Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God…what if I need my sleep?

I’m outside Christianity; but I still have numerous Christian acquaintances who post situations and stories on their blogs, facebook, e-mails, etc. At times, the innate desire to give God credit is puzzling.

One friend noted she was having trouble sleeping, woke up in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep—prayed for her son in the military. He contacted her later and mentioned he was involved in an undisclosed incident earlier that day.

Other Christians chimed in how it was God working—how it was God who woke her up so she could pray for her son. How neat and wonderful it was…and…

I’m thinking, “What the heck? God woke you up so you could ask God a favor, so God could do it? Why didn’t God just do it? Why did He have to wake you up first?”

To them—a miracle; to me—inanity.


  1. I'll admit to having had that experience as a Christian. It was meaningful to me at the time, that God wanted me to have some kind of special connection with a friend that way. Kind of like speaking in tongues and someone else offering an interpretation (no, never saw that), one person wakes up to pray, and the other person later informs and confirms to that person that, indeed, it was of God! Really powerful confirmation bias.

    The hard part is trying to explain to someone you no longer believe that to be a miracle without using the word "inanity" in regard to their beliefs.

  2. **Other Christians chimed in how it was God working—how it was God who woke her up so she could pray for her son. How neat and wonderful it was…and…**

    Am I the only one who finds this unsettling? Because it always come across as the only reason why the son is okay is because the mother prayed in time, and so then that means that God wouldn't have acted unless the mother prayed, and so God is controlled by the prayer of His followers ...

    And if this is in fact how God works, how can Christians then turn around and say that people interpret "Ask and you shall receive" too literally when that verse is used to prove unanswered prayers?

  3. " then that means that God wouldn't have acted unless the mother prayed, and so God is controlled by the prayer of His followers."

    I've also seen it put like God was going to do what he was going to do anyway, he just took the opportunity to involve one of his children. "Like when the parent is letting the child push the lawn mower, but really the parent is standing behind the child and has their hands on the mower pushing..." Maybe a gentler inanity?

  4. Atimetorend,

    But if it gets done regardless, and the prayer doesn't do anything, why involve a third party? In the example with the lawn mower, it's allowing the child to learn something, and almost give the child a sense of independence in that they're doing a big person sort of thing. Half the time, the child probably thinks s/he is doing it on his/her own -- which is not allowed in Christian circles, because if you try and do something on your own, it's not letting God rule or something.

    Or am I reading way to much into your example?

  5. I think what God would be accomplishing is letting that pray-er know that it was him who did it. It would increase the faith of the person.

  6. I think the point is that the Christian God can't exist without his fawning followers. :)

  7. The Rambling Taoist,

    I think you hit the nail on the head!

  8. A time to Rend & Will Work for Food,

    You raise interesting thoughts as to a God who wants its followers to learn to rely upon his working by performing certain actions. Think it needs a separate blog entry…

  9. That raises a thot to me also. Doesn't a good parent make you feel secure, yet wants you to trust in your own abilities? A good parent does not want you to be forever dependent to them and their approval!
    Somewhere I read that this whole set-up with the Christian God seems like masochist/abuser stuff. I can see that.
    Look forward to a piece from you along these lines. I enjoy your blog.

  10. It's all part of the slave morality/mentality of Christianity. I really don't even see the value of trying to "rescue" Christianity from its slave morality; better to just toss the whole thing and build from the ground up on humanist, scientific, natural principles.

  11. Larry H,

    I quite agree there is no “rescuing Christianity.” The debate rages over whether the benefits of Christianity justify the detriments, and I clearly fall on the side they do not. Any benefits of Christian belief can be derived elsewhere. The detriments (primarily that it is not true) are too great to justify the existence.

    But how do we go about getting rid of this 800-pound Gorilla? As much as we agree it shouldn’t be there, as much as we agree it is a nuisance—there we are. You and I live in America—do you see this thing going away in the next 100 years? I do not.

    The only thing I can do is put my head down and keep arguing the reasons why it is wrong. Keep pointing it out over and over. Keep asking the questions that get ignored, and ask them again.

    At times I hope for the younger generation. Yet at other times, I see notes much like this one from my nieces and nephews, and wonder if anything changes.

  12. My comment about rescuing Christianity was directed at the moderate/liberal Christians, not at your position. I think you're doing precisely what needs to be done (and which I no longer have the heart or will to do).