146 thoughts on “Getting Your Attention”

  1. Isn’t the fundy god usually getting our attention with hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes? Then those stupid scientists talk about atmospheric circulation, warm/wet air masses colliding with cold/dry ones and plate tectonics when all the fundy god wanted to do was make TEH GAYZ stop.

        1. Perseverance? Persistence? Pretentiousness? Procrastination? Persnickety? Pestilence? Proof? Probability?

  2. An Uncle, after his daughter came out to her parents, told her he wished God would cause her to have an accident on her motorcycle and kill her.

    They can’t understand why she won’t send Mothers Day, Fathers Day, or birthday cards. It’s what it would be like if she as dead dumbass!

    1. That’s so terrible. πŸ™ Yet, sadly, not surprising. I hope that woman found community and support elsewhere.

      I want no part of their vindictive, petty God.

      1. Of course, just because they are like that does not mean that God is like that.

        I don’t understand people who act like that. I would have thought that a Christian attitude would be that God would work within her life, whether with good or bad, to bring her to Him.

        1. “The Christian attitude and the Fundamentalist attitude are two very different thing”

          Quite so! Unfortunately, don’t try to tell a fundy that.

    2. Yeah, I have a friend who is having a myriad of struggles in his life, and his Christian parents declared him demon possessed. They didn’t hope for his demise, exactly, but they’ve long given up on him.

    1. Job. God killed his kids to get his attention. He killed his servants. He took everything away from him (except his scornful wife).

      To get his attention. All on a Cosmic Bet with Satan that God initiated.

      God got his attention, alright! But then God wouldn’t tell him what he’d done wrong to deserve what God gave him! God just told him that was His business to deal with the deserving and Job couldn’t challenge God’s Judgments! God yelled at him for a while, then started to bless him again.

      I’m sure Job decided not to ask questions after that. God never did tell him. But the writer tells us God admitted to Satan that Job didn’t deserve any of it.

      God — he will kill your kids on a bet, to get your attention. Or so the Book of Job says.

        1. Yep. I am still angry with the book of Job. And I get rather put out by those who “preach” the book of Job and claim it is a book of hope.

          That just tells me they have never actually read it.

        2. Honestly, rtgmath, the only reason I am not still angry at the story of Job is that I no longer believe that it actually happened. When I was forced to believe that God was mean and capricious and also patient and loving, I used to spend a lot of time angry. I have let go of the need to believe that every word of the bible is actual fact and first person witness accounts, it has had a wonderful effect on my disposition πŸ™‚

        3. I read through the book of Job about once a year, and it is one of my favorite books in the Bible. We are probably very theologically distant, but I appreciate the background story (that Satan does sometimes want to put believers on display to test their faith).

          The bigger part for me, however, is that none of Job’s friends are correct in their assessment of why Job is suffering. As humans, we like to size up people and figure out why they have problems so we know where to put the blame. Even non-Christians do this. My mom died of lung cancer a few years ago, and the first question to pop out of peoples’ mouths was, “Did she smoke?” She never did smoke, but if the blame can be placed on the smoking, it alleviates our personal fear of getting lung cancer, since we haven’t done that one wrong thing.

          Although no longer Fundy, I unashamedly identify as Christian with a high view of God’s sovereignty. I believe that is what the book of Job teaches. Job really never gets an answer for why he suffered so much, but he does get a view of Who God is in the last few chapters of the book.

          Finally, I think it is important to remember that all of us suffer because we live in a sinful world. Bad things happen. Sometimes we know why; but often we don’t. We also have limited lifespans, and at some point our bodies will fail. I have lived my entire life with a birth defect that demanded numerous operations and limited my mobility. As I am getting closer to being a senior, it causes more problems. But, I know God loves me, I know He has a purpose for me (see the story of the man born blind in John 9), and my life has not been “accidental.” It has all been for His purpose and plan, although there is much I do not yet understand. I expect I will when I see Him in the future.

        4. Linn! The interaction with Job’s friends was the one part that I could believe. They were very human and very sure they knew what was in Job’s heart. We can be so wrong about people we say we love.

        5. At Fundy U I took a class called “Job and his Wife.”

          Had the sense to drop that class like Dave drops his pants.

