I Got My Ministry Degree On WordPress.com!

Ok, not really, but it got you to click on this didn’t it?

It’s time for some RANTING (slightly-vehement) opinion sharing.

My sister recently pointed me to a facebook status that blew up in the comments, which then prompted this post. Normally, I would post the actual comments here so you could read them in their entirety if you wanted to, but to protect people’s privacy & also because it’s excessively long (like my Dear Females post was…whew!), I’m just going to sum up the contents of the whole thing.

Someone that my sister and I know shared in her status about her belief that God can do anything and asked people to click the “like” button if they agree that God is awesome. Of course, she got plenty of likes and positive comments, but there is always that one person that gets a fire started and (105 debate-filled comments later) causes facebook to explode. This wouldn’t happen if other people didn’t feed the flames, but this was one of those things that you couldn’t help but comment on if you have even a modicum of faith in God. And this is coming from someone who is very anti-drama & even more hesitant to debate the subject of religion in particular. I do whatever I can to avoid it most times, but something has convicted me to share my thoughts on this one.

That one person that I was talking about earlier? For the sake of privacy (& for my own amusement) – Let’s call him “Saul“. We probably won’t refer to Saul specifically more than two or three times, but I just wanted to tie a biblical reference to a self-proclaimed atheist because I’m cocky like that. Like I said…for my own amusement. {You can pick my next blog post topic if you can tell me how the name relates to this current topic.}

So, Saul doesn’t believe in God. Doesn’t believe he exists. His main argument for his lack of faith is, I believe, (like many people) because if God was real and had the power to make all right within the world (feed the hungry, heal the sick, basically make the world full of rainbows & butterflies) why doesn’t he? Valid question. I genuinely believe things like this deserve an answer because that is what all people – no matter your religious beliefs or lack thereof – are looking for: Answers.

Before I go on (insert regularly scheduled disclaimer here—>) I want everyone to understand that I am not a theologian, nor will I ever be. I’m not even that great a Christian. I fall short all the time & I don’t read my bible regularly, listen to Christian music (often…other than Skillet) or attend church like I should, but it’s not because I don’t believe or because I don’t have faith. It’s because I’m lazy & hard headed. I say things I shouldn’t & I certainly don’t pray like I should. When I do, it’s usually because I want to pray for someone else or, sadly, because I’m in some sort of a bind that I want God to sort out for me. I tell myself I’m going to make an effort to change that and I do for a while, but I get lost along the way just like everyone else and have to get back on the right path…just like everyone else. So don’t judge me. {*sticks tongue out at you*}

I don’t preach to people about my faith, even though the bible says you should witness to people, because as I said earlier religious debates are not my cup o’ tea. Also, because I’m still learning a lot for myself & have a meager knowledge of the bible so I’ve never felt compelled to preach on a subject I, admittedly, know very little about. I believe that people are far more likely to hear you out if you don’t beat them over the head with the bible, but instead show them what you’re about through your actions & your genuine love & concern for them. I’m telling you all this so that you will understand that what I’m about to say are just my opinions and also that I’m not trying to be self-righteous. I have faith in God, but I also know I’m not perfect either. I have questions that I need answered, too, just like everyone else. (<—there it is again; your reminder not to judge me! :P) I’m not going to give you the “if you don’t ________ like it says in the bible then you’re going to hell” speech because if that’s the case, if I died right after posting this: I would not pass Go, I would not collect $200 & I would not have a “Get Out Of Hell Free Card.”

I don’t have all the answers, but I think I do have a pretty good handle on this one because I’ve struggled with it so much myself.

So, if God exists, why does he make all the bad stuff in the world happen? Simple. He doesn’t make it happen, he lets it happen.

“Why does he let it happen?” you ask? Because God is not a servant of man. There is no Heaven Hotline you can call where you hear this on the other end: “Hello, thank you for calling Heaven where our motto is ‘all good all the time.’ God speaking, how may I serve you today?” He didn’t come here to serve our every whim and make all our wildest dreams and desires come true. He didn’t come here to make me a singer or to heal my family, friends and all our loved ones of their diseases. He came here to save us from ourselves. If God’s only purpose was to give humans every single thing they wanted, this would be a more awful and chaotic world than it already is. It would be more full of entitled, selfish, ungrateful, evil people than it is now & who wants that? All of us having every single thing we want is not a good thing.

But wait, couldn’t he just choose to do only the good things? He’s God so of course he could just choose to do all good things. And I believe he does, but just because they aren’t what you wanted him to do, does that automatically make them bad? He does what he knows is the right thing for us.

God has a plan that is incalculably bigger than us & all our petty & trivial ideas of what is good and best for us. If cancer or being in a foxhole with two of your dead friends while RPGs are flying just inches from your face was the road you had to travel to finally accept God into your life with the end result of reaching eternity in heaven at the end of your earthly life then I say, so be it. Not that I want cancer or to have anyone I love in a war zone like that (or be in one myself), but if the threat of imminent death is the only thing that is going to make you turn your eyes to God, I think it’s worth it. In the grand scheme of things, what could matter more than your eternal soul? If your answer is that it doesn’t matter, then I feel sad for you because if that – of all things – doesn’t matter, then that means there’s no reason to even be alive going through with all these shenanigans life throws at us, which makes life even more of a cruel joke than most people already think it is. It would be pointless if there wasn’t something, some goal you were striving to reach at the end of your life.

And even if there is nothing after this life, I have a theory about that, too. That cancer patient we were just talking about? Terminal Leukemia. They’re going bald, in constant pain and the treatments aren’t working. What if their faith in God, their faith that they were going to a better place after they died where there was no pain, no tears and lots of hair – lets not forget hair. What if that is the only thing that gave them peace and made them able, not only to accept death, but to welcome it? Even if there is no God, I think the peace we get from believing in something is worth whatever we go through here on Earth.

Also, what could be bad about a spiritual being that just wants us to love and be good to one another, be pure with our words and our thoughts, raise our children to be loving, independent, responsible, honest, trustworthy individuals? Even if God is a fluke, I believe these are the right things to do and the right values to teach our children. I know people who don’t believe in God that have these same desires for their children and for their own lives. I don’t believe that a belief in God is a prerequisite for being a good person, but I also don’t think simply being a good person is going to get you to heaven. God is constantly testing us, but he wouldn’t need to if we didn’t have

♫♪dun dun dun…♫♪

FREE WILL.

People argue that there is no free will. That it cannot exist because if God knows everything, has a plan for our whole lives; then how could we possibly have free will? I think I have an idea about that, too. God knew us before we were even conceived & I believe he has a plan for all of us, but that’s kind of where free will comes in. We can choose whether or not to follow the plan that God has laid out for us or not. If we don’t follow his path, then we’re following our own and even though God may know what our own path is leading us to, I don’t believe he changes the path for us (or our decision to travel it) as soon we’re going in the opposite direction of where he wants us to. I believe he’s still there for us, just waiting for us to call out and say we need him to get us back on track. He gives us the tools and the knowledge we need, the opportunity to decide to change from our own path to his – but it’s ultimately our choice.

It’s like coming to a fork in the road – do you go left or right? God may tell you that he’s chosen for you to go left, but you don’t have to. You can choose to go right, but you have to deal with whatever obstacles you come to along that path the same way you would if you chose the path God had in mind for you – only you have to do it without God guiding you. Do I believe that God still helps you through certain obstacles even if you do veer off of the path he meant for you to travel? Sure. But he’s not going to reach down & turn you around himself or pick you up out of the fire unless you call out for him to. You have to ask for his help when/if you finally decide that you want to accept it. At that point, you’ve made a choice for God, for heaven – the choice that he meant for you to make from the very beginning (because ultimately the decision we make is not a choice between left or right, but a choice between heaven & hell.)

