It won’t be especially sad though. Today I have more of a thought “Why does abuse happen?”
There are many, many reasons, I couldn’t possibly address them all.
But for a christian family like mine, I believe there is one reason that can be common. It’s not the only reason, but it’s an important one to understand if there’s ever going to be road to healing.
That reason is Idolatry.
Idolatry is a fancy sounding word for one of the most common sins to man, that of worshiping something other than the One True God.
Even if you are not a Christian, it’s probably no strength for you to agree that there are things worth devoting your life to, and that many people do not devote their lives to the right thing, so if the religious term throws your off, just think of it like that.
Idolatry is just easier to use for me, since it’s one word, but in Church we usually call it False Images, False gods, or just Idols themselves.
In my family the False Image was My Family itself.
My dad has long been obsessed with being a better person, but his version of better was rather vague and unrealistic. It usually involved ridding himself of his faults as a parent and husband.
But his biggest faults in that regard was simply focusing on the flaws. He didn’t prioritize us ourselves, but this idea of what our family should look like.
Our family should have its own ministry (one he approved of)
Our family should make music
Our family should be more hospitable
Our family should all go tot he same church.
Our family should be a witness to the extended family.
He never took into consideration that maybe it was not his job to decide how we should serve God.
I am aware of the Bible’s teaching about a whole household serving God. However, it never says everyone in the house should do the exact same thing. In the New Testament the control of family is a little lesser, since may early Christians did not have their whole family’s support.
It didn’t stop with Church stuff anyway. That was just what annoyed me the most.
Maybe you’ve had the same experience with your relatives.
My dad would also say repeatedly that our family was the most important thing to him and he got his happiness from us.
Which bugged me, I thought “We get our happiness form God, not each other.”
Not to misunderstand me, people can greatly increase our happiness, but it does not spring from them. If it does it’s fleeting, people die, they move, they move on, they ditch us, not all of them, but human based happiness is just not permanent.
It sounds like a Christian Cliche to say We Get our Happiness from God.
Oh, we’re so spiritual, right?
I know, but it really is true. It can be misused sure, to hide real problems, but so can most things.
It’s not that God makes me feel happy all the time, it’s that when Id o feel happy, it’s in God. I know it is from Him, and it is a gift.
By the way, there’s been a teaching in the Church that says the Bible never says “God wants you Happy”
Let me set you free if you’ve heard this: That is bull-crap.
No, you won’t find the exact words “God wants you happy” in scripture, the Bible prefers the words “Joy” “Rejoicing” “Praising” “Thankful” “Peaceful” “Exalted” and “Satisfying the desires of your heart.”
All that is stronger than happiness as a chemically induced fleeting feeling, though that too, because God also wants you healthy, and a healthy person will produce that physical feeling of happiness too.
My dad used our family as a false god. Like all idols, it had to be removed from him for him to turn back to the real God.
And we had also to give up serving my dad’s happiness, instead of serving God’s. We wanted our dad to be happy, sure, but we could not keep trying to fill the void of God in his heart.
And we could not let him punish us with emotional abuse for inevitably failing to do the impossible.
It struck me what the Bible is talking about when it warns about idols.
You are what you adore, what you trust in, you become.
If you trust in a lie, you become a liar, and eventually, if you fall in with C. S. Lewis’s point of view in The Great Divorce, you become a lie itself.
If you trust in money, you become a miser.
If you trust in drugs, you become an addict.
All these states of being are merging you with the thing you worship. In the case of drugs it literally will get worked into you bloodstream, your DNA, and your brain engineering, and passed on to your kids.
“Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.” Psalms 115:4-6
“They have mouths but they do not speak; eyes they have but they do not see; they have ears but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.” Psalms 135:16-18
That’s why we are all sinners, by the way. Adam became a sinner, and in a way, he became sin, and so we carry that in our DNA now. We are born in sin, as the Word puts it.
Jesus became sin for us, the Word also says, in order to finally get Sin out of us. He killed sin by becoming it, and then dying.
The Bible also teaches that the Spirit of God is able to divide soul and spirit, and that is how we are saved from sin. God can separate the sinner form the sin.
We ourselves cannot do that, except by loving the sinner. We cannot transform them. But loving people will help them choose to be transformed.
In summary, I think almost all abuse happens due to idols
Many abusers are addicts, after all. All of them put power above God, certainly. Abuse is all about feeling powerful.
It’s important to keep in mind that focusing too much on being abused also can be a form of idolatry. God wants us to be healthy, and if we focus on him, we’ll start to heal. If we are letting Him help us.
But don’t wear your sorrow like a badge of honor, Paul boasted of his weakness because God was glorified in it, not because weakness all on its own is a glory.
One last thought
All of us are meant to be at rest, and to rejoice. Abusers and abused alike. However you handle your past, whatever you went through, even if you were the abuser in some ways, don’t think it mean you cannot ever be happy,
Happiness is not what we deserve, desert does not come into it at all. It’s the naturalstate of things. You can’t earn it because you were created for it, it’s just like putting a key into a lock. No question of deserving it, it would be stupid to ask that.
So, it’s okay to move on. Really.
And that’s all I got for you today. Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.
I wonder what people are doing when they find this blog. Surfing through internet stuff to kill time. Or perhaps checking their own blog and then seeing what’s new on WordPress. Not that I’m ungrateful or think that’s a bad thing, I just wonder how much of it we do.
People say we are over connected nowadays, we’ve all heard it. Most of us probably agree with the statement to a degree, just not as it affects us. I have heard statistics, but I’m not going to list any about the subject at hand. There are no statistics that can measure how connected you feel with the people around you. Can we take a moment to acknowledge that, good.
The truth of the matter is, nothing you see in front of you can make a connection with your heart of hearts if all it is is flashing lights. Why don’t we ever ask ourselves just what the substance of a text, or a post, or a picture is? It’s flashing lights, it’s not the sound of a human voice, or the touch of human affection, or a real face in front of us. It’s just an image. It serves about the same purpose as a photograph or a letter used to, conveying part of the person, as a way to remember them and get a small taste of who they were when they couldn’t be with us. The more you knew them, the more you could get out of such reminders. Pictures are good I think, and it’s fine to take them even on a phone, but can they substitute for actually seeing the person?
Three things that don’t have value in a culture of technology:
For the first thing: Moments of being alone with your thoughts. Time to yourself. This is not seen as a good thing, by you or by your friends who keep texting you all the time, or who constantly post new things for you to read. Wanting time alone can only mean you’re tired and cranky, not that you want to stay SANE.
Secondly, there is almost no silence. When we’re tired we turn on the TV or whatever our preferred form of tech is, ( if you don’t do this, then you have my apologies,) but I’ve found I’m more rested after just a little quiet time outdoors or in my room. If a stay at home mom is reading this, I know it’s hard to get a break; if a working person is reading this, I know that it can be just as hard to. Frankly, if you go to school it’s even harder because half your day is taken up without your consent. But there are still hours of time that most of us have that we fill with distaction form how tired we are, instead of rest.
Thirdly, When your day is crammed full of things that seem disconnected with each other, it’s hard to give full attention to anything. Again, if you go to school it is not your choice that subjects are seperated by the hour, but an hour is too long for some things, and far too short for others. I can spend hours writing, I get frusterated if I spend one hour trying to figure out a song on the keyboard. I have to take it in little bites. Our minds look for connection and patterns, we need them to make sense of the world. The whole world is one interworking system, nothing is independent of everything else, yet nothing is the same. Both sameness and irregularity play havoc with our ability to reason and think and feel.
Yet entertainment is becoming increasingly both same and irregular. People who play the parts in the media industry now utter lines that come out of nowhere, and whose very randomness is supposed to be funny. I laugh sometimes, but unless it is very well done, such humor shows less, not more, cleverness. And plots are cliched. Based on what sells, not on a good message. I have to give Disney and Pixar credit for sometimes being an exception to this, but only sometimes. By and large there are no exceptions beyond the least popular movies and shows.
More than movies though, is our hopping from computers to phones to tablets to ipads to computers again, in a cycle of boredom.
Let me now quote a show called “Girl meets world”I heard this on one episode and liked it a lot.
“Not until we switch off our computers, put down our phones, and look into each others eyes, will we be able to touch each other’s hearts..there is no connection you can make with any screen that compares with the moment you understand only human beings have souls.”
Note the word understand. If you’ve read this far, I must have your interest on some level, so please, attend. I cannot possibly state enough the importance of knowing human beings have souls.
Personal story: A while back my sister and I decided to stop watching movies and youtube clips on the weekdays, we wanted to spend more time reading, and doing other stuff, and getting our studies done. At first it was hard and it still is in a way, (although I’m currently on break for a week,) but I noticed a change almost right away. I was happier, I was more interested in things. My brain was more receptive, I could enjoy reading more. I could go outside and really look at the world around me. I had more time to pursue interests, and more time to just rest without watching a screen, or to listen to music instead of watch music videos. I am more awake. That, versus yesterday, when we watched things for hours on end, and at the end of them I felt cranky with everyone, bad about myself, and confused about where I was in my personal life. I might have felt all that anyway, but it seemed so much worse than of late, and I couldn’t even think as clearly. To be honest, I’ve noticed the quality of what I’m watching plays a part, you feel clearer after good movies, and sutpider after stupid ones. It’s just the way it is.
I have found myself more paitent with people, and more at peace. Because in the absence of a screen, I have to use real substance to feed my imagination, not sicken it.
This is very long, so I’ll save the rest for a later post. I think we all have plenty to consider, myself included.
Today I want to write about a phenomenon I’ve been noticing for years, but, somehow, it was just this week I began to draw connections as to why.
First, I want to illustrate what I’m thinking of:
In simple words, this phenomena is “a loss in the value of human life.”
I think, in general, in this country, maybe in this whole world, we humans have lost a sense of value for our own and other’s lives.
I mean, that we no longer feel life is beautiful, worthwhile, or important.
The most prominent examples of this would be, as always, in the media world.
Have you noticed yet how many movies (and anime, the other biggest genre in this country), spend a sizable chunk of their time trying to convince the audience that humans are worth saving.
Since I was a kid, I noticed the anti-human rederick in sci-fi cinema.
I bet if I asked you (assuming you’re in an English spelunking country) to name 5 movies off the top of your head where some bad guy from another race, or another planet, says humans are basically petty, garbage that they really don’t see any value in, to which the hero retorts with something brilliant like “Well, I say they are.” And then beats the crap out of the villain, who is still unconvinced… you could do it right.
Watch me I’ll do it now:
Wonder Woman ( Ares vs Diana)
Captain America (Red Skull vs Cap)
Justice League Animated movie: Crisis on Two Earths (Owlman vs Batman)
Avengers Age of Ultron (Ultron versus the Avengers)
The Matrix (Agent Smith versus Neo, pick a movie for that one, all three do it).
There’s more, but that’s just 4 popular, and one more obscure example.
I’d say this rend must have started in the 60-70s, but took off more in the 80s-90s, and is now a staple of pretty much every superhero movie we have.
And Anime has it in almost every arc, if it’s a shonen anime.
Makes me wonder what humans ever did to all the machines and aliens, it’s rarely other humans who are making this judgment call.
I mean, why do screenwriters feel so implicitly that other races would loathe and despise us on such short acquaintance?
Usually, i’ts because we’re “destroying our planet.” And agenda that is only held by some members of our population. Try pitching that idea in an African tribe sometime, they’ll give you blank looks. Those of us “destroying” our eco system, are usually the ones reaping the most benefits from doing so. Maybe we are in the West, but, that’s not a global reality.
And because we’re cruel, petty, and afraid.
Like, usually the aliens in question, and AI things, are not any less cruel or petty than we are. But they look down on humans like some self righteous snobs.
And then we get the protagonist speech. Like “I”m going to save humanity anyway, because… reasons.”
