Is the Christian god abusive? Well, that depends on which version since each Christian comes up with one they create in their own image. The author of the blog post I’m addressing does want to claim that his version isn’t an abuser.
Generally, abusive would mean “ using or involving physical violence or emotional cruelty” (all definitions from merriam-webster.com). So, does god use physical violence? Yes, it’s hard to count how many times. Does it use cruelty: the state of inflicting injury grief or pain? Yes. The bible has many instances of this, allowing Satan to murder Job’s family, killing david’s son for David’s sins, killing children for the actions of heir parents, using young girls as war booty for Israelites and for treasure for its temple, insisting that if a man is a slave and he is freed but his family is not, he has to choose between freedom and them, blinding a man so this god can show off, etc.
Some Christians, like Ed Croteau), try to make a division between Jesus and God (although perhaps not, but it’s hard to get exactly what Christians think about the trinity, and Christians don’t all agree that Jesus is god or that Jesus is not god), but that doesn’t work so well since this “son of god” says that everything his father does and commands is okay by him, and that all of those silly commandments in the OT have to be follows until earth and heaven pass away. They are still around.
I haven’t read Finch, but she seems to be quite happy to get away from the lies of evangelical Christianity, having recognized that Christians make up their own nonsense and then try to convince others that some magical being agrees with them and only them. Her quote ““So often for those raised within evangelical environments, any single moment of perceived failure, any mistake, any step outside the previously established lines can paralyze with life-altering fear, anxiety, shame, and dread, because the trauma of early teaching is essentially playing on a loop within us.” Is quite true since people use fear and ignorance to try to control people and it is especially hard on kids. And when those kids grow up and realize that they were lied to, it’s even harder since they really did trust those who lied to them.
I happily wasn’t an evangelical Christian, I was a Presbyterian, which has its own whole other bag of problems since Christians do get cranky when non-Christians wonder which is the real version, predestination vs free will, Catholic vs protestant, etc. I do know that Finch is a bit confused on her bible knowledge but her version is as good as any other for why this god had bit of a personality break between the OT and NT (depending on the author of each book of course).
Despite what Ed claims, there is no “clear message of Jesus Christ” and that is why a lot of younger folks (I’m in my 50s) realize that there is no reason to believe in Christianity at all. We have the god/Jesus of preachers like Jeffress who ignore their bible as long as they get power, we have Joel Osteen who is sure that prayers are answered like the bible promises and everyone can get rich, we have liberal pastors who are sure that this god doesn’t hate homosexuals or other Christian of varying sects and we have Christians who are sure that this god hate Catholics, or Protestants, or whatever flavor they don’t follow. I grew up watching protestants hate catholics.
They also realize that there is no evidence Jesus existed, or that he was the messiah described in the OT since he doesn’t fulfill those promises at all.
We also have the problem that the verses from Isaiah claimed in Luke weren’t about a messiah at all, but were Isaiah speaking about himself or this god. When such a false statement is so easily found out, there is little reason to believe the Christian who made it. The author of Luke claims that some prophecy is being fulfilled but has no evidence for that at all, but it does make a good story.
When the whole bible is read, one finds that this god is abusive. This god supposedly, per Paul, picks and chooses who can accept it and who cannot, damning those for something they did not do (Romans 9). This is analogous to a father beating his child for an action they did not do and could not do. We also have Jesus reportedly stating that he uses parables to make sure some people can’t accept him. So this belies Ed’s claim that this god wants to “free anyone”.
As to the claim that JC came physically back in 32 CE, Christians don’t agree on this, nor is there any evidence of any of the supposed rather dramatic events around the cruxifiction at any time they do float as the “truth”, the major earthquake, the sky darkening, and the dead rising from their graves and wandering around Roman-occupied Jerusalem around the Passover. One would think that the Jews would have noticed this and the Romans would have had their hands full.
