Monday, March 22, 2010

I Only Have One Answer.

Last week a pal of mind wondered, "How can anyone believe that Jerry Falwell is in Heaven and Gandhi is in hell?"

It's an interesting question, and one that could potentially spark a calm, rational conversation between people of varying beliefs. Or ignite the flames of passionate opinions and, probably, religious diatribe.

My reply to this friend was, "I don't know much about Gandhi, but I did know Dr. Falwell personally, and I know he's in Heaven."

I know this because I know what Dr. Falwell believed. I know in Whom Dr. Falwell believed. Because I believe the same.
Me, Beckie, and Kelley--on our alma mater's seal, 2003. We rule.

Now, I'm not one to write a controversial, pot stirring post. (The mere mention of Dr. Falwell's name seemingly causes people to squirm.)

It's why I don't write about health care reform.

Or being a stay-at-home mother versus a work-outside-the-home mom.
Breast fed or bottle.
Pro Life versus abortion rights.
Red states and blue states.
Gun control advocate or staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment rights.
Attachment parenting or Ferberizing.
Coke or Diet Coke.
Hank Williams Sr. versus Hank, Jr.
Natural nails or acrylic tips.
Target and Wal-Mart.
SPF 45 versus the tanning bed.
Lost or...well...any other television program out there.

The truth of the matter is I know very little about Gandhi. So I'm not one to pronounce that he is "in hell." Oh sure, I'm aware of those in our world who are filled with a piousness to rival the Pope's. Those super holy types who love nothing better than to sit around all day, pointing fingers, placing blame, and declaring, "Well if anyone's in hell, it's _______________."


Here's the deal.

My belief system is firmly rooted in God. Not God, "whomever you deem that to be," as it is politely worded in certain circles. Uh-uh. I believe in God and His Son, Jesus.

Respectfully I ask that you do not call me a Bible thumper. (The Bible I'm currently using is on my BlackBerry. Like I'd thump that modern marvel. Please.) I'm not "religious." I'm not holier-than-thou. In the same vein, I am not some intolerant, ignorant, small-minded, backwoods conservative who can't see the forest for the trees.

I don't have all the answers. And let's be honest here...I don't have many answers, period. Here's what I can attest:
"I know Whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day."--2 Timothy 1:12

Simply stated--I know in Whom I believe and what these beliefs entail. I also know that God "has my back," and is protecting me forevermore.

Do I have strong opinions on controversial subjects? Yes. As I told my friend who pondered about Dr. Falwell and Gandhi, I do have my views. And I don't apologize for these beliefs I hold deeply within my heart, because to do so would be to go directly against my God.

Do I love and embrace those with a different set of morals, worldviews, standards, political and religious beliefs? Absolutely. Because to do so means that I'm fulfilling precisely what Jesus asked of me..."Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:31)

I'm not perfect. I've never claimed to be. My feelings are very easily hurt. My tongue has a life of its own. I whine and complain more often than I care to admit. And sometimes I cry to God, "Seriously? Are these people FOR SERIOUS? Will You do something about these people?!?"

Then He gently reminds me, "Child of mine, I love 'these people' just as much as I love you."

And that, my friends, is the only answer I have.

Just thought y'all might need to know where I'm coming from. It's not all about me. Oh, I usually try to keep it centered upon me, me, me. But it's not.
(Vulnerable, at 1 am.)

P.S. Thanks, Jordan, for sparking this conversation. You know I think so highly of you...and your intelligence...and your love of Twilight. Dude, did I just out you? xoxo


Lula! said...

FIRST! (I'm lame.)

Just wanted to add...
no hating on Jerry Falwell, Gandhi, Confucius, Buddha, Tom Cruise, or Joseph Smith. Oh, or Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin, or Ronald Reagan. (Amen.)

The rest is fair game.
Except Lost. You mess with MY show and I'll take you down. Down, I say!

kelly anne said...

haha... i love the "seriousy? are these people FOR SERIOUS? will you do something about these people?!?" because phrases like that show up in my prayers quite frequently...
i like this post. a lot a lot. good work lula!

Anonymous said...

i'm not a Bible thumper either, and if my internet didn't suck so bad I would totally have THE Word of God downloaded onto my I-touch. I want that so bad.

Here's what I know:

God call us to love our neighbor as ourselves and to go out and make disciples......both of those are written all over THE Word of God.