Like, the hero really can’t disagree with it.
Ever notice how tired our modern day heroes are?
You’d nee see that in the 50s-60s, heroes reveled in being heroes the way ballerinas revel in ballet, and artists revel in painting, and actors revel in acting. There was not this weariness to them.
Even Spiderman, perhaps the most iconically troubled superhero of the last century, spent most of this time enjoying his job. He thought it was important.
In my mind, it’s a disgrace to our culture that we can have a movie where Superman spends most of his time wondering why he’s even bothering to save humans. (Dawn of Justice.)
Like, heroes used to not take humanity as a whole and say “you all suck, so why should I save anyone.”
It was about saving the ordinary, decent people who need help, and sometimes, the not so decent people, because they were still people.
I’m not here to talk just about superhero cinema. But it’s one place you can almost always find this. Even my favorites from the last 10 years, that’s true. Some of the older movies, it’s not there in.
I now some of you are gong to be thinking “But humans do suck. They’re just telling the truth.”
That’s what my Dad would say, I know. I can still hear his voice in my head even after nearly two years of absence.
I have to admit, my dad is one of the main reasons I’m tempted to be down on humanity myself.
Though, I question what the point of having aliens and machines criticize us in our movies is, when, those things are not real, at least not yet, and really have no place judging us.
I mean, what are we going or replace humans with? We are what we got to work with. What’s the use of having alien critics? Thanks for the social commentary, Hollywood… the people who actually promote a sinful lifestyle so much you’re directly responsible for the increase in a lot for the very things you’re calling us out for.
Yeah, sure, it’s all the general populations fault.
Like, was it the 90s kids fault that the examples we subjected them too were so sacred up that they now have very little idea of how to behave? Or did we remove their chance to know what right really was?
But I digress.
Another place you can find this attitude is in pretty much every leftist work out there. I’m sorry if that’s offensive, it’s just something I’ve observed. Their books, movies, talks hows, always bashing on how bad humans are, and how we’ve ruined everything.
The level of disgust I’ve noticed since a kid with humans.
Why it’s int he flipping Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, come to think of it. Maybe that’s where I encountered it first, even.
Whihc is liberal, byt he way.
Humans… we just cant’ cathc ab reak.
I guess it makes snes, we projet abetter personana onto ficiaotna l things, giving them what we wich we had more of as a race. Wsidoem, jsutice, Mercy, Intellignce., Bravery.
But often, what we create is so cold, and bitter, and disillusioned with anthhign in life that might give it pleasure.
Then we wonder why peopel are so depresed these days. Thsi is what they grow up having funneled into their brians bye ey balviale media outlet.
The hatred for humanity.
So, of course, our vlaue for human life drops.
Someitmes, I almsot feel gald when humans die in movies. And then I Catch myself feeling that way, and I think “Am I atually gald? am I actually happy?”
But, I’m an emopath, I pck up on the meotoians and intentons of people. I feel them like they ar emy own until I learn to distuirgns between what they are bradcasting and what I am actuallyt hinking.
IT’s aeasy for me to assume what I get form toehrs is just how things are.
But,I don’t actually like it when peopel die.
Coud it just be, that, when I watch the movie, I catch what they pople writign it were really feeling? What the characrtes are meant to emobidy.
OF course it woudn’t be accpetalbe to make our hero actually asupport gneoicde…but, if you give the vaillinst herse really convicng speeches bout how much humasn desre death or contol, and give the hro nkothing but burte strenght to anwer it with, aren’t you sbulimally letting the vilalin viepoitn win out? IT was never defeated, just silnced.
Why are peopel sypamthaizign with villains so much now?
And anien is even worse int his area than WEster Cinema. At least we give lip service to our ideals wevn eh we give nothing to back it up, but naime often falis to eve do that. The heors jsut save th day becaue they have a stonrg passion for thier firends.
It’s to the point where people have acknowledged that saving the world doesn’t feel like important stakes anymore
Saving the flipping world! Not important!
We can’t get invested int that, because, to us, the world just means the greed and selfishness driven masses that we are shown on tv. Not the individuals whose lives we might actually care about. We can get invested int hose, but not the rest.
That’s why superheroes always save their love interest, you care about that, you don’t care about a crowd of people, do you?
I remember that back in the day, in Westerns, just doing justice was enough, it didn’t have to be to save anyone. You cared because it was justice. It didn’t need a face. The hero wanting it was face enough.
But what hit me this week about the trend I’ve noticed for years and years, is why.
Why do we all feel humans are just the worse, and that human life is no longer valuable.
My theory is, it’s a deep psychological side effect of the choice we’ve made as culture since the 60s.
Let’s start with the biggest two:
Since the 60s we’ve taken parer out of schools, and tried to shut religions out of education, despite much evidenced to the contrary that it’s even a good idea to do so, and so education became more secular.
Depression rates soared after that, by the way. So did teen pregnancies. So did abortions.
Another change made around that time. Abortion became legal.
And now they say we abort 5,000 babies every minute, if I remember right, that may be an old statistic.
This even become legal is, frankly, and atrocity of the highest degree. We have the evidence now to know we are killing a baby, but we’re still doing it and the left will keep saying it’s a Women’s Right’s issue until that excuse stops working.
‘Cause we all know, Women make babies bythemselves, and men nave nothing to do with it, so why should the man get a say in it if his baby is killed. (And while some jacks do pressure women to get abortions, many men have not wanted that choice and have been ignored.)
I’m tired of tiptoeing around this, if someone can’t see abortion is wrong, they are more delusional than a man who believes he’s a dog, and there’s just no use apologizing for that anymore.
I hate, by the way, how that issue is barely even talked about now. I heard almost nothing about it at the last elections. It’s not even at the top of our priorities list. We spend more time arguing about the rights of people who enter this country illegally than we do about unborn babies.
But how did abortion become legal? How did this happen? How did we get to this point? Is it not because we began devaluing human life?
I mean, at first, it didn’t work that way. They convinced us the fetus wasn’t human. But, now that we know it is, we’re still not worked up about it.
We just don’t really care, do we?
Even Pro Life people, have hard time getting as emotional over it as we used to, and we’re told not to.
We’re told not to get emotional about a baby being murdered. Like, that’s not something that deserves some emotion….Wow….
We’ve lost our minds, that’s for sure.
But we’ve also lost our value for life.
I almost wonder if it’s a judgement in some sense. Not that God made us do it, but more like karma. Like, we killed our own children in their country, so now our sense of value in even our own lives is dying away.
You ever notice once you start treating someone a certain way, you began to feel that way. And what you do to one person, you’ll do to another. A person who bullies one person will probably bullied another. A person who rapes one person will probably rape another.
A person who lies to you will lie to someone else, and likely to themselves too.
Cross one line with one person, you’ll cross it with all.
Maybe that’s why James said “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
Because that’s the truth. There is not “one time Sin”. There is only a sin that you do in one form at one time, and maybe don’t do it again, bu you’ll do something similar.
Of course if you repent that maybe not happen, but most people dont’ repent of that, they just think it’s not important anymore, it’s in the past right?
In the rape case, it’s doubtful that a rapist usually ever realizes what they did was wrong. If you can dehumanize a woman or man enough to take that from them, how can you go back? It wouldn’t be easy.
Interesting how signs of violation are sometime harder to let go of that sins like murder and violence.
I mean, many a person has murdered and then been horrified that they did it, and not enjoyed it. But how many people realize even as soon as they’ve done it that rape or molestation was an evil they should never have done. It’s like they block it out.
As the signs get worse and we become more immune to them, we come to care less and less if people die.
Thank to the news most to us feel people are dying all the time, all day long and we can do nothing about it.
Maybe our goal is to try to numb ourselves to the horror by watching horror. Watching gory stuff, and dulling the pain of feeling helpless by doing that. There’s reasons people consider horror a kind of escapism.
But Horror movies and shows and stories are not really an escape, because so many of them can occur in real life, and we’re only increasing the likelihood of it by popularizing it.
You know, I wouldn’t know how to shoot up a drug if I didn’t watch movies. I’ve never done it, and I never intend to, but I know at least theoretically how it works, I’ve seen it. Why are we so stupid?
We are still responsible for our own choice, it’s true, but, we really can’t keep denying that choosing to consume this stuff is changing how we feel about things..
C. S. Lewis thought that being taught how to feel was one of the most important parts of learning. He explains this in The Abolition of Man.
We live in a culture that is post Abolition of Man. We are trying to abolish gender, human rights for anyone we deem a problem (like babies), and any sense of guilt or shame over hurting each other over petty issues.
Do people feel guilty for rioting and becoming violent over the last year? Or are they proud of it?
Should we be proud that people died or got hurt over something that, bad as it was, didn’t have to affect that many people that way.
And of course, someone will say “Well, it should have. All these issues should affect all of us, all the time.”
I miss the days when people thought not everyone needed to be burdened with everyone else’s problems.
I mean, what are we all supposed to do about it?
It’s all just anger, that’s all it is. We can get angry, then what? Did it make us kinder? Smarter? Better people?
Or did we sell our integrity just a little bit more in order to make a statement.
Man, I think the media must just love how easily manipulated we are. It keeps them in business.
And valuing human life is just not even poplar anymore.
Almost everyone is struggling with depression now. I don’t think it’s just because we feel we have no right to live. I think we are wondering if anyone does.
I know that was a big part of my depression, and still is, when it comes back. I can’t find any pat of humanity I like when I think of what I’m shown all day long, every day, by media.
If I can’t value human life, I can’t value my life.
I want to value both.
It’s heartbreaking that we don’t.
According to the Word, God loved the world so much, He gave His Son for it. (John 3:16)
Jesus loved us so much, He died for us.
And what has humanity ever done form God?
Yet he loves us.
Do we understand that?
Many people express the doubt that God could really love such a messed up race as ours.
Well, we don’t deserve it.
But since when was Love based on desert?
You can’t find that idea anymore in the world. Once upon a time, we could. Frozen is the last movie I can think of, and Wonder Woman, that even broached the subject.
Why do our lives have value?
Because, God made us. Why he did, why he puts us here, when it’s such a mess, is hard to say, for us humans. But God knows best. Humans are the only tool he has ever used to mend the world with other than himself.
The Bible says we are partners with God in his Works. That is why we are still here.
I wonder, if we made more stories around that idea, if people would start to feel differently about it.
It’s not so hard.
I can get down in the dumps when I realize all this crap is going on, and that the barbarians of our world are the ones running things.
But, the world is temporary.
People are not.
I think that, turning back from this point of despair, is actually not as difficult as we think.
People who complain about their mental health usually are taking no steps at all to improve it beyond therapy and medication.
But what I found to be much more helpful was changing my influences.
I put some happier examples before me. I went back to books I loved.
I give this advice to other people now.
We need to rediscover what makes people worthwhile.
It’s hard with the constant influx of negativity.
We all talk bout it, but very few of us try to shut it out. I think we need space to just, think. Get in touch with Nature, with Beauty. With Goodness.
If we all did that, the media would have very little sway over us. I think they want us afraid to go outside.
You know, at least right now, people have as much power over you as you give them, provided you’re in a normal position.
I try to explain to my cousin how we don’t all need to think the same way as what’s in vogue.
Wokeness is just… ugh…
It’s come to a pretty pass when the people villainized in their country are ones defending the lives of babies.
Yeah, just stop and think about that sentence.
I mean, shoot, even if you think women have a right to abortion…why on earth would you hate someone for defending a baby? Isn’t that psychotic?
And the self satisfied attitude of the people…
But do we value each other anymore?
If we ever did. My knowledge of history makes me question if any but a predominantly Christian society has ever had anything like a real value for human life. We take it for granted here, we don’t realize how quickly it’s slipping away.
Or if we do, we don’t know how to stop it.
It’s hard, it should be intrinsic, not something we have to learn.
