I don't blame you

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A song by The Sarah Jade who's an amazing artist. I love this song.

I know there is lot of hurt in this world, and a lot of that hurt comes from religion. The reason I call this blog "the rebel God" is because I really believe that God is fundamentally on the side of all the people who walk away, of all the people who just can't believe anymore. Knowing how God has stood by me through all my doubts, how unrelentingly he has loved me through all of my failures and brokenness, I don't think for a single second that he would condemn anyone who can't believe, or who has walked away because of pain and disappointment. I don't blame you. But if that's you, what I wish more than anything, is that you could know how much you are loved right now. I pray that you could know that unrelenting love in the middle of your pain and darkness.

God wants us to be mad about suffering. God wants us to question authority. God does not want us to just put on a happy face, and tow the party line. Be real, be honest, and know that when you do, God is right there alongside you, even in your doubts. The key is to take that anger and pain and channel it into something that makes us more awake, and more compassionate. But there is also a real danger that it can break us.

That's a fine line to walk, and probably the most important thing is that no one should need to navigate through that alone. But when we are doubting, it can feel like we are walking away from others who believe. That's why it's so important that we stand by those who are doubting, who are mad at God. That can be hard, because their doubts can uncover our own fears, which can make us feel threatened and hostile. Seeing their need mirrors our own weakness back to us. It takes a lot of love, and a strong faith, but that is what real faith is about: faith to question, and be able to stand by others when they do.

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At 6:57 AM, Blogger Penny Murray said...

This was so moving for me personally. Thank you for this.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger John said...

Loved the song and I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. I am a new Universalist who used to be a Calvinist who also rejects Penal Substitutionary atonement. I havn't studied other theories in depth so I'm also looking forward to digging into that as well.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Derek said...

Hi Cole,

Glad you liked it. Can I ask what a "new Universalist" is?

At 6:47 PM, Blogger John said...

I'm new to Universalism. Christain Universalism of "Hope Beyond Hell"

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why call it "universalism" though to believe that God really does elect the prodigals and the prostitutes and the tax collectors as the first among us and those of us who can renounce all worldly dignity and power play are invited to become Samaritans and live among them? I think there are definitely people who will hate God for all of eternity. The problem is that the source of their hatred of God is how radically convinced they are that they're the only ones who believe the right things about God.

Universalism is little comfort to those who have been hurt by self-righteous a**holes. The jerks who drove good people out of the church need to face the music. Any of you ever read Frantz Fannon's The Wretched of the Earth? It's probably the strongest critique of universalism that I know of (though I'm reapplying it from its original context).

It's about how wrong it was for the French to expect the Algerians to declare their independence in a "civilized" manner after centuries of colonial cruelty. To negotiate independence from the French on the terms of the French would mean a perpetuation of the paternalistic power structure of colonialism. For the same reason, oppressors cannot be allowed to hold forth in eternal communion with God as though they hadn't done anything to the oppressed.


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