Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Wrestling with God: (Why am I still convinced God hates me?)

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 11.13.08 AMWhile I broke with fundamentalist religion somewhere around 2007, I still struggle.

As any therapist will tell you, old mental habits take a long time to break.

I’ve been reflecting on this lately during some sleepless hours, and have come to accept something: I still believe that God hates me.

I don’t know why. Intellectually, I reject the notion- but I think emotionally I’ve never fully been freed from it.

I’ve always seen Jesus as being good, loving and accepting… but God? My inner concept of God still sees him as an all-powerful being that is infinite at everything- including being pissed off.

I get that Jesus and God are harmoniously alike, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. Even looking at the cross under old paradigms of thinking, I still see a Jesus who is dying to protect me from his angry dad- letting dad beat him mercilessly so that I can run out of the room to safety.

I’m realizing that this paradigm of thinking doesn’t work for me anymore, and that it’s internal blasphemy against a loving God. It’s caused me to actually want to run from God, because who wants to run towards someone who hates you with every fiber of their being?

What’s even worse, it causes me to see every negative thing that happens in life as being from God- instead of the good things.

I remember when we first realized we were losing our daughter– the situation quickly disintegrated, and we knew that loss was probably inevitable.

Nevermind the fact that we were actually doing what God calls “pure religion” (caring for widows and orphans), the most begging thought that plagued us was: Have we done something to make God angry with us?

Did I not try hard enough?

Did I have a lustful thought that caused God to decide to punish me with the loss of a child?

Did I… did I… did I….

It’s so effed up. This whole line of thinking… there’s no other way to describe it than…

Broken.

It’s broken thinking.

Yet, it’s broken thinking that most days, my heart still can’t over come. I lay awake at 4:00 am frequently wrestling with this, because I feel like a horrible hypocrite.

Here I am, trying to be a voice to the masses- telling them that God is way better than they ever imagined… that he looks like Jesus, the nonviolent lover of enemies… that he isn’t mad at you, but instead has mad love for you…

But I don’t always feel this way in my own life. I still too often feel as if God hates me, and when something bad happens in life, I immediately assume that he’s punishing me.

I want to repent of this broken thinking.

When it comes to the God who hates me, I want to be an atheist.

photoI’ve heard folks like Ray Comfort say the problem is that not enough people are scared of God. I’ve listened to Mark Driscoll’s (if we were superheroes, he’d be my arch nemesis) sermon “God Hates You” (which I think was recorded at Westboro), and my fair share of hell fire preaching. And, I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem isn’t that people don’t fear God anymore.

The problem is that that too many do.

Too many people have been painted a picture of God that looks more like a jealous boyfriend in a drunken rage than the peaceful, inclusive Rabi who said “if you’re tired and burnt out, come hang with me- because my way is light and not burdensome”.

As a result, our concept of God internalizes into all sorts of other broken thinking, and leads us to see everything bad that happens in life as being a divine punishment from God.

Over time, we actually start to believe that God hates us. The concept gets rooted so deep, that even when we mentally reject it, our “emotional memory” still uses it as a go-to hermeneutic for understanding life events.

I’ve been in relationships before where I couldn’t do anything right and was chronically reminded of my own shortcomings. Unfortunately, these situations don’t often cause us to become better- instead, we eventually start to believe that we’re just as bad as other people think we are.

I can’t have this kind of relationship with God anymore.

I hope that you can’t either.

westboro_baptist_churchLet’s repent together, and stop thinking that God hates us.

Cause honestly, I don’t need anymore enemies (you should see my in-box).

I need friends.

Friends who will stick it out with me, no matter what. Friends who will receive me and just love me- for who I am, and nothing more.

Let’s remind ourselves so often that we are fully and completely loved, that the emotional memory eventually switches from hate to love.

I’m realizing that will take time, but I’m committed to the process… because I can’t bear another moment alone in a room with me and this angry god who hates everything about me.

Thankfully, I’m half way there- because my mind no longer believes in this god.

My mind acknowledges that the real God, looks exactly like Jesus- and that his final words were words of forgiveness… not rejection.

Instead of the god who hates me, I’m trying to embrace the God who would like to have a beer with me sometime.

