Anonymous asked: Sorry I dunno how else to put this but.. how do you manage to be hopeful about stuff? I try, but I’ve been spending the last couple months coming clean with myself that I’ve always liked and wanted to express myself femininely (i’m amab) and living out what makes me feel like myself in secret (stuck in a conservative family), and I just.. It feels like how can things ever get better when I and my family and ex-church feel like we’re in alternate universes with different languages. I’ve learned the bible isn’t “clear” on this at all, how all these arguments are terrifyingly similar to when people tried to use the bible to defend genocide and slavery, how good trees can’t bear bad fruit and the fruit of the religious right is vile. I feel closer to Jesus the more I embrace myself as trans, but everyone around me sounds alien and strange in what they think the bible ‘says’. I just struggle to picture a more real, loving Kingdom being realized in my lifetime.
Using the Bible as a handbook on gender identity makes as much sense as using it as a handbook on astronomy. Just as those who wrote the Biblical texts had no concept of the science that would prove the earth actually revolves around the sun, they had no concept of gender identity.
So like Desmond Tutu says, there are things in the Bible that we shouldn’t accept. Sometimes people get things wrong. That doesn’t mean that God is wrong, just that people can be wrong in discerning God’s will. One way I discern God’s will is by seeing if someone’s words or actions help or harm people; good tree bears good fruit.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to religious inclusion. The best thing you can do is find a church that is welcoming and affirming. No church is perfect, but welcoming and affirming churches promise to walk in love and do their best to understand you and celebrate you. -EM
theradicalweirdo replied to your post “jepartrick replied to your post: anonymous said:I want to believe … …”
Conditionalism is the belief that immortality is granted to those who follow Jesus Christ.
Anonymous said: I want to believe what you say about Hell, but can it be backed up by Scripture?
Some scriptures that point to Universalism, the belief that God will save all persons, are Matthew 18:14, Luke 3:6, John 3:17, John 12:32, John 12:47, Romans 8:38-9, 1 Timothy 2:3–4, and 1 Timothy 4:9–10.
Pope Francis also suggested salvation for all persons:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
In addition to Trinitarian Universalism, I also believe in Panentheism, which holds that God is in all of nature and infinitely extends beyond it. Ephesians 4:6 says God is over all, through all, and in all. So if God is in all and all is sustained by God, how could God destroy anything God has created?
Many Christian leaders have struggled with this idea. I’m persuaded that since God is Love, God would not desire that any of us should perish. And I am convinced without a doubt that all persons will be reconciled with the Creator.
Consequently, I also am convinced that the message of God’s love has reached others through different religions and different channels. The Hindus say there are many paths leading up the same hill. The only foolish person is the one at the bottom running to tell everyone else their path is wrong. So while I’m committed to Christianity as the primary way I choose to seek God, I respect all other paths.
Lastly, if you’re just going to Church as an insurance against the possibility of eternal damnation, you’re going for all the wrong reasons. You can’t be scared into loving someone. We must love Jesus because He first loved us. —Enrique