I’m An Angry Christian…. I’d be an Angrier Atheist

I get angry with God sometimes. Quite a lot if I’m honest. I sometimes try and convince myself that there is no God. Because then life would be a whole less complicated. And I would be a whole less angry. Which would declutter my mind and leave space for other emotions to take root. More positive emotions. Happiness for example. Or at least less unhappy. Is less unhappy even an emotion?

I have struggled with OCD for a large part of my life. It seeps into many areas of my existence but one it has never trespassed upon is my belief in a God. Sometimes I wish it would. That the voice in my head would tell me there is no God like it used to tell me all other sorts of nonsense on a daily basis. And instead of wrestling with this intrusive thought for days on end I would just shrug my shoulders and say ‘You know what OCD? I’m going to give you this one. You’re right. There is no God.’

It never did though. That’s the thing about OCD. It doesn’t exist to make your life easier. Shame that. Atheism leaves even more unanswered questions than believing does. And if I’m an angry Christian I dread to think what sort of atheist I would be. The Hulk? So I’m left with God and his all-powerful, all-knowing existence. And all the parts of the Bible that frustrate me and I don’t understand. I like to understand. I suppose it’s the OCD again. I need certainty and fact. Doubt is a killer for me. I will ask the same question over and over again until I get a rock solid, definitive answer. All this faith and ‘handing it over to God’ malarkey drives me nuts.

Trust God and he will protect you. Okaaaaay. But when? And where? And how? And a million other questions. Why does he have to be so mysterious and shadowy when going about his business. Why can’t I have a road to Damascus experience like Paul? All these people that boldly stand up in church and proclaim that ‘God spoke to me clearly this morning’. Why can’t that be me? Do you think they might be making stuff up? People lying in church???! Whatever next!

I know all the theological arguments. I read. A lot. So no comments please about free will or original sin or final judgement because I understand all that. But that doesn’t stop me feeling less cranky now. Because bad things are happening to good people at a lickety split rate. Our countries are still governed by imbeciles, babies are still dying from cancer and planes are still going down in the oceans. Why? Why? Why?

I pray and I pray and I pray yet my son still gets bullied at school. I pray and I pray and I pray yet my daughter still can’t walk. I pray and I pray and I pray and evil people still get away with murder and openly gloat in my face. Then I go to church and lots of happy, smiley faces tell me that life is wonderful and God is good. Something doesn’t add up here. Am I the odd one out here? Am I even a Christian? Do I want to be a Christian if this is what it boils down to? Turning the other cheek. Smiling through the insanity of life.

I wish I had their faith. I’ve tried to be that smiling, robotic face on a Sunday morning. But I can’t do it and nor can Fionnuala. She is many things but most certainly not a Stepford Church Wife. We always feel the odd ones out, the outsiders, the black sheep of the church family. I know our surname is Black but that’s just plain ridiculous. What are we missing out on? What part of the Christian life is not clicking with me? Why am I angry with God? Why do I ask so many question? Oh hang on that’s another question! Gahhhhhhh!

For all it’s infuriating sections the Bible has given me what I have needed of late to placate my frustration and anger – rubbish role models and hopeless heroes. Some of the angriest and most useless men in the history of the world. Job, Moses, David, Gideon, Samson, Peter, Paul. I could go on. And when I read their stories (I’m ploughing through the laugh-a-minute-a-thon that is Job presently) I see a glimmer of hope. Washed up nobodies at various points of their lives that God used to rewrite history. The world we live in today was shaped by anger and disillusionment just as much as it was shaped by Bethel music videos and stadium mega churches.

They were driven by anger and despair. All their lives. David lost a son. Job lost ten children. Moses lost the privilege and power of Egypt. Paul lost everything, including his head in the end. Some of the angriest, most bitter men you could hope to meet. The common denominator? God allowed them to be angry. He allowed them to rant and sulk and shake their fists at the heavens. He allowed them to bombard him with questions and let off steam. He could have struck them down mid tirade with fire from heaven but he didn’t.

He allowed them to get it out of their system. Without that many of the Psalms wouldn’t have been written. Job? Ecclesiastes? Lamentations? Forget about it. The Bible would have been a much slimmer read. God allowed anger because it’s part of the communication process. Anger can be healthy. It’s when you bottle it all up that it starts to fester and pollute your thoughts and actions. God doesn’t expect us to be happy, smiley drones 24/7 and pretend life is wonderful. Because *newsflash* it’s not.

So I’m heartened and somewhat reassured. I’ll never work God out. But I need him because otherwise what’s the point? I get angry and fed up with life whilst accepting that there is a God. Think how much more bleak and desolate the world would look if I didn’t believe. I’m an angry Christian. I’d be a much angrier atheist. He’s all I’ve got so I’ll rant and I’ll sulk but above all else I’ll hope. That when I get it all out of my system there are better times ahead. I’ll hope and I’ll pray. It’s all I’ve got.

Do you get angry with God? Or are you an angry atheist?

Can anger be healthy and productive?

160 thoughts on “I’m An Angry Christian…. I’d be an Angrier Atheist

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  1. What a great post to start my morning! I like the reminder that it’s ok to have questions, doubts and lapses in our faith. As difficult as God is to know or understand, and as badly as I want to, I realize that I’m not meant to know or understand it all. It is beyond me. At least that’s what I think.

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    1. What great topic of discussion. I think doubts creates curiosity to dig more. I feel that there’s always an answer to our questions. Sometimes it’s at our door step right in front of us. Because it’s so close we completely miss it or we don’t believe that it’s just that, so we reject and as human we remain doubts.

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  2. You know what I like about you Steven? You are an honest seeker. I like that a lot better than pretense in the pews. God is not afraid of questions. I have to reconcile myself that my finite mind is never going to encompass the nature of infinite God in this life. My struggle is getting my mind in alignment with the revelation we have already been given.

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  3. Thanks for being honest and open. I believe most have these types of thoughts/questions, but few, especially professing Christians, want to admit to them. I know I have them, be it the world at large or watching the painful struggle of our youngest coming out as transgender. I pray, I seek God, I ask Him why. The answer I get, when I’n truly listening for one, is similar to God’s answer to Job: “Where were you, Charles, when I made the world?”
    This helps me to remember that though God made the universe, He did not place me in the center of it! These days when those (and other) questions pop back up, I ask God for more faith and understanding; not of the particular events, but a clearer vision of what He is up to in the midst of them.
    Thank you for this thought provoking entry,
    Chuck

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I really like your comment and align with your comment. I really enjoyed this blog too and agree that anger is an emotion that reveals the realest parts of us but at the same time we are warned against it due to its outcomes: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
      James 1:19 ESV

      I am thankful for our God and how much He is slow to anger and the many times He couldve chosen to end us for the many terrible things we have done in our lives but still gives us the time to repent and above all shows us love, faith and hope…. This comes in so many ways and being content with it and asking to learn to endure the difficulty and understand His will is just so important….

      I can say I have experienced both knowing God and trying to forget I ever knew God and that He was ever introduced in my life. I have doubted and asked these many questions and that I believe shapes your faith and walk with God. When I didnt want anything to do with God my life changed tremendously and I wish I could go back and change that part of my life but whether we like it or not God is a huge part of us and coming back into the faith, ive never been so much happier because one thing I do have is great hope and love….

      -Romans 5:3-8***

      You see what mega churches and average Christianity doesn’t teach you about the fact that God did not promise us a rose garden once we follow Him and that is the burden of carrying the cross and following the Messaih. The great people you mentioned in the Bible were blessed eventually but in God’s own way.

      Our finite minds cannot begin to fathom what He has not revealed.

      I’m reminded of these scriptures:You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
      James 4:2‭-‬3 ESV

      Sometimes when we ask we dont think about the main reason for asking such questions. Anger clouds judgment and God knows that what we ask of Him is not something that when answered would get us closer to Him but yet even further.

      Blessed are those who believe yet have not seen the Father. That is the huge part of being a believer in the Messiah.

      Finally “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
      Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV

      This scripture here is powerful to me because it serves as a reminder that what He wants to reveal, He will reveal when He wants. And above all Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
      Ephesians 4:26‭-‬27 ESV

      For the path that follows after when this scripture is ignored is a path of misery and even more unanswered questions from unbelievers

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I like a lot of your point, especially what you said that it’s not flying colors when we choose to serve God. Many feels blessings are viable things , material things but it’s so much more than that and yes God also gives us what we need not want. So blessing could be just exactly what we need to the very point because that’s the necessity. I also like what you mention about servants in the past as examples and that God gives on his term

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  4. I feel much the same way. My wife has a far stronger faith than me and claims that while she does not hear God’s voice that she feels directed in one way or another when she is in regular prayer. I have spoken to others who claim they have actually heard God speak to them. Me? I’ve never heard anything or felt any direction when searching for a specific answer. And I have asked God many times “Why don’t you show me a sign”? I am, however, finding clarity and direction in my life these days, something I have never experienced before. Is this the sign I am seeking and a faint nudging in the right direction? Perhaps so. Take care, we love your blog here in Texas.

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  5. I’m currently angry with God. But I’m sorting it out and doing a lot of praying.

    My uncle died almost two weeks ago. He was a god-fearing Christian man and a wonderful role model. I was at peace with his passing. But on the same night he died, my 18-year-old cousin was murdered. I’m angry with God for giving my family so much pain at one time. I’m frustrated that we don’t have answers. But I know that God is the ultimate healer. I just wish healing didn’t take so much time.

    So thank you for sharing this. It validates my own feelings of anger and distress and reminds me that it’s okay to ask questions, so long as I’m actually pursuing Him. I might be an angry Christian, but I’d rather be that than lost.

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  6. I think the better Christian is the one who wants to improve and can’t understand and really cares, not the smiling robot Christian who is content to go to church and act happy, then not do anything for Him the following week. Thank you for how honest you are; it’s very refreshing!

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  7. I agree with the other comments. I don’t think we were made to understand God and yet we find ourselves questioning frequently. I think it is healthy and I think, at least for me, When I have that AHA moment of the big picture, it make sense. For example if several confusing things happen in a row and a year later I see where they actually were important to get me to where I was at that time, it make sense.

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  8. Your openness is refreshing. This openness and authenticity is the very thing that is needed in our world. I don’t think your thoughts are unique. In fact, I think we all feel them, but we are pressured to maintain silence. It’s much easier to talk about this stuff on line where people don’t know us personally and there is no local community of faith to answer to. Therefore conseuqences are minimal but so is true social interaction. Some of the worst acts of humanity have taken place out of service to God as any atheist well tell you. I think God can take our questions, our anger, and our doubts. Doesn’t he know them anyway? Anything less would be dishonest and it is futile to be dishonest with God. However, being honest with people will cost us. Maybe not online, but in our communities, families, friendships, churches, jobs, and other social circles it can cost us dearly. Yet, I am convinced authenticity before God and our fellowman is a necessity to true growth and even true relationships.

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  9. Believer or non-believer, sometimes suffering IS the lesson. The blessing is in the lessons we learn through the experience of survival. A deeper connection to all life.

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      1. So much of my suffering was earlier in life. Most of the suffering I experience today is in the form of self-inflicted judgement, victim-hood and blame. I know this path very well. But I’ve managed to find a new trail to follow. An experience of freedom and self-love than cannot come from any source outside of me. It can be heaven on earth when we choose to spend most of our time living in the present moment.

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  10. For myself I can’t connect with God through the Christian faith. I do find Jesus as a great example but also find Buddha and many others as a great examples. I didn’t grow up having to practice being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist,… I feel no pressure having to pick one religion and I won’t! I’m 51 and get to choose my path. At 30 I got turned onto Wayne Dyer and as his spirituality expanded in his writing so did mine. I connected with Wayne because he was real and could speak about spirituality in a language I could understand. I read the bible, learned about other faiths, started using the different teachings I learned from all the faiths, that were quite similar, and ended up building a Dwightness practice. It’s tailored just for me and connects me to God. Not a He or She god up somewhere, but a God that is the Great Spirit around me – within me – is me. It’s the great Knowing that beats within and connects us all together.

    You are the Stevenness of God. Connect with Source, let the love in, and then spread it out to others. You don’t have to do things a certain way. Do it your way. That’s why God created you!!

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  11. As a former believer I understand your post and it resonates with me deeply. What I don’t understand(because you didn’t expound on the reasons) is, why you would be an ‘angrier atheist?’ I’m not angrier after my ‘de-conversion’ quite the opposite in fact.
    Thank you for your post.
    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this! This is me in a nutshell. Definitely an angry Christian coming to terms with the fact that its okay for doubt and faith to coexist and that just because I believe in God it doesn’t mean I’m going to be happy every day of my life. I often feel like I’m on the outside looking in when I go to church, like there’s something wrong with me or something wrong with them.

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  13. I used to be an angry Christain. I am sometimes still. It’s okay. Jesus was angry too. There’s a meme somewhere out there that I love. It says “When people ask you “what would Jesus do” remind them that flipping over tables and chasing people with a whip is within the realm of possibilities.” And it is. I love how in the Old Testament, there’s a phrase in Hebrew, we translate as God’s anger. Its: “And God’s ears burned” when translated directly. I’ve been that angry. My ears have burned.

    But anger makes us ready to fight. Ready to stand. Ready to say “No” instead of “whatever”.

    What is happy anyway? The Bible doesn’t promise happiness. In fact, it promises quite the opposite here on earth. But it gives us stronger words too. Courageous. Persistent. Forgiven. Loved. Not “good” but saved. Not “bad”, but evil.

    It’s not an accident that the Bible talks about “equip me with your strength for battle” or “fight the good fight of faith”.

    Christ didn’t wave his magic wand and everything came out alright. Christ sacrificed for us. For you. For me. For untold numbers of souls. This is not a weak act. It’s not a happy act.

    P.S. Love Job 40 and 41. Some of my favorite writing in the Bible. So evocative. Just remember, the book of Job is a very law heavy sort of read. So I’m going to leave you with a snippet of what Martian Luther says in his Preface to the Book of Job. Maybe go easy on the wrestling with it. I think most of us do. To have God’s grace hidden from us is a scary thing.

    “Thus this book leads the history up to this point, — God alone is righteous, and yet one man is more righteous than another, even before God. It is written for our comfort, in order that we may know that God allows even His great saints to stumble, especially in adversity. Before Job comes into fear of death, he praises God at the theft of his goods and the death of his children; but when death is in prospect and God withdraws Himself, his words show what kind of ideas a man, however holy he may be, has against God, when he gets the notion that God is not God, but only a judge and wrathful tyrant, who applies force and cares nothing about a good life.

    This is the finest part of this book. It is understood only by those who also experience and feel what it is to suffer the wrath and judgment of God, and to have His grace hidden.” – Martin Luther

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  14. Good Day – I have heard stories such as yours, people angry with God. At least you are giving Him some attention.