Let’s keep pressing on together. I know so many of you wrestle with this same thing- I hear it in your letters to me on a daily basis, and I’m committed to walking this journey with you.

As together, we trade anger for an embrace of the divine.

We trade hate for love,

and acceptance instead of rejection.

The god who hates us?

Let’s be a circle of friends who quit believing in him, together.

(take it away, Edie…)

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Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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  • I was introduced to Christ in the 1970s, when the Jesus People were making their rounds. Being intellectually curious, I sought to find out more about Him, and found fundamentalism as a means of studying the Bible. After all, if any part of the Bible can’t be taken in the literal sense, how do we know the story of Jesus is real? I even earned a doctorate in theology from a fundamental seminary. To accept everything in the Bible as literal requires discarding a large body of scientific knowledge, which I did. As I continued my studies, I discovered a god who is mean, capricious, arbitrary and just plain nasty. Worse, I discovered a jesus who in most ways mirrored his father. I struggle too, and my quest is to find that same Jesus I found in the 1970s – the hippie freak who I wouldn’t mind kicking it with. I still study the Bible, but with the realization that it, like all great literary works, uses tools like irony, hyperbole and allegory to make its point; and that anecdotes which were appropriate to people of the Iron Age need to be properly cast into the society of the 21st century.

  • God is love and it is impossible for him to lie. Don’t blame God for your own ignorance. My mother died when I was six months old, I got hep c at the age of 16, I was abused by a doctor and I could never have kids. I never married and I like any woman desired all those things. I wore Envy and I hated that, but one thing I know for sure God is real, He is alive, and he loves mankind. I am not a primal ape I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God loves me I may not like what life hands me, but I don’t blame God. Just like a loving father he has picked me up every time life beats me down and let’s me know no matter what life has in store he is always for me.

    • i dont mean to offend anyone….but how do u know God? Have you felt him?.I want to get my life right.But I think God is never the being that we came to know through the holy books.I think he is neutral.Think of all the people who are suffering.they pray too.They are not being helped.

      • When you read the Psalms, you notice that humanity has always had the same complaints, yet the underlying message is that God’s help comes in the form of faith! Suffering is a part of life; even Jesus suffered. But keeping the faith that God knows exactly what He is doing with your life and trusting Him we are guaranteed victory. When you actively pursue a relationship with Him then He will manifest Himself into your life.

  • I struggle with thinking God hates me constantly. I keep struggling with certain sinful thoughts though even though I pray almost daily that God will make my heart right or reprogram my brain and just erase these thoughts from my mind. I seem to fall back in the same pattern. I feel like God is sitting there like oh here we go again he’s asking for forgiveness for the same thing again. God has every right to hate me because it seems like I can’t break the struggle. I know we are supposed to lean on God for help but it doesn’t feel like the help is coming. I’ve gotten on my knees time and time again but I keep feeling like God’s not going to forgive me and that he does hate me. I feel like God’s going to let something majorly bad happen to me or kill me. I am ashamed of myself and that I’m continuing to struggle. If I’m not in the Book of Life or my name has been erased out there’s no real purpose to my life or existence. I feel like it has and that it would be justified because of my sin. If Jesus says to me I never knew you then there was no reason or purpose.

  • Maybe God hates me. His people sure do. Weirdly they don’t reject me for sin, but rather social failures. Failure to marry and have kids mostly. Keep mocking me–or if I’m lucky pretending I’m invisible. Then lecture me on bitterness.

    Hey, I guess I’m bitter because I’m predestined for Hell. To old for kids now. I can not pray anymore since God just sits up there laughing at my sobs.

    If I were a member of the elect I would be a Have. A healthy beautiful rich matron with 4 kids and a CEO husband in a MacMansion .All that and Heaven too.

    Forget the crappy, abusive churches. Gonna wind up in Hell no matter what anyhow!

    • I am a recovering pastor myself. I have not given up on God, but I have given up on the modern, evangelical traditional church with all its politics and its trappings. I now preach in a nursing home on Sunday afternoons. yes, it is traditional, but the good parts of the traditional. I am not bound by a denomination or a board of directors, just the Word of God. I am not rich, but I am not impoverished, although I have been there. I think there are a lot of people in church that will not make it to heaven, and many who do not go will be there. I enjoy the freedom of not belonging to any group or person other than Jesus Christ himself.

