Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Go With Your Heart

    These are what my doubts look like:

    Do you believe in heaven?

    I think heaven and God are inextricably tied. I'm not sure you can have heaven without a God, and I'm not sure you can have a good God without heaven.
    And yet believing in this good God is excruciating.
    I'm still set on edge by Christian cliches. I'm shocked at Christian Islamophobia and homophobia and biphobia and transphobia and racism and hatred. I'm frustrated at subtle Christian sexism, the kind that says women not being allowed to preach is an acceptable view, the kind that says women want love but men want respect.
    I'm not linking to any articles, because I don't have to. You know it's true.
    I'm sick of rule-driven Christianity.
    Really, I look at American Christianity and I can't - I can't not see a religion driven by rules. Rule one: thou shalt not sex. Rule two: thou shalt be traditional men and women, never mind that God is neither gender and hardly traditional.
    Thou shalt not listen to those who disagree, because they might sway your soul into danger.
    Hold onto your belief in Jesus dying for your sins until you're white-knuckled and bleeding, dying, bruised and broken. Until you've collapsed on the floor unable to go on because the pain overwhelms you BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU APOSTATE WILL BURN IN HOPELESS HELL.
    Because God is good.

    Do you believe in heaven?
    I don't believe in hell, unless perhaps a C.S. Lewis or Eastern Orthodox sense.
    I think traditional gender roles are disturbing at best. Sure, when people form a relationship, they complement each other, but I find the claim that males must always lead and females must always submit in order to complement each other grossly simplistic.

    Do you believe in heaven?
    I support LGBTQ rights whole-heartedly. I just had to say that. According to some, that means I'm hell-bound, and I hope you're wrong.

    Do you believe in heaven?
    I want to believe in God. I don't know if I do.
    Sure, there's been weird experiences I can't explain, but what if they were just intense emotion? What if the day my eighth grade math teacher spoke to my tormented thoughts completely randomly and completely specifically, was actually a coincidence or some unexplained phenomena we just don't know yet?
    I mean, why believe? You can be a good person whatever you believe - and if you deny that, you don't know enough people. If God simply sends you to hell for not believing, well, then I'll take hell because hell would be the moral choice.
    I know, maybe God is right and everything else is just twisted because I'm a human. Maybe. They said my heart is deceitful beyond all things. But since conscience is so important in Christianity, I don't think so.
    Christians are so cruel. God seems so absent.
    I challenge you to redeem yourself, God.*
    Why bother being Christian?

    Do you believe in heaven?
    I hope heaven is personal. I firmly believe it must be. And God - and - and Jesus came down to be personal with people. With the people He created.

    Do you believe in heaven?

    I have to, friends. I have to believe in a happy ending. Maybe it's immature or crutch-worthy, fine, say what you wish. To me, heaven is an acknowledgement that everyone can be whole and fulfilled and themselves, the intricate stories they are supposed to be, and everyone can love each other. That's an ideal I'm not willing to give up.

    I asked that question. Do you believe in heaven?
    My friend said yes. Then she observed that I'm in a profession where religion and idealism are hardly glorified.
    Always go with your heart.
    I thought my heart was deceitful beyond measure. Yet, ironically, it's my heart and my heart alone that points me back to God through the murky doubt.
    My heart says Jesus is God.
    So right now I will follow the hope in my heart.


*Inspired by conversation with my sister, Kate Danahy.


  1. Thanks, as always, for your comment. :) And I surely don't think you, *along with many friends I have who have more 'conservative' viewpoints,* are trans or homophobic or sexist. It's the condemnation, fear, I-want-nothing-to-do-with-you-and-I-refuse-to-listen-to-anything-you-have-to-say parts that would, in my mind, make someone bigoted. In terms of gender roles, not every person who claims to be 'complementarian' is sexist. Not sure if you follow tpymusic on twitter, but he has some pretty interesting views.
    As for eternity, I know - much to my mind's (and perhaps pride's) annoyance - I can't comprehend divine justice. Or even real justice in general in some of the many court cases we see. But I do think there's something to the idea that God won't necessarily be like "oh you lived 2000 miles away from me and died two seconds after I rose again. It's hell for you." :D

  2. By the way, why don't you support female priests? Out of curiosity, not as a challenge. :D

  3. Always welcome. Thanks for answering. :)