4/17/2012 | Share this article:By Meranda ~
I have visited this site a few times over the past several months, and have been intrigued, comforted and understood as I read the various posts. My only beef is that I wish I could talk face to face with this community! I have been wishing that I could flesh some of my thoughts out in a physical encounter not just a cyber one (lol). However, I do have my husband who is truly my best friend that is joining me on this journey and that is a tremendous comfort!
Satan Is Real (Photo credit: Wikipedia)My story will sound very familiar I'm sure. I was raised by a single mother with a mental illness, and raising children exasperated it, so I was made a ward of the state at 12 and lived in 7 different foster homes from the time I was 12 to 19. I only include that bit of my past to set the table for my absolute desire for a Father, unconditional love, purpose, someone who sticks closer than a brother, someone who would never leave or forsake me, etc. I fell head over heels in love with Jesus, and even now with all my skepticism I find myself hoping that I could just stop thinking so damned much and fall back in love!
My 1st crises of faith so to speak was 3 years ago after the death of my mother. The christian fundamental idea of hell was realized to me in a way it never had before. Sending people to hell for ever and ever, pain, torment...really. And isn't is so common for Christian believers to say we deserve it? Really?! So to follow that logic, a god who created us with a propensity to mess up, make mistakes, sin or whatever you want to call it is going to sentence the majority of his creation to everlasting torment...I came to realize how sadistic that sounded. Last summer I was at a christian woman's bible retreat with some very dear friends and I was sharing with them my dilemma about god's character, and one girl asked me that if indeed hell is real, and most are sent there could I worship him? My answer was "no way". I am still so new to this way of thinking, and trying to sort out what I believe and think, as opposed to a religious dogma that I have ascribed to the past 17 years. My husband, myself, and my 4 children still go to church every Sunday. I have a 14 year old that loves his youth group. We just don't see that it is time to tell our children or extended family all of our thoughts right now.
This is a very lonely time for us. A year ago, we were struggling with hell and were reading books such as "The fir that Consumes" by Edward Fudge which is basically supporting annihilation to now we are reading books by Dan Barker who is a former preacher turned atheist! Lol Oh, boy! We have a a few discussions with christian friends, and unfortunately they are too afraid to talk about our questions...they are worried they will be deceived by Satan if they entertain some of the thoughts and questions we have...sound familiar? We have some other more liberal christian friends who are involved in house churches, but they too are just pissed at the institutional machine of churches and want a more organic fellowship and not questioning his existence, character, inerrancy and infallibility of the bible etc.
I appreciate this website, and all the contributors who bare themselves so well, allowing others to glean from them. Thank you for "listening" to me ;)
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