Part 1 if you missed it
As mentioned in my last post, my initial experimentation at blogging on my new bright and shiny iPad was less than successful, at least in addressing the topic of "Sin, Salvation and A Savior" as I had originally intended. On the other hand, had my goal been to make my directorial debut in creating a based on a true-story movie premiere of "SisterFriends: The Lost Post Episode," then row out the red carpet and don't stand between me and my Oscar!
So to sum it up I've gone on record that I've come to a place in my life of faith, my relationship with God, and my deepening understanding of grace that I no longer am able to believe that anyone will ever be consigned to the suffering of eternal punishment and banishment from the presence of God. While it seems reasonable to me that there would be a time and place for divine purification and correction there must in my heart and mind ultimately come a time when the soul of every man, woman, and child will be re-united with their Creator.
I'm more than aware of the kind of objections and emotions that taking that position can bring up for those of us who are Christian and even more specifically for those of us grounded in a conservative or evangelical tradition. No one knows this more than I do because the Anita of ten years ago would have been horrified to know that one day she'd be believing what I believe today. But then, come to think about it the Anita of twenty years ago would still be rolling around on the floor and foaming at the mouth over the ever-so gay Anita of 2010 so what say we leave those girls in the past to resolve their issues while we continue to move forward, shall we?
Split personalities aside, I understand some will take issue with the conclusions I've come to but honestly, I'm come to a place in my life where I simply can't believe any different. The grace of God as I understand it and have experienced it compels me in this direction. It presses me to reject a God of infinite love who could bear to be separated from even one of His children for the span of eternity. I'm unable to come up with any argument strong enough to be at peace with the idea that the will and desire of God that all would come to Him will ever be less than fully realized. I've tried. I didn't leap over to this side of my beliefs. Grace dragged me here kicking and screaming the whole way and when new glimpses of human cruelty have filled me with a longing for a wrathful God to exact revenge on those who harm the innocent, grace has blocked my way to running back to the safety and certainty of my former beliefs where the fires of hell and an angry God settle the score. Even if everyone else thinks I'm pushing the envelope or standing on shaky theological ground. And if in the end I'm wrong about this or about being gay or anything else that I hold as true at the core of my being then being wrong is a risk I'm willing to make. I'm willing to put everything on the line because at this point in my life I refuse to put any limit on the reach of God's love or the extent of God's grace. To do so would be to live and speak in a way that denies the very essence of all that I have encountered and understood God to be. I would be lying to say any different...or to say nothing at all.
In case it hasn't yet dawned on you, you just witnessed an unparalleled digression from where I was originally headed. That happens when I'm passionate about something and when it comes to these things I have enough passion to light a fire from a pile of soggy wood and used matchsticks.
Which is good because it's now dinner time and I need to get the chops on the grill and the salad in the bowl before my wonderwife returns from a day in the trenches, which means my thoughts on "Sin, Salvation, and The Savior" will need to wait until tomorrow.
No, I'm not kidding. You just read what was meant to be an introductory paragraph that ended up turning into a lengthy post that never even got us to where we were headed in the first place. Dang, you sure put up with a lot from me. Personally speaking, I wouldn't tolerate it, so how do you do it?!
Ready for Part 3 ?
This article was originally posted on SisterFriends Together (no longer active)
Â©2010 Anita Cadonau-Huseby. All rights reserved.
Used with Permission and Much Gratitude
Anita Cadonau-Huseby was the Founder and Administrator of ChristianLesbians.com, which is no longer active. She has spent nearly 30 years in pastoral ministry.
Note from Mary: When I was first struggling with my sexuality and my faith, I found Christian Lesbians. Anita's leadership and her delightful sense of humour made my journey easier. It was so good to know I was not the only one. I will forever be in her debt.