I’m still working on it myself, but I do believe that Beauty and Goodness are the best places to start.
As Paul wrote “whatever things are true, whatever things arenoble, whatever things arejust, whatever things arepure, whatever things arelovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
We really don’t do that anymore, do we. And so we’ve lost our value for all the things that are valuable.
But, be enoucred, friends. Even if our culture is dying, Jesus is not going to die He’s beent ere done that. God is not goidn anywehre.
All Nations fall, and all peoples corrupt, but God is incorruptible. He will stay the same.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
In a world where nothign huamn is cerating excpet sin, peopel turn to God as a certianty.
We must hang onto that if we’re gong to not lose heart, it’s so easy to do that.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalms 27: 13-14)
Notice, he says the “goodness of the lord” not man.
I’ve been thinking of that, because this year, I really want to see the goodness of the Lord…but I think, I keep looking for the goodness of man. And that’s hit and miss.
I’ll leave you with that, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.
I recently joined the millions of other Christians in my country who have been watching the new series “the Chosen.”
Some say it’s the best show about Jesus to come out.
And I’ve made it through all the available episodes, and I’ve been enjoying it.
This wouldn’t be a very interesting post if that was all I had to say though, and unfortunately, my impression of it is not all positive.
If you are new the blog and just clicked on this post out of curiosity then you may wonder why you should care what I think, though you’re you’re probably still curious, because don’t we all like to read critical reviws of whatever’s popular.
But I do have one claim to a relavent relavent opinion, I’ve been reading the Bible since I was a child, and have read the Gospels many times, which is the main source material for the show. I’m not a bible scholar officially, but I’m about as scholarly as laymen get.
And since I am the target audience for this show, a young woman who is always open to getting a btter undestnad of Jesus, I think my opinion ought to interest some people.
That out of the way, let’s begin:
What I like
I don’t need a lot of time for this part.
I love the sets and backdrops of this show, I can’t figure out how a webseries has the budget for those sets and constumes. They’re beautiful and very real feeling, maybe not dirty enough always, but I’m not one to complain about that.
A lot of beautiful locations too.
Also, the acting is good. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s believable most of the time. The actors clearly enjoy their roles.
Jesus ins’t a stiff, I like that. I mean, he’s alive again for a reason, people. I’ve never been of the party that thinks Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor, or that God doens’t. I have pets, I know God has a sense of Humor.
I do enjoy the miracles too… well, some of them. It’s very cool to see that with better technology than we used to have to depict these things.
What I don’t like
“Dislike” can be a strong word. Most of the things that I didn’t like about the show were minor annoyances that I was williing to let go of.
Again,I’m not a stickler for presenting Jesus as “holier than thou” super serious, and a buzz kill. I never have liked that version of Jesus.
As for the internal conflict, one of the other main complaints about the plot, I mostly don’t mind that either. We know from the Gospels that the disciples had clashes sometimes. They argued about who was the greatest.
If anything, they are a little too mature in this story because it’s hard to picture these guys having such a stupid argument. I guess we all stumble.
But there are some things I don’t feel right just glossing over as flaws in the show. Some because they are writing errors, and others because I am concerned they are going agaisnt scripture.
The smaller concern is the writing errors.
It’s not the most important thing, but approaching the Gospel and taking the stories out of order and giving the characters motivations not specifically denoted in the Bible creates problems.
The first being, the timeline is totally messed up. John the Baptist has been in and out of imprisonment, and has no disciples following him at the current point in the story, and this is kind of a problem if they wish to accurately portray the real issues he and Jesus had in the Gospel. When his disciples came to ask Jeuss if he was the one o ne, or if they looked for another.
Jesus responded them “Tell John, the blind see, the deaf hear,”
I wonder if John really doubted, or if his disciples did and he sent them to Jesus just to see what he’d tell them. Haven’t we all set up people to get a verbal set down at least once? No? Just me?
Even if John doubted, it was while he was in prison. Not before. this time line has become very confusing.
Also, I’m not sure that esus even met Mary MAdalgene befor ehe called teh 12. But, that’s not something we can verifiy, so I’d let that one slide.
The real issue is being in seaons 2 and not having all 12 dispcile stoghet yet. A lot of JEsu misntiry hasn’t evens tarted yet, because most o fi tihappend after he had the 12, and alarge other amoung of folower.
He sents out 70, if I reember right, to prepare the way for him. He hasn’t collected even half that maount now. And taht wasn’t that far into his 3 year misntiry.
they could decide to removed this, but since this is a very detailed vesrionf of the story, it would be odd to do so. Most depictiosn of JEsus only focus on his miracle, or hhis death. They odn’t try to vocer all the in bewteeen.
And there’s a godo reaosn for that.
The disciples themselves who wrote of his deeds said if they included all of them, the world couldn’t hold the books.
IT’s ahrd to picurre just how cosntnat jesus works must have been, for them tos ay that.
So, sadly, any depiction of him as he lived his dilay life, is never going to be able to fit in all that he did.
The problem this presents us is that, it is impossible for it to be true to Jesus’s experiences under such limitations.
But I think that the show maybe be making the problem even worse by spending so much time on Jesus doing very little.
Case in point: Episdoe 5
This episode annoyed me, not because of them partying a did so Jesus that I don’t believe in, but because they portrayed a side of him that wouldn’t have existed unless they wrote it in.
When John and Jesus are talking about his ministry, John asks Jesus why he isn’t doing more, why he doesn’t call out the sins of the people more, the corruption at high levels.
And Jesus seems to ba little heistiant about answering, and cautioning John not to call out Herod’s sin.
I’m sorry, Jesus? Our Jesus? The Jesus that preached against sin constantly? That Jesus? Is telling John not to do this?
Is Jesus confused?
I know that I would get called uptight for complaining about it. Because “oh Jesus was human, they’re just showing him and John as human.”
I guess “human” now means uncertain of what to do in life. But that’s not what it used to mean.
What gulls me about this is that there is no biblical foundation for that scene whatsoever. And, the circumstances prompting it, John’s questions, would not exist, has Jesus been doing as he actually did in scripture.
Jesus called out the sins of the pharisee very early on in his ministry (something I cannot even see their version of him doing so far). He called out the secret sins of the heart in one of his first recorded sermons, the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7.
What puzzles me is that the writer have knowingly rearranged what Jesus did, and now, are making excuses for it, with his character. As if John is being used to lampshade their own show by asking what the audience might be asking, like “uh, why are we not getting more than one miracle per episode, save for the one with Mary.”
A good question. Jesus did miracles constantly, and he’s barely done any, yet most of his disciples are gathered..?
Yeah, if I were John the Baptist, and had read the Gospel, I’d be wondering what was going on with this version of Jesus too.
See, it’s actually bad writing to create problems, and then use characters to argue over those came problems, in an adaptation, because it would not have been there had you stayed true to the source materials. If you have to change the characters and actions so much to create conflict, you are doing something the author never did, and people don’t always read the source material, and will blame you for doing it.
Like those awful changes they made in the Narnia movies that made no dang sense…
I have another problem with John questioning Jesus at all and actually telling him what to do.
John, the same John who says “whose sandels I am not worthy to untie?” Is going to tell Jesus he’s dong it wrong.
John is the one who said “The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
I won’t say John never had doubts or questions, but it’s one thing to wonder, it’s another to go so far as to reprove Jesus. The one John believed was the son of God before anyone else did, even. An often overlooked fact.
Who said “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Oh, and yet another problem here.
By the time John got arrested by Herod, Jesus already had a huge minority. We know this because he had began baptizing people, (his disciples had, John 4:2 ), and some of John’s were going over to Jesus. John said this was how it should be. That is was the natural order of things, basically.
Jesus had way more followers by that point. And John got arrested after that.
It would not have been when he still had less than 20. And hadn’t started doing a lot of miracles yet.
So between the timeline being messed up, and deviating from scripture, we have a serious problem.
Now John saying that isn’t going to make any sense, I doubt it will even happen, since he’s going to get killed by Herod (spoiler to no one who’s read the gospel.)
And that’s a key thing about ministry that will not get to be included in this show.
They changed John from the Bible.
And you may say that it’s not a big deal to change it. I’d counter that it’s too much change for a historical figure. A good example would be if someone made a movie about Martin Luther King Jr. and portrayed him as being racist against Mexicans, or mistreating other black people under him. It’s just not his character. Wouldn’t that get a real rise out of people?
But we can’t prove he wasn’t like that…
We can’t prove he was either.
And they changed Jesus, who never once doubted his own actions on record.
We attribute human weakness to Jesus because we know he was tempted like we are, but there is a reason He is not recorded at saying them.
Words have power. Jesus’s had more power than anyone.
Whatever he sometimes felt and thought, he would not have voiced doubt in God, until that moment on the cross when it was part of completing his desolation.
Once you speak doubt, it take a much former hold on you. Even a psychologist would tell you that.
And, as a writer, I also know that using doubt in a story can be complicated. I actually stay away from it unless it serves a specific purpose.
Call me crazy but doubt doesn’t make me relate to characters more, or like them. I want to be confident in what I’m doing. I hate doubt.
And I get annoyed when characters obsess over it. For crying out loud, if you’re that unsure, I’m not sure you’re the right person for the job. (No disrespect to Moses or Gideon, there’s exceptions, in God, but He does tells us not to doubt. God treats doubt as an evil He sometimes has to get around, but mostly will just not tolerate.)
I find other elements of the show weird, like their portrayal of demons. Anyone who’s actually witness deliverance ministry knows it’s nothing like what they are showing. How it would be for Jesus, I don’t know, but the whole “false name thing” has no scriptural foundation. Demons have names, but people possessed by them don’t change their names. It’s doubtful if they even remember them half the time.
Also, calling out someone’s true name is not how you free them from a demon. It can be part of healing and other forms of ministry, but only Jesus casts out demons, and only His name is able to overcome them, not ours.
The Bible says God “gave him the name is above every name” for a reason.
That’s not the biggest problem, it’s just weird.
But the biggest problem is what I already mentioned. Going too far from scriptures.
I was watching the live chat for the episode, and someone said “This is like historical fiction for the Gospel.”
Right. That’s exaclty right.
Actually, it’s more like fan fiction.
Historical fiction doesn’t change how real life people acted, usually. It is set around someone who didn’t actually live then, experience it. And while they may give real figures in history more personality, they don’t change their actions, because that’s not historical then.
Fan fictions, on the other hand, is where you change canon characters and how they act and what they feel and what their backstories are.
And now my question, a serous one, is: How is Historical Fan fiction about the Gospels actually helping us?”
I can’t be the only one who wonders what the point of this show is.
The first season diverged less from “canon” if you will, but season 2 is taking some big creative leaps.
I believe strongly in the potency of the Gospels, as being God inspired for accuracy and power, and many people have been changed by reading them.
I don’t believe nearly as much in the power of a “good example” to win souls.
We are called to be a “good example” of course, or we are hypocrites. And sometimes that’s the only witness we can have.
But the primary commission of christian is to preach, heal, and free people. Jesus told us to do that.
And so, telling an accurate account of him is very important if we’re going to go everywhere and preach about Him.
You see, I don’t need “one interpretation” of Jesus. I need Jesus. I need Him as he was, what he really said, because I believe He said it for a reason. I believe there’s power in his words that there is not in ordinary men.
Changing what He said, and how He said it, to me is a great affront to Jesus, because it is as if we think we can explain what He meant better than he can.
Paraphrase, sure. Use an analogy to help people, absolutely.
But base it off what he actually said.
And when you have Jesus portrayed by an actor, being in His time, in His place, then changing what he said is a very problematical. It’s wrong, sometimes.
I noted it when he healed the man who was lame for so many years too. he didn’t say the same things to Him.
I for one, don’t think Jesus needs to really explain what He’s going to do, He just does it. I think it takes away form the power of what He says if you add all these weird explanations He never gave on record of why He said it.
