A friend recently asked me some questions about my beliefs on a few things. God put a lot of stuff into my head and I just typed. It’s rough, it’s uncut, and it’s real. I’m publishing it partially to have a record for myself and partially because perhaps it is something that someone else out there might need to read.
I saw the photo and your comment. Lots of deep stuff in there 🙂 I actually just read a really good book that addressed a lot of your thoughts. It’s called The Shack by William P. Young. It’s a fictional story about a man who ends up spending a weekend with God. He asks God a lot of the same questions you asked. I just read it last weekend and there was a lot of good philosophical stuff in it so I’m thinking I’ll need to read it a few times but, even the first time through, it really helped me to understand more about why bad things happen and what God’s will is for the world. And it really helped put into perspective how our own sinful decisions can impact ourselves and those around us and the whole world in general. It shows how God can use the mistakes that we make and the things that seem bad to us to paint a more beautiful picture than we could ever imagine.
Keep in mind that I’m not speaking in behalf of all Christians, I’m speaking on behalf of myself and where I’m at with this right now. I am learning and growing and understanding more each year but there is no way I’ll ever fully comprehend the entirety of God’s mind and plan.
I have a friend who’s daughter recently got diagnosed with cancer. She’s just a few months younger than Biscuit and a super sweet girl and her parents are amazing God-fearing, faith-filled, born again Christians. It has been incredible to see the strength of their trust in God’s ultimate plan through this. It’s not easy for them but they recognize that we live in a fallen world and that there isn’t always an explanation that makes sense to us but that God’s picture isn’t finished yet.
Kind of like when I discipline my kids. Like when they reach for the stove and I pull them back. They don’t understand, they are hurt by my actions, but I do it out of love. How much moreso does God love us? Even if my children choose to go against me and touch the stove behind my back, they will get hurt. Not because I didn’t love them, but because they made the choice to do something that would hurt them. Sometimes they knew it would hurt them, sometimes they are just unable to understand the consequences of their actions. They just knew that I was preventing them from doing something they wanted to do but they didn’t see the whole picture. Either way, I comfort them through it, if they let me.
God warns us of the consequences but gives us free will to make the choice for ourselves. “If you love something, set it free,” in a way. My kids will (and already do) make choices that break my heart, but it is never because I don’t love them and want what’s best for them. They often don’t see how their choices today can influence them in the next 30 years because all they see is what’s right in front of them. As they get older, they’ll learn how to see further down the road but God will always see and know more because He isn’t restricted by time and space.
As for the “born gay” thing, that is a whole different ball game. I do know that a very high percentage of gay people have suffered abuse and/or had an absent parent (usually the father). I also know that some people see their 6 year old going through a dress wearing phase so they start believing their child is gay and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. Schools encourage children to come out of the closet at young ages, ages when they are too young to make life altering choices. They kid isn’t even aloud to decide what’s for supper but is encouraged to embrace a specific sexual orientation.
I, personally, believe in embracing who my children were designed to be. They were designed to be boys so I will treat them as boys and explain to them how a boy’s body works and encourage them to embrace and accept the fact that God designed them perfect just the way they are, as boys. Just because one is more sensitive and “girly” than the others doesn’t make him any less of a boy. (That’s just my personal conviction and I’m not speaking for all Christians because I don’t know how all Christians raise their boys).
As for judgement, there is a difference between disagreeing with someone and hating someone. A Christian will not hate someone for their sin. That would be ridiculous, considering all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are all sinners, we just sin in different ways. Christians believe a lot of things that are societally acceptable are wrong but it seems that people really like to focus on just the one thing and blow it out of proportion. There’s a verse in the Bible that talks about how if you break on law, no matter which law, you are a lawbreaker. At the end of the day, we are all lawbreakers and in need of a Savior. According to that, there is no hope for any of us.
That’s why Jesus came. He never broke God’s law. He was perfect. When God started dealing out punishments to all of us lawbreakers, Jesus stepped up and said, “punish me instead.” He loved us so much that He was willing to die the death of the worst of sinners. (I use the term “worst” according to human standards, God doesn’t judge one sin worse than another). Jesus took on the death that we were supposed to die. (It still boggles my mind of the fact that He was willing to do that for me.) Even if nothing else happened after that, Jesus death wiped the slate clean for us. But, on top of Him interceding for us and taking God’s wrath onto Himself, He beat death. Death was brought into the world by our mistake, our bad decision. And we were trapped by the cycle of life and death. But Jesus rose from the dead and broke that cycle. So, going back to my friend’s daughter, her earthly body may dies from this cancer. Because we still live in a fallen world and she lives in a fallen body. But her spirit, her soul, will live on, because this little girl clings to Jesus. He will pull her spirit out of her lifeless body to be with Him in paradise.
Holy moly, I just went through a bit or a mental journey as I wrote that. I’m not sure if it’s what you were expecting me to say or how much of it you have heard before but I pray that it falls on listening ears. And I want to thank you for asking me because typing all of that out was …. incredible. Thank you. And I hope that you can make some sense of it 🙂