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Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
I can’t get any help from other Christians on religious message boards. After they read about my problems, they claim my faith isn’t genuine. Others say my issue is with the church I attend, but that isn’t true: Every week I go to the United Methodist Church, a progressive denomination. They accept homosexuals and even allow gay marriage. Their sermons are uplifting as well; they aren’t like fire and brimstone preachers you find in various unaffiliated Baptist churches. Basically, progressive churches don’t rebuke people for their imperfections and make their congregants feel like horrible people for failing to live up to impossible standards.
So what am I going through? What is bothering me so much that I need help and advice?
God has been nitpicking at all my flaws, however insignificant. If I were to do something completely harmless such as have a glass of wine, God tells me I committed an atrocious sin. Then he makes me suffer for it greatly; that suffering being a result of his will, not natural circumstances. In other words, God likes to punish me for enjoying a glass of wine.
I asked God what the hell is so wrong with having a sip of wine. His response is always the same: He believe that because a very small percentage of people drink irresponsibly and kill others in car accidents that, therefore, no one can ever be allowed to consume alcohol.
His logic is childish and unfair. His fallacious way of thinking here isn’t any different than a person with left-wing political views who wants to ban guns. Many leftists say guns ought to be illegal because a very small percentage of gun-owners kill people in school shootings, or otherwise kill people with guns when they shouldn’t have. When you consider that US civilians own 393 million firearms and that only a small number of people get killed in school shooting or ‘hood shoot-outs, that’s a very small number of homicides relative to the total number of guns that gun-owners in America possess.
It isn’t fair to implement Prohibition because of a small percentage of idiots who kill others in car accidents. There are many responsible drinkers who never kill anyone while driving drunk. By the same token, it isn’t fair to ban all guns because a small percentage of psychos kill others with firearms. There are many responsible gun-owners who never kill anyone while owning a firearm.
I pointed out this analogy to God. No matter how much sense I make, no matter how fair or well-reasoned my argument is, he doesn’t care. He won’t change his view and tells me I have to suffer by never drinking alcohol ever again!
By the way, I confronted God about the Bible’s apparent approval of drinking alcohol in the Bible. Jesus turned water into wine in the Gospels, and he also drank wine during the Last Supper. Eventually God spoke to me in an audible voice and told me it was misinformation. Given that Catholics have a sacrament called Eucharist—where they eat bread and drink actual wine to celebrate becoming one with Jesus—I wondered how God could have allowed such a great sacrament to take root in the Church given how much he appears to despise alcohol. He didn’t answer me about that.
God’s nitpicking behavior extends into many aspects of my life, and I can’t stand it. I’ve written close to 600 words now, so I don’t feel like writing much more and providing other examples of this (maybe I will in follow-up posts). But trust me: I feel like I have walk on eggshells my entire life, and it is driving me mad!
I don’t feel like a free person. I feel like I have to closely monitor all my thoughts, words, and actions so my conduct is in-line with what God wants. Unfortunately for me, that usually isn’t possible because God has to be a jerk and tell me I committed this little tiny sin or made that little tiny error—his response to me, therefore, is to suffer the consequences. He won’t help or change.
I’m miserable. Just truly miserable. I want my freedom in the worst way, but God’s excessive fault-finding is ruining everything!
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
(May 6, 2022 at 7:21 am)Ad Astra Wrote: God’s excessive fault-finding is ruining everything!

I'm not persuaded that the fault-finding comes from God. I suspect it comes from within yourself.

Some of us who don't believe in God are still self-critical to an unreasonable degree. 

It may be that what you tell yourself, you attribute to God, and find passages in scripture to justify. But there are other passages in scripture (e.g., a lot about forgiveness) that would ease the self-criticism, and these could be attributed to God with equal justification.

Good luck to you. This must be a difficult thing to endure.
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
Welcome, that's not God you're listening to. You can verify whether it's God's voice by checking scripture. As a Christian (of that typical southern Baptist flavor) and a former alcoholic, I can assure you God doesn't have a problem with the plum wine in my fridge right now.

As to you feeling free, no one feels free. We're all slaves to something or blissfully ignorant of it. You're a slave to your habits, thoughts, others opinions, an image of yourself you pretend to be, all sorts of things. You freedom lies in what you choose to be a slave to. A lot of atheist make themselves slaves to science and reason. A few Christians make themselves slaves to the Law, etc. and so on. If you want freedom from feeling remorse, guilt or just bad about the things you're doing... it's pretty simple... don't do them. First you have to make sure your conduct is in-line with what you want.... then you can aspire to the divine. FWIW, I don't think God punishes us for our sins after Jesus' sacrifice. There's enough consequence out there for our own consequences to manifest.
"There ought to be a term that would designate those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus, since the word 'Christian' has been largely divorced from those teachings, and so polluted by fundamentalists that it has come to connote their polar opposite: intolerance, vindictive hatred, and bigotry." -- Philip Stater, Huffington Post

always working on cleaning my windows- me regarding Johari
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
Have you talked with your pastor about your concerns?
<insert profound quote here>
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists

Hear god in an audible voice? Does anyone around you also hear god at the time when it's speaking to you?

You might want to discuss these audible 'hearing god' experiences with your pastor and/or medical professional.
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem

RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
(May 6, 2022 at 7:21 am)Ad Astra Wrote: I’m miserable. Just truly miserable. I want my freedom in the worst way, but God’s excessive fault-finding is ruining everything!

Jesus drank wine and provided wine to others, so it doesn't seem plausible that God now has a zero tolerance policy. Maybe it's not Yahweh whispering in your ear.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
If you are hearing god' s voice I would suggest psychiatric help.
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
Thank you everyone for your kind words so far.

There are more examples where God seems to nitpick at the minutia of my private conduct, particularly when he deems it “sinful.” Based on my knowledge of God’s personality, having been praying to him either every day or multiple times a day, I believe it’s accurate to characterize him as an ethical perfectionist. The reason why I specifically brought up the subject of alcohol is not because I really really enjoy it (nor do I ever get drunk) but feel deeply disappointed by being forced to never drink again; it was raised because Jesus turned water into wine during a wedding (John 2:1-11), and there is also the fact that Jesus and his disciples drank a glass of wine during the Last Supper. In fact, Ecclesiastes 9:7 appears to encourage drinking in moderation: “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” God telling me not to ever drink wine again seems very unfair, especially considering his way of reasoning about it, and even more so considering the Bible approves of it (which is apparently “misinformation”)

I will give another example where God nitpicks at private conduct that shouldn’t concern him, calling it sinful.

I like to play crime simulators like the Grand Theft Auto games, and plenty of others. God spoke to me in a vivid dream telling me how wrong I was to play these sorts of games, since he thinks they are “sinful.”

At first I didn’t believe the dream was from God, because if it was it doesn’t make sense. Video games are only entertainment. I could play a game where the characters go on a multimillion dollar heist, but I would never do something that bad in real life. In fact, I’m so good about following the law that I haven’t ever been pulled over by a cop for speeding during my decades of driving. I don’t shoplift or otherwise engage in other petty crimes.

It's very easy for me to distinguish between reality and fiction. Why would God think I’m committing a bad sin by simply playing a GTA game?

The bad dreams God made kept happening, and then he told me outright not to play anymore, leaving me feeling disappointed and hurt.

For the next several days I repeated to God in prayer everything I said the second and third previous paragraphs. And I think he eventually got the message and doesn’t find fault in me for entertainment. But still, it is deeply irritating that I would have to explain to God why I, a grown-ass man, should be allowed to play a video game! I’m 33 years old, not 6 years old.

Other people in this thread asked about how I can hear God’s voice audibly, then suggested it could be hallucination. But it isn’t hallucination. Here is how I can tell:

One night me and God were discussion a religious subject as I prayed. He said something like, “sift through book, chapter, and verses such and such.” Sift is not a word I had heard before. In fact, I never used it in my entire life. I had to go to an online dictionary to figure out what he meant.

Often God will speak to me in words I haven’t heard before. In my opinion, this means it’s God’s voice. How else could an unknown word entered the prayer discussion?
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
Hey Ad Astra, fellow Christian here hopefully to help with this issue.

If you are hearing a voice that also responds to what you say please try asking this voice to reveal themselves in the name of Jesus Christ. Tell them that they need to be honest in identifying themselves before Emmanuel. Also, try asking them if they believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again, a true manifestation of the holy spirit will have no problem admitting this truth and the holy Angels will always glorify Jesus over themselves.

It sounds to me like one of the devil's scorpions is using guilt to manipulate you. As someone who struggles with guilt as well I can tell you that you are no where near alone in this battle, I feel as though guilt is one of the primary tools that the devil uses against good hearted Christians because he knows that we care about the commandments of God. Jesus did turn water into wine and there are plenty of verses regarding wine throughout the whole Bible, simply put this voice is a liar and a bully which is trying to steal your joy and sense of freedom and purpose in Christ.

With much love and respect from a fellow Christian †
RE: Seeking meaningful advice from atheists
I'm not sure instructions on how to bind a demon by uttering a cantrip is the kind of advice our new friend needs.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!

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