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God gave my friend's DH a heart attack

(94 Posts)
TotallyBS Sat 02-Feb-13 21:01:46

My friend's DP works in the. City. Up to 2 years ago he would regularly work to midnight. Come the weekend. he would be so tired that he often slept the weekend away.

Then he had a. heart attack .(he is early 40s). It was a wake-up call for him.He cut back on the hours. His children now get to see him in the evenings. Instead of saving his (generous) bonus and salary he now spends it. They recently moved to a new house and bought a new car.

I was invited over to see the new house last week. Over coffee she was telling me how great life was now. She and the kids get to see him more. He is less preoccupied with work and money. She attributes all this to God giving DH a heart attack so that he would stop and revaluate his life.

Not being a believer I obviously thought WTF at the idea of. a caring God intervening in such a violent manner. Are there any Christians out there who supports my friend's perspective or do you share my WTF?

Frankly I find it hard to understand how my friend can believe that God let millions die because He gave us free will but will intervene in her marriage.

AMumInScotland Sat 02-Feb-13 21:10:26

Definitely a WTF, and I'm a Christian!

I'd say long hours + stress leads to heart-attack as a basic normal consequence of his free-will in action, rather than requiring specific intervention by God.

But some people do think that everything that happens to them has deliberately been sent by God. Even while citing freewill/consequences etc to explain the bad stuff. I think it has to do with feeling special maybe? That your life is so important that God had to jump in and change it for you.

TotallyBS Sat 02-Feb-13 21:44:54

AMum: My friend is a born again Christian, if that makes a difference.

Her father divorced her mother when she was young and started a family with another woman. When she grew up she reached out to him but he wasn't interested. For whatever reason, the mum.blamed her for the dad leaving.

Anyway, one day something happened (she won't say what) and she became a born again.

Generalisation Alert! Based on my extensive sample (two people smile ) some people become born again because they attribute some life changing event to God. It is these Christians that tend to believe that God will periodically intervene in their lives. Whereas <insert correct term for non born again> tend to believe that God gave us free will and pretty much leave us alone to make mistakes and to learn from them.

IndigoBarbie Sat 02-Feb-13 23:25:57

Hi, I genuinely don't think that she literally meant that God gave the heart attack, it's more like - 'now I have had this shake up, I will make more of my life' kindof vibe

GingerCurl Sun 03-Feb-13 10:21:18

Actually, I don't think that is a particular mindset of born again Christians. How many times haven't you heard the words, "everything happens for a reason?" People say it all the time. I hate that phrase personally. I find it stupid and very insulting.

I'm a Christian. I come from a "born again" tradition although I am more of the traditional ilk these days. However, I've found that people who tend to come out with things like "God gave DH a heart attack" tend to be the newer/younger in faith who see things a bit in black and white. And you can find them in all traditions. With time and maturity even born again Christians and people of other faith traditions alike usually come realise that, just like with everything else in life, faith also has its shades of grey. This is when faith starts to deepen and, rather than being a high, becomes something more sustaining, but a bit more low key. It's a bit like the difference between a new heady romance and a long happy marriage.

Just like everyone else, my family and I have had some crap things happen through the years. I don't think thad God made them happen. They are part of life in an inperfect, fallen world. What I do believe however is that God can use the crap that happens and turn in into a blessing either for myself or someone else, usually both, if I allow Him-Her to.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 10:24:03

Did God give us the atomic bomb, too?

For the love of Pete!

'Frankly I find it hard to understand how my friend can believe that God let millions die because He gave us free will but will intervene in her marriage.'

This. Exactly.

Crap things happen because they just do.

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 10:58:22

Indigo - that was exactly what my friend said so it's not me embellishing it.

A number of my school gate friends are 'traditional' Christians in that their parents have always been Christians and they were brought up as Christians. They tend to live their lives as 'quiet' Christians ie they don't talk about it and they don't try to convert you.

I know that two people is hardly a representative sample but both my born again friends had unhappy lives until they 'discovered' God. Both believe that God intervenes in their daily lives and I'm talking about mundane things like passing exams.

And both are always trying to convert us. One time one of them invited us (friends from evening class) to a 'party' at her house. It turned out to be a Bible class from her Church. It happened one more time. Thereafter we were all 'busy' whenever she issued an invite.

Are all born agains like this or is my sample of two unrepresentative?

IndigoBarbie Sun 03-Feb-13 11:44:45

My apologies, I didn't mean that you were in any way not stating the truth of the situation. I just meant that, I think that they are trying to make positive out of something which has rocked them.

If they seem to have found god and are born again, good for them. Pushing your (their) beliefs down others throats is in fact a form of judgement by deeming that you know better, and therefore the other people just don't know anything. But, on the other hand, it appears that they have found something wonderful and wish to share it. What they might not realise is, that generally we can only see something when experienced it for ourselves.

I have a different point of view which is that we are the power in our own lives, and nothing or no-one else controls that. We are given the opportunity to make of our lives what we will. Some people use that to create and invent bad things, some use it to do good. It doesn't sit well with some, but it's my own take. Therefore I don't believe that 'God' controls us in any way, and yes, bad things still happen and so do good things.

Sorry I didn't really answer the born again part, as I really have no idea. good luck xxx

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 12:07:07

No apologies required since no ofense was taken smile

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:22:49

AMuminscotland - WTF and christian just don't go together. Not judging or patronizing honest.