        6. I actually love the book of Job. I also do not think it actually happened, and it is a type of theodicy that we don’t necessarily relate to these days, but it is a very beautiful piece of writing, especially in Hebrew. But one of the main plot devices in the book is that Job has absolutely no idea why what has happened to him has happened. The audience is given the back story, but Job isn’t! It has quite a bit in common with Quohelet (though not linguistically), and holds an important place in the wisdom tradition.

        7. I must try reading it without the, “everysinglewordisinspiredandabsolutelyhappened” voice in my head.

        8. The reason I am still angry with the book is that it has shaped so much of how we view God and our place in God’s world.

          The cultural norm is that everyone but the King is a slave and can be toyed with for the Master’s pleasure and amusement. Much of Christianity holds to that idea, though they couch it in different terms.

        9. I like Job chapter 26 verse 7 which says of God, “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing”. I love to quote it when a hostile agnostic accuses Christians of believing the earth is flat. That’s the only case in which I indulge myself in that way. Also, supposedly the is a “cosmic void” north of earth. Job is the oldest book in the bible. We already know that ancient man knew more about the stars and solar system than in the middle ages. The book of Job is valuable even if only for the time from which it came.

        10. Actually, there is no “cosmic void” “north of the earth.”

          There *is* something called a “supervoid” in Eridanus, a constellation in the southern hemisphere. However, even though it is called that, you wouldn’t notice it as such from normal astronomical observations even with a regular telescope. The “void” still contains galaxies a plenty, but fewer than with other regions.

          No astronomer in ancient times could have known about this. No one could have even guessed. Ancient “astronomy” was no science, had no idea what the stars were made of, no conception of the size of the universe. Why even John the Revelator talked about a third of the stars of heaven falling to earth — a ridiculous notion.

          I would be careful of these stories that supposedly “prove” the Bible with scientific discoveries. There is almost never anything to them but hype and fluff and a lot of misinformation packaged to make ignorant Christians feel wise.

        11. Yes. I’ll just say I don’t think that “β€œHe stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing” amounts to an accurate description of the cosmos, nor even indicates that the earth is round.

        12. I’m stunned that anybody would take the Book of Job as a straightforward historical account. (What DO they teach in Baptist seminaries? Do they think Jesus married a literal sheep as well?) I first read Job for a freshman humanities course (focusing on the Problem of Evil, of course), but later got interested in all the stray cosmic / mythical references (like the morning stars who sang together, etc.) But there is a really funny / God-awful New Thought interpretation of Job waiting to be written.

      1. The Book of Job is extremely interesting, though it is hardly soothing to read.
        John Milton (no slouch at literature himself) claimed Job was the greatest piece of literature ever written.
        It is often judged to be the oldest writing in the Bible. Many scholars believe that the “happy ending,” where Job gets his cattle, etc., back, was added on much later than the writing of the rest of the book.
        I don’t read Job as so much a moral tale as a meditation on the inscrutability of God.

        1. I rather think Job was written during the Diaspora. Even the famous Isaiah scroll only dates back to c. 150 BCE.

          In fact, no Bible manuscript has been found older than that. Most “scholarship” concerning authorship and dates is done with the “canon” and collected works by trying to squirrel out clues from the translated text itself and cross-referencing archaeological data. But there is nothing that actually points us to extant manuscripts of greater antiquity.

          Much of what constitutes Old Testament Scripture seems to be collected oral tradition. About the only time Israel could have collected all these things together would have been during the diaspora. Ezra stands out as a very large possibility as the “editor” if not the “author.”

          When you read the books of the Kings and Chronicles, they often reference other “books” or records. That could easily indicate that the books we have are collected memories of stories gathered in exile, and the wishful thinking that court records still existed in Israel.

          I don’t actually see much convincing evidence that Job was written earlier than the rest. I don’t think Genesis was written in its present form by Moses — nor any of the Pentateuch.

          So, without more ancient manuscripts to actually show us earlier Scriptures, I tend to think that much of what we have called Christian scholarship is more guesswork and wishful thinking than fact.

  3. Of course, it takes a fundy to properly interpret these attention-getting events. That’s why, when a preacher rolls his expensive car, he can be thankful that God kept him safe with nary a scratch, God’s blessings must be on him, praise be to the Lord, etc. etc., but when you or I have a car crash, God must be getting our attention.

    Who sinned, Lord, to cause the hurricane to strike this city? Its gays, or its abortionists, or its evolution-teaching school-teachers? Just ask the local fundies. I’m sure they already know.

      1. I once heard a preacher spend three weeks going through a string of disasters that happened to the United States supposedly in correlation with us “opposing” Israel (i.e. disagreeing with the Israeli government, but he didn’t make that distinction). Well, technically, I only heard one week of that tripe, because I bailed on the next two Wednesday night services, not being able to keep the steam from pouring out of my ears at the profound ignorance of statistics and logic that was being displayed by a pastor who otherwise was a thoughtful human being (Israel and … well, the gays were the two main areas where he turned off all rational thought).

      2. Isn’t that a marvelous combination of ridiculousness. First, at no point in our history has america more fully supported Israel than now, and second, the god of Israel doesn’t exist. They have totally rejected the God of the Bible.

    1. notquitesofundayanymore: Exactly!

      I’ve seen preachers list the litany of “bad things” that happen to people who criticize them, but when bad things happen to the pastor, it’s merely a “trial”.

      The chutzpa!

    1. The point is that having a correct relationship with God is worth whatever discomfort one could endure. That is why Paul, no stranger to suffering, could write Rom 8:18. No current suffering is worthy of comparison to the future glory.

      1. I don’t think that is the point at all. I think the point is that we shouldn’t pray for harm to come to people. It may come but we shouldn’t be asking for it to come.

      2. But Paul didn’t pray for suffering. He prayed for his own suffering to end. According to Paul, God told him to stop asking, so he stopped and decided to “glory” in it.

        We are not told to pray for someone else to suffer. We are told that part of the reason for our suffering is so we can comfort others who are suffering. I am not quite sure of the reasonableness of that as a “reason” but that is often how it is.

        It doesn’t make any sense to think that one has to suffer here on earth to enjoy God’s blessings in the hereafter. No such idea exists in the Old Testament, where God started out promising physical blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience. Later on it seems that God couldn’t actually distinguish between individuals that way, so it didn’t matter whether you were obedient or not, you got what you got and it was said to be deserved because of the behavior of the nation as a whole. But in Isaiah, at one point God said that Israel had paid a double price for all her sins, so God seemed to set a price of temporal suffering for temporal sinning.

        But in the New Testament, God couldn’t even seem to bless obedience in a physical manner at all! It turned into a pie in the sky when you die sort of thing. Heaven was never the goal in the Old Testament. Heaven is the goal in the New Testament.

        So, looking over rewards and punishments through Scripture as a progression, the trend has been to pay more, get less, and get promised more at the end — great marketing but bad customer service!

  4. I was in an accident once that nearly claimed my life. While in the hospital, word got back to me that a fundy pastor was telling people there must be sin in my life because God doesn’t do that to his obedient children.

    Now wasn’t that a blessing…?

    Interestingly, he had a somewhat different interpretation of his subsequent cancer diagnosis.

    1. My aunt (husband told their daughter that he hoped she wrecked her bike) told my mom, after a bad car accident that sent her to the hospital – that it was God telling her to get back to church.

      One day I hope I get to tell my aunt to stick her JKV where the sun doesn’t shine.

  5. Okay, I guess I need to listen to a voice somewhere. We just had a refrigerator die, the new one is a week old. I’m replacing a water pump on the Suburban today because the old one went from a slow leak to a gush, and the dryer died a month ago so we are using a clothesline.

    I’m sure it had nothing to do with the ‘fridge being 25+ years old, the car having 230,000 miles, or the dryer being about 13 years old.

    I’m Fundy-mentally sure it’s likely some sin.

    (I’m conveniently forgetting the good things, like all of my kids were home last weekend, the closest one living 575 miles away, the roof didn’t leak last storm, our other car is running well, the mower works, the garden is thriving, and we are healthy)

    My take away from most Fundy preaching is God blesses with money, punishes by costing you money. I wish they would read Matt. 5:45.

    1. Your probably not tithing enough, if you would just tithe 90% of your income then you could REALLY see god do an amazing work in your life. The fact that the power gets turned off, you loose your home, and starve just means your not truly trusting in the blessings of god.

      1. My thought exactly. Uncle is not tithing faithfully or with the right attitude. God loves a cheerful giver and He is going to get His money one way or the other.

      2. The issue is that the faithful tithers and those who also then give the remainder of thier funds to the “sacrifice offering” for the building fund also have the same problems everyone else does (i.e. washer quits working, an old refrigerator on its last leg, car breaks down on family vacation, etc. etc. ) The only problem is now they don’t have any more cash to pay for it so they get to be honored as “poor servants for the Lord.” Then to pour salt in a wound, when they are down on their luck, the MOG preaches a Wednesday night sermon about how people should be better managers of their money and quit requesting money from the deacon’s fund to help pay bills and to help pay for summer camp for their kids.

        I’ve decided some time ago that it is also “Godly” to give what is feasible (not a %) while also supporting my family and to use my resources to properly maintain my home and upkeep what God gave me. Not what God gave the never satisfied MOG. What really set me over the edge was that I was sacrificing money I could be using for upkeep on my home to give to a construction project that the MOG intentionally went $16,000 over budget on (although he tried to underestimate the overage) because the treasurer told us that the Pastor was picky and he had certain upgrades (not included in the budget) that he wanted completed on the project. Sorry – that’s it for you…

        1. It’s why you need to have a building committee that is not managed at all by the pastor, but overseen by a someone else. I will give my church credit that our pastor is on the elder board, but his main tasks are preaching and teaching, not building maintenance. But, I’m not in a Fundy church anymore. A bigger issue for me is when the pastor knows how much people give and he can shake them down for more money. I want my giving to be between me and the treasurer-no one else. That seems to happen in a lot of churches.

        2. I was at a missions conference a few years ago and they were taking commitments for some things. About half way through I figured out that the money wasn’t really going to go to those things. What had happened was the pastor had overspent and left the bank account empty and needed to get some cash in there as a slush fund. Of course he made it sound very spiritual “God gives to us so that we can give it away”. Then he wanted us to refill the slush fund. All I could think was “why? your just going to spend it again and create another emergency where people will have to give more”. If fundy churches ever learn to budget their money properly they would have far less problems.

        3. To be fair, budgeting and fiduciary responsibility are in decline in America in general. From a stewardship standpoint, I would never pastor a church that allowed me access to funds, with the exception of a “ministry emergency” fund of some type. It is not the pastor’s money; it is the church’s money.

    2. My neighbors have an angry looking little statue in their side yard (resembles something Buddhist) that stares directly in the direction of my recently dead dishwaher. Must be demons-not that the washer was at least 25 years old (maybe more).

        1. Unfortunately, the poor old dishwasher is going off to Recycle Land tomorrow–maybe it will be a stainless steel, industrial washer in its reincarnation.

    3. My neighbors have an angry looking little statue in their side yard (resembles something Buddhist) that stares directly in the direction of my recently dead dishwaher. Must be demons-not that the washer was at least 25 years old (maybe more).

  6. Usually I’ve heard it preached as getting “hit upside the head with a two by four”. In fundy circles children are to be beaten until their will is broken and they are completely submissive to the parents, pastor, sunday school teacher, and church as a whole. They preach that adults are the “children” of god and are hard hearted and stubborn like the children of Israel. As such they need to be beaten into submission of the will of god, or at least the pastors which is the same things.

    1. And Spamerson gets the national attention he so desperately craves. It will give him a chance to appeal to the fringes of churches and increase his influence.

  7. God got my attention by giving me cancer. As a result I became a Catholic . πŸ˜€

    Normally the things that get my attention are things like ‘a word fitly spoken’ or something I read or perhaps a song-things that come to me in very quiet moments…rarely is it a cataclysmic event.

  8. Someone you agree with is having problems: Satan is attacking them!

    Someone you disagree with is having problems: God is getting their your attention! Agree with me and he’ll stop!

    Moral of the story: EVERYONE HAS PROBLEMS.

  9. It isn’t that God doesn’t get our attention. It is that God never tells us plainly what He is upset about! And His big-scale attention-getters almost always hit the innocent and the helpless the worst.

        1. I’ve never graced your home with my presence, Dr F. Take a number and stand in line with the rest of ’em.

        2. That was just an ETOH-induced hallucinatory fulfillment of your fantasies, Dr Fundy.

    1. So if a fundy prays for God to get the attention of someone, and that someone is a-okay still, after a couple of years of prayer, does that mean that they’re in the right and the fundy needs to reassess his beliefs?

      1. Could just mean that God is being gentle, and what th fundy really wanted was for disaster to fall because they want to say “I told you so.” And because they believe that the only reason to turn to God is because bad things either did happen (mother dies/accident) or is going to happen (hell). We can’t have people turning to God simply because they like him.

        1. Maybe God is just busy getting someone else’s attention. Maybe the Almighty will get to your request when it comes to the top of the list.