    • I know how you feel. You go to church for them to help with your struggles, and all they do is mock you and beat you down.

  • I’m writing because deep down i do not like myself and I don’t think God cares or loves me. I’m a Christian, I believe that Jesus died on rosed on the 3rd day and Jesus wants what’s best for me. But God has His favorites and I’m not one of them. I trying to lean on truth, not my feelings. But it is so deep rooted, so it’s hard to shake. To top it all off, God is all I have. If I don’t have Him, (which deep down He was my last hope) I don’t have anything. I trying to think differently, but when negative things come up that are least expected, I handle it without getting upset. Then something right after happens, I handle it; still being victorious. More problems happened again right after, I try to handle it, but then I snap because I can only take so much. I sometimes think it’s a setup for me to fail.

  • If it truly is your understanding that you keep telling yourself that God hates you, then I would ask you why you think that is the case? And what part in Scripture are you leaning on to make such a statement about how God is looking at you personally?

    The simple truth of the matter is that most ppl telling themselves that God hates them are making a false statement and ultimately are lying not only to themselves but even to others.

  • You want friends? Then why are you seeking God? He’s no friend. Friends don’t treat friends the way He does or stand and watch disasters occur when He has the unlimited absolute ability to prevent them. He shirks His responsibility by saying He is “Love” and only created “good”. Sorry, but if you created EVERYTHING, that means everything without exception. So He is responsible for all the suffering. And He created us KNOWING we would suffer immeasurably. How sadistic is that?

  • Ever since I was born, I’ve been suffering. I was molested as a little child repeatedly, which later led me to develop many mental illnesses; schizophrenia and anxiety in my 20’s. My anxiety is so bad it keeps me from holding down a good job. In my teenage years me and my mom never got along so I ended up going to a lot of different shelters. In my 20’s just been in and out of the mental hospital. I haven’t graduated College and I don’t have any money. I feel like God hates me and is causing all my trouble. I don’t even have my own apartment anymore, I lost that. Now I’m in the hospital with no place to go. I lost the presence of God, can’t praise God anymore. I don’t even want to serve God anymore. But it’s almost as if I can’t give up like he won’t let me go. I just want nothing to do with God if he’s going to let me suffer like this. If he hates me then I’d rather not know him. I lost all my friends. I feel like Job, he lost his wealth, health, family and friends. The only difference between me and Job is that what happened to Job happened at just one point in his life. What’s happened to me has happened over a long period of time. Everything God has given to me, he’s taken back. Right now I am 29 years old and I don’t believe things are going to get better. They will keep getting worse, sadly.

  • I know that God hates me so much he has allowed my family to go through hell on earth we went to washington state to get help no one helped us we were sleeping on the streets for one night my wife is prego and how can a nativity house who helps the homeless turn away a prego woman we are lucky that the baby is still with us since it was a cold night we only had four hours of sleep then I had to come home and live with my mother ugh now that is living in true hell I feel like there is no light at the end of my tunnel I am on ssdi I am also in one of the most racists cities in augusta ks where the klan lives my wife is a beautiful black woman and I feel like that God has pretty have peed on me and my wife and called it rain I feel the trip to washington state was to strengthen our marriage but ever since we’ve been back I’ve had to deal with my mom who is a feminist and a trump support I am a democrat I believe if we my family wife and I do not recive help soon I will commit suicide how can I live in a world where I am not able to get any help for my mental illness when I was in washington cannabis actually helped the voices stay quiet for one week I was at peace I have tried prayer I have tried praying in tongues yes pentecostal here yet it feels like when I am SHOUTING TO GOD HE IGNORES ME When I used to be able to talk to him about everything I feel like I am being bashed by other christians because I question GOD I am to the point If we my wife and I don’t get help in another state I will go to vermont and request die with dignity with out my daughter having her father to look forward to I am to that point the voices are to much thats why I want to move to illinois to get cannabis treatment under dr care but no one will help my family since I am on disability