And yes God does intervene in such harsh ways
Jonah and the Whale,
The flood that wiped out almost all the world including innocent children
Job and the sores and losing everything he had,
Jesus and the cross,
Israel being God's Own chosen nation and look at the destruction and suffering in that land
Mosses not stepping foot in promised Land despite bringing the Isralites all the way .....
All of Humanity suffering because EVE ate the Fruit,
I could go on ,
He is a gentle God full of Mercy and infinite Grace but also a God capable of Wrath and Anger as seen throught history.
Please Don't look at Christianity with rose tinted spectacles: It doesn't promise a smooth ride
Back to your question In my opinion it boils down to DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE (ALL OF IT) AS WORDS FROM GOD because if you do, then you'll find that We can't understand His ways(God's).

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:29:31

Umm I don't think there is such a thing as a born again christian and not a born again christian anyone see my line of thought

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 13:38:55

Expatinscotland - He's a God that knows the exact number of the hairs in your head and to him the world world is open like a book in front of him so its safe to say that nothing happens without him knowing meaning he allows it to happen. And yes he allowed the atomic bomb to happen othersiwse he'd have stopped it just like he says that lightenning doesn't strike without him saying so or rain even though it seems like such a normal occuring thing that doesn't need his hand on the on and off switch

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 14:25:43

Sorry abbey but I don't follow your line of thought. I suspect that neither do the millions of self defined born again Christians.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:32:23

Hi Totally, was starting to suspect I had lulled you all to sleep.
Alright, haven't really thought this through and am open to critique anyway. In my opinion you can either be a christian or a non christian. How can you be a christian and not be born again?

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 14:34:21

In your opinion, abbey. And that's fine. I happen to believe that there isn't a god.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:37:37

Sorry Expat Hope I didn't offend you I thought you were religious , otherwise I wouldn't have burdened you with all that mumble jumble smile. Accept my apologies

housesalehelp Sun 03-Feb-13 14:46:22

I think there are a fair number of people who would not use the term born again about themselve but are Christians - some of my relatatives for example - they are older been christians their whole live and wouldn't dream of trying to convert someone - which is lucky as I am not a christian!

With regards to the OP I think that its a natural tendancy to make the best of what has happened. How you inteperate that is going to relate to your beliefs - not ones I would personally share

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:55:55

House, interesting take. Are the born again ones the ones keen on converting?
Someone define who a christian is

TotallyBS Sun 03-Feb-13 16:01:42

confused ermm someone who believe in Jesus Christ and God?

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 16:25:08

Thanks Totally, am struggling to see how that does not equate to being born again. Because being born again in my opinion means you believe that Jesus died for your sins and its through that belief that you forsake your old ways and embrace the new life of living according to teachings of the bible. Is there a christian and a born again christian? whats your view?

Sorry OP we've I've hijacked your thread completely

AMumInScotland Sun 03-Feb-13 16:39:35

"Born again" is used as a shorthand for certain types of Christian, though in fact, all Christians are by definition "born again" when they are baptised.

But as a term it is usually used to distinguish Christians from a particular tradition - evangelical, taking a very literal view of the Bible.

I am sure that I was born again in Christ when I was baptised, but since I was only a few months old at the time I don't define myself by that, and I think of my whole life as something which has been lived in the context of a relationship with Christ, not something which hit an earth-shattering change on one specific date.

That is my definition of a Christian - someone who chooses to be in a relationship with Christ.

I do not believe that every word in the Bible is supposed to be taken as literal truth, it is a collection of stories telling us about God's relationship with humanity and how they responded and tried to understand what they saw to be God's actions in the world. They were human and flawed, and their understandings and explanations were no more "WORDS FROM GOD" than what any of us might conclude after careful and prayerful consideration of our lives. The difference is that people listened and read and considered their stories over a long period of time, and concluded that they were consistent with other theolological teachings and were useful examples to be kept and studied.

I do believe that God intervenes in individual lives at times, but more by encouraging/discouraging people, or by helping them feel supported and not alone at difficult times in their lives. Most things that happen are a simple case of cause and effect, and people should only start to shout about divine intervention when the event was very unlikely to have happened for other reasons. A heart attack in someone who almost anyone could have said was living a stressful and unsustainable way is not unlikely and I don't think God jumped in to cause it in an otherwise healthy heart.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 03-Feb-13 20:14:41

I think people who have found religion later in life will look around for things that confirm that are taking the right path in life, and if you look hard enough for meaning in something, you will find it.

They have chosen to see the silver lining in a cloud, that's a positive thing. If they have been able to see the positive side of what has happened and they have been able to make a bad situation become a force for good in their lives because of their faith, then I can understand why it would feel to them like God gave them this situation.

technodad Sun 03-Feb-13 20:47:01

I am amazed that god can find the time to give someone a heart attack, when he is so busy murdering all those babies in developing countries, causing car crashes and making people kill each other. Perhaps he was having a little breather, you know, like a hobby or something.

I find the idea that people might pray that they get a job and suchlike really sick. Why people think that a god might intervene with such a relatively small "blessing" whilst being busy killing others is really beyond me.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Feb-13 21:14:00

Now, now, techno, those people were killed by the free will of man wink. The children who die of disease, well, I'm sure God has a reason for their suffering and demise of people who are too young to have a free will or do much above FA.

technodad Sun 03-Feb-13 21:40:16

Amen to that!

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