To Jesus, healing the man was a simple as telling him to get up and walk. He didn’t have to say “I’m what you need” because He was what He needed. You don’t have to tell someone that if it’s obvious.
It sounds like I’m nitpicking, and that’s because it’s very hard to convey what I mean. It’s something you almost have to know God already to know is true.
If you know Jesus, deeply, you know he is direct.
I make up reasons, I make up explanations, I make up a backstory for what He’s telling me, I may be right, I may be wrong.
But He just tells me. Jesus isn’t vague.
If I’ve learned one thing from reading Jesus and imitating Him when I write, it’s that, when He is vague, He is actually being the most direct. It is only vague because we don’t understand it.
If a scientist said to you E=MC squared, with no context, you might say “that was really vague and cryptic.”
But to the scientist, that make perfect sense. It’s actually a very exact answer to them. Because it’s an equation. This is not room for interpreting.
When Jesus called out sin, and told us what it meant to be right now, I don’t think He intends us to try to interpret it away.
Some things require context and research now that’s it’s been 2000 years, but it’s important to remember, when they were spoken, that was not the case. I suspect it was crystal clear to them.
When Jesus was vague was with Parables, and those are not really that vague, just hard to grasp in fullness.
I just wonder, if anyone watching The Chosen and truly walking away with a better understanding of Jesus.
You see, The Chosen, is taking Jesus, and putting a modern spin on him. Changing his words, using our church cliches that no one really understands.
And that might be okay as a paraphrase, but it’s not as a direct quote, if you catch my meaning.
And what good is watching a paraphrase? Paraphrase is useful only for a few moments to help you understand the original meaning better, if you go to a paraphrase as your source of truth, you lose something in the translation. If you’ve ever read a “no fear Shakespeare” paraphrase, you know what I mean (ugh.)
You see, someone who only watches the Chosen, as it is now, would be quite shocked with how Jesus is in the Bible.
He would seem cold by comparison. Cold and judgemental.
I believe you have to learn to read the Gospel and see Jesus for how He really was. Not turn him into what you think He should be like.
I think, honestly, the problem is the whole concept.
“Getting to now Jesus through the eyes of His followers.”
I mean, when has that ever worked?
It’s helpful to build each other up with our personal stories, and try to see each other in them, but, I have never truly been helped except by directly knowing Jesus himself.
You an’t “know Jesus” through the eyes of his followers, if anything, that’s what we have too much of now in the Wast. We watch movies, read books, and hear sermons about what Jesus is like, but don’t get to know Him ourselves.
A sermon is helpful, but it’s not the core of Christianity.
We’re taking one thing that is meant to be a supplement, or at most, a portion, of our diet, and we’re making it the full meal.
This is not the fault solely of the writers and directors of The Chosen, but its saddens me to see such a clear influence of that kind of culture in the show.
I’m sure mine will never be a popular opinion, but I don’t expect it to be.
Knowing Jesus, really, is not ever popular, is it?
I Initially was wary of this show because it was popular, because I felt any real depiction of Jesus cannot ever be widely popular, it would offend too many people to see Jesus as he really is. The world hates him, that’s in the bible.
Then it seemed to be okay.
But what bothered me was how little power I felt in it.
Emotional response is not the same as power.
A powerful scene can give you a new perspective after watching it.
Just crying, and getting angry is not power.
In fact that’s all we know how to do now, cry and rage and laugh at stuff.
Even needing a show like The Chosen to give us an emotional background for these people, is just a sign of how emotional deprived we are.
If reading the Gospel doesn’t invoke some feeling in you, and watching it portrayed how it actually was wouldn’t, then…. that seems like a you problem.
I think helping us understand what is in there between would be more beneficial than adding stuff to it.
I know , I know, they are not trying to replace the Bible.
But… just what do you think you’re going to do then?
Get a bunch of people to read the Gospels, realize Jesus is not like that, and get angry, or say “I like the Chosen version of Jesus better.”
What an affront to God if that happened.
It probably already has.
I hope it would not work out that way, but since he’s just so different, I can’t really believe it won’t.
And, one last thing…
Why do we need a show about Jesus’s follower anyway?
Are they what matter? Should they be the main characters.
It’s startling when you realize Jesus is actually a side character who’s barley in some episodes, and it very muted most of the time he is there.
Jesus? A side character?
What about “I must become less, and he must become great?”
I question if there is any power or truth in focusing on followers.
I don’t want people looking at my life and trying to understand Jesus through that. I can help them, but by direct them to Him, no to me. I’m not the answer.
The motivation of this writing decision would baffle me if I didn’t have an all too common explanation:
It resonates better with the audience.
Because, it’s easier to swallow than the truth would be.
And we’re used to the shallow and full spectrum of human weaknesses thanks to Hollywood.
I don’t think we need to be competing with that in Christian media.
I may have made the same mistakes in my writing, I can own up to that. But, I am avoiding portraying Jesus directly all that often. And I am not trying to put the gospel into a new suit.
I sue parallels, but that’s all they are. Like the Chronicles of Narnia. Parallels are powerful.
I looked it up, and I did find one person who seems to have noticed the same thing I did about the show, and had more time to research it:
“Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.
This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.
But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.” Full article is linked here:
I think she summed it up pretty well too.
I do question the Show’s constant defensiveness about it not being “your bible.”
Like, no one said it was. But is it too much to ask we stick to the source?
As the Aesop’s fable goes, you cannot please everyone. If you try, you please no one.
But the show will have mass appeal, because it has values that appeal to the masses.
Jesus promoting women is biblical, and the article I linked has one thing wrong, Mary Magdalene and other women did travel with Jesus and supported him out of their own wealth. It was culturally inappropriate, but they did it.
But there is no record of the other things listed. The author is right about that.
I didn’t know about the connection to Mormonism and Judaism till now. But I can see it.
I was in a Co-op with Mormons for quite a while in my teenage years, and I can say, there is definitely a difference between Mormonism and Christianity. They claim to be Christians, but they don’t understand the idea of grace at all.
They also are not free thinkers, though they are very smart, educated people.
Being a free thinker is not perhaps a biblical requirement, but it helps you not be swayed by peer pressure.
I find the part where Dallas said he wants to “enhance” scripture to be the most disturbing, to be honest.
Like this lady says, we’ll all have to decide for ourselves, I would caution any Christian who is watching it to fact check it by the Bible at the very least, and take what it is for what it’s wroth, but not as fact.
Also, I think the show villainizing any Christians who complain about the biblical inaccuracy by saying that’s not their intention, are missing the point.
Because, bro, if you don’t want to represent my Bible, of my Faith, accurately, then, stop claiming to be of my Faith. I don’t need you to speak for me, thanks.
Don’t see why that’s so hard to understand.
All right, I think that’ll do for this post, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.
It’s funny how telling the truth can open doors for you.
My sisters and I spent 4 hours yesterday talking to a girl whit a very similar situation to the one we got out of. Same kind of abuse, mostly, same hiding behind the church, same manipulation. Same fear too.
She seemed relieved just to be listened to her. Like us, she’s had people blow her off one too many times.
It’s hard to hear other people’s stories, knowing they are still suffering, but haven’t been able to break free yet. We encouraged her to have a plan, and reach out for help, but we can’t do it for her, not without proof.
I don’t know where it will go, but I do know she seemed a little lighter after unloading all that. Just not suffering alone can be helpful.
It’s funny, between being at home, the life of a victim can be pleasant by turns, just like anyone else’s. What makes abuse a little hard to explain is that you can seem like you do normal things, and the twistedness is always in how it’s just not done the way other people do them.
Like while we talked her parents must have called at least 4 times to ask if she was okay, but she was with us the “Super Christian purists” as her mom thinks, at a cafe two minutes from their house, just talking.
I was like “what do they think you’re doing to do? Drugs?”
But that’s her reality.
At least I didn’t have to deal with that, my dad was paranoid, but didn’t really care about me enough to check in most of the time. Only if I was out past 10pm usually. He did try to discourage me from liking most of my friends, and boys…and anyone who wasn’t in his circle.
Well, comparing stories is useless except to sympathize.
I could see plenty of myself in her experiences, and some things are worse. The physical abuse is worse for her, the emotional abuse was worse for me, but, really, it’s just as damaging either way.
It’s so sick to think how normal this is for so many people, and how often it is even in the church. I don’t blame the church for what these people do, just for not being open about talking about it so that people can seek protection there, like they should be able to do.
My church is better than many, and I can’t speak for every church, of course, just none of the other ones I went to were useful, but since my dad did pick the churches we went to, that may be a symptom more than a cause. He always picked ones where he could get away with it.
Perhaps other people may be wondering what it’s like for us to talk to others with similar experiences, knowing what we know now.
I think the hardest thing is, knowing how much to say. There are somethings I was only ready to hear after months of therapy, recovery, and healing. There are some things I was only willing to accept once I had already decided to trust God.
What I told her is what I think I needed most to hear when I was stuck:
That, I didn’t get explanations and answers until I had already chosen to trust. Understanding does come, faith does come, once you have left that up to God.
I also mentioned that I don’t know why some people get saved from these situations supernaturally, and others don’t. But that God did work in our lives, and I can’t deny that. Why do some people get the fairy tale rescue and others get the action hero type where you’re trained to do it yourself, who knows? Could have something to do with ones calling.
Not everyone who has been abused is called to help other people get out of it, but the girl in question is already one of the healers, I think, and like us, it could be she is supposed to learn how to overcome it so she can help other people.
Let’s be real, for every Christian in this situation, there’s probably 100 non Christians at least, if not more, in a similar or worse situation. Christians may still get abused, but, it can’t be denied it happens to us less often. It would be very strange if it didn’t.
To be able to enter that field and understand the kind of pain and damage those people carry, and knowing how God fixes it, you have to have felt it yourself.
I like to quote Betsie Ten Boom “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will believe us because we have been here.”
We were there.
I am still recovering. New breakthroughs in defeating anxiety are still happening for me every month. New memories that are losing their power. New things I realized about freedom. I am not the same person, but also, I have always been this person.
I tried to give our friend hope. I said “It’s not easy to choose that path, but if you choose it, years from now, at the other end, you will be a new person.”
It’s up to her and we know that. As much as I believe it’s morally wrong to give in and choose hatred and bitterness, I know it can not be forced to forgive and heal. You have to want that.
We told her how we wanted a better life than that, well, I did. And how I fed myself with stories about it so I knew there was something better out there, so I had something to hope for.
I still do that to this tday.
I read Webtoons obsessively sometimes, and sometimes just casually, I know they aren’t very realistic for the most part, some are better at that.
But what it does is constantly put before my eyes a best case scenario, a better version than what I saw growing up.
To the point where my idea of marriage is far more connected to what I believe it should be, than to what I saw. I realize that is actually rare for someone in my position.
I didn’t realize it till recently, talking to other people, and seeing how they hate men, they hate marriage, and they hate relationships, all because of that association with their past.
Like Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, I was not informed just by my own family.
Trashy romances (of which many webtoons are not by the way, all due respect to those authors) have few uses in this world, but if you read it with an eye for what is real, even amidst what isn’t, you can begin to dream.
Its also good to read true stories of happy couples, realizing they really do exists, and not listening to bitter people who’ve never made a relationship work tell you that it never happens.
My father spoke very negatively of marriage, though he said my mom was the most wonderful woman in the world, he also referred to her “jokingly” as his slave, made fun of her weight, her singing, and would gross us all out on purpose and tell us stories we said we didn’t want to hear, if we protested, he got upset.
If I went by that, I’d think men were just what the angry feminists say.
But I’ve also read of men who are much, much more considerate, and been treated better by other guys I know, and had some stereotypes called into question even by my cousin.
Heck, men can be more emotionally damaged than women a lot in this country because of our gender stereotypes about them. At least people will believe me if I say it happened.
