The Grumpy Disciple #3

God, You Don’t Know What You’re Doing!

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The Grumpy Disciple #2



The Grumpy Disciple #4

Is It Time For God To Go In For Therapy?

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The Grumpy Disciple #5

The Invisible and Unspoken Doctrine


The Grumpy Disciple #6

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The Grumpy Disciple #7

WANTED: Imaginary Friend. Must be Invisible.


The Grumpy Disciple #8

What’s In a Name? Plenty of Lawsuits


The Grumpy Disciple #9

Miserable Christians


The Grumpy Disciple #10

God Kills, But Never Murders


The Grumpy Disciple Blog #11

God Declares Himself An Atheist


The Grumpy Disciple Blog #12

My Bushwhacked Brain


The Grumpy Disciple Blog #13

Why Didn’t The Grinch Steal Chanukkah?




The Grumpy Disciple #1

Who Owns God? They Do! Don’t They?


The Grumpy Disciple Blog #14

God Doesn’t Make Misstakes



The Grumpy Disciple Blog #16

Two Confused



The Grumpy Disciple Blog #18

Jesus Was Downtown Staying at the Motel 8

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The Grumpy Disciple Blog #19

When Christ Killers Roamed the Earth



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The Grumpy Disciple Blog #24 What’s A Jesus?

Inside Everyone Hides a Secret Atheist Who Wants To Get Out

The Grumpy Disciple Blog #20

The Amazing World of This Amazing World

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The Grumpy Disciple Blog #22

A Travel Writer Of Sorts

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2015

Recently I looked at a few bestselling female Christian authors’ websites and blogs. The content was similar and overlapping. Generic isn’t the right word. Perhaps, being siblings of the same spiritual family connects literary characteristics. These artistic women all have something which I lack: a deep, emotional love of God.

Their honest passion is obvious. Their desire seems wholesome and true. Clearly, their hearts cannot beat without knowing He is near. They have laid their lives before Him in an antiquated foreign manner, i.e., kneeling, head bowed, and with a heart of servanthood beating within. Americans do not even show respect to our leaders by such posture. God’s acceptance of these authors is the pinnacle of their existence. From this highest point, nearest to heaven, flows a naked appreciation of forgiveness, rebirth, and inclusion of a master plan. Their lives remain changed while waiting for the coming day of meeting God in His home. There, each will further pour out even more remarkable worship, thanksgiving and exuberant praise.

I like that. But, I don’t have that. Never did―but someday will, hmm, after death.

Do I feel left out? Do I ever wonder if I entered the wrong address? Yes.

In contrast, I want to live in heaven because life is supposed to be so much better there. These writers want to go there for the opportunity to gaze at God’s face. I don’t consider this over-emotional.

Some people read my commentaries and experience a fair mix of cultural entertainment under my umbrella of religious dissatisfaction. I present my grumblings in sophisticated literary ways. Certain writers in the blog-o-sphere are crude, rude, profane and some writers―if ever given the chance―seek to knock “sweet Jesus” down with their first punch. Thinking, Then I’ll see what he’s really made of! (I don’t think I’d buy a ticket to see that. But, if given a free seat, I’d check it out.)

My sincere Biblical pieces, plus a published book The Ring of Torrents: A Jewish Mary are doctrinal and comfy―when not challenging. I do think that God shows up here and there to help me insert wonderful insights. Such selections have the aroma of a familiar, yet pleasing spice.

Having Jewish DNA perpetually running through my blood, I naturally have a problem with God. Examples in the Torah include the protests of Moses and Abraham, then in later writings of Job, Jeremiah, and others. Multiple times, an unhappy prophet Habakkuk voiced, “O Adonai, how long shall I cry and You not hear?”

Synagogue teachings utilize these dialogues concerning a world that is not as it ought to be. It’s a never-ending feature in Judaism. Do these incidents reveal a Supreme Being desiring those who confidently object, disagree or are disillusioned―to speak up―literally upwards. Consider the patriarch Jacob’s nighttime knock-down, drag out fight, complete with eye poking, nose twisting and intermittent wrestling with God’s representative―which went on for hours.