  • God does hate me, how can he not, my life has been miserable for 50
    years and I have been suicidal at times because I love myself and am
    tired of suffering. I have been abandoned by those I love my entire
    life, father, sister , wives, fiaces, friends, even son does not come
    through but I understand he is busy, however people I have appealed to
    for company and love do not come . My fiance abandoned me last year.
    After my life was threatened , I was attacked twice by this man. I have
    had several attempts made to kill me, my stepfather arranged some of it.
    I have been beat by a police man for no reason and abused by police on
    many occasions. I am white too. So its not discrimination. They are just
    bullies with badges. That is MY experience. I could write a book about
    my experiences with police all my life and only one was pleasant. I was
    bullied all through school as a youth, my wife cheated on me and took
    every cent I had. The things that happened to me in life disabled me, I
    have PTSD to the max, depression, anxiety , and other mental and
    physical ailments. You who have loving wives , I don’t have anyone to
    love me or even talk to. That isnt paid by the state to talk to me. I
    was a bible school grad and have two secular degrees but have been
    chased from place to place with the worst luck in almost every way. Told
    by people who knew me , i was charlie brown, or even Job. There is much
    more, but I don’t want deletion for length. Please tell me why He hates
    me. I have cried so many tears only to be licked off by my dog. My only
    source of love. Im getting old and I say nothing good comes to those
    who wait. And I know Im not one of Gods favorites. I am firmly convinced
    he loves others much more than I. I have nothing to look forward to at
    all. Everything I put my hand to fails miserably. It doesnt matter how
    hard I pray or try. I have tried to love others but they just use me and
    throw me away. I don’t get invited to anything, I sit alone all day
    everyday. I go out, but people don’t want to be friends, women brush me
    off and I’m not ugly. HE DOES NOT CARE and I have begun to hate Him in
    return. He broke His promises to me. People now past post, they see the
    result and say Its my fault for the way I am because I hate him , those
    who victimized me and am bitter. That came as a RESULT not the CAUSE.
    People don’t want negativity, but thats all I have to say. I can fake it
    , make jokes, smile, try for dates, etc. but it always ends the same. I
    get NOTHING I NEED in love and am so lonely I know it will kill me
    eventually. I feel near dead already inside having my heart ripped out
    by another mean woman.

  • I liked this article, more than most of the other “just peachy” stuff I read that is out there. Found it on a search, and it is similar to what I often think of and constantly struggle with. I truly identify with the line “Too many people have been painted a picture of God that looks more like a jealous boyfriend in a drunken rage” because that really is how it seems sometimes! Just wondering at the same time if it’s not the devil pretending to be God, and that perhaps God is in some way far off, just waiting for us to accumulate the experience to see things more clearly, like how we often stay out of the details in the problems of our children’s lives because we realize that they will eventually understand things for themselves (although I feel certain that good and bad angels are always nearby). Perhaps part of the problem with feeling hated by God is not giving the devil the credit to be able to appear to be God, or mimic Him with some degree of believability (that is, to us “little ones”), therefore not realizing that the feeling of hatred is actually coming from the wicked spirits: There actually is a body of evidence besides the Bible that speaks to this school of thought, namely in the book of Enoch and attributed books like the book of Noah (2 of the worlds oldest books). To paraphrase the passage that proves this is possible and rational, because, sorry, I cannot seem to find it right now, the passage describes “fallen” angels and their offspring to being condemned and punished for pretending to be God, and having displeased God in this way-as in post world wide flood up until now, speaking of which time period, the passage in Enoch 15:9 reads, about the “fallen” angels (some of the Watcher angels) and their offspring (giants and Nephilim):

    “Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies”

    and goes on to say, in verse 11,

    “And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, ⌈but nevertheless hunger⌉ and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women…”

    and verse 16

    “16 From the days of the slaughter and destruction and death of the giants, from the souls of whose flesh the spirits, having gone forth, shall destroy without incurring judgement— thus shall they destroy until the day of the consummation, the great judgement in which the age shall be consummated, over the Watchers and the godless, yea, shall be wholly consummated.”

    I really wish I could provide the other passage that I mentioned earlier, because it would add clarity and depth to this statement, but I hope you get the picture anyway.