Haven't found the part that says I get to determine who goes to heaven and who doesn't. Although sometimes I forget and if it were up to me there's some on that list of yours that just wouldn't make it through the pearly gates.....

singedwingangel said...

LOVE THIS!!OH and btw Ghandi said He liked our Jesus it was his followers he had issues with. Nearly every religion known has something about Christ, his birth , and his death in it. They all like what he did, represented and stood for, just not necessarily agree with him being the Son of God. They like the one one one intimacy of a relationship with him, just not the religious rules that man institutes in his name. How sad we go about telling everyone what Jesus didn't do or wouldn't tolerate instead of what he DID do and who he loved. Everyone he loved. and HOw he loved..

Heather said...

I hate confrontation, and will usually avoid it when at all possible.

But when people start complaining about Christians and how holy and righteous they are, I am right there with you, sister. I, too, know God has my back, and he can count on me having His.

p.s. How can your hair really look that adorable at 1 in the morning? FOR SERIOUS?

Brandy said...

Since you excluded Nancy Pelosi, I will hate on Diet Coke. ICK! Coke Zero totally rocks that sad excuse for a low calorie drink.

And...I notice you didn't list Georgia vs. Tennessee...guess we know where you stand on those two. Ahem.

Brandy said...

Oh, oh, oh...your picture totally says Paranormal Activity to me. Spooky.

Danyelle said...

Really? REALLY? Some people believe that nonsense? That Jr. is better than Hank Sr.? Uh, "Down on the Bayou" duh. I rest my case.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Mathew 5:3-10

Ashton Dene' said...

Such a beautifully written post. I love pretty much everything about it. But you already know how I feel on this subject. So I'll leave it at this: love you bunches & I'm glad to call you my friend.

x, ash

S Club Mama said...

Amen, sister Lula! :)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Oh dang it!

First I was just going to say how much I adore you and reading every single word you pour your heart into. I just love the way you write and how you feel. And it's just icing on the cake that you write what I sometimes feel but am unable to express.

Then I was GOING to say how much LOST has really been pissing me off because it's like they're making it up as they go along and from what I hear they are not going to just wrap it up all neatly in a little box and answer all these questions when it ends.

BUT I am not going to talk badly about Lost or the Health Care Reform. Just that I believe in God his son Jesus too. And I also believe in you! Amen!!!

Now come on over. I have crab legs I think you'll LOVE!

~kiMbeRLy~ said...

Thank you. That is all.
oh...and love you!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Reminds me of a saying I have up on my wall - "When I was having a hard time with one of my children, God would gently remind me that he was having a harder time with me than I was with them."

Swirl Girl said...

I think it's just fine to believe what you believe if it helps get you through the day,week,year or lifetime.
I just don't watch allow me to believe that.

Not you Lula...but some people get down on others for that..or try to force their beliefs on others.

There are plenty of options out theree, right?

Karen said...

Very thought-provoking post.

I happen to believe that we'll all be judged based on what's in our minds and in our hearts and in what we do. And I stand all amazed at those that think they are worthy to judge another. I know I do it sometimes, but I would never assume I know anyone's final destination.

Tony C said...

You're just so darn cute when you get fired up...

I'd love to see you tackle about half of that list in blogs. Oh who am I kidding, I'd like to see you write on all of them!

Maybe Gandhi's not in hell and just stuck on an island somewhere in the Pacific...

Em said...

Veeerrrry nicely done.

Feels good, don't it :-)

Apryll said...

Love this post!! Well said , girl. I'm with Tony C...I'd love to see you tackle that list!!

Bethany said...

Ok, so we may be kindred spirits. Haha. I agree on all fronts! I never like to address controversial topics either, especially with total strangers. Our in-state rivalry is one I won't touch, as well.

Wendybob said...

Oh, law! I think I've found my new favorite blog. This post sums up perfectly something that I've been trying to reconcile in my own life.

Being a Christian doesn't make me a fanatic. I have beliefs, views and opinions that are rooted in the Word of God, but that doesn't make me a hypocritical, calico-wearing, moralist.

I'm a holy-roller Christian. I also drink on occasion. I'm getting tatted up in a few weeks. I cuss more than I should. I gossip. I have a couple of good friends who are out-of-the-closet lesbians. I like to dirty dance. I watch r-rated movies and liten to semi-raunchy music.

Are those things right? Maybe not. Am I perfect? Definitely not. Does God love me and all my imperfections? ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY!

Thanks for this post...I found you on Le Musings of Moi...and I'm you're newest follower.