Only in recent years have I understood that this grumpy streak in me is not only a Jewish trait, but one that no doubt God planted in me―not for His amusement―but rather for His desire for a different perspective, a challenge and a debate with an opponent. Why? Because-He-is-like-that. In Hebrew, the word darash or d’rash has many (debated) definitions. I’m presenting here those which support me: “seek with a desire of understanding, inquire, question, to require, summon, beat a path, demand, divide.”

In Jewish circles there is a common saying, “Two Jews get together to argue about something and there ends up being three opinions.” Simply put: Two Jews three opinions.

Another supportive old saying: “If nine men out of ten agree, then the tenth is probably Jewish.”

I don’t live believing that God switched out my emotions geared-up for lively passions and instead put in a faith-filled creative intellect. But, then again…I do.

Clearly those women writers I mentioned have a deep well of sincere emotions to draw from. But, their valuable feelings also merge with faith-filled creative intellects, and so, I continually see that breed surge past me. Does that mean I’m limping toward the desired dazzling city set on a hill? Yes, but, sort of no.

From what I know, I’m taking a longer and lonelier road there―and that is what I’m to do. It makes me me. Because of this, I see and ponder differently. I’m off to the side and out of the common/traditional way. Yes, some evenings, in the distance I can faintly hear the bustle of yet another “happy bus,” with wheels spinning, bouncing down the road and winding curves.

But, God travels the rough hills where I tred, too. I’ve found He likes to arm wrestle. Of course, the Supreme Being doesn’t ever pretend to lose or almost lose. Such patronizing maneuvering is beneath Him, benefiting neither of us. He always wins, though He’s not in hurry and rarely uses the same strategy. (Okay, with me He does use some strategies over and over again.) Yet, His willingness to wrestle is empowering. He can make the weak stronger and the even strongest pessimist grudgingly plant seeds of optimism. (Watering and tending them are separate issues.)

In comparison, consider Americans’ love of sporting events, evidenced by multitudes of fans who adjust their wardrobe for the game; get caught up in emotional highs and lows (winning and losing) produce shouts, wild applause and a whole lotta waving noisy silly stuff.

The same people at church? At synagogue? God’s fans? That’s awkward and uncomfortable. Why? Well, when there is little live action to watch, or when replay shots of the main players are centuries old, and any newish stories are from elsewhere, it’s not the same hyped atmosphere. Also, to our Western intellects, the strategy of using invisibility tends to be a foul, not counted as a point or court advantage. And His score keeping is frightful.

In conclusion, I’ve seen the God lovers’ enthusiasm knits them together at times in childlike and strange, almost tribal ways. But, such whoop-it-up activities turn most people away, inspire a few―making fresh the stale, and create theological or faithless critics known as enemies, despise them.

These Things Make Me Grumpy…                                                                  READ IN PDF


BONUS  Jewish Joke: A Jewish congregation was arguing over whether one should stand or sit while praying the important Shema Yisroel. Half of the congregation said one should sit, the other half insisted one should stand. Every time the Shema was recited on Shabbat they shouted at each other, “Sit down!” and “Stand up!”  The fighting became so bad that the congregation split in two, each half contending that they knew the tradition of that synagogue.

 Finally, the rabbi decided to visit a one hundred year old member of the synagogue who was living in a nursing home. He took a delegation from each of the arguing sides with him to see the oldest member of the shul (synagogue).   

“Now, tell us,” said the rabbi, “what is our tradition, should we stand during the Shema?”  

“No,” said the old man. “That is not our tradition.”  

“Well, then,” said the rabbi, “should we sit during the Shema?”

“No,” the old man, “that is not our tradition.”  

             “But we need to know what to do,” said the rabbi, “because our congregation members are fighting among each other.”  

“That,” said the oldest member of the congregation, “that is our tradition!”