    This is a real story: a woman whose young daughter who suffered long with terminal cancer just died. As she approached her house upon leaving the hospital, she could not take it any longer. She lifted up both hands with clinched fists towards heaven and cursed God with every filthy, salty and vulgar adjective she knew. What happened next?

    She said she heard God speak to her heart and say: “This is the first time you ever spoke to Me or ever acknowledged me”. It changed her entire life. Her heart became broken and she then knew that God is really a God of mercy and love.

    It is said that when someone would figure God out, God at that point no longer exists. He is mysterious in a lot of ways, which is why it takes a walk of faith to keep one on the “up and up”. We will never “figure” Him out. Nada. Will never happen, so don’t try.

    Here is a quote that may help you Steven: “Jesus confronts us with what has been called the indifference of God to anything less than the best there is in man – the determination of Heaven NOT TO HEAR what we are NOT DETERMINED (sorry for the caps) that Heaven shall hear”.

    God wants 100%. Put it this way, if you are unfaithful to your wife Steven 4 hours in a given year (8,760 hours), you are 99.95% faithful. But, .05% unfaithful. How would your wife feel about that? So, how does Jesus feel when we are unfaithful not 4 hours, but days, weeks, months or even years of shakey faith?

    I walked/drifted away from God at the age of 18 years old. I knew when I stopped praying, attending church, and being around His people I was making a mistake. But, Jesus called me back 32 years ago this coming March. I never regreted it. Easy? No way. Hard? Most definitely. But, what are the options? Don’t loose faith friend. God is “The” Healer (not “a” healer). God can heal you. He did me.
    He can do the same for you if you let Him.

    Hope this is encouraging to you somehow. Blessings!

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  15. That was a post I needed to read. I’ve been angry with the injustices in the world and the ways I’ve been wronged. It’s good to know that even some “useless” people can do great things.

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  16. Thank you for sharing. Very well said. I agree with you on every level. I’ve had a lot of anger at God over the last three years, with health issues for myself, my wife, and family. My family has also had to deal with the fallout from my nephew’s suicide in 2016. I am going through a similar track when it comes to the Bible. Thank you again for your insightful post.

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  17. Yes! I have wrestled like Jacob/Israel did. I won’t give up! I will grab hold and shake till it happens..whatever it is..till God shows up…why does it take do much to gain Gods attention..because I am a stupid human. Keep fighting…keep walking. Pick up the sword…it won’t fail you.

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  18. I’m not angry with God, more than I’m angry with myself. However, I keep asking God why me? Why can’t I ever get to my beautiful destiny I’ve wish to attain. Others have gotten to experience those joys of life, that I do desperately want, but I have high hopes. I tell god my angers, jealousy, and other sinful thoughts. I open to a sermon or message and meditate on his words. I hear God through messages, or a word, he’s there and it’s true he knows well experience setbacks. So I get what you mean and as a Christian we are entitled to get angry. We’re human, we’re not Gods.

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  19. I know the feeling. I have been angry with God, during this season especially. But the anger hasn’t gotten me anywhere. And anger makes me not want to believe. But I see better when I do pray. I think sometimes people paint being a Christian as being easy and perfect, when, in reality, it’s not. It’s the best choice, but it’s also not easy.

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  20. I’m pretty sure you haven’t heard god directly because you don’t have a screw loose in your head. But you are compelled to follow along with the crowd. Only you know why.

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  21. Thank you for sharing this. I love your honesty and willingness to show us your true self.
    Anger is something I’ve dealt with nearly all my life. I used to let the anger boil over and then I’d lash out. But as I’ve gotten closer to God I’ve discovered a sense of peace. Why do bad things happen? I will never understand and there are some things we just can’t understand this side of heaven. But Romans 8:28 tells us that “and we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to his purpose” God will take these bad things and use them for good and for his glory!

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  22. I’m not sure if I get angry with God but I do get angry when things don’t go the way I believe God would have them to go but then I ask myself is it God’s will or mine. I hope for good things to happen when I want them to happen but then would I give Him the praise for what happened or would I take the credit. So, I would say that I want to control God’s hand and then take the credit. Go figure my selfishness. I believe inspire of me.

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  23. Isn’t this the entire point to faith? Not explain why, just know and understand God is who he is and continue to look to him as our Lord and Savior.

    There are a lot of examples of righteous anger in the Bible like you mentioned. Anger can be dangerous when it leads to sin, but so can too much happiness when it leads to pride and arrogance.

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  24. Oh what a heathen!! Kidding. I’ve had a lot of those same thoughts and wondered what if God wasn’t real. Most of what I’ve learned makes little sense these days. Sometimes I wonder if all these men who wrote the Bible had their own agenda. I don’t know. I struggle with trust. I don’t know what to think anymore either. I hate reading blogs that seem full of Christianese. God is all I need, God will never leave you, God is good. Maybe so but then why does life seem so grim and that he is distant? But I need to change. I have a bad attitude. I’m awful. Well God made me so why didn’t he make me to be Mrs. Positive? If he knows all things, then maybe he should’ve given me a perky personality. I just can’t seem to reconcile it all.

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  25. I love that we can be honest with God – and tell Him we are angry, confused. I think church would be a better place if more people would be more honest and admit that sometimes they question, sometimes they even get angry.

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  26. Very interesting and open-minded article. It is rare to have people of faith mentioning or caring about atheist opinion or views. We are usually looked down by “believers” as if we were offshoots of the devil’s workshop.
    I cannot speak for all atheists but I do believe in something. I believe in life and do not worry about death since for me there nothing after it. I believe in the cosmic forces of the universe and the power that they possess which ultimately will affect us (ie the impact of the full moon on some people or animals).
    To answer the question; no I am not angry about what is happening in general as we, humans, did create the world we live in. As an atheist, I have no Gods to blame or be thankful for. What I see is the human race and what it has done and this makes me sad but not angry.

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  27. Yes, I’ve been angry with God. When my Granny died. Mind you I was grown with my own family. But I wasn’t ready for her to be with the Lord. I was mad and actually went out in our field and threw the equivalent of a temper fit. But as I remember this tears come to my eyes for that night when I went to bed, I cried out to God, “Help me!” I slept until about midnight. Went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. It was gone(not the mirror!) my anger. My heavenly Father did not scold me, He held me. He took me from grief to grace, and taught me a lot about myself and Him.

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  28. Yes, I get angry with God too. I am a misfit, the black sheep of Christianity. a Fractured vessel like yourself choosing to live as Christ. Thank you for your transparency. A few years ago, I would have taken offense to your view, but now I understand you. Jesus liked hanging out with people like us…so we find ourselves in good community.

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  29. I think perhaps that being angry with God at times, or questioning him, is part of yearning to know him more and trying to understand where his plan for us is leading (I always think of David, as you mentioned). It’s a desperate-feeling sort of faith. I’ve had to remind myself in times like those that I will never understand the “why” of everything, but God does not promise that he will reveal that. He only promises to provide peace, joy, hope–if we lay it all at his feet. It’s hard to let go sometimes, though, and just have that childlike faith Christ mentions in Matthew 18.

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      1. That’s so kind of you to say–I wish I always did rise above it, but my husband gets an earful after church sometimes! But we are working on complaining less.

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      2. I must clarify one thing–I do feel we are in the church God means for us to be in. I think I expect too much from others at times, hence my frustration. How people choose to serve–or not–in the church is between them and the Lord, and I need to keep focused on my own ministry. However, I was once in a church very much like you describe, where we attended out of obligation, and I began dreading attending church each week. That was when we left!

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  30. Your post is really honest. Angry yet hopeful. And yes it is true, God allows anger because He gives us freedom of choice and He loves us. As for me, I used to be an angry christian but now I’m more like a crybaby christian. Asking Him “why this happen to me” all the times yet at the same time asking for His wisdom to be imparted in me, to never leave me and be hopeful. Thanks for sharing (: and honestly, although I do not know you personally, firstly I am sorry to hear what your family have gone through but I think you have a great loving family. I pray that your son will stay strong through this broken world that the Lord may impart strength unto him and his enemies shall NOT prosper against him! And your beautiful daughters will always be happy and feel loved. God bless you and your family, always.

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  31. I love your honesty here… It’s so true. I’ve often found myself angry with God. And to be honest, the last decade or so has been filled with a lot of bitterness towards Him about how some things in my life have turned out. But you are right..! God does not run from our anger, He invites it. Like a loving parent, He’d rather hear our frustrations that see us walk away from Him. And you’re also right that there is always hope. God has always turned the most hopeless circumstances in the world’s eyes into miraculous “happily-ever-after,” even if it’s meant after-this-life. And I also agree that if I was atheist, my life would look even more different… All the hurts and frustrations and hopelessness would have boiled over to a point where I doubt at this time in my life I’d still exist… I would have given up long ago and called life quits. So despite my current frustrations, I hold on to the hope that God has GOOD plans for my future and your future, and that whatever “trial” I’m going through right now or that I see those I love going through is for a purpose… to refine our character, to grow closer to God, or to be a witness to how even in the darkest night God is our light, when our strength is gone He is the one who carries us. Thanks for sharing your heart! I think we can all relate to what you’ve shared! Blessings to you, brother! 🙂

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      1. To be honest, I think that most do, but they struggle to admit it because they feel guilty that they should be angry with God who loves them. Even now, sometimes I feel guilt for feeling angry at God. But since I see that the Patriarchs and the Disciples were able to express their frustrations without being “smoted” or burned to a crisp, I’m comforted knowing God really is secure enough in Himself and loves us enough to let us come with our anger. 🙂

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      1. Last summer(2017) I described where I was in my faith as being like a submarine sitting on the bottom of the ocean blue.

        I had two choices:

        1) I could blow the balast, rise up to the surface and set sail for home.

        2) I could blow the hatches and skuttle the ship remain in my tomb forever.

        I also had a third choice which at the time I didn’t realize I had and the one I made by default. As I sat there on the bottom of the deep blue sea there was a small leak allowing water to seep ever so slowly into my boat. Until it had taken on enough water to prevent my returning to the surface where I have remained ever since.

