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Sunday, January 17, 2010

01.17.10

01.17.10-0741

Today I am thankful for Justin and our 6 years of marriage. It is our anniversary. Justin got back home this morning and we had a very low key day, which was fine with me. Thanks for being a wonderful father, my partner, my one true love, our provider. You are an amazing man and I am lucky to call you mine. I love you.

We are sad around here because the Cowboys sucked big time today and got their butts whipped. Such a bummer. I really thought that they were going to win today. But they just couldn't get it together today. Maybe next year.

This is a long post for me, and not the norm, but I feel compelled to share this.

The girls and I went to church this morning before it was time to pick up Justin at the airport. I decided to go to the more contemporary service for the first time ever today. I am not drawn to this type of service, which is why I have never been before. I like the traditional service because I love to hear the choir and the organ. I love the feel of the old, beautiful sanctuary and to sit in the pews. The contemporary service has a band and giant computer screens. It has movie theater type seating. Not my thing for church, but all of my friends keep telling me how amazing the preacher is and how the sermons are worth checking out. Justin really resists the contemporary service, so I thought I would try it today while he was out of town. Of all of the days for me to go, this was the day. The pastor is giving a series of sermons called Frequently Asked Questions and each week he addresses one of the hard questions we have to deal with as christians. Today the questions was: Do my non-christian friends go to heaven?

Before I talk any more about this, I want to explain a few things about myself and my faith. I feel pretty confident in my faith in Jesus Christ, most of the time. I really want to deepen my relationship with Christ this year, as I have already talked about. I know I have LOTS of growth that I need and want to do. I want it to become more natural for me to constantly turn to God for guidance in every aspect of my life. I genuinely want to give Him control and allow Him to guide me. With all of that being said, there are a few aspects of christianity that I struggle with. The first is understanding why really horrible things happen to really good people. I just don't get it. I really don't get it when babies and children are involved. The second thing that I really have had a hard time with is an understanding of where people who don't believe in Jesus Christ go when they die. In particular, people that have never been exposed to the word of God because of geography - what happens to them. They were never given a chance.

The reason that I really have a hard time with this particular issue is because of my girls' birth mothers. Both girls are from a very rural part of Vietnam. I feel confident that their mothers have never heard of Jesus Christ. So, some day as the girls grow older and they start digging deeper into their beliefs and faith in God, I foresee the question of, "Is my birth mother not going to heaven because she probably doesn't know Jesus Christ?" And the bottom line is, I do not believe that that is true. I do NOT believe that someone who has different beliefs than me is excluded from heaven. But I haven't ever been able to express why or how I think that they might be going to heaven. Until this morning, when this exact struggle was addressed in the sermon.

Here is what I got out of the service. There tends to be two extremes on how christians believe people get into heaven. Some people are exclusivists. They believe that the ONLY way into heaven is through Jesus Christ and professing your faith in Him. I have friends and family members that firmly believe this. And to be honest, when someone says this to me, I find myself getting angry with them. And I know that this is backed by passages from the Bible where Jesus Himself says that He is the way and the light to Heaven. And that no one gets to heaven except through me. Jesus says these things before His death as He is trying to convince the disciples and courts that He is in fact the Messiah. But here is the thing that the pastor pointed out with exclusivists that always makes me upset - the gray area that they are often willing to overlook. For instance, an infant who dies way before the child is able to take Jesus Christ as their savior. Or a mentally retarded person who will never be able to fully understand the concept of Jesus and taking Him as their savior. Exclusivists will often make an exception for these examples. So, if they get to be an exception, what about my daughters' first mothers? Are they excluded because they were born in a Buddhist country where they have never heard of Jesus Christ?

The other side of the spectrum is the Universalist who says that everyone gets in. That God made every single person and therefore, everyone is getting in. I don't believe this either, and these believers have their own gray area where they start making exceptions to their rules, too. For instance, Hitler? Do they believe that Hitler gets into heaven? I feel like it is often said, "Well, maybe not Hitler. He probably doesn't get in." And so on and so forth. There are always these gray areas, and that is what I have had a hard time with.

The thing is, I am seeking my God and Savior throughout my life. But a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Jew is doing the exact same thing, just to a different God. They are seeking their God and living their lives for their Lord. And even though their Lord is different than mine, I have never thought that it was my place to judge them for what they have been taught or decided to believe. And under no circumstance do I believe that they are going to hell because their beliefs aren't the same as mine. I just don't believe that.