I don’t hate men. I do detest the kind of men who do thinks I detest, I detest women like that too.
I’m lucky. I was shown the foolishness of doing that much sooner than many women are. But I also wanted to be fair.
I think really, it’s all in what you want to be true.
Someone who really wants it to be true that true love exists, that gentlemen are not extinct, that women are actually compassionate (some of them), that freedom from trauma happens… that person will not give up until they find those things. The odds are, in this life, they will eventually, if you live long enough.
Someone who has already accepted that it’s all a lie will stop looking, and if you don’t seek , you don’t find.
Jesus promised that everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds, and to whoever knocks the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:8)
He didn’t say it happens the first time you ask, he told us to ask again and again until we get it.
He also said he who endures to the end will be saved.
It maybe that some people do not make it out, but I believe, if they seek, if they ask, if they knock, either they are delivered in this life, or in the next. Usually in this life.
Lucky for us God also controls the next life.
I suppose that could sound naive, childish, and even crazy to many people.
Many people are bitter and jaded, and have never understood God to begin with.
To the true believer, the knowledge of God provides something that makes all this suffering worth it. What can we explain about it? It’s like breathing, or like sleeping, it’s not something you really overthink while you’re doing it, you just are.
Of course we have times of questioning if it really is worth it, but it’s my understanding that anything you really love in life, you only really love if you do it when it’s not fun, and believe it’s worth doing even when you’re not getting rewarded for it.
I don’t write for attention, though I do appreciate every view and like that I get, but it’s not why I write.
Just the same, I don’t believe in God and walk with him to get out of pain. I do get out of more pain because of that, I get through pain because of that, but it’s not why I do it.
Getting credit for hard work is the proper reward for the work, but so is just doing the work itself and seeing what you made. In the same way, getting to know God is the proper reward for putting effort into it, and relief form suffering is just the other natural outcome of doing it.
I mean most things have more than one good result. Sex gives pleasure in the moment, but it also creates new life, that takes a little longer doesn’t it? And it’s a lot more work to bring that to fruition than it is to have sex (so I hear) but neither one nor the other is unnatural, or bad. Only one might argue that the long term, harder pleasure of having children is more valuable than the short term pleasure of sex. I’d agree there.
Sometimesknowng God is like sex, exhilaritng, and instantous, and the eoffrt is met with a reward in the moment, you cna’t distuibngis them. (of course there’s going tob e some margin for erro here, just like in real life, not like the movies).
Sometimes knowing God is like having a baby. Plenty of pain, discomfort, and confusion before the final miracle happens, and that miracle tens to just start another series of miracles in the form of child rearing.
Not everyone likes children, not everyone likes sex, for that matter. Ad not everyone likes God. But it doesn’t change how the natural order of things works, and to my mind, whether I am liking it or not, this is the way life works.
If it seems naive, then all I can say is I’ve tried cynicism, and it didn’t do anything for me. Perhaps child-likeness is better in the long run. Cynicism doesn’t make you happy, only self satisfied, and that pleasure just isn’t worth it for what you sacrifice along the way.
all this is osmehting y firend is going to hav eto elarn for herlse,f htough, ad so will anyone else. All I can do is pointe them to wehre this could go, if you are willing. I can’t walk for them.
There are times we have to carry each other, but at some point, all of us will have to stand on our own tow feet and choose what to do with our lives. Love, or Fear; Forgiveness, or Hatred. Complaining or Patience; Depression, or Gratitude.
We can’t make that switch all at once, but in one moment, we can decide what we’re going to aim for. And get as close as we can until the day we die.
And that’s whay I’ve learned about it. I don’t know if oeopel will take my adivce or not, but it’s the trueht. And here, even secular thearpay agrees to a certiane xtent.
Hope this helped, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.
I am still finding my level with how to write these posts, this one would be harder to do in second person form.
Ah well, just like before, this was partly inspired by CeCe’s Therapy at UA series, though she only has one Momo video.
CeCe’s analysis isn’t very extensive, just that Momo is one of the most over-powered characters so she should have more confidence, and that the heroes Momo thinks are stronger than her are “self sacrificial idiots” (which is true, most of the time, except for Todoroki probably).
I will have to expound on it myself, since, actually, I haven’t seen anyone else give the real skinny on what makes Momo an interesting character, especially through the lens of her issues. Though this will be less therapy oriented, and more an analysis of her character that includes her psychology and how it could change, but I don’t know if a therapist would give you this advice, since they are more focused on helping you accept yourself and be the best you you could be, not so much on transformation of who you are, that’s where being a Christian with a message comes in.
And if by chance you are one of the people, or know one, who thinks she’s boring and overrated, allow me the chance to change your mind, let’s go:
Momo has no real personality disorders like most of the boys do. She doesn’t overcompensate, she has no complex, and she isn’t mean or prideful, without being weak. She’s that anime girl we all love, the Classy Queen archetype. The Mom friend. The brainiac with a heart of gold.
So, naturally she’s my favorite, along with Bakugo. But she’s not perfect, and over time I picked out what I believe are her main issues and struggles that never get talked about.
Momo’s lack of confidence is not actually her biggest problem, when it comes to fighting itself. That’s easy to overcome, she just needed to succeed a few times, she’s already pretty well over it. And many might say that concludes her arc. But there’s way more to Momo’s place in the story than just her fighting ability.
Momo has been, from the start, highlighted by the story for her exceptional intelligence, perception, and use of her quirk. She’s the perfect student. A natural leader. She’s essentially, what Bakugo tries to be. To the point where even in season 1, when Bakugo is at his most prideful, he admits he agrees with her assessment of his actions (a little detail most Bakugo haters miss when they say he’s never humble, btw.) Since Bakugo never agrees with anyone, ever, about his actions, that’s noteworthy in of itself. Momo’s analysis is clearly superior if it can’t be argued with.
Yet, Momo often finds herself unsure what to do. It’s like, having all the talent and skill that most heroes dream of at such an early stage makes her even more uncertain how to apply it.
It’s been pointed out that, if she were a villain, the heroes would basically be doomed. Momo couldn’t be beaten if she were evil, she just couldn’t. Not by the students anyway.
And that’s interesting, because misusing her power as a hero is one of Momo’s chief concerns as the show progresses. It’s rather surprising that in the Bakugo rescue arc, it’s Momo who makes up the singular girl on the squad, instead of Uraraka, who’s loyalty to Deku and Iida you might expect to be more of a factor.
Momo’s reason is to keep them in line. She says she doesn’t think they should break the rules and use their quirks, but she “Understands how they feel” and will “Stand by her classmates”. This is an interesting point.
Momo and Iida share a lot of similarities, they are top students who value the rules, and can follow them with ease due to their status and gifting. They both veer more towards order and submitting to authority. You’d expect her to side with Iida on this issue. While she expresses agreement with him, notably her actions indicate more sympathy with the rule breakers. She understands how they feel more than she wants to avoid trouble. When it comes to the point, Momo doesn’t make any move to stop them from taking action.
What intrigues me further is that the MHA movies “Two Heroes” actually revisits this same issue, though I think it’s set before that arc, so you could also say it preludes it. In that movie, there’s a time in an elevator when the students all debate whether they should help or not, and Iida again says they shouldn’t, and Momo begins to agree, but Todoroki ask s “Is it right to just do nothing?” and Momo hesitates and says she’s not sure, “It’s complicated.” (Which, by the way, is one of the ways I ship them, their contrasting views have a lot to teach each other).
In the end, Momo still chooses to help, even to fight once it comes to the point. As, of course, they all do.
I have to love her, but all this wouldn’t have given me insight into her character if I hadn’t had someone else to compare her to, and that person is Bakugo.
At first, they seem nothing alike. But, as I talked about in my Bakugo post, it’s been pointed out by the fandom that he is “crushed by expectations.” That the pressure society puts on him is part of why he is the way he is.
But, look at it more closely. Bakugo is smart, talented, and has a great quirk. His strategy isn’t bad when he actually employs it, and he almost always wins. All that is true of Momo also, though, as girl on a shonen, she doesn’t win as often, but that she beats male characters at all is rather surprising (good for her and Mina, destroying sexism in shonen one small step at a time, right?) It’s not a stretch to say Momo is under the exact same pressures as Bakugo. She is able to please people more– so nartually that it’s too important to her.
The real problem Momo has is not her lack of confidence in her ability, it’s her lack of confidence in herself. She doesn’t believe she knows the right thing to do. She will yield to the judgement of teachers, and other students before she’ll trust her own. It’s brought to light in her episode with Todoroki where she worries that she has not done the “right thing” in the exam, but that could speak for her attitude toward life. Momo is constantly torn between what her heart tells her, and what her head believes because she’s heard it her whole life.
I some ways she stands to be more of a victim of her culture than the boys do. The very fact that she can fit the mold of what makes a perfect hero so well is not a good sign.
To fit any mold completely is to lose any individuality you have to pleasing others. It’s losing your spark that makes you human, not a Barbie Doll of an icon.
It was writing fan fic with Momo in it that made this clear to me. Confronting someone like her with ideas that question the whole foundation of society, you hit a huge wall. Can you picture Momo defying society? Can you picture her doing it, believing it was entirely the right thing to do?
See, not every hero needs to defy society to be considered a hero, but every hero needs to be willing to.
Society is just another word for what the Bible calls “The World” and warns us not to love it, “for the World passes away”. When the Bible warns us not to love the world, it doesn’t mean the world full of people, we’re told God loves the world in John 3:16, The World, in this sense, means all the sins and evils that are brought out by Mass Mentality, or a Mob Mindset, if you will. Peer Pressure, corruption of a whole country, glorifying evil as a whole. That’s the World. The World changes in what it holds up as the alternative to God, but, it never points us back to God. It will never be encouraging true Goodness, because the World doesn’t have any standard of it.
In the words of Switchfoot’s Rise Above It:
“Just because you’re running doesn’t mean that you’re scared, just because it’s law don’t mean that it’s fair. Never let another tell your soul what to fear. Here we go again, give it one more try, don’t believe the system’s on your side. Just another lover turned enemy fight…”
The Hero World, as the name says, is obsessed with Heroes as the alternative to any Divine Direction. Heroes are asked to be more than human. Never to be afraid, never to waver, never to make mistakes. And if they do, instead of it being written off as one person making a mistake, the whole society of heroes is called into question.
Really, it’s just asking for the League of Villains to knock down its scarecrow.
How does Momo fit into this?
Only too well, that’s the issue, as I said. She can be the ideal hero. There’s not one hero in a thousand that’s likely to have all she’s got going for her, on top of her natural talent, she’s kind and has major cash to back up whatever she wants to do. The girl doesn’t even need an agency, she could be her own Agency.
But, Momo is not just some ideal. She’s a kid, with fears and feelings of her own. Which her classmates understand, though it can’t be said many other people do. Aizawa even observes with a tinge of pity that she’s still got the emotional maturity of a 15 year old girl, like that’s somehow a problem. You could call it Pyrrha Nikos syndrome, as Pyrrha was the first character to introduce me to it
But, it’s a bigger problem if Momo becomes unshakable. Someone like her, firmly fixed in the ideals of society, with no filter to measure them though, is dangerous. She becomes a tool of that same society so easily. Much more than Bakugo is ever likely to, she can promote the ideal of perfection in heroes…until she snaps under the weight of it.
Momo’s greatest flaw is her lack of confidence, but curing that simply outwardly by giving her confidence in her hero skills, will actually be more likely to cement the deep issue she has of not following her own morality.
You can’t be a truly good person and spend your whole life doing what others tell you. Read that sentence again.
