Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Shepastor: “Processing Anger at God: Reflections upon the documentary, ‘God I’m Angry,’ featuring Dr. Julie Exline, Associate Professor of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University”
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” A faithless heretic did not utter these words. Jesus, quoting the Psalmist David (Psalm 22:1) spoke them as He hung on the cross at Calvary (Mark 15:34). While there is a difference between feelings of abandonment and anger, often for humans, one can lead to the other.
Many have been taught that it is inappropriate and even sinful to question God. For some, it is close to blasphemy to express anger towards God. Therefore, individuals suffering tragedies, extreme pain, agony and disappointment are frequently made to feel guilty if they raise questions or express feelings of hostility towards God who has all power in His hands. Honestly speaking, it can take years for individuals to move from anger and disillusionment to an attitude of faith that embraces Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Daunted by internal inquiries such as, “Lord, why did you allow this to happen to me?” “What purpose did this tragedy serve?” “Why Lord, did you not use your power to prevent this from happening,” some have even left their faith, finding no solace from “the faithful.” Shallow theology cannot bare the harsh realities of suffering. The people of faith must acknowledge and assist the suffering as they struggle to process anger at God.
With clarity, honesty and humility, Dr. Julie Exline, Associate Professor of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio explores the difficult issue of anger at God. In the CBC Radio Documentary, God I'm Angry, Dr. Exline, a Christian Psychologist, along with several other individuals from the Jewish and Muslim faith communities takes a look at faithful indignation, and the connection between fury and belief. The documentary is prepared and presented by Frank Faulk.
This week, Shepastor invites you to listen and prayerfully consider the importance of helping individuals to process and not repress issues of anger and their relationship with God. If you are wrestling with questions about your own circumstances and God's role in the mix, listen with an open heart, go before God's presence and honestly state your case. God will meet you there.
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance