God Might Love You… September 20, 2010

God Might Love You…

Ohhh…. so *that’s* how God works:

David Hayward explains his comic:

Structures and those in authority use speech as a means of control. “We love you as you are” is bait to lure you in. “We love you too much to let you stay that way” is fear to make you conform. And “God never loved you to begin with” is a subtle theological excuse used by those in power to explain why you rejected their authority.

At what point can we all admit church leaders are just making this up as they go along?

God never loved you, but he never hated you, either. He has never thought about you. Ever. And that’s perfectly fine. You’re in charge of your life and you decide who gets affected by your actions. It’s a responsibility we all have to bear. Some people just can’t handle the thought that there’s no one “up there” watching over and guiding everything we do.

(via nakedpastor)

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  • Luther

    And if your parents are Catholic, then boy does your priest love you.

  • Bazinga!

  • Don Rose

    I still like the way those of us on the atheist side of the fence say it: “jesus loves you, but the rest of us think you’re an asshole.”.

  • Bob

    @Don: Reminds me of the old joke, “Do you know why Catholics are glad Jesus was crucified instead of stoned to death?”

    Answer: So they can do this (makes sign of cross) instead of this (pummels forehead with fists in imitation of thrown rocks).

  • HAHAHA nice one Bob.

    On another note. Churches that excommunicate apostate members, and then force their families to disown them really make me sick to my gut. The old fundie church that I used to go to had several ex-exclusive-brethren and ex-JW’s in it. Some of them hadn’t seen any of their family members for over a decade. At least the fundies didn’t disown me, I’m having fun making some of them doubt their faith through debate.

  • It seems to be a matter of unspeak. Saying something while hiding what you mean.

    “We love you as you are” preys on the need of some to be accepted and loved. It really is bait and it seems best targeted at teens and the vulnerable.

    “We love you too much to let you stay that way” I must say I don’t understand this. Is that what really goes on in churches? Do they try to change people? I suppose they must but I would have thought that a church was simply somewhere where people come together to worship their god.

    Shows what I know.

    “God never loved you to begin with” surprises me. I thought that the general idea was that God always loves you, no matter what. The “fault” supposedly lies with the person rejecting the religion.

  • @hoverfrog:

    “We love you too much to let you stay that way”

    They try to change you through preaching, explaining things like sin and faults. It does a number on young teenage minds – forced me to closet myself and be fearful that I was going to go to Hell because I dared to… enjoy the company of myself.

    “Live your life according to Jesus’ words” was something I heard a lot. My Church tried to foist an impossibility onto us, then explain it away by saying that we could go to Heaven anyway. It was terribly confusing – like a half-assed, non-committal version of Catholicism. “Yeah, try to live like Jesus, but you can’t so don’t bother.”

  • muggle

    “God never loved you” surprises me too. The rhetoric I always hear is that if you reject gawd you never loved him/never truly believed bullshit. (I believed when I was a child and young adult as adamantly as the six year old believes in Santa. Like Virginia, I outgrew such blind faith.)

    Hoverfrog, Kevin explains the second one quite well. It’s really a bait and switch. Jesus loves you to get you into church then the whole guilt trip you’re a horrible sinner if you don’t love Jesus by being his slave and letting him dictate how you live your life once they get you there.

  • @muggle:

    Wait, Santa doesn’t exist? :O My life is ruined! *runs away, crying* (Hehe)

    My family’s Church considers people who leave the faith ‘back-sliders.’ They always say “they’ll be back, like the prodigal son.” Unfortunately, my going back to Church would mean going back into the closet, back into a spiral of doubt and depression, and back into ignorance. Couldn’t ever do it.

  • Robert

    The cartoon is not an accurate depiction of Christian theology. God does love us as we are, He always has and always will.

    The ex communication is done by misguided humans and religion, not Christianity in its pure form.

    As far as being changed, that is not done by the churches. It is a natural result of turning your life over to Christ. I have witnessed truly life transforming changes in people who have accepted Christ as their savior. It wasn’t done by the church.

  • Thanks Kevin and Muggle. I’m glad that my formative years weren’t twisted by that kind of bollocks.

  • Robert: the cartoon wasn’t meant to be an accurate depiction of christian theology, but of some of the church. certainly we would have to agree that your statement “christianity in its pure form” has to be one of the most problematic of all time. isn’t that what all the fighting’s about? what is its pure form?

  • David

    Is that Stewie at the podium? When did he become a Christian?

  • muggle

    hoverfrog, you don’t know how lucky you were.

    Kevin, lol, and yeah, the old back-sliders. I left the church at 17 and am now 52 and there’s probably still some who think I’ll be back… Of course, if they’re holding their breath, they passed out a long time ago…

  • Ben

    Skeptical believer though I may be, I do think that there’s a balance between hearing the meaningful truths found in the Word and deciding for oneself when the pulpit is speaking for it’s own self interest to keep members hooked out of guilt feelings over doing everything “right”. It is indeed difficult to have full faith in Christianity while being threatened with the guilt provoking messages like those in the comic. “If you don’t do this, you’re unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord” does conflict with “God loves you no matter what”. It’s a shame that this kind of clash drives people away from the goodness that is available from the basic teachings. I think there are more good aspects than bad in religion, and that we need to decipher the guilt trip plug ins from the good stuff we can use. God would rather we listen to what we know is right than turn away from it, right? Whether you’re an aethiest or a believer, Biblical principles are for everyone and are common practice in our lives, regardless of if you acknowledge it or not.

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