Angry God, Unhappy People

“The same contrasting emotions result from contrasting views of God. Under the headline, “Belief in Angry God Associated with Poor Mental Health,” Ross Pomeroy explained how the way a believer conceives of God affects his or her mental health. Researchers at Marymount Manhattan College “found that belief in a punitive God was significantly associated with an increase in social anxiety, paranoia, obsession, and compulsion. Conversely, belief in a benevolent God was associated with reductions in those four symptoms. Belief in an indifferent God was not linked to any symptoms.” The report concluded: “We propose that belief in a benevolent God inhibits threat assessments about the dangerousness of the world, thereby decreasing psychiatric symptoms” whereas “belief in a punitive God . . . facilitates threat assessments that the world is dangerous and even that God poses a threat of harm, thereby increasing psychiatric symptomology.”” -David Murray, The Happy Christian

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3 comments on “Angry God, Unhappy People

  1. Very interesting. I agree. I don’t believe in God but if I did I would think God was an angry God by how the world is. And I can see how that could make a person very depressed. Obviously depression is more complex but it does make sense. If you believed God was merciful you may not be as fearful or sad.

    • therev2011 says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’ve seen it often where people struggle under the idea of a capricious deity. Often with those in suffering, I point out that the Christian God was/is so grieved by a fallen world that he sent his Son here to renew it. It puts God in a new light–not the perpetrator of their pain, but Redeemer from it.

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