So, what I learned today was that it is okay to believe that God made every single person on this earth and that when every single person dies, they will get the chance to stand in front of Jesus and God and say, "I didn't know Lord. I didn't know that you were the son of God, but now I do, and yes, I want to come to heaven." Or they can choose not to go to heaven. So now comes the argument that so many christians have: But that isn't fair. I served Jesus Christ my whole life and this person just decided that they want to come to heaven and that is it? They are in just like that? That is not fair.

And I have come to the conclusion that yes, I think that they get in, just like that. Because God is a Lord of grace and love. And that is what I believe and I feel confident in this belief. And I was taught today that there is a Biblical parable that explains just this. If you are interested in reading it, it is Matthew 20:1-16. I am not going to type it all out because it is long, but I will summarize it. It is a story about laborers in a vineyard and the very first sentence says, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard." So, you can see in the very first sentence that Jesus is clearly relating the story to the kingdom of heaven. The story goes on to talk about the owner of the vineyard going into the market in the early morning and hiring workers. They agree on a fair wage and the workers go off to work. When the owner goes back to the market a few hours later, he sees more men standing idle, and he hires them to work as well. Then a few more hours pass, and he hires more men and then again later in the day sends even more workers into the vineyard. At the end of the day, the owner pays every single man the same pay, even though some of the men worked the entire day and some, hired later in the day, only worked for an hour. And of course the men who worked all day got upset that everyone got paid the same amount even though they did the majority of the work. And as the men grumble about this, the owner says to them, "Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for your wage. Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? So the last will be first, and the first last."

Who gets into heaven is the choice of God, not us. There is no reason for us to spend time being upset that we lived our whole lives for Jesus and some live just a few hours for Him. Instead, we should celebrate that we got to know Him our entire life and be thankful for that. I feel like a lucky one for getting to know and love Him. And I am going to spread His word so that more people can be filled with His love. As far as I am concerned, the more that get to rejoice in heaven with Jesus the better.

And that my friends, does it for me. I am comfortable with my belief now and I think that Jesus explained it perfectly in this story. I believe that EVERYONE on this earth will have the opportunity to stand before God and Jesus Christ, even in their last hour, and say, "I take you as my Savior. As my Lord." And they get to go to heaven. I like this belief. It makes my heart happy and puts my mind at rest. So, I had to share it.

I am always open to discussion. If you have something you want to contribute to this, please do. But please do so in a respectful manner because it is okay that we don't all believe the same thing. That is what makes the world interesting.

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35 comments:

Lisa Mayo said...

You are one of my favorite people and I don't even know you. I love your blog and look forward to reading everyday. I've followed it for a little over a year. Your words were put together so well tonight. I have the same concerns and questions and your words gave me comfort.Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts and your gorgeous photos.

Stacy said...

Happy Anniversary, and Go Vikings! Ha, sorry Kelly, but as a Minnesotan there's no way I could NOT comment on that part of your post, right? :)

Sounds like a great service for you today!

Laura said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Justin!!!

I was raised Evangelical Lutheran (and I still am Lutheran). I like the Lutheran church very much. I find them more progressive than some Christian religions. They recently began allowing churches to ordain openly gay ministers in committed relationships. (This upset a lot of people, but it made me happy to see the church staying current and keeping an open heart.) Anyway, I have very strong beliefs, but I struggle with several things. They don't reconcile in my head or my heart, but I've always liked J's opinion on when things don't make sense to you and you question them. The point of what she says will get lost if I try to write it out b/c I'll have trouble articulating it, but it makes sense to me!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts today.

Anonymous said...

First of all, happy anniversary! This was such a great post, I was struggling with the same thoughts about this question, and your post was just wonderful. Your girls are so lucky to have a mama like you, that has such a good heart.

ourgoldenchild said...

