I’ve been pondering the idea, or virtue, of forgiveness lately.
Some people’s response to me about the situation between my parents and me is that I need to forgive them so I can let it go, move on. I’m slightly puzzled, because I did/have forgiven them (multiple times, as needed, every time they re-do what they always do), but somehow by me sharing my experiences means that I haven’t forgiven them and moved on. Continue reading
Warning: this is a long, extremely personal letter, so get a drink and get comfortable. Also, the next post will give background on why I sent this letter to my parents now.
Mom and Papa, 7-15-2016
I’m writing you so that there will be less chance of miscommunication between us. And, let’s face it, if, or when, we meet in person there is the possibility of emotions getting in the way of actual talking.
You are saying that I’ve been unwilling to come and talk with you. It is true that over the past several years I have had no desire to talk about anything with you. Your standard reply, from about the time I was 11 or so, has been that you don’t know what I’m talking about, I have caused the trouble since I didn’t come to you first (even if you were the cause), I should “check my heart for sin”, and/or I’m confused, wrong, a liar. This is confusing behavior, since you taught me that when someone “has anything against you”, you must listen to them, sincerely apologize, think through what they said and make a change in behavior according to what was done wrongly. I have never observed this happen between us from either of you to me. I distinctly recall me apologizing repeatedly to you both after I brought my grievances to you, which isn’t right, since one doesn’t apologize for what others do or say to one. Continue reading
I read this article recently on FaceBook and decided that it was way better written than my post on hell. So I asked for permission to repost it here for our edification. Enjoy! Continue reading
I just finished reading a book by Jon Sweeney called “Inventing Hell”. It’s a great book on the history of how the modern idea of hell was started. I like that he states the Scriptures (Torah) in the Bible are the history of the Jewish people, not all people. It’s important to remember that people then were just like people today – nothing is new and they weren’t somehow different from us.
For centuries before and after Jesus, hell has been this imagined place of justice. For the pagans – which is everyone not a Hebrew (Jew) – hell grew out of their mythologies (which I think came from their ancestors – Noah’s kids and grandkids – living for several centuries, outliving their grandkids!). To me, hell is a very human concept – not God-like in any way. It also negates what Jesus said He would do -and did- for All humans: take their judgement, make peace with God, redeem them and make a place for them at the right hand of God. If hell was so important and true, why didn’t God tell Adam and Eve or anyone else about it? For Jews, after death, their bodies and souls just went to Sheol, the grave. To them they were just there, waiting for the prophecies of resurrection to be fulfilled. There was no place of torment, torture, or brimstone and fire. Continue reading