But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Coming out of the closet is difficult. Owning your truth is scary. Today’s discussion is not for the faint of heart or the close-minded Christian. I don’t really even want to write this post, but for my own need to ‘come out of the closet’ spiritually, I will.
I recorded this video yesterday to dissect the parallels of coming out of the closet in the traditional sense and the larger meaning, to me, which is that coming out is all about self-honesty. Courage. Risking rejection and embracing yourself and your own ideas.
The Anonymous programs do not require an admission that Jesus is the only way. In fact, there was a similar group called the Oxford Group which held fast to that belief that did not end up thriving. It was too rigid for too many varied personalities.
So lately (ok basically my whole life) I’ve been wrestling with the idea of there being only ONE way. I can remember as a child asking my Sunday School teacher, “What about the children in Africa who never hear about Jesus? Are they going to hell?”
There was some light assurance that you aren’t accountable for what you don’t know, but that even if we keep quiet the rocks will cry out. So nature can point to the reality of God. And I believe that is true. Nature is God revealed.
But here is where I divert from traditional Christianity and what I know to be true for me today. Christianity is a language of God. Just like I speak English, I was raised with the language of Christianity. It’s how I understand God and how I talk about the loving nature of God.
What if I was born in China? Then I would be raised speaking Chinese and I probably would have been taught the God-language of Buddhism.
What if I was born in India? Then I would have been raised speaking Hindi and I would have been taught the God-language of Hinduism.
If your blood is boiling now it’s ok. Relax. This is just MY idea. This doesn’t have to be YOUR idea.
I know all the scriptures about Jesus being the only way. That He doesn’t wish that any should perish but all should come to eternal life. But hear me out.
If Jesus used physical examples to point to a greater reality of God the Father, He was speaking in terms that we could understand about something so amazing human terms could never do it justice.
So Jesus was a human touchstone pointing not to Himself but beyond Himself. I think that the person of Jesus, the name of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus, were not meant to be worshipped but we, as humans, got hung up on the physical being and latched on to Him rather than seeing Him as a demonstration of God’s love and what is possible when you really submit your life fully to the love and direction of God.
Maybe I should print out my one-way pass to hell right now?
This is where my heart is. I know so many people, amazing people, spiritual people, loving people, kind people, who exhibit the fruits of the spirit and are thriving inside of their version of God, which might not be Jesus. I have to believe they too have found their relationship with God even if it looks different from mine.
It feels really great to not feel the pressure of having to convert the world. I am so much happier now that I can love people where they are and let them “work out their salvation with fear and trembling.” If they are transforming and they are exhibiting the fruits of the spirit I believe they are plugged into God who is alive and well.
That is the easier softer way to live. It is my truth today. I am coming out of the closet to say I love it all. I love what Buddhism teaches about emotional detachment. I love New Age spirituality and it’s loving acceptance. I love Christianity and it’s message of transformation.
God can speak every language. He is limitless. He is not trying to hide. He is not rigid in His thinking. He is accepting and loving and not wishing that any should perish.
God has no ego and He will meet you where you are at. He will speak to you in ways that you can understand Him. His love is so deep and so broad and so wide we can’t possibly understand it.
There is still so much I don’t know. Tomorrow I could write a post retracting all of this and be tucking my tail and heading back to the camp of Only Way Thinking. Maybe you will add me to your prayer list and hope that is the case?
What I do know is that I have seen God’s love show up in so many varied ways that there is no possible way it could NOT be God.
Leave your loving and respectful comments below and let’s have a real discussion about this. My hope is that we can unite in Love. Namaste. Or shall I say….Amen.