Kelly…I really appreciate the openness of your post tonight…I know religion/spirituality can be a difficult topic to tackle without stepping on toes. There are many challenging questions we face in our Faith. But I think for me it has been helpful to look at the bible collectively... instead of basing my beliefs on just one scripture selected out of the bible as many people tend to do. I don’t claim to have all the answers because no one really does. None of us can truly understand God. But from what I have learned in my walk is not to judge…as you said. It truly is up to God in the end. But since you are open to discussion :) I just want to throw in another thought…this scripture came to mind as I was reading your post today…

Luke 13:22-30 NLT

Anyway! Happy anniversary and sorry about your cowboys. Ok. Not really :) hee.

mimi lam said...

Happy 6 yrs Anniversary, and many more to come!. I believed God exist in all good religions, and Heaven is exist when your soul, spirit rest in peace. A person, does not have to be Catholic, Christian, Budhism,etc..,as long as he, she is living as truly a good person, with genuine nature goodness,generosity, kindness toward others,especially to the less fortunate, with all their passion, and expect nothing in return, then that person actually is practicing God's faith, and his, or her soul, spirit will rest in peace, when departs from this earth. I believed that, some soul, after departed, still lingers in the destination, between life, and the beyond, perhaps, those souls came back as the infants, young child, to renew their chastity so they can depart and their soul will rest in peace as a child.

Norah said...

Thank you for sharing this Kelly. Religion is something I struggle with. I won't get into it here in a comment though. : ) But when I got L I felt a sort of guilt, like who am I to take her away from her country and their beliefs. I try to incorporate Buddhism into our lives for both L and M.
Happy anniversary!

Erin said...

Well said, girlie! I have always struggled with the exact same issue, (whether or not people who have never been exposed to Jesus' teachings are held to the same standards.) I like how your preacher summed it up. The loving, and accepting mindset seems much more in line with my beliefs than saying that these people don't stand a chance. Afterall, we are God's children, and like our own children, would we ever turn them away should they came to us looking for love and acceptance? Never!!! Love the topic for today. Thanks for sharing your insights!

Shawna said...

Happy Anniversary Kelly & Justin! Sorry about your 'Boys Justin...that was a tough one to watch. Thanks for that post Kelly...I agree completely with your thought on this question. And the girls look extra adorable today! Loves and miss!

foureverlove said...

#1: This Lucy pics took my breathe away.
#2: I could have written this post. I HAVE written it in my journal. And I believe exactly as you believe after years of struggle with this very topic. But the God I know does not create people, design their lives, pic their families, and make you exactly who you are, and then send you to hell for it. That is pointless. Everyone will be face to face with Jesus and get to decide. I do believe this. It's not what we DO on earth that gets us into heaven. That would make us muslim. It's our love for God and our acceptacne for Christ, albeit a last minute decision after death. That's what I love about God. That was the point of Jesus coming to earth. To show us God's love and forgiveness. Not to send us to hell. The Christian leaders misunderstood what He sadi, but I didn't. No matter how perfect we are on earth, we are still louzy sinners. That's where Jesus comes in. I couldn't agree with you more.

NIcki said...

Kel - happy anniversary and your pics today are SO beautiful. Lucy was workin' it today, huh?!

I think about this stuff often and I am glad you have found your peace. I think, whatever your beliefs, that is so important.

Seashy said...

Kelly,

Happt Anniversary to you and Justin, sorry I am slow. Hope you guys had a great day.

Love and miss you all.

Amy said...

Happy belated anniversary! I love you and am so glad you guys got to have a good day!

momma23girls said...

Your views on this brought me to tears because this is something I have wondered for awhile and reading this made me really "see the light." I loved the verse you shared and I really think you hit the nail on the head. Thanks so much for sharing this because doing so helped another person. Me!

NHP said...

I have thought about this many times as well. HARD stuff, but I love the fact that the Bible has all the answers. I am not saying I always understand the scriptures, but He faithful to lead us to answers as we seek Him. (Seek and you shall find. Matthew 7:7-8) Here are a few things I found when questioning...

I love in Ecclesiastes 3:11 it talks about setting eternity in the hearts of men… "God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (That is so true isn’t it, I cannot fathom it all!) For me this answers my birthmother question, as I have two as well, that God has set eternity into their hearts (along with all He has made) and I pray they choose Him.

And for the harder questions I read Romans 1:20-25… "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities —His eternal power and divine nature— have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator— who is forever praised. Amen.”

