Thursday, July 17, 2014

God's actually not our Defender

Image source.

Samantha Field's writing is always great, and this part of one of her recent posts really hit me:
However, we’re also asked to think of God as our “Defender.”

I have a problem with that, mostly because God doesn’t defend us.

He promised to do a lot of things– love us, never leave us, forgive us, save us, prepare us, mold us– but he never once promised to “protect us from danger or harm.” My life– all of our lives– is living proof that he doesn’t do this. I was abused. I was raped. Even when the abuse I experienced was done in his name, he did nothing to stop it. Believing that God would “protect me from harm” almost shattered any belief I had because it is so obviously a lie.

Today, I believe that I can trust God, but it’s what I’m trusting him for that matters. I trust him the same way I trust my partner: I trust in his character, in who he is. I don’t trust my partner because I believe that he’ll be able to protect me from all harm– and neither do I trust God to do that. I used to– and when he didn’t come through on this “promise” I believed he’d made to me, I was devastated.

Wait, stop the presses.

I thought Christians were supposed to believe, you know, God protects us. But then bad things happen to good people, and some of us rebels start asking "Where the hell is God?"

I've written about that many times before. Stuff happens that's totally NOT OKAY, and why didn't God do anything, and what the hell does "trusting God" even mean if we can't trust him to not let violence and death happen...?

But here's Field's post, saying God is actually not our Defender, and she seems totally calm and okay with it, and even has a reasonable idea for what "trusting God" can mean, given that God doesn't defend us.

I just totally never heard anything like that before.

And it actually makes sense and is based in reality. Because, as I've said before (and felt like some kind of heretic for saying it), look around you. Look at the world. God doesn't protect people. Well maybe sometimes, but SOOOO not enough.

Image source.

But what about what the bible says? Psalms is full of verses about how God is TOTALLY our refuge, and how if we follow him, he will always take care of us.

But the bible is also full of stories of bad things happening to good people, and God not protecting them.

You know, just like the real world.

So maybe now we have an answer for "where was God? where was God?" The answer is that protecting people is just not what he does.


Also you want to go read the rest of Field's post.

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