Posted by: minnow | January 17, 2009

Love Letter: It Is Finished

Last year I wrote a series of blogs relating to the topic of hell. My conclusion was that scripture does not support the existence of hell as a literal place of everlasting torment. Feel free to read my arguments here, here, here, here, here, and here. After “coming out” about hell one of the comment/questions I heard most frequently was, “Why?” Why stir up that can of worms? Why not just keep your opinion to yourself? Why broadcast your heresy? So what if you “studied it out” why go there? A year ago these questions surprised me. After all, was it not important to speak the truth? Eventually however, I did quit talking about it. Other issues came up and focusing on politics—the Church’s and the nation’s–was easier. Recently an on-line friend sent me an e-mail that got me thinking about the answer to the question, “Why?” And, I would like to try to tackle it now.

Feeling like I could never “measure up” to my parents’ expectations resulted in years and years of feeling like I could never measure up to God’s standards, either. A few years ago, I had a kind of crisis of faith experience that lasted for a couple years. At one point I remember distinctly deciding that if God was holding a measuring rod to my life then He could just forget it; I was not even going to try anymore. I already knew the verdict–failure. I was failing as a wife. I was failing as a mother. I was failing as a Christian. I was not even sure I was “saved”. The thought that maybe I just was not one of the “chosen” plagued me. I honestly began to feel like I was ripping into pieces. If I had bothered to get counseling, I am certain I would have been diagnosed as clinically depressed but I was too close to total despair to care.

Shortly after my family moved back to where my husband had done his graduate work, we had dinner with our former pastor and his wife. (This is the friend I mention in my posts about hell). His words that night were like a love letter to my wounded spirit. As my friend explained why he was excommunicated (for his newly formed position on hell) an amazing transformation began to take place. God, the lover of my soul, began wooing me. As I held the gift of life I finally could open because I finally understood it was mine freely given, my spirit literally leapt for joy. When I still could not reconcile the pain and confusion of Church going with a Father who loved me He held onto me. When He corrected me, His correction was out of a place of love, not disappointment or anger. I started hearing the phrase: “Because I love you so much…” in front of everything He said to me.  I began reading the Bible again.  What had been dust in my mouth came alive.  It jumped off the page and into my heart.  Passages that had only confused me before made sense now. 

So, what had changed?  Discovering the truth about hell being man’s doctrine and not my Father’s assured me of my Father’s heart.  Realizing that His gift was for everyone, that my salvation was in His hands alone, that my failure—even my failure to have enough faith, say the right words, or do the right thing—could not take away, undo, or mess up His gift of salvation to the world, to me.  My Father loves me.  The death and resurrection of Jesus accomplished what all our professing and good works could not.  That is why I must speak the truth about hell.  Our Father loves us and His love is sufficient for salvation.    

 

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Responses

  1. Thanks minnow. I found myself weeping/tearing up as I read. My soul knew that to be the truth — that God loved me – unconditionally…. but I just have had such a hard time grasping what that means in my life daily. Understanding that He doesn’t label us as good/bad, failure/winner is so amazing to me. He is like no other. That He doesn’t “look down” in disappointment at my decisions. That He won’t turn His back on me when I don’t do what He wants…. woah. To grasp that He doesn’t play favorites, try to get us to compete for Him — I have to really focus to ‘get’ all these things. To believe that He is really FOR me – that’s so powerful. He is NOTHING like parents, teachers, bosses… and I have paralleled Him to them for too long… I have had such wrong thinking for so long – it’s hard to recondition myself.

    It’s hard to know what’s true or just an assumption I have ingrained in me. We re-act so much out of our own self-made set of principles/truths that our own truth is created — all based on many (wrong) assumptions made a long time ago that we aren’t even really aware are there. Peeling back these layers is so hard and free-ing and so shocking too really… I look forward to reading those posts linked. Thanks again for u

  2. Yes Minnow the concept of Hell or the non existence of it, changes everything. I have come to many of the same conclusions as you about Hell, and it truly changed everything. It is sad though to how few realize or are even willing to consider this revelation.

  3. That was awesome.

  4. […] 2008  I wrote several posts about the concept of hell.  You can find them here, here, here, and here.   In 2009, 2010, and 2011, I wrote other posts that encourage a loving God point of view and […]


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