To know that we’re loved by God with the same love as His love for Jesus is amazing; heartwarming; unless…
…you’ve been abused most of your life…
…and you believe that God punished Jesus in your place;
that all Christ endured was God’s ‘heart’ for you.
He hated you that much.
Aren’t you so thankful that Jesus took the hit for you?
Don’t you want to become one of God’s children too?
Yes. I cringe as I type, for this is completely untrue.
Yet, I see that this is the ‘gospel’ most of us believe; is the reason why some Christians protest abortion clinics and homosexuality and other behaviors to which God is opposed by screaming curses and spewing hateful labels at those who participate.
‘Without Jesus’, they deserve wrath…ours, apparently.
In the loving name of Jesus, amen, of course.
(This is NOT my approval of their ungodly acts – just a comment about our ungodly treatment of them.)
I had many questions for God last year. Ones to which I needed answers if I was to continue in the faith. It was really messy, so I ‘unplugged’ from WordPress to spare you.
Utterly fed up with abuse of any sort, I was ready to ‘dump God’ as the worst abuser of them all.
Hell sounded pretty good: sure, it’s hot, dark, worms never die…but you are alone. At least I wouldn’t be mistreated by others anymore.
Jeremiah 29:13 reads, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
It was the ‘all my heart’ bit that got me into trouble.
Yes, His Spirit was dwelling in me, but it was ‘Standing Room Only.’ There was a crowd of ‘witnesses’ hanging out in there as well. People from my past whose words ‘dwelt richly in me’ – words I believed with all my heart:
Stupid, worthless, fat, ugly, lazy, ridiculous, good-for-nothing, inadequate, unwanted, unlovable, and many that I won’t type so as to not offend you. Their voices were so loud that I could barely hear the Spirit speak.
(Through the process of forgiving, most of them have been evicted this year. I’m doing much better. Hearing the Lord much better, too. 😉 )
If you tell a person who’s been abused that the cross was God taking out His wrath for us – on His beloved Son – they’re not going to want to ‘join your club.’
After all, children, believe that parents love. Everyone knows that.
The abused child assumes that this is what love does: Dad’s angry about an infraction of his laws. Mom interferes, deflecting Dad’s anger and receives what was about to be unleashed on him or her.
Which sounds a lot like what God’s love ‘did’ to Jesus…
…the innocent suffering wrath that was meant for us.
(Yes, this is what the mind of an abused person does with the ‘Good News.’)
Is this what we really believe about God?
More importantly, is it even true?
Have I rattled your cage? If this is the god you believe in, I sincerely hope so.
We will seek Him – and find Him – when we search for Him with all our heart.
My next post will be a re-blog by Mel Wilde. It turns out, I’m not the only one on this quest. Being further along on the journey, he is better able to articulate what God has also been revealing to him. It was exciting to discover that what God was showing me, He is also revealing to others, and independent of others. Mel is one of many, I’ve learned!
For a more thorough, scholarly treatment of this subject, I highly recommend Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood.