Keeping the Faith: Good all the time

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM.

My outburst arose from the fact that I had been subjected to just such religious threats as a child myself. Church was not always something warm and welcoming, a place of community, peace, and learning. It was often a hard place with legalistic pressure, spiritual intimidation, and such high attendance requirements that I was never allowed to play in community sports programs as a child. My participation would prevent me from attending the midweek prayer meetings.

Church was a difficult place, I logically concluded, because God was difficult. I was resentful and distrustful of him; a God whom I actually believed was eager to send a child to “hell with the devil and his angels” for missing the occasional Sunday school class.

When you believe this about God, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about going to the building that bears his name.
Ironically, I have remained a church person my entire adult life, being in a pew or a pulpit most every Sunday. But I am no longer part of a rigid, hostile, fear-mongering faith because I no longer believe in a rigid, hostile, fear-mongering God.

This doesn’t make me an enlightened expert sitting in my fold-up chair. I simply have learned that God is not one to be wary of or to be resented, because God is not a threat. The childhood prayer is correct: “God is good,” and he is good all the time.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


 



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