my personal avoidance issues

True confession: I haven’t read the Gospels in years.

I spent my childhood and teenage years reading and rereading the Bible- Old Testament and New.  Recently, I… I’m not really sure what I did. Something clicked in my mind and I started reading in a new light. I had a class where some of the optional reading material was about trauma and childhood abuse. I read all of it. And more. And More. That may have been what did it actually. Because I realized that, if the Old Testament were literally true, as I had been brought up to believe, God isn’t a tough but fair guy, who was sad about how we continually failed him and how we all deserved to die in a fire, but who let us make our own choices anyway.

God- if he were literally true, as I was raised to believe- is an abuser.

Who threatens to kill his children for the slightest disobedience. Who arranges for other people to torture them if they aren’t living up to his standards. Who literally gets them pregnant, if he feels like it.

Who can demand that a parent murder their own child.

Who can wipe out the population of a planet as ?punishment? for things he authorized in the first place.

I don’t see how being The God of Everything somehow makes permissible in Him things that in us would be crimes. Shouldn’t He be the example the ethics he demands of us?

Yet he does not.

I’ve been mucking about in the Old Testament for some time now. The world becomes more surreal the longer I do.

The context of the New Testament can change its meaning. I know that. Both Christianity and Judaism refer to the Tanach (the Jewish Bible or the Old Testament) as the Word of God. But how you interpret this older section of text determines whether you see the specifically Christian portion of the Bible as being More Word of God or as being the crackpot writings of first century Judaic malcontents.

Now my interpretation of the Old Testament has shifted away from anything I have heard of from Jews or Christians.

The last time I read the gospels, years ago, I had to read them backwards- starting at the last chapter and reading one chapter at a time till I reached the first- to keep my attention from wandering. I had heard the words repeated so many times, read them so often, that they no longer registered as having meaning. Like when you write the word declare a million times.












I decided I would stop trying to read them- just for a while- until my mind could recover from the repetition and the text could regrow its meanings for me.

I don’t know how much longer I can put off reading them again. I’m pretty sure that when I do, they are going to have meaning,

This is kind of cowardly of me, but I’m afraid.

God turned into a monster while I wasn’t looking.  What’s Jesus going to be?

I was always kind of afraid of God.  If I lose Jesus too- I’m not sure what I’ll do.


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