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Amy
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Hello, I'm not sure where to even begin to introduce myself. I'm a 48 year old, homemaker, wife and mother of 2 boys (ages 10 & 15). I've lived in Texas for the past 7 years but am originally from central Illinois. I have spent my life floating between the United of Church of Christ (UCC) and the Presbyterian church. I'm currently an active member of the local Presbyterian in my town. It is a progressive church with a progressive minister and it does feel like "home" to me to a degree. I do consider myself a Christian, however, there have always been things about the theology that just never really felt quite right to me. I've always had a hard time coming to terms with things like the virgin birth, the miracles, and I do question many of the things surrounding the resurrection. And the whole idea of "the trinity", well admit it, I've never really understood it. Logically, I can't take the bible literally. And dare I say this...but I'm not even sure that Jesus is actually God.

 

What I do believe...There is one God and he is the God of everyone. No special password needed to get into heaven. I believe in the essence of Christianity, in that true message of that Jesus was of love, compassion and caring for others. This is how I've been able to justify calling myself a Christian. Because I follow the teachings of Christianity and believe he was probably a messenger of God. And I do respect all religions because I feel God gives us many different paths to him and we are all basically heading in the same direction. God understands we all are individuals and what speaks to one person may not speak to another, but he knows what is in our hearts.

 

I live in a very conservative evangelical community and I'm afraid I've become very anti-fundamentalist because of it. The things I hear come out of mouths of some these people just blows me away. It seems many of them base their theology around the Book Or Revelations and they are so judgmental and can be downright hateful. Being in this atmosphere at times has made want to turn away from Christianity completely because I don't want to be associated with them in any way shape or form. (Although I don't know where else I go since I was raised in the tradition of Christianity and that's what I know.) And it really bothers me that the fundamentalist seem to have the bull horn in this country and have become the face of Christianity. I think they end up driving more people away than actually converting people which saddens me. I would like Christians to be seen as the "helpers" not the "judgers", but I don't know how we go about taking the the bull horn back. Christianity truly does need to be rescued from these type people.

 

Recently, I've discovered videos and lectures by Bishop John Spong. They speak to me and now after listening to him, the bible is beginning to make more sense to me. I feel renewed in my faith because now I understand that there is another way to look at the bible without believing everything literally and still call yourself a Christian.

 

Amy

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Hello Amy,

 

Welcome to the discussion board.

 

Spong seems to be doing an excellent work. You are not alone in your story or thoughts concerning Christianity and the Bible stories. I don't know if we can really rescue Christianity. I don't think it really needs rescuing as if it is a person which has some life of its own or some fixed dogma and doctrine.. To me it is just a label that says one is following after Christ which was a spirit of Oneness manifested in the character of Jesus and can be discerned in many of the recorded teachings of Jesus. It is the Spirit of Love we really seek and all the rest seems to me to be just filler.

 

There are many ways to look at the Bible but the Bible is not Christianity. If it were, to me, it would be an idol. I think there is inspiration to be gleaned from many different religious texts and the views and expressions of many people..

 

Glad to have you here and welcome.

 

Joseph

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome Amy, Its good to hear from you and I can echo much of what you have said.

This personal need to question conservative teachings has been as struggle for me too. I nowadays, personally simplify things by saying to myself if God is love then those who seek love as an aspiration to their lives are of the same faith as me regardless of whatever else they call their faith. Conservatives may have the stronger voice on many of the matters in Christianity but I just do not see it as loving as they do to judge others as worthy of severe eternal judgement and damnation on the basis that they have a differing view. I do not see it as loving of God to say that Jesus must suffer a terrible death as the only means that forgiveness can be given. The whole idea of the eternal damnation of sending someone to hell to suffer forever on the basis of a given belief is for me monstrous and I have strong questions about this. If God is supposed to have a superior view of righteousness to man than it has (IMO) to be based in love. If God is not of love then why would people choose to follow. If God is of love then who can possibly be outside of it?

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  • 4 months later...

 

What I do believe...There is one God and he is the God of everyone. No special password needed to get into heaven.

 

Amy

 

Hi Amy. I agree.

 

Question: does your significant other (assuming, of course, there is one) share your thoughts on this matter?

 

If not, how do you handle this ... Complication?

 

NORM

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What I do believe...There is one God and he is the God of everyone. No special password needed to get into heaven. I believe in the essence of Christianity, in that true message of that Jesus was of love, compassion and caring for others. This is how I've been able to justify calling myself a Christian. Because I follow the teachings of Christianity and believe he was probably a messenger of God. And I do respect all religions because I feel God gives us many different paths to him and we are all basically heading in the same direction. God understands we all are individuals and what speaks to one person may not speak to another, but he knows what is in our hearts.

 

 

Amy

I loved that. :D Welcome Amy.

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