God’s Approval Of Chaos

As some of you know, from time to time I will post about the sign that sits out in front of the church I used to attend. Sometimes I just ignore the sign and just keep on driving, not giving it much thought. Other times, I’m left shaking my head and thinking, “these people just don’t get it do they?”

Again, I didn’t take an actual picture of the sign, but rather used a church sign generator to recreate the sign. Here is what was posted outside the church today:
church sign 5

At first glance, you may not think much of it. The Bible speaks of prophecy that includes trials and tribulations leading up to the end times so this seems about right. However, when pondering a bit, one must wonder what exactly is God’s plan for us if things are in fact “falling into place.”

There is tremendous suffering in this world. Innocent children, old people, young people, sick people and healthy people are all subject to suffering. There are horrible situations that good people face every single day. There is the constant threat of war, famine, hunger, violent crimes, and pretty much any other horrible thing you can imagine. Tragedy befalls both the religious and the non-religious regardless of how much you pray. Bad things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. Misfortune does not care how pious you are.

Maybe you are angry about our current president and the policies carried out in his name. Maybe you are heartbroken and distraught about the immigration situation in our country and the plight of the families who are trying to flee a bad situation in search of better lives. Perhaps you see terrorism on the news or another school shooting and wonder, “when is it going to end?” Cancer, AIDS, heart disease, flu epidemics, suicides, global warming, high fuel prices, Republicans, Democrats and the list goes on and on. Something has us on edge at all times. One thing or another is enough to make some of us reach our breaking point.

This world is not perfect. This world is, at times, in complete disarray. Chaos rules the day and we are fighting an uphill battle to try to stop it. Now we are not completely helpless. We can stand up and try to right the wrongs. We can fight injustice when possible and help those in need to the best of our abilities. We can use our technology and our brilliant scientists to combat disease and our energy concerns. We can work together to fight terrorism and end world hunger if we so choose. Or there is an alternative…we can choose to do nothing.

We can choose to do nothing because it’s all part of a bigger plan. That’s the church’s view. The church sees chaos as a good thing. It’s a good thing because the Bible predicts chaos near the end of the world as we know it. If the end is near then their reward of paradise is in sight. Once we go through enough hardship, we will see Jesus again and all will be well. Why fight against injustice or try to stop suffering? It’s all part of God’s plan, right? If so, then to try to fight it would be to fight against God’s plan and therefore God himself. I don’t see why any God-fearing Christian would want to stand up to God. Would that not show a lack of trust in the Almighty’s plan for humanity?

I’m sure it’s probably just my perpetual “misunderstanding of the Bible” that’s keeping me from grasping the concept. To fight is to rebel against God yet to sit idly by is to not help your fellow man and that is also going against God’s teaching in the Bible. Which leads me to my next dilemma. Faith. How does that fit into the message from the church sign above? My Christian faith was my everything for a very large portion of my life. When I began to doubt and lose that faith, I was heartbroken. I was angry. I was lost. I cried out to God and got no reply. If he is there and he was listening to my cries, he certainly ignored every one of them. So when my world was falling apart by losing faith, was it actually just falling into place? Was God’s plan for me to have me lose all faith in him and walk away, never to look back? Is that his plan for all deconverts from Christianity? “My plan for you is to push you away, turn my back and ignore you for all of your days.” Is that God’s message? That doesn’t seem to fit with what we are told on Sunday mornings, does it?

I have the hardest time reading the garbage put out by the church. It’s supposed to be comforting but instead it just confirms what I believed about the church all along; they just don’t get it. They are detached from reality and when tough times stare them in the face, they hide inside a book that tells them to just keep on waiting. Things will get better. Just wait for Jesus. He’ll make it right again. There’s the prophecy right? It says he’ll return to fix the mess he didn’t fix the first time, right? You know, he died, rose again and then what happened? That’s right. He left. He left and for two thousand years things have just gotten worse and worse. When he spoke to people here on earth two thousand years ago, he told them he’d be back in their lifetime. Are there people over two millennia old still hanging around here waiting for him or did they die without Jesus fulfilling his promise to them?

I hate to ramble on and I hate to rant, but I have so many issues with the idea that all of the world’s issues and all of the failed (Yes failed) prophecies are part of God’s plan. The messiah was said to do all kinds of things when he arrived. The Bible does not say he’d leave and come back later to do them. This is what happens when a plan fails, you change the rules. You move the goalposts. Jesus failed to deliver the goods when it came to being the messiah. So when he died, the story was changed from “he’ll fix things now” to “he’ll be back later so just be patient.” Meanwhile, the world is as “sinful” as ever. Sinful is of course a relative term and people interpret sin differently. There is most definitely right and wrong in this world, but there is no sin. Sin is a religious word used for control. The point is, the world is arguably worse off now than in Jesus’ time. The end times were supposedly already here during his time on earth. Over two thousand years later and we’re still here waiting. “Things are falling into place.” Seriously?

