Have you noticed some people seem to think their god has the morals of an abusive spouse?
I ran into one of those folks last night. Let’s call him, “Jeff”. Jeff was saying how according to his standards — which are not really his, but the standards of his god — he is not a good person. That’s because he has done at least one wrong thing in his life.
In other words, Jeff was arguing the same as, “According to my god, you are no good at math unless you have never, even once, made a mistake at math.” Or, “You are no good as a painter if your work has ever failed to move someone.” Or, “You are no good as a blogger if even a single person has been left in full possession of their senses after reading one of your posts.”
Of course, in the real world, the most likely persons to set such high standards are abusers, for such standards are traps. You cannot live up to them, and so your abuser will have plenty of excuses for criticizing you when you don’t. Is that how Jeff sees his god? As an abuser?
Apparently. While I doubt Jeff would use the word “abuser” in reference to his god, he does seem to think his god behaves like one. That is, first he sets impossibly high moral standards. Then he eternally damns you to hell when you fall short of them.
Yet, according to Jeff, his god is a loving god. He’s a loving god because he has created an escape from the trap he’s set for you.
I can think of a hundred things that show more love for you than:
- Setting impossible to achieve standards for you,
- Damning you when you fail to achieve them,
- And excusing your failure if you maintain a psychological and emotional dependency on me.
I can also think of interpretations of the story of Jesus that do not spin the story in a way that parallels the behavior of an abusive parent or spouse. So I’ve been wondering what the point is of Jeff’s approach? How does it make sense? And is his approach in any way mainstream?