April 06, 2012

God is good

I've gotta take a minute to give a shout-out to God. 

I know I don't write about my faith much here, but I've got a strong one.  I guess I just don't feel the need to talk about it all the time.  I believe how I live my life (raps and passive-aggressive cartooning aside), along with acknowledging that I'm a Christian, is a much better witness than spouting a bunch of fancy words to prove how holy I am and how unholy other people are.  I know that I'm turned off by holier-than-thou folks, so I can only assume it makes nonbelievers throw up in their mouths a little.

I know I'm opinionated, and I don't mean to dis other Christians who feel differently.  It's just that for me, being a good person and attributing the good stuff to God is how I spread the message.  I think it's more effective to reach people where they are than it is to preach from the heights.


I'm just grateful for God's forgiveness.  I don't deserve it, but I'm forgiven anyway.  Even if I'm having an I Suck marathon, and I can't forgive myself for screwing up, God forgives me like a parent forgives a wayward child.  Seeing God as a father makes me believe in his ability to forgive everything.  Human parents do it all the time.  If we forgive our children's bad behavior without a second thought, how much more forgiving is God?

My view of God as our father also prevents me from believing that people who don't believe like I do are going to hell.  I believe Christians are going to heaven.  I also believe that Jews and Muslims are going to heaven.  We have the same God--but different interpretations of what He expects from us.  If God is our father, I'm pretty sure He wants us with Him.  God's not a deadbeat dad.  I don't think he's trying to keep us out of heaven. 

Which is why I also believe that nonbelievers can get to heaven.  I believe God gives each of us every possible chance to believe in Him.  What if, when we die, God appears to us, and gives us the choice to become His own even if we didn't choose that during our time on earth?  This possibility isn't a reason to put off getting to know God--it's just something to consider for people of faith who are certain that atheists and agnostics are going to hell.

What about the fate of people who die by suicide, like my brother?  I don't believe that God punished his hurting and hopeless 15-year-old self with eternal suffering in hell.  I believe my brother's spirit repented and asked God's forgiveness for not being able to stick it out, and that God had compassion for His child and was merciful.

I am convinced that there's so much that we don't know.  And I feel just as strongly that not knowing everything is perfectly OK.  None of us has all the answers. 

But God does. 

And even if we don't always have faith in Him, He always has faith in us.



  1. Hey Danielle,

    I appreciate your post. I really appreciate your understandable statement of God’s grace xo I also appreciate that you make clear that Just living a good life isn’t enough – that you also have to proclaim that it is because, by, and for God that you live xo And that it is necessary to Live for Jesus and be His light and His ambassador -- otherwise you're just a noisy lecturer on the "religious text" called The Bible.

    Also, like you, I do not believe that those who commit suicide and who have accepted Christ go anywhere but into the loving and comforting arms of our Father. The reason I don’t believe people who die by suicide end up in hell is because that’s not anywhere in the Bible. What IS in the Bible is that All of those who call upon the name of the Lord will be received. There’s no qualification. And, as much as I might like the idea that anyone, even those who do not call upon the name of the Lord, end up in heaven, I don’t believe it because the Bible is clear that Jesus is the one and only way to the One and Only Living God. The one and only way which is yours merely for the asking – not the earning, not the interviewing – just the asking. It is a simple thing that no one can boast about – a simple unearned love – but a love that we must choose for ourselves.

    There was a time in my life not so long ago that I wasn’t in a church. I wanted to be. I was desperate to be. I was living out in the boonies and was traveling an hour to 2 different towns in search of a church. While I was looking, I was doing my own intensive Bible study each morning “because that was my only choice” if you will. What became clear After the fact was that God had kept me out of church so that I could really get to know Him through His Word. I learned so many things through this process. One of the things was that God gives us His Word and this is, in my opinion, the second greatest gift (after Grace) that He gives us. He reveals himself, his nature and what he wants from and for us (and, thusly, ultimately what is best for us). This is an amazing gift. And the only way to Know Him in the flawed way that we can know Him as fallable people. When you read His Word because, as a follower of Jesus Christ, you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, you can understand His Word. I have also come through the process of understanding that His Ways are Higher and not always understandable to me. So, even those things that are clear in His Word that I, as a small and immature person don’t understand, wish were different, etc. – that I must accept them as they are written – not as they are interpreted by someone else, not as someone else determines them, and not as I wish and hope that they were or not as I think would fit better with who I think God is, etc. I know that my understandings won’t always be right; but I’ll always be genuine in believing that I had searched for His Ways in His Word and I believed that I was authentically following Him --even when I disagreed or hoped for something else. There are some things in the Word that I struggle with, but I know that when I reach my eternal place that I will understand those things that are so not understandable to me now. But what is important now is that I search His Word, not my own hopes or wishes. And that I proclaim what is in His Word, if I am going to claim to be an ambassador for Him.

    Anyway, this was going to be shorter. But it ended up being long. I hope it’s understandable. Now time to go "do" things of a more temporal nature...like laundry (;

    1. I hear you, Mama. You are so good at explaining your point of view in an inoffensive way. I know we differ in our views about who gets to heaven. And I respect your position. I really do. And I'm glad you posted it here, because it balances out the discussion.

      I'm not a preacher--only a loud-mouthed mama with lots of opinions to share. So it's good to have input from others. And it's good for my readers to be able to read different viewpoints. I know that my view is the unconventional one.

      I think a lot of doctrinal differences among Christians has to do with whether or not one believes in "Sola Scriptura" (Scripture alone.) To my knowledge, the Bible doesn't say everything we need to know is contained in the Bible alone. Which makes sense, as the faith existed before the Bible was completed.

      That said, DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV.

      You know, your comment is basically a blog post of its own. (I got a free guest post!)

  2. I have so much respect for you. It seems like it's so unusual these days to find someone who is able to keep that balance of faith without teetering toward the holier than thou side. I love how realistic and NORMAL you are about it! It's inspiring, especially to someone like me who fluctuates between believing and not.

    This is just the kind of thing I needed to read before Easter. Thanks!

    1. Aww, thanks hon. I'm glad it inspired you!

      I think there are a lot of people of faith who acknowledge that they *don't* know much more than they *do* know. We just aren't as vocal as the ones who are sure they know much *more* than they actually *do*! :P

      Hopefully that made sense. If it didn't, it might be because it's 3:30 in the morning!!!!

      Happy Easter!

  3. Love it. I'm not sure where my faith landed when I finally gave up on organized everything and the holier than thous, but I agree with much of what you said.