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May 2011
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Ys [userpic]

If these sorts of things don't horrify you...then I'm not sure I can ever wrap my brain around your way of thinking.

I cannot see this sort of thing as anything but a way for petty people to make themselves feel good by controlling other people, at the expense of those other people. If that's not firmly into evil, I'm not sure what is.

This sort of thing is why I worry about religious power, particularly the self-righteous variety.

Current Mood: distresseddisturbed

Hi folks.

My name is Niles Eastman. In about two years, I will be graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology. After that, I will attend seminary, and, with God's help, hopefully become an ordained Lutheran pastor.

I just wanted to let you all know. Spiritually, I am doing this because I think God wants me to. Pragmatically, however, I am doing this because I want to help reclaim the church. It's being taken over by extremists like the ones talked about in that link, and I aim to take it back. I want to spread the message among Christians that we are called by Jesus to love one another unconditionally. None of this hate, none of this bigotry, none of this reducing our entire faith to gay marriage and birth control. It's about the love. All about the love.

So, anyways, yeah. I just wanted to let you guys know, the good guys are still here, and we're fighting for you. It's harder for us, because telling people to love is much more difficult than telling them to hate. But please don't think people like George W. Bush, Jack T. Chick, or Fred Phelps represent us, or even represent a true Christian. None of them do. I do. And I'm going to spread that message as much as I possibly can.

And for the record, however you choose to believe, or not believe, God loves you all. God's cool like that.

You make me feel like I wimped out by dropping out of seminary. Said feeling is my OWN failing, not yours. ;)
I wish you all the success in the world, and I hope that you find a congregation willing to be a church for all of God's children.

Kinda Awkward

Doesn't that stance sort of make for some kind of painful scenarios with people you actually like. Isn't it sort of painful when someone who reserved judgement on asks you if they're going to hell and you get to say, "Well yeah, probably."

I'm all for Christians avoiding psychotic condemnations and such, but doesn't that make for a masochistic situation?

Re: Kinda Awkward

Heh, well, it would...if I thought they were going to hell. The God I know, the God I see in Jesus, the God I feel in my heart, is a loving God. I just cannot fathom this God condemning *anyone* to hell. I can see this God letting people go and choose where they go after we pass on, but I can't see God just sending people to hell. The analogy my mom always likes to draw is, imagine a guy and his girlfriend, and the guy says "I love you more than anything else in the world, and I would even die for you, and if you ever leave me I'm going to douse you in gasoline and set you on fire."

I think Hell, and the Devil, are both metaphors designed to give us a focus to resist sinful nature. We aren't condemned because we don't believe in Jesus, but if we allow ourselves to be consumed by a sinful nature (greed, hate, that sort of thing), then when it comes time to make our choice for eternity, we'll choose to give ourselves over to that nature instead of letting go of it and entering into a closer relationship with God.

That's what I think, anyways. I could be wrong. ^^;

Re: Kinda Awkward

THAT'S IT! You sure have earned yourself a friending, whether you like it or not!