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Divine Vengeance -- Anxiety.


Llwellyn
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A lot of us have developed a great deal of anxiety due to this idea that was introduced to us: divine vengeance. We were taught that there is a powerful person, "God," who responds to human evil with destructive retribution. We were also trained to ruminate ("faith") on the Bible's explanation of why Christ died -- as an atonement -- in order to benefit from the forebearance of this divine vengeance ("justification"). :Wendywhatever:

 

As for me, personally, I have in the past been virtually incapacitated by this thought system. At first, I became terrified of provoking God's displeasure, rejection, and retribution. In particular, I developed a deep fear of professional and academic failure. I also developed a kind of social anxiety disorder where I was terrified of girls -- afraid of allowing my eyes to drift to their breasts. By now, I have a serious breast obsession. :Doh:

 

My brain also developed this relentless "churning," where I would endlessly confess my sins and try to mull through the "blood atonement": "Jesus died on the cross for my sins." It was like my brain got contaminated with spyware, and my processor was spinning, spinning, spinning, executing programs that were useless, pointless, and pre-occupying. :twitch:

 

I have put a lot of consideration into how I could decontaminate my thinking -- how to recover from these thoughts and substitute good thoughts for these bad thoughts. One option would be to just become an atheist and say, "There's no hell, no vengeance and no God." But what has worked better for me is to reassign a new way of thinking to the words: "divine vengeance." Here it is:

 

I have not dropped a belief in God, nor even a belief in divine vengeance. At least for purely practical reasons, I will continue to believe in them. The simply shift I have taken is to come to think of divine vengeance as corrective rather than destructive. There is a God, who operates vengeance upon humans, but that vengeance is creative retribution, intended to achieve the moral, physical, and emotional growth of the object of the vengeance. It will hurt like hell, but it will be good for me. My prayer is that God would operate his vengeance upon me with no mitigation. If I find myself in any hell, I will grow in hope, joy, and love. :HaHa:

 

Thus, my brain no longer has to ruminate on the "atonement." I am not a Christian, I have rejected "Christ," and anything "Yahweh" has to offer me. I still have reason to properly fear God, but that fear is a kind of salutary fear, that is properly related to the suffering that usually accompanies personal growth. I invite God to punish me, and I expect the best. This shift in my thinking has acheived a lot of good results. Now, I date a lot, and I even have the confidence to be romantically physical with the girls I date -- knowing that fear is normal, retribution sometimes comes, but the trend of the process is one of growth. :HappyCry:

 

Now, my thoughts aren't entirely "out there." In the Gorgias dialogue, Plato goes to great lengths to show that divine justice is creative, albeit painful. Plato's prayer was substantially similar to mine: in the Critias dialogue, Plato utters these words: "I pray that God will impose upon me a just retribution, and the just retribution of him who errs is that he should be set right." :HaHa:

 

Call it a kind of "exposure therapy" designed to address the Christian disease! :wicked:

 

Please let me know what you think about this strategy. Please also tell me your strategies! :woohoo:

 

Llwellyn.

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I never worried too much about it. I only thought about it once as an atheist. If God exists and Christianity is right then I burn in hell for eternity. However I can't change my beliefs so there's no point in worrying about it.

 

Now I just laugh about it. I did physics in highschool but I never really understood the theory of relativity. If I end up in hell then I'm going to ask Albert Einstein and all the other eminent scientists in hell to explain it to me.

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When I start thinking those thoughts, I tell myself this: Why would I want to go to heaven? The people who raised me as a Christian told me that these are the people who will make up most of its population:

 

1. Fundamentalists.

 

2. Evangelicals.

 

3. Adamant Trinitarians.

 

Why would I want to go there? It sounds exactly like the college I attend, which is not exactly my idea of paradise.

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