Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2016 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Today’s extra edition of this blog is diverts from the usual conversation about mental illness. There is much rhetoric about religion and God these days. Apparently, according to public discourse, he is who we want him to be. Please excuse or enjoy my sarcastic flair.
He is a hungry lion, ready to pounce on the weakest member of the flock. He is a snake, slithering through our existence looking to swallow us whole. He is a flighty genie with a propensity toward trickery, and on again-off again willingness to grant our wishes.
Or he is a planet or star, distant and uninvolved with the matters of earth. He is a changeling, transforming indiscriminately into trees, the sun, love and peace, and the goodwill of humanity. He speaks through channeling, the whisper of the wind, in signs and wonders, in our “Light within.” He is anything and everything we think we need him to be – even nonexistent.
He is made-to-order, custom designed, distinct from us only in that he is our product. We are his creators, his kings and queens, and lords. We expect him to obey us. When he does not satisfy our cravings, we exact punishments of silent treatment, angry rants, unrelenting bitterness, and even revenge. We ignore and belittle him.
His name is a curse word usually surrounded by profanity. He is our whipping-boy, sometimes physically manifested in those who have formed him differently than we. We take our anger out on their bodies, minds, and opinions.
God is minimal in our thinking. If we remember him at all, we are probably busy reshaping him into something more useful or throwing him out for a the newest shiny object on the market.
Our time is spent pursuing unconditional love from human relationships, money, food, alcohol, partying, television, pornography, gambling, opioids, education, good deeds, work, busyness, and smart technology. We strive for excellence, peace of mind, and safety. Our government leaders are our saviors. When these efforts fail to meet our needs, we blame that ever-available scape goat, God.
We laugh at the old-fashioned, delusional idea of an all-loving, holy, wrathful and merciful HE. His sovereignty is mocked. We celebrate humanity despite its failure at justice since the beginning of time. The concept of a Son of God confuses us, so we claim to all be God’s children. In our fear of giving up control, we rationalize that every religion worships the same god.
God is served up on a silver platter and marinated in a comfortable combination of sweet honey and bitter mustard. He is not to require anything of us. Same as our dinner does not talk back and exists only to sustain, nourish, and entertain, so does God. We select only the most famous chefs and the loudest food critics as our advisors.
God is refused as our source of life. He is not the Great I AM. He did not send his Son, born of a virgin, to live a sinless life, and die a horrible death. Jesus’ blood does not mean anything, and certainly does not have the power to save us from guilt and shame. No way did this good teacher, lunatic, or liar rise from the dead! Eternal life is a farce – after all, it is much more fun to think about partying in hell than to actually burn there.
Christians are seen as dumb, uneducated, brain-washed fools whose life experiences with God are hallucinations, or manifestations of an inner wish. The Bible is a terrible report card that exposes a tyrannical, treacherous, sick, perverted, and ruthless higher power. It is not God-breathed or useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting or training in right living.
We say we are not sinners in need of a Savior! We are good and not-so-good citizens. We are imperfect and wonderful. No one has the right to judge our choices or attitude, or question our claims, unless the one being criticized is one of those ignorant Christians. Tolerance covers every possible human decision except the one to follow Christ.
Yes, we like God the way we like him. Servant. Miracle-worker. Malleable. Powerless. Cheap.
We do not want to admit our perceived grasp on control is false. Our wisdom comforts us even as it leads to spiritual death. We sing our songs of self-glory and chant for our rights. We. Will. Not. Surrender. To. God. No way.
Pass the sauce.
Today’s Helpful Word
Hebrews 2: 9,10 NLT
“Yes, by God’s grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone. God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into salvation.”
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.
*Picture by Gabriella Fabbri . RGBstock.com