I think the church realizes that people are uneasy and feel the need to try to calm people down and placate them. People are scared and angry and people are starting to lose faith in God and Jesus. Instead of telling them the truth and saying Jesus is not coming back because he was just a man, they keep the story going. Jesus is “biding his time”. Jesus is “preparing a place for us.” That’s one hell of a place if it takes two thousand years to prepare. How long did the earth and everything in it take to make? 6 days? Everything we are told by religion is wrong. Every single thing. Nothing is falling into place because that implies a plan and a purpose for unnecessary suffering and unnecessary heartache and pain. What kind of God creates sin, allows us to sin (knowing ahead of time we would) and then punishes us for it, while telling us to bow down and worship because it’s all part of a bigger plan? We are told we need to be redeemed because of our sinful nature. Whose fault is that? We are hurting and suffering all the time in this world yet we are told to “consider it all joy when facing trials.” Consider it joy? Wow. What an awful thing to say to someone going through tough times. So God allows sin to corrupt us, tells us it’s our own damn fault, allows suffering and then says to be happy about it? Remind me why again? Because it’s all part of his plan? Why are we still buying into this? It’s such a disgusting and disturbing idea.

I apologize if I went off on tangents here or if I rambled on in an angry tirade. But I am angry. I am angry that I was ever part of this. I am angry, not at those who taught me this garbage because they didn’t know any better, but at the ones who created religion as means of control and manipulation in the first place. If there is a god, he is certainly not who we are told he is. The stories we are told reek of legend and myth and they are covered in the fingerprints of man. If there is a god and he has a plan for us, he would certainly stick to that plan. It wouldn’t be written down in “scripture” and then changed and reinterpreted to explain away failed prophecy. There would be a clear plan and I am sure an all-powerful god would follow through with it. What we actually have is a made up plan created by man. Made up plans by man will fail. They will fail like all lies fail. To keep a lie going, you need to keep lying and lying to cover other lies. Eventually you’ll get caught and the story will unravel. This story has been unraveling since the very first time it was first told and yet we keep trying to string it back together. It is now frayed to the point of breaking and when it does, no one will ever be able to put it back together again. That day is soon approaching and I believe we will all be better for it.

paine

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13 thoughts on “God’s Approval Of Chaos

  1. Ben…this is an excellent post and rant all you want. The top picture, is it a Baptist church? Seems like it’s alluding to the rapture BS.
    And what Thomas Paine said was short correct and to the point.

    I think some religious people are getting afraid of the chaos they see in the world and are too ignorant to see that much of it, they and a lot of mankind has created themselves..wars, climate change, hatred, more random killings, corporate greed, destruction of the environment to name a few.

    Their fear leads them to ever more extreme religious views and actions. It’s like traveling on a speeding train towards a solid rock wall. They spew their religious views, pray and condemn others and all the while there is a switch by the door that’s says “apply brakes.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Mary. I like the train analogy. Applying brakes would be good for all of sometimes, regardless of beliefs. Stop, look around and figure out solutions in a calm and rational manner.

      We, as humans, have certainly created a lot of the mess we are in. We’ve created most of it, actually. We harm our environment and kill each other over our ideals and out religious beliefs and then we say “it was meant to be” because of a book. I think we need to take some personal responsibility and look for solutions right here and right now. Waiting on God to fix our problems certainly has not done any good so fa so why do we continue to do it?

      Like I said to Michelle below, I do not like posting things like this but I can’t take a lot of this stuff anymore. I let my frustrations get to the point where they boil over and I just let them out. Hopefully it at least starts a conversation. I don’t like starting arguments or religion vs non-religion fights. I just don’t like the message from the church who always seems to be doing damage control by using their prophecy or cherry-picked verses to “prove” that they are right.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I despise most church stuff, but I started following 2 women on Twitter who are Christians and I wouldn’t say they ignore suffering ajg injustice, but speak against it. The first one is Rachel DellHollander who was the gymnast who went against Larry Nasser for sexual abuse. She also speaks against churches because she sees alot of crap that goes on and she calls it out. There’s also Ashley Easter who speaks against abuse and brings light to issues with women. As a whole, I do agree the church does so little to help victims of abuse, minorities, immigrants, etc, but I think there are those out there who I do admire because it’s their faith that has encouraged them to fight evil.

    Like you, I’m not sure I understand God and chaos. Maybe his plan is wise and good and we are aren’t. Maybe there is no plan. I don’t know. I hate to think all our pain, loss, and struggles are for nothing. I am still figuring that out. I hate being angry because I can’t understand it. I do understand how you feel though. It’s hard to embrace all the unknowns.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are always exceptions with anything. My wife and I are very close friends with a Christian couple. They spend a lot of their days off helping feed the hungry and less fortunate people of their community. I know of people here on WordPress who are kind and compassionate Christians. Sometimes I generalize and kind of just throw most people into one category and that’s probably not fair to do so. I know how I was as Christian and I certainly did not fit in with most of them. Having faith has guided some people in their efforts to make this place better.

      I don’t like writing posts like this because I don’t like being so vocal about anger and frustration but venting sometimes is helpful. I don’t like the message from the church saying “don’t worry about this shit show around you, just be patient and things will get better.” Two thousand years is a long time to be patient. Frustration tends to set in and I get irritated to the point where I just have to let it out. The church (at least my old church anyway) seems to be very disconnected from the world around them. They keep posting messages that don’t seem to connect with reality. They share Biblical prophecy and stories yet they don’t seem to realize that people outside that building do not see things the way they do…or the way they pretend to.

      I hope my post has not offended people, as that is never my intent. I just make my observations and share them. There are good people from every background, including religion and there are bad people as well. All too often, the bad outnumber the good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh don’t apologize!! You are totally right to feel that way. I have so many of my own frustrations with church. It’s good to vent. I wish the church was a safe place, was honest, was a safe haven but it is anything but. If anything, your post reminds all of us of the imperfections of it and how it’s sad that the majority of people live as you say. I try to make sense of it too and so my comment was more thinking out loud, not a condemnation or saying you can’t vent. It’s your blog. Fire away!!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thanks. I do still worry about offending people, though I’m not sure why. If I have views on something, I should share them and not be concerned if people disagree. There are over 7 billion people in this world. We’re not all going to agree all the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben,

    You have every right to be ranting, to be upset that you (along with billions of others in all theistic and Abrahamic religions) were mislead, even temporarily conned into a state of disempowerment of self and of our human family as a whole. In order for the human powers that be — back 2,000 – 2,800 years ago and up to the present day — to remain in their positions of “rule and control,” just like good sales & marketing tactics, you MUST create a convincing need, impulse, fear (of not having adequate tools/abilities) of being left out… a sort of (ill-founded) loyalty with a special key or pass to ESCAPE this great eternal demise. If this sales & marketing tactic is beaten into everyone’s conscious, generation after generation after generation — with severe consequences of any dissent or apostacy — eventually the paradigm becomes reality to the puppets. However, do not despair my Friend!

    When we embrace our TRUE reality, our true place — as very tiny as it is in the Cosmos — our true weaknesses and brilliance individually and as a whole in this short, short life and in love and teamwork with our ancestors and descendants, the liberation of this embrace is deeply profound! It certainly has made ME much more humble, grateful, and compassionate as a member of Earth’s family! Humble self-perception brings a lot of inner peace.

    For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

    Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved? — Carl Sagan

    Don’t let all the osterich heads buried so deeply in the sand bother you too much Ben. This life, this Universe/Multiverse, as daunting as it can be is a spectacular, beautiful wealth of vast knowledge and splendor waiting for us to experience! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am slowly coming around to acceptance of it all. The truth of who we are as well as the truth of who we are not. I am still learning where I fit. I’m learning we I do not fit. I am learning to accept some ideas that were once forbidden due to my religious beliefs. Atheistic views, deistic views, agnostic ideas. These were sinful ideas in my Christian life…Taboo, if you will. 🙂 People like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and even Bart Ehrman were strictly off-limits. Carl Sagan was viewed as a delusional, sinful person. However, now I see them all in a different light. I do not agree with every word that they say, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find them all to be brilliant people. I have learned much from these people I was told to avoid as well as from people here on WordPress.

      I too find myself to be more compassionate and empathetic towards people in my post-religious life. There are groups of people that we were taught were sinful degenerates yet I now know they are decent people looking for happiness in life like anyone else. Moral superiority was taught as a virtue and not the judgmental, hurtful thing that it is.

      I don’t like trying to fit into one group or another. There shouldn’t be groups anyway, just people. That’s the one group I do want to belong to. Humanity is not exclusive, but rather it is all-inclusive. Religion is not like that. I was taught to feign humanity in order to gain trust and teach people how sinful they are in order that they may come and join my group. That’s never okay.

      I am beginning to embrace this new life and I hope to someday not have to rant about everything like this but sadly I don’t think the world will change enough in my lifetime to prevent me from letting it all out again. I do worry a bit too much about offending people. This life is far too short to worry too much about what other people think and this world is far too beautiful to sit here and complain about it when I should be out enjoying it while I can. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Great post Ben. I wonder if when they say it is all as God wants it, it is following his plan, are they saying “it is not your fault, so don’t worry about it”? Seems to me that God and the Devil simply takes any responsibility from people and places it with these mythical beings. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree–good post. I used to “love” Romans 8:28; it explained everything, according to the theology I was raised with. It’s now one of my least favorite verses. In a way, it encapsulates a lot of what was wrong with my old beliefs. Why worry too much about the environment? God will fix it. Etc. But these questions you bring up always troubled me. I’d read books like “Why Does God Allow War” by Martin Lloyd Jones and be satisfied for a bit, until I wasn’t.

    Like

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