Saturday, April 23, 2011

What Is the Real Good News Message of Easter?

It’s Easter weekend, and I am wrestling with my faith.  Still.  And that’s OK.  God is not afraid of my questions, He’s not afraid of my doubts.  He’s not afraid of my anger.  He’s not afraid of my rebellion.  Fear has no part in Him.  And He knows it still plays a huge part in me.

I’ve been stumbling upon lots of interesting articles, things that are challenging me to think about my faith, even though I protest greatly in some parts of me yet.  And if I wasn’t already making my way toward being ready to face all of this, I wouldn’t be engaging in the challenge at all.  I guess it truly is time to allow some deep healing to take place in this part of me.

One of those many articles really got me thinking about all the sermons I heard as a child, all those fear based sermons that royally screwed with my head, that royally screw with a lot of people’s heads, even those who weren’t being abused at the same time they absorbed all this stuff.  What stuff?  That God is so full of wrath that he is willing to send his beloved creations/children to an eternity of torture and separation from all things good.  OK, it’s possible that many people who believe this don’t understand fully what torture is.  Because if they understood torture, they could hardly comprehend that a God who professes love for the world could do such things.  So I will give them this small benefit of the doubt.  For those who have experienced some form of torture, and still hold to this belief that God is the greatest torturer of all, well, that speaks a little more about them than I care to get into here.

Here are some of my thoughts this Easter weekend:

Why did Jesus go to the cross if it wasn't to save us from hell?  Maybe he went to the cross (was put on that cross by man, not by God) to show us that God loves us no matter what we believe of Him, no matter what we do to Him, no matter what, period.  Because he died saying "forgive them, they know not what they do". 

And you know what? None of us knows what we are doing.  Period.  Whether we profess a certain 'type' or 'brand' of faith, whether we profess no faith, none of us knows squat; really, we are all pretty much ignorant in all of this.  And God knows this and we can't change one thing about His love for us, because He knows our ignorance.  We are all blind journeymen.  And we are going to screw up, and most often ROYALLY.  We know not what we do.  Even when we kill God.  Even when we kill God THINKING we are defending His HONOR, defending His Word

And how do we as followers, kill God while thinking we are defending his Honor and his Word?  By killing the souls of those around us through destroying what little they are able to cling to in this life.  By bullying them into fear.  By dismissing them because of our own beliefs based on fear.  By not allowing God to be a God of Love and Grace, to EVERYONE.

If the purpose of the cross was not to save us all from hell, then why were the disciples commissioned to spread the word of the GOOD NEWS, the Gospel?  Could it be for the sole purpose of bringing PEACE ON EARTH?  GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN?  Could it be to let people know that they no longer needed to FEAR GOD?  That they no longer had to sacrifice virgins in order to appease HIM?  Or sacrifice their children?  Or sacrifice their minds?  Could it be that he just wanted mankind to finally GET IT, who God really is?  This is what I believe.  That He wanted us to finally SEE how much He Loved.  Not how much He hated and how we can be assured we can avoid that hatred if we say the right words,(that being, if we were part of the fortunate miniscule percentage of humans who have lived and died on this planet, to have ever HEARD the Good News in order to say the right words).

But the message got lost right away, didn't it? This Good News, Christ's message of Grace.  Because we cannot fathom that kind of Love, that kind of Grace.  We cannot fathom the parable of the vineyard, where everyone gets the same wage in the end.

And I have to admit that part of my own wrestling in all of this is, as an abuse survivor, this is a hard pill to swallow; that unrepentant abusers may escape eternal torture after all; but as a sinner (someone who has fallen short of perfection), it is a breath of fresh air.  Can't have your cake and eat it too.  FOR ALL HAVE SINNED (fallen short of perfection).  And NOT ALL HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS GRACE.  And even if some have heard, does that mean they have heard in their soul, that they have understood???  So is Grace lost to them, FOREVER???  How cruel would God be for this to happen???  That of all the people who have ever been born and died on this planet, only a small percent will ever escape eternal torture?  According to the way the Gospel is preached by most Christians today, this is how it will play out.

This is where I have to part company with most Christians, in order to save my own faith.  Because I cannot bear to believe in a God who tortures.  There was a time I did, but that’s because I believed I deserved to be tortured, part of the way abusers operate, putting that belief inside your little mind.  I lived that and relived it in my soul for 48 years, and it’s time to give God more credit than that.  Not only did He not have anything to do with what I endured here on earth, He is not waiting across that great divide to give me more of the same.  Or anyone more of the same.   Love cannot do that.  And that is the Real Good News Message of Easter.


  1. Great post Carla! I too struggled what you expressed, and just this spring reading through Romans I found the answer that got me shouted down and shut up for years. God does have a plan for everyone - and as a God of love who saves us with grace He knows better than anyone the hearts and souls of people. Thank you for your honest sharing and love!

  2. I sometimes think the things I express in this area are too hard for most people to sit with, that they are too sacrilegious or too far out of the box for comfort. I guess it takes a person who has never BEEN comfortable in the world of boxes to be able to at least hear what is coming from my heart in all of this. I do believe there is a God. I believe He is more than we have been given in theology. Because frankly, nothing else makes any sense.

    You are a wonderful soul, Mystic Mom, I'm so glad I am coming to know you! And I very much appreciate your understanding and encouragement, you are a blessing. :)