    Also, as an afterthought, I would like to point out a reason that some people will not agree as strongly as others about this conclusion on the subject, as broad as it is, but I think that it is of great importance, because to me it speaks more about whether the Devil and his angels are pleased with an individual enough to leave that individual alone rather than whether or not it is a strong case or argument in itself: a more “repentant” or “mature” Christian may be more plagued by wicked spirits than by a person that does not consider God and His teachings because the latter do not pose a threat to their (the demons) established hierarchy based on false teachings and false beliefs.

  • we don’t believe God loves us because we are hurt over and over again by people. we think God doesn’t love us because people don’t. the church is supposed to be an expression of God’s love to the word and to each other. when we go to church and are abused via greedy preachers, unvulnerable people, prideful people, etc., we doubly think God doesn’t love us. the answer i believe is to spend time with God, find real Christians to fellowship with, and endure. and trust God. this life is hell and some of us just have to endure.

  • Most of us suffer from a Western view of God…..the Judge who beats us over our head because of our sins instead of the Divine Healer who wants to heal us….

  • I to have had the same conflict in me. Everything you were saying it was like you were reading my life , when it comes to relationships, my life was fine till i fell head over heals for a girl, she broke up amd she told me to find god through this and he can help. I was angry and it started a love / hate relationship with god. But i ralized ive always had that inner thought of rught and wrong god talking to me. I use to be a bully in school , but i always felt god speak to me and say is the way you want to be remembered.
    Im always my own worst enemy and like most here im sure your the same. But god does not want that from us. I hardly know the bible . But i dont think that is the issue, i feel thats why god loves kids cause there not programmed and still care free. Dont be so hard iin yourself. I too walk around lost and alone cause i cant deal with this fake world.
    But maybe thats why the devil makes it so hard on us , this is our journey to overcome. Why would satan waste his time on ppl he knows are easy to manipulate., thtas why we constantly struggle , cause as some ppl say we get stubborn and prideful and try to do it by ourselves. I think its more our thought process . Then gods willing

  • My neighbiur has a family and career. Im broke and single what about building my life? One cant do both. Especially in these days when time cntrols you

  • Gods love is shown through blessings. O belive in god but hes culturally biased, not to judgement entirely, but surely has set up lives, paths and personalities that would bmake it easier to be saved, tht is to hve faith. Ben corey is loved by god, thats why hes preaching love. But in the end times those who are loved are taking advantage nd steaing from god, by selling books bout the gospel. God says he wish he loved who he didnt. Not everone experiences the availabiity of love. There is much indefference betweeen the cultivted and the not. My prob is jealousy because im simply a lesser kind then gods fav. Women dont find me attrctive an i dont hve a good job. Which is the most. Commonly saught thin from most. But we set the standard. Of hpiness to those who were cultivted. Which isnt fair everyone wants to evolve find the best wife and job. For my kids, be fruitful and multiply. People live in wayyy differnt realities to which one ould interpret god loves him and. God hates him. Its up to the blesssed to stop worshipping their mammon and spread a gospel applicble to all. If 5 guys are dying regardless of beliefs , 1 israelite, 2 africans and a chinese baby. And only one ife can be saved. Its the israelite. Thats my dilema living not so blessed in super blessed country. It applies to jobs, reltionships ect. Its suply and demnd. Natural selection if yu will. The best look for the best to reproduce better. But why ould they go backwards and pick someone lower than their potential when they were born better than the other person is currently?

  • Great thoughts, Lynn! Recovering Fundie here, too. Thank you for sharing the refuge from fundamentalism perspective. Today, I identify more Deist/Universalist than atheist, with episodic militant “agnostic” outbursts because I find certain contentment and freedom in “not knowing”, while quick to point out the limited understandings of others, too. Like you, I also easily subscribe to “God is Love” (and all Good things), far surpassing our limited and isolated experiences and understanding of such human emotions.

    I used to confuse Love with a “dream-like-warm-fuzzy-feeling-I-got-when-somebody-was-doing-something-wonderful-TO-me”. Today, I realize Love is a verb … an action … something we DO. Simply, “Love” is a conscious choice to anonymously surrender my will (“my will” = “my thoughts”/”my desires”) for another’s, without conditions or expectations – free and with no strings attached.

