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The term “ blessed”

Discussion in 'Outreach Forum' started by djphinfan, May 25, 2022.

  1. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Ya know guys I'm gonna say this but I don't want any of y'all to take it the wrong way...

    I respect all of your views religious or not.. but I’ve gotten to a point over the past couple decades where situations and circumstances That have happened makes me think about how this term and word "blessed" is being used for everything these days, and I believe it's being used wrongly.

    Personally I have a real soft spot in my heart for kids who don't get a chance in life because of diseases or physical disabilities and deformities..also a soft spot for kids who know they are born gay and are getting bullied by other kids and churches..

    I feel very strongly that people who use the term "blessed" all the time are not taking into account children all over the world born into poverty, starvation, diseases , deformities, death, drugs..

    It crosses me very wrong when people who are fortunate say they are "blessed", to me that insinuates that you were chosen to get positive things and materials over some children born into the situations that i mention..

    I feel like the word " lucky" should take the place of "blessed" universally

    I appreciate if you want to engage in this discussion for I feel it’s never being brought to light
     
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  2. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    For the two years my first wife battled cancer and for some time afterwards, I cringed and even got angry when someone thanked God for their own healing. It felt like they were saying my wife wasn't loved by God and was left to die.

    It's a different point than you are making DJ, but I believe it comes from a similar mindset.

    I think for many people saying they are "blessed" is a way of saying they felt to be under God's care. It would make more sense if people who weren't healed but likewise felt loved and cared for in their treatment used the same language but alas, they do not. For them it is a way of trying to acknowledge their gratitude to God, though I agree with you, it can miss the mark badly. "Luck" has a feeling of randomness that I don't think folks want to convey but blessing isn't quite right either.

    In grief and the pain caused by disasters people have trouble expressing themselves. I appreciate your being open to starting this discussion.
     
  3. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the response Chap..

    I know some folks say it because of what you say, it’s like they have a personal relationship with god and they want to thank their god for what goes right in their life..

    But therein lyes the deep rooted issue..everyone imo needs to know what this word does to kids teens adult who are not receiving positive happenings in their life..

    How can we as a people be so ignorant to think after a natural disaster that because you lived and thousands dies that you are blessed… it’s completely blind and lacks so much depth and introspection..

    Not sure if I told you this story before but this is where this all comes from in my heart and why I have issues with folks using this word.

    I was helping my best friend Mike who lives in Hampton Virginia, he’s a foster parent for kids with serious mental issues and violent disorders, mentally challenged, I spent a lot of time there with him and those kids, one day we were watching a show together, award show, I think it was Beyoncé saying how blessed she was and one of the kids was listening and I saw him starting to cry, I said what up bud, and he said “ I don’t feel blessed from god, why was I born like this, god doesn’t love me” etc etc
     
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  4. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I worked with a person once who, when we were together, heard someone describe a disaster as "God's Will" and went bat**** crazy!!! Their family had experienced a similar disaster years earlier and the thought that God had wanted it to go that way was anathema to them....And they were correct, imo. The comment was both stupid and cruel.

    Want a simple example??? We sing at Christmas about Santa giving gifts to children who have been good. But what if your family can't afford Christmas gifts? For some kids, they interpret that as they must have been bad or worse, they ARE bad. Very hard to retrain that in later life.

    You are very correct in calling everyone to think before they speak, especially in times of high emotion.
     
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  5. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Coming from a man of Faith thank you for understanding.:)
     
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  6. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Chap…. Help me man, I’m gonna lose it.

    I’m at dinner with some people and we’re talking about the mass shooting and our kids in school..

    One of the women says I pray every morning before I drop her off…

    I said to her, that ain’t gonna help, I said you don’t think those parents of children so we’re killed loved god? You don’t think they pray for their innocent children to be safe ?

    She said well yeah of course, I’m just trying to keep my children safe.

    I said soooo you think god is gonna step in and keep your children safe over the other childrdn who were killed who’s families love god??

    She says to me, we’ve been blessed so far and haven’t had any problems..


    I lost it Chap..


    Also, If I hear one more Sport figure or singer or actor say they are blessed to have their talent, while over 900 million people in the world don’t have access to clean water, while millions of children of born with no arms, legs, muscular dystrophy, parapslegic condition

    Chap it’s out of control, this word is being used without any thought of how it’s affecting those who love god, who have serious serious physical and tangible hardships
     
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  7. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    We are cursed in American Christianity with what I have heard called an "incantational theology". Saying "magic words" and getting some kind of desired result. At the same time, I encourage folks to pray, to maintain a communication with God. The line can get blurry.

    Many years ago, my only child was born while I was a summer chaplain at a large hospital. She was perfect! My late wife was a polio survivor and having her go full term and give birth to a healthy child was the height of the medical arts and for me a "miracle". As I was standing at the nursery window looking at the new life with which I had been "blessed", a fellow chaplain came up to look at his new son, also born that morning.
    We were both startled into reality when the doctor informed my colleague his son had spinal bifida!!! I was struck then by the conviction; EVIL IS REAL. As a Christian, I believe God is with us through the good and the bad. I try and thank God when evil does not befall me, but I do not blame God when it does. I trust God to sustain me and when the final evil of all, death, comes as it did for my first wife, that God will gather her unto Godself, and evil will not win eternally.

    Folks use "blessed" badly just like they use the phrase "God's Will". I try to use the teachable moment to remind folks empathy is a positive virtue and that we are at our most faithful when we are serving those in need and not when we are smugly saying thank you that it didn't happen to us!
     
  8. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Unfortunately the majority of this world thinks that if it didn’t happen to them they are blessed.

    It’s not right chap, gay teenagers are killing themselves because they know what they are and they are taught that they are going to hell because of it.

