I’ve had so many struggles recently. I’ll share them here, being fully aware that it might not be useful to anybody. However, I’d like to see this blog as a step-by-step process. I’m walking through my path of life, and right now I do not have a lot of answers. Hopefully, months or more likely, years later I can look back and see how I’ve slowly moved forward through the tangles and underbrush. And with the knowledge gained along the way, I hope I can one day encourage others. But… first things first!
The first issue I want to talk about has to do with the following passage:
1 Corinthians 7:12-17 NRSV 12 To the rest I say–I and not the Lord–that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you. 16 Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife. 17 However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches.
I’ve read this years before, seeing it as an encouragement. But later I learned that it was written to people who got married when both partners were non-believers. Then one would become a believer, and then this is the advice. So (after a book I recently read): this does not justify my ‘deliberately disobeying God’ by marrying a non-believer. And this way of looking at it (seeing my relationship and planned marriage as sinful) is tearing me apart. The last half year or so I’ve felt depressed, I’ve felt like a failure, I’ve felt like God is silent because I willingly disobey him (and so it’s my own fault).
A while back, my boyfriend (Manoah) sent me the following video (him trying to explain to me why he’s so weary of raising kids with Christian beliefs).
Even though I know some things have been taken out of the proper context, I have to acknowledge that I don’t have the answers to many of the points the video brings up. And this makes me see God as the ‘bad guy’, or definitely not someone to love and trust. And that is how I’ve come to see God: like he wants me to let go of Manoah and follow Him (like when Jesus says you have to hate your father/mother/other family. That He always should be first on your priority list. Sounds a lot like the arguments in the video, right? How can I possibly do that, when I never hear His voice audibly, or see His face, of feel His loving hands on my shoulders?) It just makes me feel so terribly sad.
So, taken from the video, here are some things I cannot fathom at the moment:
*Believing that a baby was born corrupt and a sinner (Ps. 51:5 and Romans 5:12)
*One must ask forgiveness for what others did, thousands of years ago (is that true? Isn’t it that sin came into the world through Adam and Eve, and now we are sinful as well? Not necessarily because they ate an apple, but because we tell little white lies, or we’re selfish, or we don’t offer help when we know we could have (= our sins today).
*You must tell God how sorry you are for murdering his son Jesus (which was part of God’s divine plan, but the responsibility is yours).
*A portion of your wages MUST be given to God (I can see how from a non-believer’s standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to give money to something that doesn’t exist. Even from my own viewpoint (as a believer), I have my doubts about this).
*You must listen to him, but you’ll never hear his voice audibly (you must study an ancient book).
*You will thank him for his direction and guidance, but his mysterious ways will confuse you (that is exactly what’s happening to me. Manoah can see my confusion and doubt. He’s even more likely to want me to ‘stop believing this crap that just makes me unhappy’.)
*Great commission: all people must believe as you do. Reward=praising God for all eternity in heaven. If you don’t follow him: agony in hell forever.
*You must follow God because you love him, not because you fear torture and pain (this is a tricky one I think: how many people have believed because of fear? Maybe that was/is also one of my motivations. It’s like we don’t really have a choice in the matter: if we choose not to believe in God, we’ll be punished. So we’d better believe. Other way of saying it: you give a child the choice between a hamburger and a salad. The salad is obviously the healthy decision, and you want the child to go for this option. If he doesn’t, you’ll punish him for it: he has to go to bed early. So it seems like there is a choice, but actually, there isn’t.)
Does anyone have any encouraging words? I’m craving some encouragement. One of the women in church (whom I showed this video) said this is influenced by satanistic spirits. The devil uses scripture to make us doubt (like Jesus being tempted three times in the desert). However, some of the points just don’t make sense to me anymore. And how am I supposed to be a witness to people around me (especially Manoah), when I cannot even find the answers myself? This makes my testimony weaker than weak. I’m lost. I do not feel ‘fit’ enough to survive this challenge.