attempts to get through life. God used to show that a lot more back in the day, when he ran around punishing people for wearing the wrong pair of shoes, screaming and yelling at them because they weren’t worth a second of his precious time. He would come down and ‘spank’ the humans, because remember? Spanking = love.

That’s really all I’m getting from the God I have been taught to believe in.

It reminds me a bit of ants. Remember playing in the garden, watching an ant colony, deciding to kill one and let the other escape? You would catch some and put them some place else to see where they would do, if they’d make their way back. You kill some random ones to see the reaction of the others. I sometimes feel like God is just a mean boy, enjoying the power he has over a bunch of ants. Would the boy be sad if all ants died? Certainly not.

But then there’s Jesus. He’s so different, no wonder that bunch of spanked kids loved him, viewed him as the Messiah. He is loving, caring, not judging, not punishing. Sometimes I feel like God and Jesus are from two separate religions.

Jesus is really the only reason why I haven’t abandoned religion all together yet.

18 thoughts on “When good things happen to bad people – wait, what?

  1. “Sometimes I feel like God and Jesus are from two separate religions.” Interestingly enough, there were some early Christians who actually believed this. They argued that what was taught by the God of the Old Testament and by Jesus was so different that it could not be from the same God, and that there were therefore actually two Gods, an evil Old Testament God and a good God, Jesus. Of course, this teaching eventually died out through persecution as the orthodox view (that held by Christians today) took over and became dominant.

    One thing I always told myself when trying to figure out what I really did believe is, why would God be bothered by questions? Shouldn’t he WANT us to ask questions and think for ourselves? There is never a problem with questions.

  2. I agree that questions are good and God is not bothered by them. How else are we going to figure out the truth?

    Your views of God as a mean bully are totally understandable considering how you were raised. Your father is mistaken… God does not make bad things happen to bad people and good things to good people. Do logical consequences sometimes work out that way? Of course. (A smoker is more likely to get lung cancer, etc.) But that is a result of living in an imperfect world, not because God is looking down from Heaven just waiting to see who needs punishment. The Bible says He makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust, and Romans 2:4 says it is God’s kindness that brings us to repentance; it doesn’t say anything about God’s punishment.

    I am curious (and if you don’t feel like answering, it’s OK)… what were you taught about grace as a child? I believe God’s grace is something He gives freely, as in He loves us and is willing to forgive us and teach us with mercy and kindness–not punishment. I know some people view grace simply as God’s “empowerment” in the sense that He gives us the strength (i.e. “grace”) to do what He asks, and there is little emphasis on the “free gift” and mercy part.

    I read an article online yesterday that really touched my heart. It is directed to parents, but would be of interest to anyone. You may find it helpful because it talks about how God sees us and treats us. It’s called “If You Want Your Child to Love God, Don’t Go By the Rules” by Sally Clarkson:
    http://www.itakejoy.com/if-you-want-your-child-to-love-god-dont-go-by-the-rules/

    Anyway, hugs to you as you figure all of this out.

  3. Yeah, the old Prosperity Doctrine. Such poison. I don’t think we are able to have any clear interpretation as human beings of the concept of God. In fact the Bible directly implies that. I think that’s a major part of why Jesus came to Earth. He doesn’t replace God by any means. He’s an easier concept to grasp though.

  4. Man, that was just … wow. Great. Thanks.

  5. That is a seriously effed up and totally nonsensical view of God. How do people believe that? Doesn’t everything in them scream for clarity and coherency?

    • I don’t understand anymore either. When the earthquake in haiti happened, I heard some people express that it happened because of the voodoo practiced there. That’s just beyond crazy and ignoring the fact that God supposedly loves children. So many children died there and so many suffered and still do. I’m sure they didn’t do anything wrong. And yet some heartless fundies have the nerves to blame them…

  6. It seems to me that the way you view God is the way he has been “shown” to you not who he really is. I have to say as a follower of Christ it is hard to see how religion corrupts our relationship with God.
    Not everyone who loves God and wants to instill godly living in their children spank. I agree that spanking is confusing and is not a good representation of grace or God. And not everyone believes that the bad things that happen in life are Gods way of teaching us. Bad things happen because we live in an imperfect world. I hope you can see God for who he really is. Keep asking questions and looking for the truth, God likes when we search for him!

  7. I just re-read my comment and I wanted to clarify where I said
    ” as a follower of Christ it is hard to see how religion corrupts our relationship with God.”
    It should say watch not see, because I can clearly see how it happens, it’s hard to watch.

    • It’s just what people make of religion. It’s good to have a group, but when that group dictates you what to think and believe, up to a point where you can’t see any other meaning in the bible than what you’ve been taught to see, it gets tough.
      I do think that you can raise kids to be good, believing and honest christians without spanking. I don’t think that the bible is bad in itself. It’s what some people make of it.
      But for example the fact that this particular movement I was in teaches that women don’t have the ability to have a connection to god but need a man to do that for them makes it hard to develope a relationship to God. After all, you keep wondering, if I am one of his creations, why won’t he talk to me?

  8. I used to wonder that as well……my story is very different from yours – but there are similarities in it. I think I had to unlearn everything I thought was true about God in order to really learn what is true. God isn’t who I thought he was – and women can talk to him just as much as a man can – Jesus appeared to women after he rose from the grave and told them “tell the guys I’m here” he didn’t appear to the men until later. Why would he do that if women aren’t supposed to hear from him themselves?

  9. I identify so much with this. So much. I love Jesus. I think the Holy Spirit is great. But who even is this Father person? If Jesus is God, then shouldn’t God be Christ-like? So what’s the entire Old Testament about?

    I have a lot of questions without easy answers.

  10. To be honest, Jesus was the only reason I stayed with religion for a long time too. The whole God who punishes stuff didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially compared with Jesus. I think maybe it’s because fathers (who God is supposedly so much like) fail so often. I don’t have answers, but I know this: Jesus is love. Period. End. I’ll be praying for you (and all of us reading on here) to help us see His love as the reason to stay with religion; because it’s not about religion or all the rules we’ve always had thrown at us all our lives, it’s about a Carpenter who hung out with whores and diseased people and starving beggars. It’s about a Man who took time for kids and treated blind and sick people with respect. It’s about Jesus, who thinks you’re worth His love.🙂

    • “it’s not about religion or all the rules we’ve always had thrown at us all our lives, it’s about a Carpenter who hung out with whores and diseased people and starving beggars. It’s about a Man who took time for kids and treated blind and sick people with respect. It’s about Jesus, who thinks you’re worth His love.”
      That’s a pretty epic comment, love it!

  11. Pingback: The Effects Of Spanking Part 4 | Why Not Train A Child?

  12. My parents didn’t show me who God was. We went to a few different churches. My step mom was legalistic. My dad still smoked and occassionally drank. My mom fiddled around in the idea of religion/spiritualism, particularly christianity. None of my family life taught me Jesus though. I went to public school all my life (trust me you didn’t miss anything) and found my own way. I finally came back to God calling me and after a few weeks after getting into church it was through a girl there that inadvertantly showed me what God wanted with humanity,, with me. It was “Sweetest Day”, a casual type of Valentine’s day for friends and romantics alike, that we celebrate in the northern part of the States. I had previously been in a wrong type of relationship with a guy for 7 years, living together. We had spent every Sweetest Day together and this was my first without him. We had only been broken up about a month so the pain was fresh in my heart. The girl at church, who I had just become friends with, gave me a card with scripture on it and she wrote that God had laid me on her heart. I opened the card as we sat in the pew listening to the sermon and afterward as we walked into the foyer I told her that, that card was just what I needed on today of all days, Sweetest Day. She said “It’s Sweetest Day today?” God became very personal and loving to me that Day. It was beyond any teaching I had received from my step mom when she would simply comment “That’s the devil’s music” whenever I was changing radio stations and stopped on one that wasn’t christian. I follow Jesus because He loves me and I love Him, and He makes sense to me.

    • As I finish reading the rest of your post and I get to the spanking part I am reminded of a post of yours that I read earlier about the Song Of Soloman and whether all books in the Canon are literal or if some are metaphorical. I belong to a christian parenting group called Gentle Christian Mothers and we believe those verses in Proverbs about the rod are metaphors about mentoring and leading a na’ar (an older child of pre marital age), which is the original word, and have NOTHING to do with hitting. I have had the same concerns about what spanking teaches kids about the nature of God. Most christians I know spank, and believe in punitive punishments, sadly. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. It has nothing to do with what we have done personally. Sure there are natural consequences of ungodly behavior, but even then sometimes God excersizes His mercy on us. God wants a passionate, loving relationship with us, not just obedience. He wants our obedience to be a natural part of our love for Him, not something we do just because we’re supposed to.

  13. Dear Lisa, I am not a blogger and stumbled across yours by accident. I have found your tale riveting and your courage in sharing it to be extraordinary. I love your questioning spirit. On many levels I cannot exactly relate to your experiences as my own are so much different. I grew up (I m 56) in an atheist, feminist household and you would probably find me to be a very aggressive woman ( all true I am afraid). But I have become a Christian in my adulthood. The Christianity I have experienced bears no resemblance to that you grew up in, which is heartbreaking to me.

    If you would like to get a feel for my experience of the faith, get a copy of Love Wins by Rob Bell. This would be worthwhile also because you are questioning the meaning of the word Love and how to put it into practice. Given your experiences I would not blame you for leaving Christianity behind altogether but if you are still struggling with this and could use some encouragement not to abandon it this might be beneficial.

    You know, I think Love, whether God’s Love, sexual love, familial love, or any other kind, is neither a feeling nor actions exactly. Because both are required. If we feel love but never express it through action, does it really exist in the world? If it is only in our hearts, it dies with is. But when love is put into action in the world it can take on a life of it’s own. When we put our sexual love to practice we bond with a mate and have children who outlive us. When we put family love into practice we strengthen our loved ones, and through ‘love’s dividend’, that love is multiplied and returned to us. And when we put God’s Love into practice, we care for and nurture all we meet as if they were ourselves. Put all of that together and that is really what God’s Love is about.

    Re old vs. new testament. Part of my belief system is to believe in the continuity of Old and New Testaments, but with a twist. The old testament is ancient indeed, much of it predating recorded history. The earlier parts pertain to a time of a primitive, nomadic people. Settled communities were just starting up and sadly were mostly headed by powerful, brutal despots in societies where human life was cheap. No wonder the morality represented in this part of the bible seems harsh. I suspect I wouldn’t last a day in that world. Ask yourself, could the message Jesus brought have been understood at that time? I don’t think so. I don’t think much of his message was understood when he did live, and maybe we don’t understand it yet. But I will say this. From ancient times onward, peoples of the Judeo-Christian world have been distinguished from others as a moral people, and morality ( what is left of it anyway) today is almost exclusively derived from this belief system. That is an amazing thing in itself. Just to give you one small example, pedophilia has been taboo in Jewish culture (it has always been considered wrong for a child under 13 to have sexual intercourse or ‘be taken to wife’) as long as there has been a ‘Jewish Tradition’ and this is one of their great moral gifts to the rest of the world, although it literally took thousands of years more for this ‘value’ to become more universally accepted.

    With love,

    Elizabeth

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