If we are to believe the bible, this god either intentionally let Satan into the garden or was too stupid to keep it out, away from two humans who knew absolutely nothing at all, including that it was supposedly good to obey this god. Then this god blames the humans for its failure, and casts them out of eden. After supposed thousands of years, this god repeatedly tries to fix its mistake, with a flood (no evidence), with commandments (no evidence of an exodus) and then finally it decides it needs a human sacrificed by torture to make itself happy. It depends on Satan to make this happen since no “betrayal” then no supposed salvation.
We end up with this “Father” in Revelation, where this entity forces humans to work with Satan to accomplish what this god wants to have happen (Revelation 17). Then after this god kills every non-christian on earth, this god intentionally allows Satan to corrupt the Christians that are left.
This is not a loving father, this is a lunatic.
As Ed says “Put what you believe out in the open and it will make you stronger.” I wonder if he would agree with that now? I posted a comment on the blog post and we’ll see if it shows up.
6 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – answering “Answering Atheism’s Questions Part 1: Is God’s Character Abusive?””
Satan in the garden is not just abusive, but a deliberate sting operation, which is malicious.
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To answer the question in the title, I’m not sure what the character of God is. He/She or It hasn’t seen fit to reveal himself or his character in any detectable verifiable way that can be only traced to Him.
However the God portrayed and described in the old and new testaments of the bible would be definitely and accurately labeled as abusive if He were anyone else. But since He’s God and what He calls good is good and what He calls evil is evil, and what he defines for Us isn’t necessarily the standard He holds himself to… He gets a pass
Some, if not all, prefer to ‘see’ a god as they wish it to be. A few are open to the irrational fact that they are making this god up, quite on their own. Some Catholics are called cafeteria Catholics because they pick the things (dogma) they wish to follow and believe.
So many other Christians/Jews/Muslims go to the kitchen and cook up their own version of god, and thus their own religion. Flat out, this means that there are many gods. Many, many, many. Some talk to us, some cure cancer, some make verdant valleys, others watch us masturbate.
So, not only abusive, but a porn perv as well.
There are as many gods as there are believers.
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Excellent post! I’ve always thought of the story of Cain and Abel as the archetypal narrative of a dysfunctional family ruled by a tyrannical and abusive grandfather.
You have the absentee parents, Adam and Eve. Why are they, absentee parents? Well, to begin with, they were “brought” into the world without the benefit of parents or childhood or a human community. God, their dear old dad, doesn’t see any reason to explain the concept of parenting or anything else for that matter. Once they’re booted out of the garden, or as john zande perfectly stated, stung out of the garden, they’re ignored. They have two kids. Two boys.
We find out that God likes one and not the other and which one does he like, ah, the one who can bring him MEAT. Damn those stinking vegetables from the bounty of the earth, screw that, right? So he praises Abel and rejects Cain. In short, he’s a complete asshole. Any grandfather who would do such a thing today would be asked to leave the house, thank you very much.
God gives no reason, no decent explanation to the boy who is doing his damndest to satisfy the old fart. And what’s God hanging around for anyway? He’s already screwed up the parents’ lives by withholding information. He tells them if they eat of the tree they will die. Of course, they can have absolutely no idea what “die” means since nothing has died. And then being perfect and all, God pulls the same stunt with the grandsons.
“Oh, Abel, what a wonderful treat, a dead animal, wow. that’s great. Thanks man.”
“Thank you, grandfather. I feel so blessed.”
” What’s this crap, Cain. I’m supposed to eat this shit. Get out.”
“But this is produce Grandfather. I worked hard, labored in the field. Sweated. I’m proud of this product, and it’s good for you as well.”
“Get lost you little jerk off.”
“Shut up. Why can’t you do what’s right, huh? Sinful little brat. Just do what’s right.”
“But what’s right? I don’t understand.”
“I just told you. Now get out. If you were like good Abel here, I’d love you.”
thanks, Paul, and excellent comment with how silly this bullshit is.
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