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  32. I was once told by a councilor “it’s ok to be angry with God, he can take it.” I’ve had years of praying and asking why, I’ve never felt or heard an answer directly. I have felt abandoned by Him, many times. I think this life is just meant to be turbulent. Each bad event or experience is a lesson to learn. But mainly I’ve just learned that life isn’t fair and it never will be. I’ve also given up on trying to understand “why”, I just hope that one day I can go from angry to accepting. I just want grief to subside and peace to take its place.
    We aren’t promised an easy life, a life without pain or hard work.
    My dad always said any day above the dirt was a good day, and as I get older I too can appreciate that simple sentiment.
    Be angry, but also accept it will never change and we can’t control our lives. I think this is the meaning of “Give it to God”.

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  33. So much I can relate to in this blog: I didnt grow up in a Christian house, never went to Sunday School, owned my first Bible that wasnt to use in RE at school at 23, never went to a Bake Sale till I was over 30, and didnt know what a Jacobs Join Supper was until I was nearly 30 either.
    I never fitted in church, I think it never being 320lbs of bodybuilder and security operative in my youth, (I was an area sales manager but no one seemed to notice that job) …. I am angry with God big time – not because I never fitted in, not because I am never pious enough, not because the answer to my prayers always seems to be no, or later (and I havente ever got to later yet), I am angry because God because I cannot look at my life and square what has happened with “prospering me”, I cannot see how any of this “prospers me” (abuse physical and emotional for 40 years, 13 years at the hands of a woman from a Christian home for generations who used that to destroy my life and His Church helped her!) and right now I am far from prospering … Ive been told heaven is better than this world and I have asked for admission nicely: time comes when I consider kicking on the door

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  34. I get angry with God because knowing Him means I see and understand the darkness in the world from His perspective. I see the ‘good’ people hurting, I see families torn apart, I see kids beaten by their own parents and manipulated to think that their crappy existence is all their fault, I see sex trafficking and the horrific way we encourage that cheap view of ourselves through media, I see the homeless, the hungry, the broken and I’m angry! Sometimes I ask God why He won’t stop these things from happening, why He can’t just come back already and end this madness! When my parents were divorced and my life fell apart I could only take it for so long, then one night yelling at God and begging Him to tell me what was the point of all this I seriously considered suicide…I had even taken a knife to bed with me to do so. I can’t explain it Steven not so much as in a physical force but God took my hand and spoke to my heart. He’s the only reason I’m still here much less angry that this world is still hurting and broken! I’ve had well meaning Christains tell me that it is wrong to be angry at God but I don’t think so. I think that God sees our hearts and knows what is in them. I believe that He walked this earth and got angry too, with His people who refused to believe, with those who were desecrating His home, and at those who continually caused such hurting and brokenness in the world. Maybe the only reason He still allows the darkness for this little while is because it gives us the opportunity to experience His love, His compassion, and our own true need for salvation. Without a storm or two what need would any of us believe ourselves to have for a God much less one claiming to be a Savior from storms of this life? So be angry Steven, but be angry for the right reasons. Even if we never understand the big picture in this life He has promised that in Heaven we will! Maybe that’s not a great comfort but it keeps me going day by day 🙂 Love You Brother I pray that you too will experience His hand in your life in ways you could never imagine!

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  35. I couldn’t identify with a feeling more (I’m pretty sure I nodded along through the entire post). I struggle daily to understand why there can be such awful things in the world if God surrounds us and loves us. As a person trying to come to terms with my relationship with God and what that means for me, I’m comforted knowing that Christians struggle with the same feelings. Thank you for putting it into words, and for making me feel less alone.

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  36. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones as I have experienced several supernatural encounters with the Lord that left me in no doubt. Without experiencing those encounters, I think that I would also question. I know that my husband recently informed me that he is very angry with God and seriously doubts the salvation and eternal life message. I think that once we realise who we are and fully appreciate what Jesus did for us on the cross, the answers you seek and the understanding you crave will be satisfied. The fact that you are OCD and question everything and need answers, well God made you that way and He understands you. Keep asking, keep questioning and keep seeking.

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  37. The church is still waking up, I’ve been to churches with those plastered on smiling faces and I’ve been to churches that have walked outside their church doors and experienced the world and it’s great need for love. I’ve found more of Jesus in those churches, more of everything I had previously lacked. More questions answered but we must accept that we will always have more questions…God is infinite and we are not. I wouldn’t want to worship a God I fully understood, to know what he knows would steal his title of being all-knowing. What need and dependency would we need if we knew it all? God remains the father always, and us his children. That’s divine order. Thanks for posting!

