(From the 10 LIES OF RELIGIOUS CHRISTIANITY)
This is the lie that scares me a lot. The phase “thorns in the flesh” comes from the part of the Bible where Apostle Paul wrote where he said something with that name as shown below.
Religious churches use that to tell their members that sometimes God do bad things to them to show them his sufficient grace.
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)
Based on this passage alone without the full context of the entire message, the theologians concluded that God can give people a thorn in their flesh to keep them from becoming conceited and show them his sufficient grace.
What is the thorn of the flesh in the first place? Religious Christians will tell you that it is some sort of disease. They will use this part to fight against any teachings on healing. The irony here is, the last part of Verse 7 has already explained its meaning. The thorn of the flesh is actually a messenger of Satan.
Let me ask you this question. Do you want to know God’s sufficient grace? Unless you are a masochist, I am sure you will run away from this God. In fact this is what I have been doing when I was in my first church.
When I was in my first church, I was under such a heavy bondage that I could only see God as a pervert. Why? When you do bad, he will do bad things to you to punish you. However, when you do good, like the Apostle Paul, he can also give you bad things to you to show you his sufficient grace. This means God will make sure bad things will happen to you regardless of whether you are good or bad.
If this “truth” is revealed during the First Layer Gospel, I don’t think any one except the psychos will want to be Christians.
What is the common response of Religious Christians on this issue? They are proud of it. It is a status symbol among the Religious Christians to tell others that they are willing to go through sufferings in the name of sufficient grace. This is a crucial part that I cannot fit in. I can never accept a two-faced God. He was good before I became a Christian but turned evil after I became one. So, I concluded that I am better off if I have never believed in him.
Another favorite reference to justify a sadistic God is the book of Job. Religious churches like to use this book to fight for the right to have a sadistic God but they conveniently ignore its ending.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.
13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters.
14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch.
15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.
17 And so he died, old and full of years.
Job 42:12-17 (NIV)
You can never hear the above passage being preached in a religious church because it is too positive. Religious churches do not like positive endings.
In short, religious churches believe that the Christian life on earth must be a life of sufferings. We must live like the beginning and the middle part of the book of Job but we must never live like its end. Sufferings have become some sort of a status symbol in the religious churches. If you want to rise high in their eyes, you will have to make sure you suffer a lot.
The fifth clue to identify a religious church is they look upon sufferings as something to be proud of. They are the ultimate masochists.