This morning we visited a Methodist church. When you don’t know a whole lot of people who can give you recommendations (my husband and I are both pretty asocial), it can be tough to choose a church. So, we defaulted to proximity. This one is approximately three minutes from our front door. Definitely a perk. Actually, there are quite a few pros on the list here. Nice people who weren’t pushy, a pastor that seems to have a really interesting perspective (I also read a few of her sermons online) and a relaxed environment. I looked up Methodist doctrine before I went and can get on board with most of it.
There are a few hang-ups for me, though. Deep breath. Please don’t be offended by the question I’m going to raise, and please feel free to weigh in. I know there are many things I’m just never going to understand, but I feel like I need to gain further understanding before making any kind of absolute statement about what I believe on this matter. My biggest question is about salvation. There are myriad verses in the New Testament that state that only through acceptance of Jesus Christ can a person be forgiven and saved. I personally believe that Jesus was divine, and have accepted him and yet this concept still troubles me deeply. Even apart from the argument that there are still many people without access to Christianity -what happened to all of those people in the years between Jesus’ death and widespread knowledge of his life and death? Were they condemned to eternal suffering?
I’m not saying that’s false, but it doesn’t seem right, either. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post – I’m trying to approach religious questions from a standpoint of truth and not from a “do I personally like this?” standpoint. But the only way that I can reconcile this with the idea of a “loving” God (which seems so prevalent today), is by assuming that one can, on some deep internal level, “accept Jesus” and have knowledge of Him without having actually learned about Him – without even knowing His name. Does that make sense? At any rate, I’m praying about it and am planning to e-mail the pastor of the church I visited and ask for her insight on this question. I’ll let you know what she says, if she’s comfortable with that.
Look for a future post on the way our culture interprets “love” of God and and love FROM God. Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. Take care!