I just really need to tell you this. I’m a 16 year old girl and, believe it or not, ever since I was 9, I have been a struggling Christian. I always always believed in God, I never inside of me doubted him, but I just could never understand why I was being taught that this God I love was so unloving when they told me that he was Love. I’d had personal experiences with him when I was 5 and inside I felt they were wrong. Back then though, I had been told that these feelings were evil and if I don’t stop, I’m going to hell.
I was like you and felt physical pain about this for years. It only got worse as my eyes opened wider about the world and the truth my own spirit was pushing me too: my heart was actually disagreeing with the old Southern Baptist fundementals that have been etched into my being by birth. I felt that no one was seeing God right and because I felt that, I felt evil. I would even scream for demons to come out of me when I did that because I love God, I don’t want to not be unfavorable to him, and my church told me that demons cause these thoughts so I thought I had to call them out.
The last three years has been me knowing that the Christianity I knew had something wrong, but I still saw the Church’s word as God’s absolute law, so everything I thought came with terrible paranoia. I almost denounced God period and became an atheist at age 14, and I almost did again last month. When I was 14 was because the Christianity I knew just didn’t seem logical and the last time because I knew, I just knew God is there, due to my own experiences, but I was just so tired. I have read about other religions and see their beauty and the truth buried in them, but I couldn’t understand why mine was so corruptly contridicting and cold. But at the same time, God and Jesus are so close to me. So I just wanted to drop all of this and give up. It was just too hard and I just wanted to find anybody, even a person, that understood the loving God and Jesus I worship, but what all that seemed to exist was “Christians” that claimed He loved everybody and Jesus saved all when they also said that the gay man next to me shouldn’t even try to be a Christian because he was hellbound.
Then I found you. This is the point: thank you so much. When I read this blog and then read up on Universalism, I wanted to cry. I really did. This is what I believe in, Christian Universalism, and you showed me it.
I think this is what Jesus was talking about when he wanted us to be fishers of men. You didn’t press anything on me or preach to me or shoved anything down my throat with a flaming cup of Hell to go with it. You lived your life and through your life, I found out that I’m not evil for believing that my God is endlessly loving with no confusing schizophrenic strings attached. He is Love and you introduced me to that.
Thank you. (‘:
Thanks for taking the time to write. You have no idea how much your comment means to me. You literally brought goosebumps to my arms and tears to my eyes. I am so very happy that me sharing my journey has helped you with yours.
I wish you peace as you continue to grow in God’s love and grace. Please let me know if there is any way I can help. I have been studying Christian Universalism for about a decade now.
Here is one of Brian’s articles – http://www.thebeautifulheresy.com/2005/08/universalism-what-is-it-what-isnt-it.html