I am a frequent lurker over at Rainn Wilson‘s brainchild Soul Pancake. I find the discussions thought provoking. And I like that all religions are allowed to present their views and that, with a few exceptions, all of those views, even the views of the atheists, are respected and the discussions remain fairly civil…at least as far as internet discussions go.
Not a website for the squeemish regarding theological matters, Monday’s big issue is deffinitely a big one. In a most provocative tweet, Mr. Wilson linked to the discussion, which was a simple one: list 3 things you’re really pissed off with God about. Like I said: it’s not for the squeemish, and unless you have a strong stomach for controversy (the title of the post alone, which I didn’t quote here, will get your blood boiling), I highly recommend you not click that link.
As I read through some of the comments during my breaks at work and a few moments ago here at home, I noticed one consistent trend. Of the things that the agnostic or atheist responders said, and it was a vital key to their disbelief in the almighty, was that they were angry at God for 1) being mysterious and intangible and 2) having followers who act like real @$$holes.
The first is a philosophical issue, and unless one can get past that, I personally doubt that there is ever going to be any hope of a person being able to believe in God. Of course, one could argue that some fields of science and physics are mysterious and intangible (and the atheist likely believes in those), but that discussion is beyond the scope of what I want to say here. I want to focus on the second point.
This second point proves something I said a few posts back in the Romans Series. Paul tells the Romans that God is actually blasphemed among unbelievers because of the way that they are acting. The discussion over at Soul Pancake, if you can stomach it, proves just how true this really is. People are literally pushed into disbelief because of the things that we who claim to be Christians do in the name of Jesus.
Need proof but don’t think you can stomach the link? Here are just a few of the responses:
I’m angry at God for causing people to be so blindly hateful and unforgiving. – AshleyatNYU
For creating people who call themselves Christians who think they and they alone are right. – biblophile91
Pissed you don’t exist. Start existing and come and put an end to people doing terrible shit in your name. – timothytsi
I’ll stop there. The point is, what we do matters. It matters in a big way. When we are “blindly hateful and unforgiving;” when we as individuals act as though we are the only individuals who are right; when we just in general to horrible things in the name of God (such as act like this), we make it harder for people to believe. We may even make it impossible. And if we are guilty of pushing people away from God, doesn’t that mean that their blood is on our hands?
But there is something a little deeper going on here as well. These people are saying that God makes these people do these things. That He is the cause of it. How do we counter that? How do we deal with that? especially from a Reformed perspective, it becomes really hard to make a consistent argument because…well…with Calvinism’s insistence on God’s sovereignty, technically…well…God is responsible. Which I think brings to light a flaw in our theology…which we will discuss another time.