Following Christ and believing He alone is the Way to God is a journey, but it says it is His will in John 6:40, "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

I have enjoyed all the things you have shared about drawing closer to Him and to prayer this year. I desire this too because I am in a tough season and I know our Lord will draw near to us, it is a promise! (James 4:7-10)

Natasha
Perrymanadoption.com

KrisJ said...

Happy ANN!!! Ours was Saturday, it was 12 for us! We were going to go to the Grizzley Rose to see Pat Green but tickets were not available boo!! Anyways what a brave post!! I will tell you that I am LDS and we to believe that EVERYONE gets a chance to go to heaven and learn of Jesus Christ and only when they choose they dont want to be part of that do they go wherever else. It is very important to me also because of Malias birth mother and also my niece who was still born. I know that Jesus Christ and God are loving and forgiving and would never turn away people for not knowing! Great post!!

Mom said...

1. Happy Anniversary to you and Justin. As you know, your card is going to be late. I messed up the date, then got it mailed, then it was MLK Day, no mail, so there you have it. As you know, I love you two to pieces! It only seems like yesterday that you picked out your lovely gown, followed by "we can just do the rest of the stuff like Holly." These six years have flown!

2. Good post. You really don't know how lucky you are in that your church is so awesome. I am so proud of you for working on your walk with the Lord. It's hard. It's rewarding. I'm old, but still struggle with issues, too--so we'll all just have to keep supporting one another and spreading the word. Our respective Bible studies help, too!

3. Lucy looks way too grown up in her turtle neck! So does, Annie, for that matter!

4. Sorry about the Cowboys. I didn't see the game, but it sounded brutal!!

5. It also seems that you have some really well grounded friends/bloggers. That's cool.

6. Love and kisses, LeeLee

Erica said...

Kelly,

Happy Anniversary!

I do understand your struggle. I struggle with wondering about Duc's birth mom, but I also struggle because I live in a town that has a large gay/lesbian/transgendered population and I have become very good friends with several gays and lesbians since I have lived here. I have a hard time believing they can't get into heaven just because they were born gay, when many of them are believers. I realize it is an unpopular topic for many Christians, but I struggle with believing some of these incredible, loving believers will not get in.

Obviously, it is in God's hands and not my call, but I do appreciate hearing other believer's input on things like this.

Kelli said...

This has been something that has been weighing on my heart recently as I start the process of transferring my church membership to one in my current town. Thanks for sharing and I couldn't agree more!

Beth said...

I am Catholic, so there are many religions who disagree with the beliefs I've been raised with. But in my heart, I believe that all good people go to Heaven, whether they believe in God, or know about God. There are literally millions of people in the world who know nothing about God. But so many of them are good people, who do good things, are compassionate, caring, respectful, helpful, etc. Those are the type of people I believe will go to Heaven. I truly do not believe God would shut them out. He is not that kind of God. - I'm glad you enjoyed your service and got so much out of it.

Willis said...

I am a born again Christian, and I work with a lady who believes all people will go to heaven as long as they believe in a god. I talked to her about my faith. Basing my beliefs on the Bible, I understand it to say that outside of Jesus Christ we have no hope. He is the only way to God. My co-worker then asked me, "So you think I'm going to hell?" Tough question.

Everyone has to decide for themself if they will accept or reject Jesus. Not accepting his redemption is the same as rejecting him. Many believe the lie that as long as they live a good, decent life, they are alright. The Bible clearly tells us that none are worthy on their own merits to enter heaven.

I've often thought of Rocco's birth mom. I believe the verses that Natasha posted. No one is without excuse. God has given them a conscience, creation, etc. I don't know how He'll reveal Himself to her but I trust that He will. I'm glad God is the final judge. I know he is a loving God and He is just.

Trying Traditional said...

We serve a loving, and just God. From beginning to end, if you study just His character, you will see just that. He is always fair. With that in mind, I know that if the twins' birth mother (or anyone for that matter) were ever to die without hearing the name of Christ, that they can only be held accountable for what they know. That might simply be the instinct in us that there is something bigger than ourselves. Regardless, I know there is no judge more fair or just and God and I trust in that.

My best advice to you is to open the Bible and read it. I'm not say don't read study guides or what-not, but make God's word your primary source. Say a prayer before you read asking God to help make His words and instruction clear to you. You will be amazed, mad, excited, greatful, etc. at what all you will discover. I would love to talk to you more, but honestly get shy posting it openly online (email maybe.) My walk has been so personal to me and I like to share, but putting it out there for everyone to pick apart feels like posting my weight and hip measurements.

~Kim said...

Well said, Kelly. This has always been something I have struggled with as well. Thanks for sharing the insight you have gained with all of us.

and Happy belated anniversary to you and Justin!

Jena said...

I appreciate you tackling this subject on your blog, and I am really glad that your pastor was able to provide some clarity, because I know this is an issue you have struggled with for a long time.

Elizabeth said...

Ooooo. Heavy topic there Kel.

So here's my deal. I do not believe that there is only one way. To me, saying "ok, at the last minute, if you choose our team, then you're in" is still saying that there is only one way. There are so many truly beautiful religions out there if you take the time to really study them, most have many of the same fundamental beliefs about how to live your life as a beautiful vessel of God's love. I don't believe that it has to be "my God" or "your God". Why can't it just be God? God that I call by one name and perhaps you call by another but he is still the same creator and the one to whom we all ultimately answer in life and in death.

My father in law is Jewish. He converted after 20 years of studying the religion while faithfully attending the Presbyterian church every sunday. His conversion, while his own personal story, was very mindful, very thought thru and deeply researched - both thru books and the heart. It is a breathtakingly moving story that I wish you could hear him share. He says that when he first sat in a Synagogue for services, he had an overwhelming feeling of being home.

His faith and spirituality run deep. He is more mindful in his religion than many Christians I know. I don't believe that at the last second, when he dies that he will say "oh, woops! I knew about Jesus and I chose a different way to worship the Lord - the religion of Jesus himself actually, but that was totally wrong and I choose to go back to the place I never felt at home". Nor do I believe for one minute that he will be banished to some sort of Hell.

What I do believe is that sometimes as humans, we need to be able to categorize everything. Have answers to big questions so they don't seem so scary. Turn it if not into black in white then at least a comfortable shade of grey. But it's ok to simply say "I don't know". I don't know who goes to heaven and I'm ok with that. It is not my responsibility to know or to answer those questions. I will tell my children that it is God's responsibility to decide these things and it is our responsibility to be worship him by being the best possible person we can be.

One of the best things I've learned in studying Judaism is the phrase L'Chayim - "to life". The idea of not spending your life preoccupied with what will happen tomorrow, when you die. Instead, focus your efforts on how you are representing and celebrating God and your fellow beings today, while you are living.

I think that idea alone gives me permission to be ok with not knowing.

Jen said...

I have often thought about my children's first families in this way as well. Sometimes I feel like God is laying it on my heart to go to VN some day on a mission trip with my children when they are older.
p.s. Happy Anniversary! It's great to be married to the right person, I am too, and celebrating 10 years this summer!

Anonymous said...

I hate to disagree with you, but your post is misleading many people to think that we can somehow earn our way into heaven by our "goodness" or our efforts to serve a god, any god. I do not know what kind of Christian church you attended, but I feel certain that they do not actually teach the theology which is reflective in your post.

While the religion advocated in your post may "feel good" or bring us "peace of mind" or be a belief that we "like", it is not representative of the Scriptures or any historical interpretation of the Scriptures.

I certainly do not intend for this comment to come across as mean, unsympathetic or degrading in any way. I just feel that someone should point out that this type of modern relativism dilutes the magnitude and centrality of Christ's life, death and resurrection to the point that it is difficult to even understand how an advocate of this view could still consider Him a "savior".

Kelly said...

Anonymous - I definitely did not expect for everyone to agree with my point of view or beliefs. And that is the thing, I think that it is okay that we believe different things. Who really knows the "right answer"? No one. Not me, not you, not our pastors or our priests can say with 100% certainty that their ways are right. I know the God that I have come to love and worship and I am happy with it. It feels right to me. I hope that you feel the same way about your faith.

I assure you that I am not trying to mislead anyone. I simply shared about MY faith and experience. I am Methodist and I can also assure you that I did give an accurate portrayal of what was taught at the sermon on Sunday. But because this issue is so important to me, I am having a meeting with the pastor to get some deeper answers to more questions that I have.