    After abandoning my fundamentalist beliefs and traditions, through a painful process and experience of identifying and surrendering so many deep, learned, and common (mis)understandings of God, suddenly, the “God-Thing” became so much bigger.

  • Thank you for the refreshing and thoughtful posts. I wrestle with the God-Thing on a daily basis.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments and experiences, and I can identify completely with your god (mis)perceptions evolving/changing. You are telling so much of my own “conversion” story with my new understandings of a more gentle, tender, loving, compassionate, forgiving and ENJOYABLE Almighty God of the Universe.

    As a recovering Independent Fundamental Baptist PK (after being shunned as an “abomination” at age 15 in 1977), beaten to the quotation of scriptures, and forced out of my home and faith community, I struggled my entire life with this existential fluffy-metaphysical being filled with human emotions like jealousy and rage, somewhere outside of me who was constantly struggling to “get inside of me”. Through prayer and fasting God was going to CHANGE ME and make everything right; of which I never deserved, of course. I was taught God was outside me, Today, I realize Love, Light, and Goodness were always within me, fighting like hell to come out.

    It took absolute desperation, and recovery from a life of drugs and alcohol to make me willing enough to attempt any sort of a relationship with a god of my new understandings. Basically, I had to unlearn every legalistic and elitist fundamental notion I thought I knew about God before I could DO anything different. Then, I had to look at everyone around me differently, too – more from an egalitarian perspective.

    Today, at 51, and merely from the context of my own experience, I understand the distracting, divisive, and defeating consequences of legalistic arguments from the elitist views of “sola scriptura” and verbal plenarism prevalent throughout many evangelical cults and fundamentalism as a whole. One might consider such is the effect of self-serving actions and fear-based desire to always be “right”. It is arrogant and foolish to even consider I am going to know or understand everything, or everything about God. Constantly arguing with scriptures to prove anything to everyone only shows how I think of me, and what I think of others; not what others, or even God might think of me.

    Better actions help to improve my thoughts of me. Although I relapse in my thinking from time to time, I am comfortable with not knowing, and not always being right; and today I struggle less with understanding God, and I rather like this new me.

    I admire your ability to question the common thoughts and teachings of fundamentalist beliefs. For some, to question religious authorities is to question scriptures; to question the source of doctrines and dogma is to question God himself. Heaven forbid we ever “wrestle with God”!

    From my humble perspective and perception, I believe God doesn’t expect us to be right in our thinking all the time. If we were, we would never have an opportunity to grow in humility or grace. Perhaps, God merely desires that we try to show it a little more in our actions towards others.

    In your articles, I hear the compassion you are experiencing. Thank you for sharing your insights from what you now see around you.

    I look forward to your future thoughts and posts.

  • Read the above message & consider there are far, far worse things than being alone. How would you like to be live the rest of your life Feeling exactly as alone as you feel now, but living with someone who is a burden to you all your days? It is hell, to me. Also..consider, if you are willing: if you view so many women as mean and nasty, what kind of woman are You Attracting by being whatever kind of man it is that you are? I should have been considering that myself, prior to marriage. I should have learned to unshakably BE the person I wanted my spouse to be, THEN worried about whether I should marry.

    • I understand that you are trying to be helpful but everyone has their own pain to bare. I really don’t think the “People have it worse than you” speech works without empathy. Empathy goes a long way.

  • I feel you JT. Not divorced myself, just wish I were. Wish I’d never walked down an aisle in my life, except for my children – tho I fear they weren’t done any favors in being brought into this world into our so-called marriage. I feel that God has already judged me, for the wish itself, and my failures as both parent and spouse. Since marriages are made by the will of God, the will of God is the only thing that’s kept me here so far….living as a :”defeated Christian”..a state that cannot possibly honor God, and is an oxymoron, anyway. I wish I could bolster you. I’m at low ebb at the moment, but I want you to know you’re not alone. Your honest comment has raised a great fellow-feeling in me. We must take it one day at a time, and listen for His voice. That’s the best I can do for now. 🙂

  • Hi, i’m quite interested in your faith journey and especially your leaving fundamentalism/conservative christianity because in many respects it’s quite similar to my own walk. I wanted to ask you a question: from what i’ve read you were already a believer before coming under a fundamentalist influence, do you think your “new” vision of the faith could actually be just a return to your first love when you first encountered Christ? Thanks and Peace.

