Wednesday, June 19, 2019

"Nothing You Can't Handle": Why "christians" Think They're Better

I don't know if this will come as a surprise to any of you, but the Bible is full of things it doesn't actually say. Things like
there were three wisemen
cleanliness is next to godliness
god helps those who help themselves
abortion is a sin

Also, god will never give you a burden you can't bear.

"What?" you say, "That's not in the Bible? How can that be? People ("christians") say that all the time!"
Because of course they do.

Some of the examples I gave above have no Biblical basis whatsoever (actually, none of those things have any Biblical basis whatsoever), but this one does -- sort of; at least, it has a root cause for the thought -- so let's take a look at the actual verse the thought comes from.

I Corinthians 10:13 NIV
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

This verse is specifically dealing with sin and temptation. So, like, you're walking through a room and there's a fat piece of chocolate cake on a table, and you're tempted to eat it. This verse is saying that "god" won't allow you to be tempted in any way that goes beyond you're ability to resist it. Or, if it is a temptation beyond your ability to resist it, he'll offer some kind of escape hatch so that you can get away without sinning.

Which begs the question: why is the chocolate cake a sin? And, of course, it's not, but try convincing a "christian" of that. [Look, the cake is a metaphor (or, if you prefer, the cake is a lie).] At any rate, whether the cake is a sin is a topic for another conversation (and one I may have had on here? I can't remember, but I'm not going to go digging around looking for it, right now). The point, right now, is whether seeing the cake on  the table is a temptation beyond which you can bear and how, exactly, you can get away from it if it is. I don't remember ever seeing a special cake trap door appear in anyone's floor so that a tempted person could escape, and I'm pretty sure that would have made the news.

However, a "temptation," which happens in the moment, is quite a different thing from a "burden," which is ongoing. So the saying goes that any burden you have in your life, you only have because "god" knows you're strong enough to carry it. But let's take a closer look at that, too.

I think (and this is entirely my thought) that the verse cited above from I Corinthians may be being conflated with the verse from Matthew about taking up your cross to follow Jesus. You take up this burden, and "god" will give you the strength to carry it.
Not even Jesus was strong enough to carry his cross (his burden). Someone else had to step in and carry it for him.

And a lot of "christians" will say, "See, he couldn't carry it, so "god" provided someone to help him out because it was a burden beyond what he could bear." And that's all well and good except that it means that everyone who is burdened beyond their ability to carry the load should have someone there to take it from them. Right away. As soon as it's too heavy.

But that doesn't really ever happen, now, does it.
[In fact, the general response in modern evangelicalism is to decide that any person who becomes "burdened" in some way is, in fact, being punished by "god" and, therefore, no one should help that person. They need to fucking learn their lesson! Goddammit!]
There's definitely a failing somewhere in this whole concept, the most likely being that "god" doesn't hand out burdens or have anything to do with them or keeping them from getting too... burdenful. "He" couldn't give a shit about any burdens you may or may not have, either because "He" doesn't give a fuck about individual humans (anymore than we give a fuck about individual ants or bees) or because "He" doesn't actually exist (something I know I've talked about, but I'm also not going to go dig up that link).

The other main option is that "god" does monitor all of these burdens and has "provided" people ("christians"?) who will come along, as Simon did for Jesus, and take up your burdens for you so that you can make it BUT these "people" have free will and, so, are doing shit about helping other people, which is entirely true. Being someone who spent decades working in churches, I know exactly how "christians" feel about helping people in need. If it's someone white and in their congregation who suffers some kind of catastrophe, they are more than happy to step in and help but, if it's someone poor, especially if they are of some shade other than Caucasian, "god" suddenly only helps those who help themselves and they can all go fuck themselves. It's their own fault anyway and, if they didn't want to be poor or hungry or addicted or whatever, they would and could certainly do something about it.

Because, see, it's all about choice and, because "god" always provides a way out, that means that at some point that person made the cognitive choice to ignore that option and do something to put themselves into the situation they're in. You know, they chose the temptation. Or the burden is punishment. Or whatever. But whatever it is, it puts the "christian" into a position of superiority because, you know what? The "christian" doesn't have some undue punishment or temptation that they're giving into (other than the pride and arrogance they will never see) so that means, must mean, that the "christian" is favored by "god" while the suffering person is not. It gives them carte blanche to shrug their shoulders and go about their business.

Personally, I don't know how they get around the verse in Philippians that says, " humility value others above yourselves," but I guess I'm not the only one who has a "fuck Paul" attitude because, as much as "christians" hold Paul up as their idol, they never seem to get beyond his judginess in their dealings with other people. Paul also said to make the rich sit at the back of the church in the bad seats, but when's the last time you saw that happen? Oh, yeah, never.

So... If you ever wonder how or why it is all these "christians" in the United States don't seem to care at all about helping the poor and the destitute and the burdened, well, this why. They aren't compelled to because, obviously, "god" would take care of it if they deserved it. It's their burden to bear and, if they aren't able to handle it, it's their own choice.

Is that a great way to get out of helping people?

1 comment:

  1. They sure do love their "Prosperity Doctrine". It justifies even more their gluttonous hoarding of wealth.