Thanks for chiming in. Like I said, I certainly don't expect everyone to have the exact same beliefs as me, and I appreciate that. I have no problems with you believing exactly what you feel is the right thing to believe.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I apologize for implying that you were intentionally misleading anyone. I am certain that is not the case. I am glad to hear you are having a one-on-one meeting with one of your church leader and I am curious to know whether he or she believes the Methodist doctrine is in agreement with your post.

One fundamental problem with each of us believing and acting on what we "personally" feel is right is that there must be some standards or universal truths that prevent, for example as you have referenced, the Hitlers of the world from being justified in believing and acting on "exactly what [they] feel is the right thing to believe." One of the many secondary problems with such a view as far as the Scriptures are concerned would be again that it puts the emphasis and focus on our own individual acts or deeds which suggests we can earn heaven independently from any god at all, let alone Christ.

While I must respectfully disagree, I thank you for your openness, honesty and willingness to share.

the osbornes said...

I'm catching up on your blog today and just read this post. Heavy topic! Definitely sounds like something that is really heavy on your heart.

For me personally, as I Christian I believe that, as 2 Tim 3:16 says,"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" I personally believe in the truth of all Scripture, including John 14:6 that says "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

But the main thing I really wanted to point out is that Jesus calls us, in Matthew 28:19, to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". I believe that as Christ-followers, it is our responsibility and privilege to share Christ with those who don't know Him. God clearly has the people of Vietnam on your heart, and I think it is awesome that you want to be sure of where they stand for eternity. Maybe He is calling you to become involved in some type of Christian mission that shares the Word of God with the people of that country? I know there are SO many ways to do that (outside of actually traveling on a mission trip or something, which would obviously be difficult at this point!), and your church could probably point you in the right direction. And it would be an awesome thing for the girls to be involved in as well when they get a little older!

Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggle and beliefs about this on your blog, and giving all of us the opportunity to reflect on it too! I know that for me, it has been a huge reminder of all that I should be doing to share my faith with others, especially those who may have never heard about our Savior!

Sorry for the super-long comment!

The Wades said...

Kelly, I loved this post! I am on the same page with you on many of these views and hoping my relationship with Christ grows and grows this year. Sometimes you just walk into church and the preacher seems to be talking directly to you answering many of your unanswered questions...just another our God works! Take Care....and your girls are precious!
- Evelyn

Cearley said...

I really enjoyed this post, and the insight provided. When we lost my younger brother 9 years ago, I really struggled (he was only 16) with the fairness of God..Jeremy accidentally shot himself, but a lot of our friends felt he didn't go to heaven because it was self inflicted accidental or not. And just because he may not have known the Lord at 16 due to immaturity, does that mean he didn't get into heaven? He was a wonderful soul, and I have also chosen to believe he is there and not in some purgatory or hell. Anyhow, your post was very well written and insightful..I really appreciated it.
And your girls are beautiful!!
Cearley

mrsbroccoliguy said...

Hi Kelly,
I read your post the other day and it came to my mind again as I was doing my Bible study. Our small group has just started reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. In the first chapter he gives a link to a 15 minute video online called "Just Think" where he talks about this very thing... I'd try to summarize, but it's probably better just to give you the link because he's a great speaker and it's well worth the 15 minutes to watch it:
http://juststopandthink.com/

Have a great day.

Jess said...

If you stick with it, through the whole thing, this video would really clear things up for you-- it's called

"Hell's Best Kept Secret"

and it's amazing.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-815413473552516092#

would love to hear your opinion on it :)

1beautifulmess said...

Kelly,
It has been a while since I stopped by your blog, but I am glad I did. I admire you for putting yourself out there with this post…it is so tough discussing these types of things. As a Christian, I have struggled with the same thoughts and questions. Years ago, after much thought, prayer and reading I came to the conclusion that Christ is the only way to heaven. I have a couple of books I want to recommend, but obviously His Word trumps these books. Check out “A Case for Christ.” The author of this book helped me realize that if there was more than one way to heaven, why did Christ have to die? Another excellent book is, “Letters from a Skeptic.” This book is compilation of letters a father and son wrote back to one another (true letters). The father asks A LOT of really hard questions like the ones you are asking. The son, a theologian, answers them to the best of his ability. I loved the book because the father asked a lot of questions that I wanted to ask but was afraid to (for the fear of questioning my faith). Anyway, I pray God will give you a total peace about whatever conclusion you come to.

Blessings, Leanne :)