There’s a quote that’s gone around the feminist circles a lot, but it bears repeating here “Well behaved Women rarely make history.” –Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (You know that originally, it wasn’t “rarely”, it’s “seldom” but that’s another story, sorry, English class is kicking in)
It’s notable that anime preaches conformity, but fills its shows with characters who cannot conform. Whether because they are outcasts, monsters, or idiots. Any reason will do. The one reason you will almost never see is a rational, normal, intelligent person who simply decided the rules were stupid, and chose to rebel. (If you have a counterexample, please comment it below, I’d like to watch it for myself.)
Finally, Momo has one more issue that’s linked to all this, but is more of a microcosm.
Due to her exceptional ability, and her great levels of kindness and compassion, Momo tens to feel it’s her responsibility to fix problems win the class, even between other students.
She’s the Mom character. she wants to take care of everyone. I love her for that. It’s a good thing a lot of the time, goodness knows, it’s hard to care about other people sometimes, having a natural inclination to do that is a gift.
We see it when she encourages Iida in the festival, tells Bakugo and Todoroki to stop fighting in the Jump Fest OVA from season one, and tells the others not to pressure Jiro into playing in public. Momo is always trying to make people feel better.
But it is to the point at times where she feels responsible too much. Sometimes people should be pushed. Kaminari maybe understood better that Jiro really wanted to be valued for her musical talent, and Momo didn’t. Because Momo always wants there to be peace. But, peace is not always an option until issues are resolved.
Momo avoids conflict and confrontation. Because she is a people pleaser herself, and it’s easy for her, she assumes that it’s best for everyone to be that way. To not make waves. She gives way to others, even when it’s not a moral issue, but a matter of preference. She’s almost too giving.
She starts of in the class with this problem not being so developed. She’s willing to criticize and correct. She’s even a little sassy in the USJ incident. But what changes in her is I believe is the result of the trauma of people being hurt so often.
Momo can’t stop it, she can’t be in control and have a plan to keep everyone safe, and she copes with that by worrying even more about them constantly. Momo will treat every small problem like a crisis, even if it’s just someone getting minorly uncomfortable. She will downplay all her own accomplishments because it’s just not enough for her.
Momo might not have had this problem so badly, since she seems to come from a fairly stable background, if not for the UA trauma, but that’s kicked her to be in crisis mode almost all the time. It’s not that difficult to figure out psychologically.
I think it kicked in in the festival, but why did she take losing to Tokayami so hard? Because she felt helpless. When you’ve been in a life or death situation, any failure in training is going to feel like it’s endangering the life of you and people around you.
Even if in the actual crisis she always does something useful, in her mind that’s never good enough, because she couldn’t’ prevent it and handle it all perfectly.
Now that I’ve detailed the reasons behind her problems, what’s the actual therapy?
Believe it or not, this hits home for me too.
I’m not a hero, but I grew up in church, raised to believe there was one right way to behave. I still believe that, but I believe now that you can’t depend on one person to always tell you that. Or one system. There is no man, or man made thing, that will not make you into a villain if you listen to it exclusively. Just as C. S. Lewis pointed, there is nothing in human love that will prevent if from becoming devilish if you let it go unchecked as the Best Love, without moderation.
I don’t personally relate to Momo’s perfectionism. I was tempted to it sometimes as a teenager, but my personality makes it impossible for me to people please, I could never dedicate myself enough to destroying who I am to pull it off, and I’m not easy naturally. But, I do have a sister who’s a lot like Momo in that way. And after listening to her for years, I think I have an idea what it’s like. I also have a mom who’s much more like that.
It won’t be easy for Momo to let go. I think out of all our human failings, letting go of the need to control must be the absolute hardest things for us to do. Even people who embrace a chaotic lifestyle need to feel in content, notice how they usually flip their crap if you suggest any kind of order. To them control is not being controlled.
Other people love order so much it’s like an addiction, those people freak me out, but I imagine I’d freak them out too if they saw my room… yeah…
My sister had to work for a long time on it. She still prefers order more than I do, but she’s become less uptight about some of it. It took a lot of encouragement from us to get her to start loosening up on herself, not hyper scheduling everything, not having a checklist of things to do for every hour of every day.
She wasn’t happy that way, but there was a sort of satisfaction in it, there usually is.
But she’s much happier now, and less anxiety driven.
Another thing she had to do was learn to express if she wasn’t okay. For a long time, she couldn’t even form those words in a coherent way, she was so used to shoving it all aside to make my dad happy, or the rest of us.
I had to rag it out of her a lot of the time. And from what I’ve read, sometimes that’s what you have to do, push and push and push until someone tells you what’s wrong.
Just the thing Momo will never suggest doing, but she might need it done for herself.
I know a lot of people have probably been told that if someone doesn’t want to talk about something, you shouldn’t push them.
There are cases that’s true, but if you notice these warning signs, you might need to actually push them until they snap at you, and get some feeling out
They never, ever, ever talk about how they feel.
They always make it about your feelings, so you feel great, but its been years, and you still don’t know anything about what goes on in their heads.
They constantly apologize if you do anything for them, and never ask you for help unless they’ve run out of every other option, and even then they feel guilty (I can relate to this one, though.)
If they do one or all of these things, you need to make them realize you seriously want to hear about em. They may start with just one, very vague negative feeling, but be understanding about that, and they may start to relax.
It’s important that they now it’s okay to feel that way, at least around you. Sometimes all someone needs is one person who they can be vulnerable with.
About people pleasing:
Again, I’ve never done it. I’ve tried to not offend people, that’s the most I can pull off–and usually I fail at that.
What I notice when other people do it though is that they never show me anger, or criticize me. They agree with whatever I say, and they make my happiness the verdict on how a conversation went, or how their personality is, or if they are succeed in life.
Yes, I definitely see Momo in this.
The only way to fix this is to work long and hard at figuring out what you want out of life. And then, choosing to tell yourself it’s okay to have it.
You won’t feel like that at first, if anything, you’ll feel like a bad person.
It’s then you have to choose to trust the people in your life, and the wisdom of many therapists, philosophers and even theologians that say it’s good for you to have dreams and desires of your own, and it’s good to show how you really feel.
Reach out for a hug sometimes. Other people aren’t mind readers. Try not to change the subject if someone asks how you are. Little steps, built up over time, will do wonders.
The deeper heart issues have to be resolved by feeling yourself different stuff. If you are around people who put you down, you need to look for better friend. It’s true, people who see you as a target will gravitate toward you, it just happens.
Even the best human will take advantage of someone they know will give in, I’ve done it. I try not to as much.
It’s okay to do that in a normal friendship, every so often, that’s just love. it’s not okay if it ‘s only ever you who’s giving something to them. Even if you are comfortable that way, remember, other people need to feel good for being unselfish too, it’s actually doing them a massive favor to make them feel needed. It’s critical to our psyche.
Read books that encourage you to see value in yourself.
In my case and my sister’s. it was getting closer to God, who values all of us enough to die for us. And choosing to believe hat, and t recognizing what our dad taught us was a pack of lies, and bullcrap.
I think the most fun thing you can do to get over this is simply choose to enjoy yourself.
My sister has started taking time purposely to hang out with people she likes, and do things she enjoys. It’s great therapy.
Some of you (I don’t think Momo is this far gone though) may be so damage you don’t even know what you like to do. I’ve been close to that place myself.
Then just experiment. Try stuff that sounds interesting, or at least different, try everything, like the song says. If you gravitate toward something, make it a hobby.
You will probably find friends doing that who will build you up because you enjoy the seam things. That’s the best way to become a real person, enjoying yourself. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
Once you build up some confidence, don’t be hard to confront people to. Make boundaries. I would try to do with with the help of people you do trust first, my sister found that useful, even I find it useful, though I don’t need it.
Have good people back you up, especially if you are been abused or bullied, never try to confront that person alone. Have a witness. Record it if necessary. Police evidence might come in handy.
If it’s a decent person who’s just never been stood up to by you before, expect them to be surprised and to have a hard time adjusting to it, they never knew you had likes and dislikes.If they really care, then they will accept it once you explain why you never told them before, and forgive you (because eyes, it was unfair to them, but they’ll understand if they love you).
And that’s what I can tell you for now. That’s all a great place to start.
And I hope to see Momo grow in these areas, but, hey, if not, I’ll just write it that way myself.😉
By the way if you are interested in checking out my fan fictions, here is a link to my MHA story, I have two currently, and they are actually getting a lot of view right now. One’s only been up for 2 months we’re already at 600+ so not bad. Plus I have my own fan art that people made for me included.
Sorry for the wait, I got majorly busy last week. I got a job though! Yay!
And it’s high paying too, at least for a non professional worker. Though at this point, I really am a profession, they just don’t give certificates in nanny and babysitter–well, I think they do, but how many people really bother to get them? (Maybe I should though…)
And some of you who read my recent posts may be wondering how my Grandmother’s memorial went.
Well the answer is, actually, very well, all things considered.
It was odd hearing stories from her sons and step kids, and granddaughter, and realizing I’d heard most of them from her personally. I’ve seldom had that experience at a memorial, I usually hardly know the person in question…which is less sad for me, but can feel like a waste too.
The weird highlight of the day was my Dad’s speech.
Yeah, brace yourself. This is just my crazy family.
My dad was glaring at me most of the time leading up to the actual service. My friend came with me, and he didn’t seem to dare to approach, and I walked away any time he got close. I think mostly, he just did it to reject me, and tried to make a sad face. The result was more of a sullen one, but he never knows how it looks.
I ignored him, and no one else took much notice of it. I’m sure he talked crap about me to whoever would waste time listening to it, but I didn’t hear any of it. I only know because I know him too well.
Anyway, so when he got up to speak, I thought “Why…oh.” and I knew exactly what was coming. I thought “He’s going to put some message directed at me in his speech.” And then I thought “But, at a funeral? And when it’s about Grammy?” Deep down, I knew though.
And I swear to you all, I am not making this up for dramatic affect, my friend has never met my dad before, and she told me he was looking right at me a lot of the time. And she could tell it was directed at me. My mom could too.
My dad chose 1 Corinthians 13 as his text for the speech, not that it was necessary, we weren’t preaching sermons. As soon as she said that, I knew what I was in for. I grabbed my phone and kept my eyes on that.
“I’m not given him the satisfaction of seeing me make eye constantly,” I thought. When I looked up, I made sure to look at the wall or my mom or friend I did steal a few glances at the others but I couldn’t’ tell if anyone else know what was up, but my aunt probably did. He maybe even talked the idea over with her!
Anyway, this was what he said, in a paraphrased nutshell:
Reference himself, he said there was a time when he didn’t speak to his parents for 2 years because he thought he hated them, or they hated him (or both, I don’t remember, it doesn’t matter).
Then he said a lot of stuff about love (1 Cor 13 is about love, if you don’t read the Bible). Dwelling on where it says love suffers long, is kind, keeps no record of wrongs, and all the other stuff about love and forgiveness.
He said my grandmother was a very forgiving person (which is true)
And that she was very loving (also true)
But the way he said it all, I had heard those phrases directed at me many times, always to wound. And I knew the tone he used was the one where he tries to sound holy and profound… but it’s really just begging for sympathy.
My chiropractor, who know my dad, told me he’d come in months ago, after I started coming, and had displayed behavior that indicated he’d had no change of heart. If I go into specifics, it would be too disturbing for many readers.
I wasn’t surprised.
But this speech sealed the deal. I already knew nothing has changed, but I really thought, my aunt will have nothing to say to me after this. If she even tries to tell me he’s different, I can point to this incident.
At a memorial!!!
My friend was disgusted, and she’s a much less judgmental person than I am. I warned her though.
Yeah… really, I was just glad he didn’t say it to my face… then again, if it was too my face, I could have told him off. Doing it this way was sure to guarantee I couldn’t’ call him out on it, he can deny it. No one would believe that who knows him well, but he could still claim it.
While it was less uncomfortable for me, since I knew, at least not everyone there would know it was aimed at me, it was underhanded and petty on his part.
