Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Am Thrashing -- I Have Not Given Up

image property of Mandy Steward
I don't know what to say.

I've been having some profound misgivings about this faith I've sewn my heart to. The questions aren't new, really. They've been around since the beginning, since I said yes to Jesus more than ten years ago. It's just now that I'm being honest about them.

Maybe you have nagging doubts of your own. I think most people who declare themselves Christian must. I don't know how a person couldn't. But I guess it comes back to that honesty thing.

I don't trust God.

There, I said it. I want to trust him, but I don't.

The gospel has stopped making sense to me.  I am quickly losing the ability to see it as a story of purest love.  Instead, I'm struggling with the knowledge I'm supposed to swallow the fact that the loving God who is supposed to be all strength and glory is powerless to save the people who haven't happened to fall in with his kid? I know it's a narrow road and all, but we're talking a sizable percentage of history's population suffering eternal torment on a seeming technicality.

I have a hard time with that.

When I look closer at the Word, sifting for meaning, for comfort, I find myself confronted with language that is unsettlingly familiar to the justifications my abusers spoke when they smacked and shoved and kicked me into submission. They said it was my fault; that if I wasn't so bad, wasn't such a problem, then they wouldn't have to do all that. And while much of the Bible's archaic abusive language is in Old Testament, isn't God supposed to be the same yesterday, today, and forever?

I have a hard time with that, too. A very hard time. 

I'm honored to be writing (and thrashing) over at Mandy Steward's blog today to help celebrate the release of and start a conversation about her book.


  1. I'm a Quaker, and so while we are taught to love scripture, we are focused on the directed actions that we take, and the internal Light of Christ that guides us. It doesn't mean there isn't doubt, but it makes it easier somehow, to get quiet, to sit still and 'remember' God ... those moments themselves are the Light for me, the quiet stillness... but the search is always part of the search! always.

  2. Beth, I admire your honesty; along time ago I started moving away from a Christianity which offers answers: I don't think it does. Maybe it's something to do with the "God Particle": what small subatomic particle of faith "I" have maybe sufficient to keep one hopeful, apparently against the odds. it sounds to me that you have a feisty faith and tenacity which refuses to let go. That takes strength.

  3. God isn't intimidated by your thrashing - don't be afraid to ask the questions you need to.

    I'm praying that this journey, while it may be confusing and unsettling, will bring you to a place of inexplicable beauty and joy. <3

  4. beautifully brave. i love you and your wild.

  5. Your words here are echos of my own past. So, so hard to navigate these waters. Sending love and empathy your way.

  6. Seems like you have come to some pretty harsh realizations :) Very proud of you! I was looking for a skin tightening solution when I cam across your blog and it captured me. Very good writing!


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King