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God is Not an Asshole (and Other Things I Wish My Pastor Told Me)

God is not an asshole.

I feel like that shouldn’t be a controversial statement, but somehow it is. I want to talk about that a little bit.

I want to talk about some of things I wish I’d known growing up Christian. And I want to make space to ask some questions. I want to make space to expand our understanding of what the Gospel is and who God is.


Growing up Christian, one of the things I was often told was that I was supposed to try to be “Christlike”. And what that meant was, don’t watch movies with killing or sex or swearing in them, and don’t drink alcohol, and don’t listen to rock music.

But if you read the Bible and look at what Jesus actually did and then ask “What’s it mean to be Christlike?”, I think the answer is actually that you’ll wind up walking around saying stuff that pisses people off and makes them wonder if you know what the hell you’re talking about when it comes to God and religion, so much so that they kick you out of church, drag you down the street, try to stone you, and eventually kill you.

Here’s what I’ve learned as I’ve been a Christian for most of my life: all of us have questions. All of us believe things and wonder things that we feel like we can’t say out loud. And more often than not, the church has told us, “Don’t ask that. Don’t go there. Don’t let anybody know you’re wondering about that.”

This is how we’ve chosen to live out our faith, and don’t think it does us any good.

Because we all wonder the same things: Is there a god? What is god like? What does it mean to be a follower of god? Is god listening when I’m praying?

And most of the time, we’re left wrestling with these questions alone.


When I think about Jesus and His message, some people say his message was “everybody be nice and love each other” and some people say his message was “everybody be on your best behavior and try not to piss God off.”

I think Jesus’ message was this: “I’ve here come to break bread and fuck up your theology. And I’m all out of bread.”

So let’s go.

Watch: God is Not an Asshole (and Other Things I Wish My Pastor Told Me)

published May 9, 2017

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