    It’s not their fault and fundamental Christian’s don’t think that kids are born gay, which anyone with half a brain or a parent who has had a young child where the they know very early that’s the case and can figure out

    I know this from talking to 12 years olds who went and go to Chistian school
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
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  9. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I don't disagree with you. My daughter, also a pastor, has found herself working with a lot of trans kids. To be told you are not entitled to health care, that you are so fundamentally "wrong" that you have no place in society...no wonder these kids want to end their lives.

    Your anger is with the use of "blessed". Fair enough. Mine??? I am incensed with those who have tied the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a particular political viewpoint. Especially when that viewpoint is so demonstrably in opposition to even a cursory understanding of the Bible's message of Jesus. Aaaargh.

    Best to you!
     
  10. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Chap I think you and I have the proper dynamics to go on a crusade and try to change the world for the better. :)

    I’m so grateful that you are who you are and don’t just shut this topic down because of your unwillingness to stop and think, and maybe change a stance from what your were raised from.

    Thank you Chap.:)
     
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  11. Fin-O

    Fin-O Initiated Club Member

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    Just saw this. I actually have the exact word tattooed on my arm. "Blessed"

    I'm not very religious at all and are using the word to express gratitude for where I am in life as opposed to where I once was. I think from my POV the meaning of the word has various context you can apply to it, right or wrong.
     
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  12. Da 'Fins

    Da 'Fins Season Ticket Holder Staff Member Club Member

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    Late - very late - to the game here (I hardly frequent these forums - out of sight, out of mind ...).

    I tend to agree with you.

    I am a believer and minister to the homeless and poor - and have seen so much pain and suffering. And have had severe issues impact my family (specifically my daughter who is on the autism spectrum with a rare genetic syndrome; her husband was abusive; in innumerable ways; extreme mental that turned physical; then financial and it has been a disastrous strain on us financially and emotionally for 4 years running. Just unbelievable things. Twice her house - which she was awarded in a divorce settlement - has gone into foreclosure because he hid things from her and had arranged things so that everything was totally in his name - and when he screwed up he would use his - her - home as collateral - without anyone knowing it. It took over two years in the court system - two different lawyers, thousands payments, etc. just an incredible hot mess - I could write a 100 page book on it - just to get her name on the house deed and now trying to sell it). But there's also been enormous emotional trauma for her, and she's had all sorts of troubles dealing with this (emotional; economic; decision-making; destructive interactions with other men; stress in her relationship with us) and for my two grand children through that marriage.

    So, yeah, sometimes I get really pissed about that kind of mentality. And even my wife and I have had bouts of depression. Plus we interact with multiple people each week in shelters and on the street who have horror stories of their own and we tend to be very empathetic about that stuff.

    I do understand that it's a way of people saying, "Thank you for this small blessing." There are and have been many occasions where, despite the circumstances, we have moments where we still think, "We are blessed, even so." We still have each other. We still have friends. And you would be surprised at the number of homeless people we meet and minster to in shelters who are constantly thanking God for their blessings. There have often been people we've encountered and we walk away thinking, "Wow, that person has some incredible character and fortitude." It's really surprising but also understandable.

    Where I suppose the phrase bothers me more is with people whose lives are really quite fine and dandy. For example, a rich middle-class family talking about how "blessed by God" they were that their daughter's $15-20,000 outdoor wedding didn't get rained on. I understand. And I'm all for people celebrating. I try to follow the "rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep" principle. Yet another part of me is like, "Really? You don't think that was just a random good fortune? And what about all the other people who don't have anything like what you do? Where was God then?"

    But I also realize that all of our perspectives about life are skewed. What can seem like a disaster to one person (say, losing their job, home, and car and having to move into a tiny home but still having food and shelter) can seem like a great situation for another. I've known people in the richest part of town here in Bham commit suicide because they lost much of their savings and would have to sell their home and go into a very poor situation but would still have had a place to live, say an apartment, and a job. But it was such a radical change they couldn't handle it. Yet, to another person coming out of total homelessness and abuse, being put in that situation would look like an incredible blessing.

    We all can use more perspective and patience - and understanding - with people in their life situations.
     
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  13. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I lived in Birmingham back in the late 70's just before seminary and in fact was ordained there in '84. I liked the geography, topography, and climate. I was not so crazy about the rampant overzealousness of folks. In a town with strong, different religious traditions, there was not a lot of listening to each other. I hope that has changed though given how things have gone in America over the past 40+ years, I don't hold out a lot of hope.

    I mentioned earlier in this thread my disgust at what I called "incantational theology". A belief that if you say the right phrases or rituals, you can manipulate God into doing your bidding. Groan. I didn't bring up then, but now would include in my pantheon of disgust, the "prosperity gospel", that insidious, disgusting belief that God wants me wealthy, or prosperous, or "blessed", because I am such a good person. If that's not bad enough, the corollary to it is, "and anyone who is poor deserves to be because God doesn't like them, and they deserve to be downtrodden!"

    I wish Christianity actually cared about the teachings of Jesus Christ! If the only thing that is important is His death and resurrection, then why did the Gospel writers include so many of His saying about the poor, the widow, the orphan, the "outsider", the....

    Thanks to you Da'Fins for what you do in your ministry. Thanks to you DJ for caring about others especially those on the borders or edges of society. Hearing your concerns uplifts me in knowing there are still lots of folks who think and care and act upon those feelings. I spent the last 11 years of my ministry not just in parish service but also on the board of directors of a senior living concern which also had a division that worked with "thrown away" children. Lots of folks out there need desperately to know God loves them and that their neighbors, also God's children, love them too!

    Thanks for joining this discussion and giving me a chance to vent this morning! I guess I needed it!
     

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