About this time last year, I discovered a few things that to me, didn’t add up about Christianity. This was extremely painful. How could this wonderful truth that I based my entire life on possibly be wrong?
I cried out to God for reassurance. (He was silent.) Desperate to hear from him, I reached for my Bible. Job! Now there’s a man who needed to hear from God. This book is held up to suffering Christians as an example: “Look, you’re not suffering as much as Job, and HE never cursed God...” I knew God spoke at the end of the book, so I flipped quickly to chapter 38, eager to read God’s words of comfort to his suffering, devoted servant.
God’s response took me aback.
“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” God begins.
“Who is this.” Not a good start for The Almighty really. Way to make your traumatized, faithful follower feel like a worthless nobody. Was The Omniscient One struck by sudden amnesia about his Job-destroying bet with Satan? Doubtful. He knew exactly who Job was. A power-play perhaps?
“...with words without knowledge?” Huh? Job’s just been pouring out his broken heart for 30-odd chapters. What’s knowledge got to do with his expression of grief? Oh....wait. If only he knew just HOW awesome and powerful His Creator was, he’d soon forget about his dead children. How dare he grieve his colossal loss. The nerve of some humans.
But maybe that starting line was just a God-formality. “Put human in his place. Check.” Maybe it gets better...
“Brace yourself like a man...”
Yeah Job. Forget about your festering sores and MAN UP would you? Again, maybe just a formality. “Prepare wimpy human for smackdown. Check.”
“I will question you, and you shall answer me.”
Cue four chapters of “Do you not know how f***ing awesome I am??” Finally! Some relief for poor Job. I know when I’m in pain, what I really need is the inflicter of said pain to rant in rhetorical questions about how supremely amazing they are. How do psychologists suggest you best deal with a traumatized person? Give them a good dose of “Shut the f*** up and listen to ME you puny little sh*t.” Perfect.
I felt so grieved to hear God speak with such contempt and disregard for Job’s pain. His response is the very antithesis of empathy and love. This was the last straw for me. “If this is what God’s really like,” I thought to myself, “then I don’t want anything to do with him. I’m out.”
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