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Study: Even Non-Believers Get Angry at God

Believers and non-believers alike get angry at God, according to a new series of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology as reported on CNN.com. The anger stems from various incidences, from everyday disappointments, injuries and illnesses, loss, and other negative events. Atheists and agnostics report feeling angry at God either in the past or at a “hypothetical image” of Him; among college students, non-believers said they experienced more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers did. The study showed that more religious people appeared more likely to see God as well-meaning and less likely to remain angry with Him. Interestingly, young people tended to be more angry at God than older people, and among cancer survivors, those who were angry at God had the poorest physical and mental health. Lead study author Julie Exline explained, “When people trust that God cares about them and has positive intentions toward them, even if they can’t understand what those intentions or meanings are, it tends to help resolve anger.”  

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including ChurchLeaders.com and SermonCentral.com.