I just realized when I re-read my last enty, that a religion that works like the miltary is what some deem "Christian discipleship". It is nothing more than abuse of power over individual lives, in the name of God.
Christianity's close affliation with Islam should help us understand why some would see thier Christian faith in such anti-cultural and authoritarian ways.
Sacrifice is the epitome of this type of religious conviction, as it shows how much one trusts God or is willing to serve God above all other gods. The use of Abraham in Genesis is useful to illustrate "what God requires", the sacrifice of any "hope", as the promised one, is to be the sacrifice. It is called covenant theology.
The story ends with Abraham's "trust in God' being defined by the test of sacrifice and God's provision of a "lamb" in Isaac's stead.
Christians have used this to illustrate their message of provision of a "savior", in Christ.
But, what kind of God demands sacrifice and testing to prove that He is first and foremost the most important in one's life? Does a father or mother ever think that this would be appropriate to request of a child? or a spouse? or even a friend? Is God above our understanding of common decency and care of human desires and emotion?
Some would say that God is interested in purifying our desires and our interests, as he is to be worshipped above all gods and this is the way in which his purification comes.
I think Voltaire's "Candid" would be my response. God is in control of everything therefore any danger should not be seen as a danger. Any obstacle can be removed by faith, if one only believes. Healing can come to the sick if they only have enough faith, etc....God is in Control. God intervenes, but he doesn't always answer our prayers the way that we want him to. But, what if we have requested something that must be "his will" and yet, the prayer is unanswered?
I have heard Christians defend God's "lack of response" by saying that "his ways are not our ways", "he has higher purposes or plans", "he knows best", " God works it all out in the end", " God is just, we just don't undestand everything about his justice", ad nauseum....theologizing pain, suffering, death, suicide, and other human tragedies.
The other answer is that "God is disciplining you", so that you may partake of his holiness! Thank you, but no thank you. Why is it that he "picks on some" as he is supposed to have 'no favorites, as he is no respector of persons.
So, those that hold these views believe that the only thing that is required is absolute faith or trust, withholding one's reason, in fact, reason is the enemy in these cases, because reason will supplant faith.
In the real world, those who have gotten burned when their heart was right and they trusted with all their might and they died, or they were immensely disappointed, or etc...Do these continue to go down the same road and perform the same behavior of "trust", believing somehow that they were at fault, somehow? Or do they learn that this is not the way the world works and then set out to learn what is expected in the "real world"?
I think that those who believe in this type of supernaturalism are really half crazy. I was. And I am trying to come to some sort of sanity, where reality is not disconnected from any other source of knowledge, or life experience.
I really fear for these, as they ignore the "world" thinking that the world will 'take care of itself', because these are to be separate from the world and everything in it. These miss so much of life and the joy of living.