Eyes opened to a tyrant god

By Jon Morgan

One of the dubious benefits of having been a lay preacher for over ten years is that Bible passages often remind me of talks I built on those passages. Recently, this happened with Ezekiel’s vision of God leaving his temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8 - 11).

Five years ago, I used that as the starting point for my “Dies Irae” exhortation. Ironically, I sub-titled it “Finding our Blind Spots”, but I now see that it was I who had the blind spot: The passage clearly showed the unpleasant behaviour of the God of the Bible, and I was so busy trying to find what we might have done wrong that I just couldn’t see it.

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  1. Jon, I enjoyed your article, it must be difficult to reflect on this stuff having spent 10 years promoting it, only to realise that it is not only false, but pretty vile too.
    I had a quick look at the passage, but didn't linger as my interest in biblical matters has now faded away entirely.
    I wonder if you have seen the film "Goodbye Lenin"? It may well be a good one for you to complement you current reading with. I spent a considerable amount of time in Leipzig in the early '90s with people who showed me that there was another side to the bad aspects of the DDR.
    "Some only remained because they feared being shot if they tried to escape". That is a lot like the Christadelphians, If you don't want to attend for a few weeks, or you dared to think for yourself, the mutterings and threatening letters start. It always struck me as strange that they felt the need to threaten people if they stayed away a while. What was it they feared so much as to need to react in such a thoughtless insensitive manner? Perhaps (in fact I am sure that they were) just imitating the God you describe here, many of them having been pickled in this nonsense from birth and the rest too scared to intervene for fear of being "shot" themselves.
    As I've pointed out before, the current leading thinkers of the Christadelphians have been at pains recently to protest how biblical slavery is no more than domestic servitude, how unbaptised born of Christadelphian children will get a "free pass" to the Kingdom (to be forever with this violent merciless God that they praise so much and the other 7 billion of us are incapable of understanding), and hold so called "Bible Schools" that cost $800 a week to attend, and the classes given are of such controversy that they have to be password protected lest some mere mortal should hear them and comment upon them in a place such as this. The Christadelphian Magazine no longer makes sample articles available either, which cannot be due to the high "value" of them, more likely risk of exposure.
    I'm glad you found your blindspot, but feel obliged to point out that some of the problem lies in the nature of the God, and doctrines that Christadelphians have created for themselves. Much of the fear of judgement arises from them believing in salvation by works rather than grace, once again, this is the "Iron Curtain" that the religion has created for itself, along with the belief (illustrated by yourself in the John Thomas quote given), that this God from the old testament, can never change his ways. I do like that quote though, it sums up John Thomas and the bastard religion he fathered perfectly. We should stick copies up on local meeting rooms to remind them :)
    Much of your anger (don't take that word too seriously) seems to me to be because of the religion you were brought up in, your subsequent realisation that you had been duped by it(I feel that way too). The bad news for you is that most Christians ( by which I mean real Christians rather than members of Victorian offshoot cults) do not feel feel fear and mental anguish because their created God will treat them kindly and understand their needs, personalities and limitations
    "We're gonna live for ever" and "We're all gonna die".
    Please don't be offended by the above comments. I think I am just a few years further into the journey than you are, was a bit less indoctrinated then yourself, and seen a few things you will not have. I wasted about 20 years of my life on the religion, and by wasted, I really mean wasted, for nothing good at all, but I have also witnessed the passing of a good number of people of other religions to the CD's and realise that it can all be a source of comfort and meaning even if it is all nonsense.
    Apologies for spelling, etc, last good keyboard had an espresso poured into it recently, rubbery substitute in use now.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Joseph. I agree in part and am certainly not offended. I interact online with former members of a large number of denominations, so I know the fear isn't just limited to Christadelphians (in my observation fear of Hell can last longer in those who have grown up with it emphasised than fear of judgement in those like me who have grown up Christadelphian). I also know it's quite possible to draw a religion of love and hope and care for others from the same Bible. It just depends which verses you focus on. I think we had some of that too, though the love would rarely win if it came to a serious dispute with (horror!) doctrinal implications. And if the religion people follows makes them better people I'm not going to complain.

    However, I don't think it's just a difference between the OT God and the NT God - many of the verses that made us fearful of judgement came from the NT, and some of those verses used quotes from the OT to back them up. In my view, it comes back again to which parts of scripture an interpreter chooses to prioritise.

    Finally, thanks for the recommendations. I don't actually watch many films, but Goodbye Lenin looks interesting, so I've added it to my list and we'll see. And I've put the podcasts on the list too.


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