“You stir things up! Insightful.” - Greta   “Pure Mark!” - Paul L.  “A wry observer of the passing parade.” - Gene M.

The Grumpy Disciple Blog #17

If God Doesn’t Exist, Please Delete This Article

Copyright 2015  Mark Lee Golden

Many are the days when I wonder why I exist. I am not alone in this circular reasoning, this contemplation. Why do I exist—beyond the simplicity of two grown adults engaging in marital bedroom activities decades ago? My own self-awareness stands taller than the conception of an ever-present and eternal divine being. Humanity, both by intentional and unintentional myth-craft, provides a chaotic smorgasbord of gods and a supreme being or two.

Does an all-powerful being live sandwiched amongst impostors? If true, are the false deities used as purposeful decoys? Do they act as placebos? If so, who dispenses the lie? Atheists or agnostics (wannabee atheists) consider religion as one manifold placebo: “An inactive, inert substance, belief or form of therapy, given as a pacifier that has positive effects as a result of a patient’s perception that it is beneficial and medicinal. A placebo is usually administered to compare its effects with those of a real drug or treatment.” (Real God or not.)

Within the spectrum of the global village, faiths painfully line up side by side consisting of billions of conflicting worshippers. Pagan witches stand next to Zoroastrians who are next Hindus which are—well, you get the picture. Inexhaustible comes to my mind. Somewhere in that amazingly long and oft times embarrassing variety of candidates, should be the real and only true character—or perhaps not.

If all spiritual roads lead to heaven and its grand proprietor…can’t we just roll the dice, accept a profile, their resume, the specific religious tenets, and shut up. Perhaps neither belief system is more significant than another—end of story. If true, then admission to life’s afterlife isn’t determined by pass or fail. Choice does not matter.

If a universal, transcendent, Eternal One lives, he seems to passively allow decoys and hurdles to impede or block our perception. Meaning, he’s running an experiment wherein impostors continually reign in an alternatively placebo like form in the hearts of the masses.

But if you adhere to the theology of two personal opposing forces with armies set against the other, some sense emerges while the leftover blends into non-sense. A controlled study using a placebo is a test of truth, of effectiveness. In such a laboratory control group a harmless element of deception occurs. Unknown to the participants, some are given genuine stuff while others experience mere sugar water. Potency and impotency hover over the dutiful, innocent under-informed group. Oddly, results of desired potency characteristics occur in a significant number of the impotent, placebo group. In others, the true medicine enters the body and improvement likely follows.

Now to God and religious philosophies. Faith born out of a tilted imagination can power up the desire to worship and glorify a deity—like the placebo effect. What if all mankind is the control group, who is administering this deceptive element to us? Easily, many will connect the Devil or Satan with “deceptive.” But this makes him, President of the World. But, if God is behind the experiment, minding our movements toward decoys and away from false truths, seeing who gets it right—what does that say about Him?  

What if only placebos were given to the entire control group? Annoyance follows the disappointed. And so, atheists (smartly?) neither partake nor receive any experimental medicine. If they can’t see it (God), why believe it? They do not accept nor honor the credentials of various and diverse God-representatives. Though religious hawkers promote and virtually sell such items as “Jesus In A Bottle,” others profit off of a shot of scriptural hope-pium, yet confusion rules the day—one very long day.

These Things Make Me Grumpy....

Survey Finds Americans Insincere with Post Sneeze “God Bless you!”

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Home Blog Ring of Torrents Samples NQR News Grumpy Disciple Current Events

The Grumpy Disciple Blog #15

Pray Tell?

Copyright 2017  Mark Lee Golden

Doctrine—a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated by a religion, especially when established by precedent.

Doctrines-schmocktrins. Religion is overflowing with them.

The doctrines of the Christian church vary from congregation to congregation, and from person to person. Every tribe or nation flavors the belief-stew a certain way. Some like it hot, while others prefer mild—even cold works for some―or so they say. The tremendous variations around the globe most likely don’t promote the unity God desires. The differences, though variations on a theme, are not always healthy progressions. Nor does only one exhibit a spiritual splendor sliced and diced for different tastes. The spectrum of conflicting doctrines is like an unpleasant fouling of the air born out of isolating dividedness. These stands are compounded by a person or denominations adamant certainty of what to do.

Jesus taught one of the common perceptions of his day: keep knocking, asking and seeking. John 14:14 quotes a blanket promise. But honestly, I don’t think he guaranteed timely or desirable answers for any and every situation. God is not a magical genie and we possess who is cozy inside our bottle. In my years, I’ve rarely seen prayer answered. Jesus did propose faith and prayer as a means of change, whether internal and private or external. Hope may fizzle out over the years; however, does weight of disappointment cancel out previous prayers when a matter hasn’t been resolved.

Take this example of the doctrine concerning prayer. A churchgoing woman was married to an abusive alcoholic husband for 25 years. He never set foot in a church, read the Bible, or prayed. But, the wife prayed for him faithfully every day and diligently believed that one day he’ll get religion. She also thought divorce was wrong. She trusted God to do what was right. Twenty-five years and one day later; the husband found God and was amazingly changed. His wife credits her 9,125 prayers as the reason. God was faithful, and finally, in His timing, answered her.

Take this other example. Another churchgoing woman was married to an abusive alcoholic husband for 25 years. He never set foot in a church, read the Bible, or prayed. The wife prayed for him, but not every day. She thought divorce was wrong and trusted God to do what was right. Twenty-five years and one day later; her husband found God and was amazingly changed. His wife somewhat credited her prayers as the reason and that in the end, God finally, in His timing, answered her.

Consider this final example. Yet another churchgoing woman was also married to an abusive alcoholic husband for 25 years. He never set foot in a church, read the Bible, or prayed. She thought divorce was wrong. The wife didn’t pray much about anything, a little here, a little there. She simply hoped God would do the right thing, and sooner the better. Twenty-five years and one day later; her husband also found God and was amazingly changed. She didn’t credit prayer as the reason, nor was she sure why the change took so long.

The three husbands found God and were amazingly changed—on the same day. Plus, let’s add that all three couples have lived next door to the other for at least 25 years. Woefully, each wife, as each year passed, flipped twelve fresh calendar pages. But then the three women were finally relieved and their marriages bettered. However, their three perceptions equal three differing doctrinal approaches to prayer and commitment to pray.  The perceptions of the wives concerning prayer don’t jive—for each woman the activity and necessity of prayer differed from the others. One was aggressive; one was part-time, the other, fairly passive. Which worked: consistent pressure, occasional reminding, or casual nudging of God?

Other questions: does the faith of a teensy-weensy mustard seed outweigh or weigh evenly with 25 years of daily prayer? In my first example, was every fresh request on 9,125 mornings required? I don’t know. Or, was one seed, plus unknown wait time, the mere requirement for the amazing change? Is prayer akin to casino slot machines? Insert request―pull handle down—three factors line-up―collect—nothing further needed. Or, do we steadfastly pull for 25 years or more― perhaps until we die? Mysterious.

What I do know is that the three approaches desiring the same answer will perpetually happen…and no one likes the wait time. We’re left pondering what we should’ve, could’ve or would’ve done—if only we knew what God knows. Pray because God commands so. In our efforts we may discover the heart of God is willing to do more than listen. Sometimes prayer is all we’ve got.

My doctrine of prayer is this: I don’t know.

Doctrinal-schmocktrins? God understands all of them.

These Things Make Me Grumpy

Another commentary from REAL LIFE. This parody is for amusement. Any similarity to real people, places or divine beings is fictitious and not to be taken as fact.

The Grumpy Disciple Blog #21

Even Mary Had Stretch Marks

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The Grumpy Disciple Blog #25

The Voice of One Crying Pouting In The Wilderness

Mark Lee Golden  Copyright 2016


There’s trouble. Trouble in Christianity. Even before Christianity was Christianity there was trouble. The core disciples of Jesus, the Apostles, bickered and boasted among themselves. It’s no wonder that Jesus occasionally went off by himself to pray. “Pray” might’ve been a code word. He’d be gone all night—perhaps to do some praying, yes, but more so, just to get away from those 12 men.

