Fighting Wrongs Does Not Require Hating People

There’s a difference between fighting against things we consider wrong and making blanket judgments about people we don’t know. Perhaps the problem is that we all have different ideas about who are Evangelical. To me Evangelicals are the people in and outside of organized religion who have experienced the unconditional love of God and want to share it. Christian Evangelicals are the people who came to know with heart, mind and spirit that there is no condemnation by God through an encounter with a living Jesus. I am one of those. We finally learned that we were forgiven before we even screwed up. ( I don’t happen to think we are the only ones that come to know that, but it was my way.) We know that ALL of us fall short of perfection. That we are not finished…..and don’t have to be perfect….because to be human is to be in process. But to accept the forgiveness we already have, we have to give up our addiction to the illusion of perfection. Then, we can begin forgiving ourselves and start accepting the flow of grace that will help us grow in loving ourselves and others as God loves us. For me an ongoing very real and very personal relationship with Jesus is what has gotten me through the struggles of life so far. I was born small and fearful, so anger has been my pain reliever. I really need that ongoing relationship with love fleshed out.
I admit I did not grow up with much contact with “2nd generation Evangelicals”…..those who inherited religion as laws interpreted by humans, but haven’t experienced the love of God personally. It’s been more of a problem for me to forgive and love the Catholic hierarchy . Most of the Evangelicals I happen to know are people from all denominations, including the Jewish faith, who know the healing, life changing love of God through Jesus personally. And we, like the Prodigal son, are very, very grateful that we are loved and can come home just as we are. Knowing we are imperfect, but loved and that the more we experience that love, the more healed and free we will be to love others is the core of our spirituality. There are “Super Believers” in all religious groups who inherited the form of the religion, but have not experienced that healing love. You can’t give what you don’t know. I am very sad for those people, I remember how it feels, and how angry I was all the time. So I fight on issues, but pray the people I disagree with will come to experience enough love somehow to be healed and to experience life in a whole new way.
At thirty, I was an active agnostic in the sense of rejecting everything I had been taught about God, but investing time in searching for truth. Then someone not connected to a denomination persuaded me to pray, “Jesus, IF you are who you claim to be, I need you to save me from my blindness and open my heart to God. Take my life and help me become the person God wants me to be.” I think that because I had been truly seeking, my response was almost immediate. Within the hour I was overflowing with joy from knowing with my heart, mind and spirit that there was a God, that Jesus fleshed out his Love, and I was loved just as I am, because of who God is, not who I am. It’s not a magic abracadabra formula. And the journey is different for each of us. But for many of us it is a way to consciously begin a grace filled partnership in the journey.

Advertisements

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of five. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-nine years.

Posted on November 23, 2017, in Answered Prayer, B4Peace, conflict resolution differences, disillusionment, epiphanies, Failure, faith, fear, Forgiveness, Healing, Jesus, Judging, Love, Moments of Wonder, Paradox, peace, Prayer, prejudices, rebirth, Saved by grace and not by law, spiritual growth and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for helping me understand more about Evangelicals. Blessings to you.

    • I probably wouldn’t qualify in many evangelical’s opinion since I’m a liberal Presbyterian USA and an active Democrat!
      I was Catholic until I was sixty except for about 5 years of questioning and seeking. After my conversion experience at 30, I returned to the Catholic Church to share the good news. There I discovered that Vatican II had triggered a lot of awakenings similar to mine and there were many renewal movements going on. Then I was a variously: a Catholic Youth Leader for five years, Speaker and group leader with my Methodist husband on Diocesan Marriage Preparation Weekends for twenty years, a CCD (Sunday School) Teacher, on the Parish Religious Education Committee, Took enough classes to be certified by the Diocese to teach Religion Teachers, so created and led workshops for them, Was Parish Council Chairman, was on the Diocesan Religious Education Committee (along with a Vatican II Scripture consultant, a theologian, a Catholic psychologist, and the Diocesan Director of Spiritual Development.)That sounds more impressive than it was. We had a lovely time talking theology and as far as I can remember accomplished nothing practical! For several years I held a Civil Service G9 position as Director of Religious Education for the 9000 Catholics on the Army post at Ft.Campbell, KY in the Chaplains Division. ( That two sounds better than it was! Many of the 9000 were young single soldiers who had not yet experienced combat, so they weren’t very active in the church.) I finally decided at sixty that what I was by nature was a cheerleader, more than a teacher. I’ve always taught when there wasn’t anyone else, partly because, to me, it’s the best way to keep learning and growing. But I am much more comfortable and effective speaking encouragement and challenge. So, since women have few opportunities to preach in the Catholic Church I attended and eventually joined a Presbyterian USA church that encourages women to do anything the men do. This version of the Presbyterian denomination is liberal, stresses education, but also doesn’t look at you like you’re tacky if you talk about Jesus like you know him. It’s no more perfect than any other group, just a good fit for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: