So I’m filled with a lot of questions. You probably get these all the time. I honest-to-goodness wish I could feel God. I feel as if something’s wrong with me since I’m unable to feel him. How can we be certain that Christianity is the correct religion, since all religions claim to be the right one and claim the other religions to be wrong?
Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? I don’t want to see people die. Why did God create sin? Does God really love me? I feel like he probably hates me. What should I expect from God? Am I expecting too much if my relationship with God feels somewhat one-sided? Why does he let tragedies occur? It upsets me how so many innocent people are murdered and abused, and also how we have a roof over our heads yet there’s some people out there homeless and starving. Why does God let these things happen? It’s hard for me to fathom how the worst things happen to wonderful people. The Bible can be confusing; how do I believe something that’s confusing? It’s fine with me if you want to post my questions on your website, don’t include my name though! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer me!
Wow! It’s like The Riddler Goes to Seminary!
Riddle me this, readers: What’s exactly the same, but with lines newly broken, with answers not lame, in blue words bespoken?
Did the Riddler rhyme?
No, right? The Riddler’s obnoxious—but he’s not rhymingly obnoxious.
But … did Batman have a nemesis called the Rhymer? I seem to recall one of his bad guys compulsively rhyming.
Well, if Batman didn’t have a Rhymer, he should have.
There’s the Dark Knight, reloading his utility belt. But what’s this folded-up piece of paper he discovers stuffed into one of the belt’s compartments? As he reads the note he feels his blood running cold:
Cries out damsel fair:
“Oh where are you, Batman?!”
When (finally!) he’s there,
She sees he’s now Fatman.
See? Now that is an evil nemesis.
You know who I think used to while away his lonely, candle-lit nights writing poetry? Robin. I think that on rose-scented parchment paper Robin penned many a love sonnet. To Batman. Which he never sent. How sad. I think he would have written:
The Robin’s Song
We descend through the night sky
Evil quakes as we arrive
And every moment I feel so alive
Barely do I breathe, as we (so nearly!) fly
For now it is on; now the action is nigh!
Straight into the fray do both of us dive.
In the midst of the battle we slap hands: “High five!”
But later, alone, I dream of you and sigh.
Sorry about all that. I’m just in a mood. Consider everything above the line a whole other blog post—separate from this one, in which, as I often do, I reprint below the letter above, with my responses in the bracketed blue hue that I do just for you:
I honest-to-goodness wish I could feel God. [You can feel God; being aware of the presence of God is the birthright of every human. You know that voice inside of you that tells you the difference between the truth and bull [bleep]? That is the voice of God talking to you. For a bit more on this, see my The Only Language You and God Share.]
I feel as if something’s wrong with me since I’m unable to feel him. [You feel God all the time. You just don’t recognize that deeply grounded/inspired feeling that sometimes comes over you as God. See also my Where is God? THERE is God!]
How can we be certain that Christianity is the correct religion, since all religions claim to be the right one and claim the other religions to be wrong? [Who cares what other people say about other religions? The only thing that matters is what (if any) religion works for you. Show me a person who believes that because their religion is right for them no other religion can ever be right for anyone, and I’ll show you a person further from God than they think they are.]Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? [He didn’t. He’s God. If he wanted to, he could have danced a happy jig on the top of that cross. Jesus chose to die in the horrific manner he did, in order to demonstrate the point that he wanted to make in a way that no one would ever forget. See my Once Upon Atone.] I don’t want to see people die. [Who the heck does?]
Why did God create sin? [S/he didn’t. God allows for sin, because to do otherwise would be to violate the thing that most makes us human: free will. If I want to mug an old lady—if I want to violate her free will because I’m bigger and stronger than she—then God will not stop me from doing that, just as God will not stop another person from stopping me from doing that, or stop the old lady from pulling out a handgun and shooting me, and so on. We are all free to make whatever choices our conscience, capabilities, and will power allow—including utterly dominating another person if that’s what we want to do. Out of his love for all of us, God will violate the free will of none of us. See my “Born into Sin” just means BORN, period.]
Does God really love me? [Yes, absolutely.] I feel like he probably hates me. [God does not hate you. God loves you. If ever you find yourself feeling that God hates you, you can trust that you’re only projecting onto God feelings that you have about yourself. That’s normal; everybody does that.]
What should I expect from God? [That s/he will deepen your life and enrich your experience if you only give him/her a chance to.]
Am I expecting too much if my relationship with God feels somewhat one-sided? [No, I think that means you’re not expecting enough.]
Why does he let tragedies occur? It upsets me how so many innocent people are murdered and abused, and also how we have a roof over our heads, yet there’s some people out there homeless and starving. Why does God let these things happen? [Again, because God will not violate the free will of any person. And people with power often bring suffering down upon those with less power, because they are deeply afraid of the same thing all people are terrified of: death.]
It’s hard for me to fathom how the worst things happen to wonderful people. [Why is that hard to fathom? Terrible things happen all the time to all kinds of people, “wonderful” or otherwise. Life is gruelingly difficult. Much of it makes people crazy, if only temporarily. Crazy people do crazy things that cause all kinds of people all kinds of pain. There’s no mystery there. Again: life is so daunting that people are afraid of it—for the very good reason that all of us are certain to one day die a death unlikely to be pretty. The certainty of croaking engenders in each and every person a lot of deep seated fear. And in the fight between compassion and fear—which is to say between compassion and self-preservation—compassion sometimes/often loses. See my How can I believe in God, when so many innocent people suffer?]
The Bible can be confusing; how do I believe something that’s confusing? [Not all of the Bible is confusing it; much of it is not. Go with the parts that sing to you; you can always sweat the rest later. See my The Bible’s Two Big Problems.]
It’s fine with me if you want to post my questions on your website, don’t include my name though! [I won’t. I never do.] Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer me! [You’re welcome. Thanks for writing.]