It’s also impressively conniving. I mean, once you renounce any sense of decency about respecting the dead, it’s genius isn’t it? Perfect security plan.
Well, I endured.
It’s okay, when I Write my book about all this, everyone will know the truth. My friends say I should write a book, I’m sure I will… I just haven’t decided quite what I want to say yet. I mean, I can tell my story, but I want to know how God is going to get me out of it, even more than now, before I try to tell people about it. a blog is one thing, you can update it, but a book is just out there, unchanging, unless you re-release it…so it would be wise to be sure I was saying the right thing before I write one.
But maybe I will soon. I’m sure some people would be interested in the story.
I’m not about revenge, but it would be a real relief to set the record straight… and can you imagine the look on my dad’s face if he read it? Ha! Priceless.
I would definitely not name any names, just to avoid humiliating him… though that would, of course, not be something he would do for me. But I’m not that low, you know.
Well, that’s a subject for another time.
I guess the profudn tpoi o fhtis post could just be: What do you do when your toxic family just refuses to stop being toxic?
Well, you can two things (that aren’t unhelaty)
You can ignore it, learn to not mind it, by growing more and more apart from them, and forming bonds with healthy people who really love you. And not being around said family anymore than you absolutely have to be. In my case, they were all civil except for my dad. Who is probably just pissed that I didn’t care about his temper tantrum.
The other thing, which is what I had any writer and artist do, is use it all as fuel for the fire.
Difficult experiences are what turn your writing, (or art) from good to great. If it’s possible for you to achieve greatness, it is usually through pain or toil. My writing got exponentially better during the period of darkness following my dad’s exeunt form my life. It was hard, but I faced more gloom and doom than ever before, and coming out on top, I learned from it.
Even this blog changed. I never used to lie to share my personal business, I was ashamed of the situation, I knew it wasn’t right, but I though I could never complain. My blog had pretty doubled in size since I started sharing personal stuff. More of you comment, more of you like and share. And not that I do it for that, but I think it shows people connect to what I say more.
My blog has more of a theme than it used to.
And I have become a kinder person through all this. And more stable, as odd as that sounds.
I also have become a little craftier. I know how to get around a difficult situation. My dad may be petty, and childish, and psychotic at times…but I know how to prevent him from doing much real damage.
Folks, you have to get crafty sometimes.
Jesus told us to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” That should be a Bible Study series, I’ve yet to hear it preached on though, we don’t like being told to be wise and shrewd do we?
But we must be. If we wish to navigate this dangerous world we live in. Some risks cannot be avoided, but they shold be the smart risks, the ones done for the right reason.
My dad is smart, unfortunately, it would be easier for us if he wasn’t. But I am smarter. And God is on my side in all this, so, there’s always a away.
And if you’re in the same boat as me, turst me, God will be on your side too.
I don’t know why everyone does not get delivered the way we did… I do think, very few people would have done what we did. I’ve met no one so far who has, I’ve read no account of it.
All the prayer and healing I did for years alone was what enabled me to have the courage to go through with it. And it’s worked out amazingly, I must say.
All of us are happier now.
The hardest thing to convince our family of is that we could really be okay. The drama in the family (melodrama at times) has killed a lot of their joy and happiness in life. How can we be any different?
Jesus, that’s how.
I’ve stopped asking why it happened, mostly.
Everyone has bad stuff happen to them. I was lucky that through the bad stuff, I had good stuff too. I was lucky that I never got permanently hurt by it. I was lucky people helped me get out of it.
Others may get more or less than me.
But here’s what I know:
Jesus said that God will pay everyone the same wage, whether they worked all day or only for a few hours.
In the same way, God will heal everyone to the same degree.
We are not all given the same amount of bad things in life, or of good things. Anymore than we can compare the bad and good of humanity as a while from place to place, without having a hard time deciding where it’s the worst and best.
I was given more bad than some, and more good than others.
I do know, that once you give all that to God, the good, the bad, the ulgy, the beuatiful, He makes it all a par to fhte samething.
To God, compairng our evil is pointelss. He knows he can reedem it all the same, no matter how bad it is, just like luangdy sopa wil clearn both a shirt that’s been dragegd thorugh the mud, and one that looks fine, but has been worn for too many days straight. Both get clean in the end.
Sometimes it’s harder to clean something that looks fine to begin with, until you get closer and see it’s not so fine.
At least I can point to were a lot of my issues came from. That’s useful.
Some of you who feel you’ve had it way too rough my actually be better off than someone who thinks they are fine, bcaue they aren’t fine. And you aren’t hopeless.
Really, after all I went through, I circled right back to where I began. Like Chesterton said, we go looking for a new thing, and find that the old thing was right the whole time. We just didn’t understand it.
All right, I think I will wrap this up for now, homework is calling me, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.
I watched episode 2 of MHA Season 5 yesterday (I’m not a premium member, that stuff is expensive) and I assume anyone who cares about spoilers will have watched it already, if not, don’t read this post.
So, the fandom has known for a while that Endeavor is getting a redemption arc, and it started last season anyway, but this season has finally caught up to the manga enough to really get into it, and the outrage was predictable.
I can’t believe how often I see this not just in for this fandom, but for Webtoon fandoms (Webtoon comics have to be the abuse capital of fictional venues, every freaking story has an abusive, parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, or ex, or in one case, sibling. I thought anime was bad, but it’s even worse.)
I am often surprised by how unforgiving people are, and how easily they let their emotions be manipulated, in fandoms.
Exhibit A: Itachi from Naruto, kills entire clan save for his brother, including babies and elderly people and his own girlfriend, leaves village. Pins whole thing on Sasuke not being strong enough to stop him, later uses his hypnotic power to make Sasuke relieve his trauma until his mind actually shorts out, and then fights Sasuke 3 years later, saying he will steal his eyes, then dies because he exhausts himself. Later he is reanimated, and gaslights the crap out of Sasuke because other people as well as himself claim it was all done out of “love.”
Based on what I just described (which is the literal events of the show, and not an exaggerated fan rant) Itachi is an S-class abuser such as you rarely meet in real life, and it’s terrifying when you do.
You know what this jacked up fandom says about him? “Oh, I wish I could be a brother like Itachi.” “Itachi is such a good brother, protecting Sasuke.”
I wanted to throw up, and it’s not like these fans are being ironic, they put this on freaking inspirational GIFS.
Even if by some twisted stretch of the imagination, Itachi did love Sasuke in his own psychotic way, he’s a terrible person. He committed Genocide because he was too much of a sheep to stand up to Leaf, and he didn’t shed a single tear over it (until the retcon anyway).
I was amazed that out of all the villains to redeem, the writer chose easily one of the most evil people in anime, but even analysts who’s opinions I generally respect have bought into it. I’m confused by how the show has manipulated people so much into calling evil good.
The power of anime and its emotional flashbacks and reframing of villains into tragic anti-heores. We can never just call it evil.
Exhibit B: We have Endeavor, or Enji Todoroki. He’s a pretty bad guy, I won’t deny it. Smacked his wife around for disagreeing with him. Drove one son out of his home (it’s still unclear whether it was his choice or the son’s) and pushed Shoto way too hard in training. He’s also just unpleasant to pretty much everyone.
However… Endeavor was never shown to be cruel or unprincipled completely. He is never shown to be psychotic. His abuse comes form anger issues and not liking his worldview questioned. It’s notable that he doesn’t abuse Shoto for talking back to him however, in the future, which indicate to me that he already began to understand that it was going to far to do that.
Endeavor is not a good person, but is he straight up evil? No.
People are hating on his redemption arc to a concerning degree, and I wanted to address it, as someone who’s been abused, and has perhaps an inside perspective on it.
It wouldn’t be fair not to acknowledge that they are right about one thing, abuse is inexcusable.
When I explain the reasons why Endeavor did it, it’s not to say that gave him an excuse. That’s not the point. The point is that abusers are some of the hardest people to change, in life, even in Christianity, the most life changing religion, abusers lurk and cover their sins with false spiritualism, that it can take a very perceptive person to see through, and not all Christians have that gift (we are just humans with different weakness, after all)
Different types of abusers:
To properly understand how to judge Endeavor, you have to know that people are abusive for different reasons.
1. There are some people who are abusive without meaning to be. They act off what they were taught, and no one ever told them it was wrong. These people can often learn very quickly if they make friends with others who actually confront the behavior. Provided they are not too bitter to listen. I don’t even call these people abusers properly because for them it’s not a power trip, it’s just a habit. And they’re whole identity isn’t tied to maintaining it.
2. People who are abusive in order to stay in power. This may be the most common form of abuse. Someone will use brute force and violence to get their way because they don’t have the maturity or humility to talk it out and admit it if they are wrong. This person has massive insecurities and usually needs to deal with those before they can change their behavior.
3. The psychotic abuser: This is the worst kind. The person who is twisted enough to enjoy getting the reaction they do. Scarily, even playground bullying can run dangerously close to this, but when bullying has merged with an even bigger amount of control and sway over others, and close emotional bonds with them, it becomes abuse. This abuser is cruel, merciless, and will gaslight the victim so they can keep the cycle going.
My dad is a number 3 mixed with a number 2. He wasn’t very violent, as most of you know, but when nothing else would serve, he’d become aggressive. Then he would play the victim and say you left him no choice. I detest number 3.
I detest number 2 also, but I’ll tell you, it scares me way less.
I might have to worry about being punched by a 2, but, I don’t need to worry that they’ll keep kicking me once I’m beaten and humiliate me just for the fun of it, once I stop bothering them, they have no interest in hurting me more. They’re a bully, but they aren’t a psycho.
I shouldn’t have to put up with either, but if I had to pick who’s more likely to realize the error of theirs ways; I’d pick a 2.
A 3 likes being the way they are too much to change most of the time, the only way is if they lose all ability to get what they want by being that way, then they have to reevaluate. But thanks to the toxic circle of people they surround themselves with, it’s rare for them to be left that way.
When it comes to deciding if Endeavor’s redemption make sense, we have to decide which group he is in. So let’s look at the facts:
We know from the show (what most of us have to go on) and from what I hear from manga readers that Endeavor
Hit his wife when she crossed him.
Pushed his sons too far in training
Refused to listen to reason
Put wife in mental hospital after she snapped completely and burnt his son’s face
Refers to Shoto as his “masterpiece” or “creation” at least in the 2nd season.
All this is pretty bad. But what no one ever talks about is the more interesting things Endeavor actually does, which one wouldn’t normally expect.
Though he hit Rei for crossing him, we are not shown him hitting her at any other time. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but he also does not keep beating her once she’s down, which a more textbook abuser would have done.
He pushed Shoto in training, but we are never shown or told that he beat him at any time. Pushing him so hard is a form of abuse, but it’s one that has nuances, exactly at what point it became too far would be hard for someone like Endeavor to say. No doubt he pushes himself just as hard and feels it’s not wrong.
When Shoto tells him bluntly that he will not do as he says, Endeavor doesn’t react like an abuser. He tells Shoto it will not work, but leaves him alone after that. Basically waiting for him to try and fail first. An level 3 abuser would have used manipulation to try to get his compliance.
When Shoto blames Endeavor for what his mom did, Endeavor makes no attempt to squash his rebellion, instead, he seems to take it seriously. Also not textbook abuser behavior.
Endeavor does isolate Shoto from his siblings, but does not isolate him from his friends. When Shoto pushes him, he doesn’t double down on his controlling, he actually allows Shoto to do pretty much as he wishes.
Finally, Endeavor is never shown guilting Shoto for failing later in the show, if he did it before, it seems he may have realized his mistake. He only ever shows concern for him. True he embarrasses him at the remedial course, but it’s not done in the spirit of guilt.