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  38. Hi, Steven! I love your honesty. I’m with you. I don’t think God minds our honesty and the expression of our heartache and anger. He’s got big shoulders, right? I think a lot of people miss that we can be totally honest with God. But you seek a truly deep and honest relationship with God, and to me, that’s what it is all about. It’s comforting to me that God rebuked Job’s well-meaning but insensitive friends at the end of the book. And also, that God blessed Job incredibly for praying on behalf of those friends…(is this a suggestion that they needed the help not Job? I think perhaps. And Job was blessed for forgiving them. That says a lot.) Obviously, even though God didn’t answer all of Job’s questions that we know of, God lifted Job… God didn’t side with the preachy friends. I absolutely love your perspective. Your words remind me of the disciples…when the things that Jesus said became harder for the crowds to accept and many drifted away, Jesus looked at the disciples and asked if they would go, too. Your words reminded me of theirs; they essentially said “Where would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” And that, my amazing friend, sums up what you have said here. I think your honest faith is amazing. And it is deep, genuine and beautiful to God…He prizes it. And I personally admire your faith so very much.

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  39. I’ve had some really unfair things happen to me. I wasn’t angry at God, but I was angry at the injustice of the situations. Yes, they made me stronger. Yes, they made me ask more questions. I grew from that, but I don’t like to say that because it seems rote to many Christians to “grow from trials”. Maybe it is just saying it in sincerity and with purpose that makes the difference?

    There was one particular situation that I had a hard time letting go of. It was a daily struggle, nearly all day long. Then I had a “moment” where I got sick and tired of being the victim, even though I actually was one. I got fierce. I drew some lines in the spiritual sand. I got my mojo back. I do have times that the situation pokes me or taps me in the shoulder. I’ll struggle with moments of frustration with it. Then I plug into those two things that helped me get my strength back. Trust in God, and grace to be stronger.

    I hope that you find those two things, if you haven’t already. (((hugs)))

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  40. I’m a really angry agnostic, but not specifically at God. I’ve determined if he doesn’t exist or is just an abstract force like nirvana, then obviously he’s not to blame for the state of the world. If he exists like the jackass Evangelicals believe he does, well, he’d certainly be worth hating – but I tend to assume that His was invented by abusers with influence and power to serve their own end. As such, that God doesn’t truly exist to be angry at either, and I’ll be angry at the abusers directly. Cut out the middle man. If he exists and weeps for the state of the world – well, I appreciate his concern and am grateful, but I also assume he’ll understand why I don’t formally worship a being who isn’t able to change things. He’d be like a kind family member, and I’d appreciate the concern but not live my life for him. I suspect he’d get that and be cool with it – being understanding and all – so I don’t worry about the after life ramifications of passive non-belief and just try to focus on being one of those change agents in this world.

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  41. Hi there – I appreciate your thoughtful post. I’ve said it before, I think, but I believe that even in the midst of your questions and frustrations, the Lord has given you a ministry with “A Fractured Faith” that has, and likely will continue for some time, to meaningfully touch the lives of many, many people.

    What is clear to me is that you care, and for me, that is enough. Please keep writing!

    And for all of us who believe, our faith is fractured, in a way – were it not, how could the light of Christ shine through us were it not for our very real and painful (and pain-filled) brokenness?

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  42. I get unpleasant with some things just like a relationship with a daughter and father. My relationship with God is a personal relationship since he is my creator. So then when I learn to see things the way he see things by meditating on his words. I find that it’s in my best interest he allows and doesn’t allow certain things. This website has helped me with a lot things that you’re frustrated about and angry about. Maybe you might find it helpful as I did. Official website JW. ORG

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  43. Yes – anger can be healthy and constructive! It can make changes in areas needed!

    As for God – our relationship is just that – a relationship. To every relationship, there are peaks and valleys, highs and lows. Sometimes there is euphoria, other times despair, other times anger; there is even annoyance! It’s part and parcel of relationships.

    But, if we have those emotions, then I truly believe we have an authentic relationship with our Creator! Not a Stepford, robotic relationship!

    Great post!

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  44. Atheism leaves even more unanswered questions than believing does.

    You’re right in a way. Atheism answers nothing as it makes no claims. As an atheist I simply reject the various claims of gods made by religions. But this does also mean that the ready-made and easy answers given by religion are rejected too. Atheism doesn’t propose some alternative for the things that fall away when faith is removed.

    To me, that doesn’t mean anything bad, but means that I reject the false comfort of belief in things for which there is no evidence. While it would be comforting to believe that someone or something greater than myself is watching out for me and that one day I will see my father again, I don’t think about those things any more. I accept that I am responsible for my life and that it is up to me to be a good person,because we are all here together and all need to do what we can to make this world a good place for each other and for our children.

    But there’s no anger. Anger was never part of my loss of faith, and neither was there any traumatic event that wrenched it away from me. Instead my loss of faith was gradual. At around 16 years old, I no longer believed in god but still believed in an afterlife, souls, and so on. Then one day many years later I realized that I believed in none of those things.

    But faith is a conundrum, isn’t it? There is no choice in the matter. I did not choose to disbelieve and you do not choose to believe. We simply feel the way we feel and there is no mental switch to change that, when it might be convenient to do so. Instead, any “logic” or “reason” we write about it is rooted in our belief, and we find ways to post hoc justify what we already feel.

    I admire your faith. It is something I can never have again, and not something I miss. But it seems to work for you and do you and your family much good.

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  45. More on topic… No, I am not an angry atheist. (But I am an atheist.)