  • Fundamentalism is farther from the Truth of the Lord than actual Understanding. It may be hard. It may be difficult. However, God loves us. He is not in the storm, but whispers in the peace that follows.

  • Good day, sir. I live in Malaysia, am a baptised Catholic since I was still a baby, and I’m currently 18. I struggle with this, believing that God hates me, hates the mankind and all the living creatures. I have suicidal thoughts since I was 13, recently discovered that I may be suffering from bipolar disorder. For once I believed God would heal me someday, I just need to have faith. I prayed hard, until I figured out cutting and masturbating are far more effective than praying to save me from tears and fears. You see, I find it ironic that what’s sinful as defined by common Christian society is what’s saving me, though just for a short period. Can you tell me, if God loves mankind, why do we have to prove it to ourselves and convince others? If God loves me, why do I struggle hard to try to accept myself and believe that I’m loved by my creator? Shouldn’t I just be an atheist? Wouldn’t I be freed from the struggling thoughts? Thank you if you are reading.

    • Vivian I am just reading your comment and hoping you see this, two months after the fact.

      Just wanted to say my heart is going out to you. I have struggled with suicidal thoughts many times in life. I was raised in a conservative / fundamentalist church too, and I do believe my struggle for psychological health and wholeness is related to that upbringing.

      Please know there is nothing wrong with you; you are worthy of love and you ARE lovable just by virtue of being you. There is no omnipotent hateful being you have to appease–that god is pure fiction, created by tribal societies many ages ago.

      I don’t pray but I am thinking of you tonight and hoping you feel yourself wrapped in love and light and freedom.

  • I loaded a “random number generator.” I say to god that if the number is 3, I will die. guess which number was next. 3. I said that was a test, but 6 will actually kill me. the next number. 6.

  • Evil, hateful, violent child molesters are awful, but please don’t imply that homosexuality is in the same category as those things. Hate and violence, especially towards children, is nowhere near the category of same-sex affection. Those first things are things that hurt others. I’m very sorry you had a hateful father, but please don’t lump nonviolent people in with the ones who are hate-filled and violent.

  • Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You read my mind & described me to the letter. I so desperately needed to be encouraged by this. Thanks, again.

  • I feel your pain. I struggle with this everyday. Every time I go to a calvinistic sermon each Sunday, a little bit more of me is convinced that God hates my guts and that i’m not one of his elect. I want nothing more than to be forgiven, but if God has destined me to eternal suffering just for being who I am, and isn’t bothered about forgiving me as I feel unable to meet his standards then I’d rather be annihilated… it just paints a picture of existence which seems so arbitrary and pointless.

    • Now, I know that this may not be a good time, but the idea of Determinism is false. We have free will. Freely choose to follow Christ and works shall come after.

  • I fell like God stopped listening to me a long time ago. I don’t know what I did to make him turn his back on me. I am so lost.

    • God doesn’t turn His back on anyone. He always is with us. He is in the whisper of the peace after the storm, not in the storm itself.

        • But if we listen to His everlasting Word, then this fact is clear. While we’ve been given responsibility of our own, leading to certain mistakes we could avoid, these are our own mistakes. Your fellow human is to blame, not God. God Himself, in Jesus Christ, suffered greatly.

  • Perhaps once we discard the idea of hell – we’ll finally come to an understanding of how loving God really is. It is impossible to both believe God is a loving God, while hell exists in our theology.

  • Tell me about it. Imagine being a single woman in that kind of a subculture and you are over 32. It can decimate the self esteem of the strongest and most successful woman.

  • I am a former fundamentalist. I didn’t grow up in a Christian family, but I spent a good number of my formative young adult years as a fundie. After over ten years of not being at my old fundie church, I went to a wake held at the old church today. Yeesh. Glad I had a chance to pay my respects to the family because the person who passed was a great father, husband and overall person. The funny thing was, when I drove off, I thanked God that I was no longer a part of that circle of control and went straight to yoga. Thanks for your blog!

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