Does this make him a good parent? No. But you have to understand, I’ve lived it, and it would have been nice to see my Dad do any of these things. That never happened for me. If I saw even this much of a chance of redemption for my dad’s behavior, I would not have blocked his number and cut off contact with him. Because you can reason with someone who can do all that, but not with someone who only uses you for their own benefit and then discards you.
Granted, Endeavor did do that with his other children, but he doesn’t abuse them in other ways, so it makes him more negligent than abusive. Negligent is more understandable.
What I think makes the show writing brilliant is that Endeavor’s redeeming qualities, such as they are, were not all introduced in season 4 and 5, as early as season 2 he demonstrated better characteristics than just his past self would have led us to believe. To me that indicated he’d already begun to question his past.
In a strange way, I got the impression Endeavor actually respects Shoto because he is tough and still stands up to him, though it annoys him, he kind of likes the little punk. Evidenced in season 2’s Stain Arc, before the redemption arc officially began for Endeavor, Shoto still asks his Dad for help, and to my amazement, Endeavor complies without even giving Shoto any crap for it later. And he doesn’t downplay what Shoto tells him, as soon as his son says it’s important, he sends back up after him. We never see him scold Shoto later for acting rashly.
This is season 2, the same season we even learned what an ass Endeavor was to begin with, and yet we already are shown some actually decent aspects of his personality. he’s doesn’t screw around with saving people, even if he’s very stiff about it. And he takes Shoto seriously, even if he doesn’t understand him.
I don’t say any of this because I like Endeavor, I actually don’t really like him. I don’t think I need to like him to judge him fairly, I just need to be… well, fair.
Let’s talk for a minute about Rei.
Really, Rei is the only reason that I even consider Endeavor abusive at all, as I wouldn’t say what he did to Shoto was abuse, at least in his own eyes, and would be hard to pinpoint like I said. But it’s not okay to beat your wife.
I can’t excuse it either.
But, there is no going back, I always say, there is only going forward.
Ignoring what Endeavor did in the past, what did he do later? Does he act sorry? And is his regret believable? Let’s look at it.
Fans seem to ingore two things when they accuse this Redemption of being too rushed.
Endeavor has had 8-10 years of watching Shoto be miserable in order to rethink his actions.
Rei is not compeltely innoncent here.
It’s not the 1900s okay. If your hsuband is beating you, you can leave.
Now hear me out before you say “No! She couldn’t leave! He’d never have let her.”
If Endeavor really cared about it, he would have put more effort into keeping the family together. I honestly think he wouldn’t have chased Rei down had she just down as she said to her mom and “run away from this life.” He could have hushed up the whole thing, and let her live on her own. I think he would have, she was just an annoyance to him anyway, after all.
Even if not, she could have tried it first.
Yes, she was terrified. But, the guy was not manipulative, we never saw him threaten her, nor does he threaten Shoto, so I assume, he doesn’t threaten people that often.
That tells me a lot of what Rei feared from him was in her own head.
I’m not saying that makes it not his fault. I feared stuff form my dad that he never did, because once you feel unsafe around someone, you imagine they could do anything to you. They’ll turn everyone against you.
It’s terrible to be trapped in your own mind like that.
But, to be honest, not all of that can be pinned on Endeavor.
I can’t victim blame here, but being unstable isn’t just something you can blame solely on one person. Even if you are mistreated, you can control your response, you can seek help. You can do something to save your sanity before it gets to a snapping point. That was what I did. I escaped before I went crazy because I knew what would happen if I didn’t.
Rei is not to blame for Endeavor betting her, but what she did to Shoto was her fault. I’m sorry if that bothers someone to hear, but it is.
You cannot excuse psychotic behavior on “She was driven crazy by Endeavor.”
It’s a lot of pressure to be with someone you’re afraid of. But, when you start projecting that on others, like your own children, you’ve crossed a line. If you now you’re doing that, then, you need to get out. Run away. Turn yourself in. Do something. Don’t wait to snap and hurt someone.
Am I the only one who got the uncomfortable impression Rei hurt Shoto partly so Endeavor would get rid of her? Does she really seem unhappy with the results?
As terrible as it is, her level of remorse just does not match the situation. She seems relieved to be out of there, and hesitant to talk to him. I mean, if she wanted to apologize to Shoto, she could have sent him a note via his siblings, she could have told him it wasn’t his fault, and not to hate himself…something. Not that it would have made a difference, but the effort could have been there.
Shoto believed he would only cause her pain by visiting her, and that in some way, he needed forgiveness for never doing that.
I’m sorry, but the 6-8 year old needs forgiveness for being terrified to go see the mom who burned half his face?
It’s interesting, that Shoto is actually way more traumatized by his mother than his father. It always hurts more to be betrayed by the person you trust. He blames Endeavor of that…but who does he feel safe acting out on? Who does he actually go to for help?
He may not like it, but he knows in a strange way, he can count on his Dad, and he can’t on his mom. And before someone says that’s because she’s locked up, do you really think it would be any different if she was free and just lived somewhere else? No. It wouldn’t.
She will always be the fragile one, in his mind.
And, hey, that’s the way it is sometimes. It’s not her fault really, but it’s not Endeavor’s fault either.
Rei was clearly unstable before she married him. We can assume her family life wasn’t too great if they were willing to sell her to Endeavor to be his baby mama. Heck, for all we know, Endeavor initially might have treated her better, until she was no longer of use. It seems like they didn’t have as many problems in the past.
I love Shoto, but he is a bit naive if he thinks his dad started all of this. You can bet Rei brought plenty of trust issues into this partnership that didn’t get helped by Endeavor, but didn’t start with him either.
Rei went off the deep end because she lacked the mental strength to get herself out of the situation, and to not project Endeavor onto her children, and that is just not fair to them.
My issue is that people ignore this. Endeavor gets crap for abusing his wife, but Rei gets not lame at all for literally scarring her son, and giving him the guilt of thinking he was like his dad for years.
Give the woman credit, she also taught Shoto to be true to himself. He should be grateful to her for that. And she’s trying her best.
But, one can’t get away from it. She gave up. She didn’t carry it to the end. She let herself lose her grip until she hurt him.
When she burned Shoto, it wasn’t because she thought he was Endeavor. It was because in a crazy moment, she thought it was the only way to protect herself.
And I’m sorry, but Endeavor was completely right to put her in that hospital. I notice no one ever says anything about that, but…what else would you do? A wild animal has to be confined too if they lash out at innocent people, and if a person become like that, what else can we do? She’s not safe for anyone to be around who’s not a professional.
Endeavor says he put her there because she hurt Shoto, but she could easily have hurt his siblings too, and even Enji himself, if he was caught off guard. What if she threw water at whoever walked through that door?
Why it’s personal
The reason this matters to me so much is because I’ve been Shoto before.
At first, when my dad moved out, I thought I could blame the entire situation on him. That would be simple.
But I soon realized my mom had plenty of problems of her own. Not all of which I could pin on him. She had them for decades before she knew him. My dad was drawn to her because like attracts like.
My mom could also be cruel to me, and inconsiderate. Some things I still cannot believe she said to me. I think she treated my badly because she couldn’t take it out on my dad, so she projected onto me.
Like Shoto, I got the idea that I was a monster from my mom, almost more than my dad. From both, really. What do you do when one parent accuses you and the other just tells you where you could do better?
I am not being hard on Rei because I am angry at my mom, though no doubt, some frustration is part of it. But because, I know the importance of being honest. both parents are at fault.
An abuser can’t abuse without an enabler, usually.
Endeavor was a crap husband, but putting Rei in the hospital was the right thing for her, and for the kids, sadly. Even if it feels cheap that he was the one who did it.
But, moving on from that time, it seems he began to see Shoto’s point.
I don’t agree that Endeavor made Rei hurt Shoto. I might excuse her hurting Endeavor himself on the grounds of self defense because she snapped, but not Shoto. Nor do I think she can get off just because she went crazy. Clearly she had some idea of why she did it and could have acted differently prior to that.
The worst of it would be if she ever admits that one day… because, I’ve had people tell me to my face that they knew what they did to be was wrong… and they still did it in that moment because they were too scared to do anything else. But that fear was their problem, not mine. I just paid for it.
Look, people, either we take responsibility for our own actions, or we don’t. If we say a victim has no responsibility, then everyone who makes themselves a victim will get away with literal murder. And, why do you think that mentality is so popular now? People love getting away with their crap.
I confront people and expect them to take ownership of their actions, and they usually blame me for them. Like I made them do what they did, sheesh. I did’t force your to do or say anything, I didn’t even tell you to do it, you just did it. How’s it my fault?
It’s not Shoto’s fault either. And, it’s not Endeavor’s. He didn’t threaten Rei to do what she did, if anything, hurting Shoto should have been something she was afraid to do because it would anger him.
That proves to me that she knew, somehow, what would happen. And she chose it.
It’s ugly, but it’s human nature… I wish it wasn’t. I wish we all could be noble enough not to hurt each other just to save ourselves.
Enji and Rei are both jacked up, that’s for sure.
But, Enji has had time to reflect on his actions, and he’s realizing that he got nothing he wanted the right way. I actually buy it. I think getting the No#1 spot in a away that he didn’t want would make him question whether he got anything in a way he should have. One epiphany can lead to another, you know. That’s how it is for me.
And realizing now that he is number one, he can’t maintain All Might’s rapport, it’s exactly what would show him his character deficiencies. Plus, Shoto is a constant visible reminder to him of his failures.
I think it’s to Endeavor’s credit that he doesn’t resent Shoto for this at all. Instead, he’s admitting it was his fault. That he doesn’t deserve what he has, and he needs to change.
He’s as clumsy at it as most people are when they try to change and it seems people are not willing to give him any leeway at all.
I know Natsuo is hurt and all, and I can understand him, but, the fans? Not so much.
I mean, it’s like you expect 20 years of dysfunction to just go away in 2 months. Endeavor’s heart may be changing, but he has no idea how to act, how to be, no one showed him how. And Shoto and Fuyumi are the only ones even willing to acknowledge he’s trying at all; and Rei herself, perhaps.
I actually feel bad for Endeavor now. I had to change once (and still do) I used to be mean too. I remember how little encouragement got from anyone. Instead, I got constant criticism from my parents.
I know it’s hard to change, and when people refuse to let your past mistakes go, it’s even harder. It takes character to decide to change even when people think you ca’t.
But when you truly have repented, you know you have to change, or case to be.
When God got a hold of my heart, there was no going back for me, I was going to become a godly person if it was the last thing I did. So I studied, and worked at it, and swallowed my pride.
8 years later, I live in the fruit of that. I’m not perfect, but I can control my temper, act with maturity, and forgive people much more quickly than I used to. I love not being ashamed of myself anymore.
And, if Endeavor were a real person, I’d root for him all the way. Believe me when I say this people. I am not kidding. Real or imaginary, I don’t care. I judge them the same way. If he’s legit about this, I’m all for it.
And I hope to goodness, that there are people like Endeavor out there, realizing that abuse is wrong, and changing. We don’t her enough about ti.
The abuse cases make the news, the cases where someone changed never do. They don’t make the surveys either. But, it happens.
And you see, no matter how rare it is, if it happens at all, then I owe it to people to believe it can happen for them, until they prove otherwise. I owe everyone the benefit of the doubt. Some might have said I would never change, (actually, I think , my dad did say that), but I did.
Endeavor’s redemption arc is actually really good. The events leading up to it make perfect sense to me. I consider the Todoroki family to be the best written aspect of the show, along with Bakugo’s character development. The author shines in interpersonal drama, much more than he does on plot. That’s what drew me in, for crying out loud. Shoto Todoroki’s story is why I got hooked on this show to being with.
This post ran really long, so I think I should end it here.
What about you? I don’t know if you were at all interested in this debate or just clicked out of curiosity, but did it make you see a little differently? Just curious.
Thanks for reading, until next time–Stay honest, Natasha.