    But I do believe anger can be a good thing, as can doubt. As long as it isn’t bottled up… Anger expressed quickly is a positive way can be good. Likewise doubt is something to explore, to understand and to work through. Whether you come to lose faith as I did, or come to a greater understanding of it and grow through exploring it, it is the journey that’s important – not the end goal.

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  46. I was angry at God for about 4 years. I quit talking to him, but decided to read everything I could find on why he lets us suffer so much. I read Philip Yancy’s books about suffering and “The Problem of Pain,” by C.S. Lewis. Also, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl. I learned so much from these writers. I came back to God, and I’m very glad I did.

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  47. I think faith has a lot to do with accepting God’s grace. We don’t NEED to know the answers to everything. We may want to. But, we don’t need to. Just like we protect our children from unnecessary worries, God protects us. We need to accept that-let go of that control (which is VERY hard to do-especially with OCD).

    However, do we REALLY want to know the answers to some of our questions? It might be more than we can take. It might be ugly or even painful or still leave us asking why? When we don’t focus on the questions, we can enjoy the rest. Like the saying goes, “let go and let be”.

    We are all different, and I respect that. But, for me, I draw comfort from my faith (as you know.) For me, that is enough reason to have it!

    Great post and I applaud your openness and honesty once again.
    I think you open up a great forum for discussion!

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  48. Hi, First of all, thank you for stopping by my blog. Do I get angry with God? Yes, a whole lot. But then I realize it doesn’t change anything I am angry about and neither does it change God. And all that anger actually helps me to stop and think about how I feel and why. So lately I find myself easing up more and trusting He will come through. I find it easier to let Him figure it all out, but at the same time it’s so hard to not have an answer and to not know what to say in case someone would ask about God and I in some specific situations.

    Great blog you guys have here.

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  49. I lost my religion when I moved to Manila. God simply isn’t here. Then I started believing the he wasn’t, in fact, anywhere. Now I’m mad at Him all the time AND I don’t believe in Him. Pretty messed up. Good post though from you guys.

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  50. They may have been angry about certain things, but we also see a greater love in them. Paul was transformed immensely. He even had to rebuke Peter. I think it’s crucial to understand why were they angry because then it makes sense, and it definitely can strengthen our own faith. A lot of anger is directed at congregations who are not listening.

    These men went through so much, yet, loved God, trusted Him, and praised Him through it all.

    That’s pretty powerful. They got upset, but their love was greater for both mankind and God.

    I want to add, we are warned in the New Testament to let go of bitterness, and I don’t think Paul was bitter toward anything. 🙂 He easily could have been, but he wasn’t. Even with a thorn at his side, that is never fully explained. He learned he could praise God in all things, especially trouble. I always found comfort in that.

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  51. I honestly think all those smiling faces at church have a faith LESS strong than yours. You shouldn’t wish you were them – then you wouldn’t have as real a relationship with God, as true an understanding of the world or as good a connection to what is actually going on inside you.
    One of the most life changing moments I ever had with God was when I finally started admitting I was angry. One day I shouted “I hate you!” at him. And in response I felt a massive sense that God was right there, that he knew that I was angry, and that it was OK. I had the sense that God was happy for me to express my anger to him, and that He was strong enough to take that and hold it. It really changed the way I related to God and made my relationship with him a lot closer. I think you’re right about all the bible characters who expressed when they were angry. Heck, maybe that’s the reason why God was able to use them, because they weren’t in a constant state of repressed denial.
    In terms of the hurt and sadness of the world, I find this song helpful; give it a listen if you feel so inclined https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfXwzMi1FxA

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  52. I know the feeling! Job’s a great book for that: “why do bad things happen to good people?” My least favorite thing about the book of Job is that Job never finds out why he had to suffer. There WAS a reason, but Job never knew what it was. On the other hand, my favorite thing about Job is that God’s so cool with the fact that Job’s upset. And he seems much angrier with Job’s friends, who insist that Job MUST have done something bad in order to “deserve” his bad luck.

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  53. I was raised in forced religion so it took me until my thirties to find my personal faith. I’d like to think God expects us to get angry with him. I think it is from anger that we grow. The God I have faith in doesn’t have all the answers to my “why”s. I do get angry. Why as a woman of 54 am I still damaged by my early years? why did I lose my brother when we lost our Mother? But I think it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to question God because even when I don’t get my answers, the struggle itself makes me stronger. I will be back to read more, thank you for writing this.

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  54. Hey there…I’m not religious so can’t really comment on that side of things, but it’s totally okay and normal to be a human being and experience anger! And whether you live life as a Christian or as an atheist or whatever, I don’t think suppressing it is healthy. I’m enjoying reading your honest blog. X

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  55. I love your honesty. When I’m feeling like this I think back to my favourtie bible story: Joseph, and I am comforted once more that good always triumphs over evil and that God uses the bad to work out the good in our lives. I wish you all the best on your continued journey to understanding him more and trusting him with the little bit of faith he has given us. Thank you for being so vulnerable and open – this will be a great help to many I am sure.

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