As two people in a relationship mature, their friendship deepens. As children become less dependent on their parents, they develop richer ways of engaging in their parents’ lives. As I became more secure in my marriage, I became less jealous, less dependent, more self-confident, and capable of contributing more to the relationship.
According to American evangelicals, Christianity is all about a relationship. It’s all about knowing God and him knowing me, and the two of us loving each other, and needing each other and taking care of each other—wait, the Almighty doesn’t depend on me. He doesn’t have to explain anything to me, or even TALK to me. Yet, according to evangelicals, I’ll be in eternal trouble if I give up calling, or get suspicious about the claim that I’m on his mind all the time, or even begin to doubt that he really exists.
Christianity offers a relationship that never grows up: a perpetually lopsided arrangement of obedience, dependency, petition, and childish trust. Jesus may have said, “I have called you friends”, but friends maintain a dialogue. They respect each other, discuss their differences, explain misunderstandings, compromise, and work for one another’s benefit. If I ever had a relationship with God, I would have to describe him as my abusive ex. I left him when I realized we would never share the same values.