    2. I usually hear from fundys that the reason god doesn’t tell us plainly what he wants is because it wants us to have a close enough walk with him that we know him.

      My answer is like how I’ve been married to my wife for DECADES and still can’t read her mind.

      Like when she says “well if you don’t know why I’m mad then you just don’t understand me at all”. Uh, ok, I’m not a mind reader so let me randomly try things; flowers? nope, chocolate? nope, jewelry? nope, more money? nope, more time? nope……ok, I give up, maybe you should just beat me until I figure it out because that’s ALWAYS more effective than just talking to me.

      I gave up on being a mind reader years ago. If somebody wants me to know something they have to plainly tell me. Period. Punishing me for not being able to randomly guess correctly doesn’t work.

        1. Sigh, eye roll, “If you have to ask…..”
          Sorry, I couldn’t resist. It is so counter productive to act like this.

        2. The thing that drives me insane (a short trip anyway) is “I shouldn’t have to tell you why I’m mad at you.”

        3. Big Gary, that made me laugh. I think women and men should have mandatory training in opposite gender speak before they attempt a relationship. I was once so angry at my husband while we were on a road trip that I didn’t speak to him for hours. I actually didn’t speak to him until he asked me if I didn’t need a washroom. I did, badly, lol. When I told him I wasn’t speaking to him, he was shocked. Not only did he not know why, he hadn’t even noticed that I wasn’t speaking to him. That was when I realized I was going to have to drop subtle in our relationship. It is stupid and it doesn’t work!

  10. 1st Stick Figure: So I prayed, “God, I have a ‘Perfect Hatred for my heathen, deviant relative/friend who has fallen out of your {i.e. the MOG/FUNDY CEO) will. I plead an intercessory prayer to curse judgement upon him that he might die a painful death and to curse his soul to hell for all eternity. This way we will show him that our pharisaial faith was supreme and much greater than he and that it is the TRUE path to salvation.”

    2nd Stick Figure: So was the response “God bless you brother on your path. Is there anything I can do or help you with in christian love” already taken?

  11. Have you ever had a fundy wish that God would β€œget your attention?”

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12.

  12. My mom posted a message that my hometown is evacuating some of its residents due to potential flooding. My parents aren’t affected. People are posting comments about praying. My dumbass fundy aunt posted this –
    “So many natural disasters happening everywhere! News is gloom and doom.” WTF?

    http://m.mywebtimes.com/news/local/here-we-go-again-utica-orders-mandatory-evacuation-of-flood/article_88c0c53c-1611-5785-9054-de64c460893c.html?mode=jqm

    1. This generation of Fundies is so certain that they are the ones living in the End Times, therefore things are worse and worse. Hmm. Worse than world wars, cholera and Spanish flu? How about Hiroshima? Honestly.

  13. True story. My fundy pastor prayed that his granddad would get cancer so he would be open to the gospel and get saved.

    He did get cancer. And he hasn’t yet become a believer.

    I still cannot wrap my mind around such a way of looking at things. πŸ™

  14. I was convinced as a kid that God was going to kill me so that my brother would stop disobeying our parents, watching Disney channel, and listening to country music.

  15. One of the things that started turning me off from fundamentalism, is how they will twist things around in every way possible to try and justify what they think God is saying or doing. Hypothetical example: A missionary loses his wife and child in a car accident. The fundy rationale is that God is going to use this tragedy for His Glory; it’s God’s stamp of approval on that missionary’s life.So many people are going to be saved so let’s all be thankful! On the other side of the coin, a backslidden or unsaved man loses his wife and child in a car accident, and it’s God getting his attention. It wouldn’t have happened if he had been faithful in church like he’s supposed to be, but I bet he comes to church now, Hay-men?!?
    It makes my head explode trying to figure out the twisted logic.

    1. Fundy’s try to read so much into events regarding the will of God that they end up denying their own theology about God’s way being higher than our ways. I was always second-guessing whether or not I was in God’s will. I knew I was done with my Fundy church when they kept telling me that I really needed to make sure that teaching was God’s will for my life. I just kind of stared at my high school youth leader-I loved teaching, I did it well, my students flourished, and I loved teaching God’s Word! I couldn’t have known any better unless God had written “Go Be A Teacher” in the sky. I have been a happy teacher for the past 30+ years, and I’m glad I didn’t follow some bad advice.

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