Open letter to my friends at Living Springs

 

First I want to share with you the basic tenets of my faith because I call myself an Anabaptist: You can find more at this link: 

1. Jesus is the center of my faith.

2. Community is the center of my life.

3. Reconciliation is the center of my work. (I know I fail often at this one–but it is my goal!)

Because I value the relationships I have with people at Resurrection Church, I want to be totally honest and open with you in order to honor you as my friends. It was because of many of you that I came to surrender my life to Jesus when my life and the lives of my whole family were transformed.  I thank you from the depths of my heart for how you introduced Jesus to us in a way that we could open our eyes and see the truth of who he is.
Thirteen years ago, I surrendered my life to Christ  because you loved and accepted me, also shared with me intellectual proof that the bible could be trusted as an accurate historical document that proved that Jesus was who he said he was–God.  After 2 years, I seriously questioned my faith in Jesus and the bible,  First I immersed myself liberal Christian writings and atheists view points.  Then, when I wasn’t satisfied because their logic was not grounded in reason or facts, I dove into Christian apologetics.  My faith was restored through great teachers like former atheist Lee Strobel, New Testament scholar William Lane Craig and former agnostic, Josh McDowell.  My relationship with Jesus was stronger than ever because I was willing to doubt.
Although my relationship with Jesus continues to deepen,  I have continued to question some of the interpretations of the Bible that some people believe in our circle of Jesus followers.  After much research, reflection and prayer,  I discovered that I have a unique set of beliefs which are all based on the full counsel of the bible.
I want to present these views to you for four reasons:
1.  I don’t want you to find out what I believe by going to a blog post or seeing it on Facebook.  I want to let you know directly.  I am going to be more open about my beliefs than ever.
2.  I want to resolve any conflicts that come up because of my beliefs in a civil, loving way and have that be a testimony to the quality of our love. “They will know we are Christians by our love” as the old song goes.
3.  I want to inspire you to look at the scriptures and be open to the possibility that you might be wrong. (I am willing to be wrong, too.)
4.  I don’t want people to assume that I agree with much of what is said during our service.
I have been afraid of negative consequences if I shared some of these beliefs. But I know that fear of man is not a healthy state of being.
I implore you to read the scriptural proofs for my beliefs and not to assume that these are just my shallow opinions.
I appreciate your feedback and honesty as well.

Before I share my controversial beliefs, I want to share what I do believe. I call myself an Anabaptist which you can read about here: http://www.mennonitemission.net/SiteCollectionDocuments/Tools%20for%20Mission/Missio%20Dei/DL.MissioDei18.E.pdf

Please note that I have changed one belief and that was:

Biblical proof for why homosexuality is not a sin: I have recently come to the conclusion that I think homosexuality is a sin, and here is the article that convinced me: http://robgagnon.net/articles/gagnon3.pdf

This is the article that convinced me that homosexuality is not a sin before:

http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink

Okay, here are my controversial (for some) beliefs, most which have scriptural proof.

You don’t have to believe that the bible is inerrant in order to be a Christian. One of my favorite Christian apologetics guy William Lane Craig, writes this article.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/what-price-biblical-errancy

The statement “the bible is inerrant” is not logical

http://www.peterballard.org/errancy.html

Calvinism is not biblical

http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/calvinism.html

Spanking is not biblical

http://www.gentlechristianmothers.com/articles/laurie/gcmguidance.php

Reincarnation is biblical

http://www.markmason.net/ch16ex1.htm

Eternal punishment is not biblical

http://www.markmason.net/ch16ex1.htm

Biblical proof for why homosexuality is not a sin: I have recently come to the conclusion that I think homosexuality is a sin, and here is the article that convinced me: http://robgagnon.net/articles/gagnon3.pdf

This is the article that convinced me before:

http://forusa.org/content/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink

Why legalizing gay marriage is good for the church. this does not mean that the church should perform gay marriages. Please read the article so you can understand this.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/parse/2012/may/why-legalizing-gay-marriage-may-be-good-for-church.html

God loves everyone is Biblical

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=ie7&q=does+god+love+everyone%3F++biblical+proof&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7TSNF

Why it is unwise and unhelpful  to take the bible literally

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/literalist-gluttony

The equality of men and women

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutuality-let-women-speak

 

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6 thoughts on “Open letter to my friends at Living Springs

  1. Patricia, I read about your spiritual journey and thank you for including me with those receiving what you wrote. I commend your courage in writing the personal messages and your interpretations. I send you a barrel of loving kindness and much gratitude for the chance to know you and be connected with you.

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