I don’t believe God uses his omnipotence to manipulate our lives/choices in that way because I’m of the opinion that God doesn’t want a bunch of children living under his roof that don’t really want to be there. He wants those that want him, too. It’s pretty basic really. I wouldn’t want to torture myself pining after a boyfriend that didn’t want me, constantly trying to convince him to love me back when I could just go find someone that does want me. It’s that simple.

We don’t always understand why God lets bad things happen, but we’re not supposed to. People are so caught up in trying to achieve higher brain function – an open mind – yada, yada, yada, that we don’t even think about our hearts being the part of us that needs to be opened. I think the things that God lets happen are his way of trying to push us to reach out for him. He puts the water right in front of us, but he doesn’t make us drink it. If we die of thirst, whose fault is that? It’s not his fault that you chose to be bitter about your mother dying of a brain tumor or your son getting killed in a car accident. It hurts & it’s unfair & everybody understands that – but turning your back on God doesn’t change how much it hurts or reverse it or give you peace or any number of things you think it might do for you. It just gives you one less source of comfort to turn to when you need it.

Of course, if you think that turning to God doesn’t do anything for you either then I can’t convince you to feel otherwise. But I do hope that reading this gave you something to think about and maybe a different perspective to view things from. Lastly, before I go I want to say really quickly that I would never try to change anyone else’s opinions, but I won’t apologize for my own either so if you’re just going to read this and then make a nasty comment at the bottom, you can save it. I am all for people sharing their opinions – I welcome it because I love the interaction – but be respectful. Don’t call people names or intentionally try to make them feel like an idiot just so you can have your 15 seconds of superiority. You can debate all day long if you want to, but please don’t fill my comments section with pointless drama.

Alright…I said my piece…you may have at it.

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7 thoughts on “I Got My Ministry Degree On WordPress.com!

  1. Dear Bethy,
    Well said. I hope that anyone reading this will have an open mind and heart. I pray that God (yes, I believe and know that He exists) will open all hearts and minds. Even though I pray for peace and total healing for everyone and that all basic needs are met, I mostly pray that all souls are saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and appreciate His mercy, and choose to truly love God and obey His commands. I pray that God’s Will and not my own is always done. For He knows the big picture and what is best for all of us. I can get preachy at times but only because I truly care for others and want the best for them. And not my best or their best, but God’s very best. And we can only have that when we turn to Him and study His word and allow Him to guide us. So thank you so much, for posting this and doing it in such a way that it is respect to all and not beating people over the head with the Bible (as I would do). You should know that I do that because your head has been the target a few times (along with your brother and sisters) I do pray that others can see God in me because you are so right about the fact that we can best introduce God to others in how we live our own lives.
    You know Bethy, despite all of my mistake, God did a wonderful job in raising you and your siblings. I love you, Mom

  2. Bethy I absoluteley love this. you should print it out and ask pastor if he knows how you can get it published and put in one of them sunday school guides or a chicken soup for the soul book. it was awesome.

  3. You sound like a Deist. Welcome to the fold. 🙂
    Personally I don’t view Deism as a religion as much as it is a philosophy about the nature of God.

    I believe pretty much the same way you do. I have for a long time compared the nature of God to a football coach. Let me ‘splain.

    He knows the abilities of his players (like you said, He knows us before we are conceived) and trains us as best he can and give us the game plan to win. (you mentioned he has a plan for us) Despite the fact that we know the game plan, have an awesome coach and practiced hard before we hit the field for game day… we still fumble the ball. (freewill; i think you said God doesn’t make things happen, he lets things happen. [HUGE Deist idea about the nature of God]). So you screwed up on the field, the game is over and coach says, “Wow, you really screwed up out there. But you know what… you’re ok in my book kid. There’s always next week’s game.” (God loves us)

    And THAT’S my (and perhaps a Deist’s) view of the nature of God.
    Have a blessed week, take that ball and hold on tight!
    hut, hut, hut, hike!

    • Thank you for your comment! I had never heard of a Deist before…interesting. Rest assured, (though you explained it quite well) I’ll end up googling that in about 30 seconds 😉

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