The 12 habitually got wrong what their Teacher said. This was in an age before Q-Tips ear swabs, communication moved slower—still—in one ear and out the other occurred.

Fast forward. After the beginnings of the Early Church, there was a honeymoon period of sorts. Then saints sputtered and spewed in contention with one another― division happened.

Back track. Jesus instructed the 12, “I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.” John’s Gospel 13:34, 35. The command is typically interpreted to mean all disciples, then and now. And there’s the trouble. This hasn’t worked.

Most any atheist, common pedestrian, or non-Christian, without a second thought, will say that the followers of Jesus have failed to love in such a way. That’s sad. What signifies Christians is not their ‘love for one another’ but rather, their disagreements with ‘one another.’ The more one researches Church history and current Christianity, the more one is astounded not by unity or healthy diversity, but by division.

The lengthy prayer of Jesus, in John 17, reveals his desire for a ‘oneness.’ He and God are ‘one’ and he wants the disciples to enter such oneness, “…in order that they may be One with each other, as We are One.” It’s awkward to consider that he didn’t have his prayer answered. That’s not correct theology!!! Jesus always had his prayers answered. Right? Well, if he didn’t, then what chance do we have for our consumer-minded prayers to get the best parking spot? How depressing. Perhaps such a Oneness did happen, but exists on an unseen  mystical plane.

I did some reading up on an early American colonist, named Roger Williams (1562―1620). A religious man, Williams played hop-scotch with various church denominations, Puritan, Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Church of England, Separatist and something called a Particular Baptist. He searched for the closest church to his beliefs of perfect theology. In the New World, a location prescribed for religious liberty, Williams was eventually put on trial by the Puritans for sedition and heresy. To escape prison or worse, he traveled 55 miles in the dead of the New England winter to what is now Rhode Island. The kicker? The territory where he finally, safely settled, he deemed to have been God’s ‘providence’ in saving his neck. Hence the name, Providence, Rhode Island―a name with shame built right in. He named it in gratitude for “God’s merciful providence.”

Today, during this time of year we vaguely remember the Puritans, the first Christians to the northern Atlantic shores and the friendly Native Americans―but emphasize cooked turkeys above all else. Yum!

Christianity is a global pick n’ chose religion. Besides the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, non-denominational, etc. There are thousands of sub-varieties and new ones all the time. Each considers their doctrinal line up as the right one…as did the Colonists, as did the Catholics, as did the fill in the blank_______.

Back to the effrontery that Christ’s command is too difficult, and that his good prayer was/is unanswered. I know that there were/are pockets where ‘love for one another’ has surfaced. We see it briefly in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles. Persecution seems to birth this. Deep love of God, births this. Repentance followed by strengthening grace, births this. Hope of prophetic fulfillment too.

The disgrace of the Church must disappoint God. Regrettably, I see little success of His plan. When average eyes see the embarrassing, massive failure of what the Jewish Messiah put into motion, what can believers say? Is my assertion outrageous, or just uncomfortably realistic?

These Things Make Me Grumpy…


and ARCHIVES READ IN PDF These Things Make Me Grumpy… Definition of providence: God's foreseeing protection and care of his creatures;  a supposed manifestation of such care and guidance Immature Billionaires Need Not Apply The Grumpy Disciple Blog #26 The Grumpy Disciple Blog #17 READ IN PDF If God Doesn’t Exist, Please Delete This Article READ IN PDF The Day God Came To Earth For Lunch The Grumpy Disciple Blog #23 READ IN PDF READ IN PDF Another commentary from REAL LIFE. This parody is for amusement. Any similarity to real people, places or divine beings is fictitious and not to be taken as fact.

Another commentary from REAL LIFE. This parody is for amusement. Any similarity to real people, places or divine beings is fictitious and not to be taken as fact.