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I am sixty six years old and have pondered the many issues all of you have touched on. I too have felt as if someone is persecuting my stronly held beliefs… and fired back trying to prove them wrong. Such is human nature and our fears of different view points that we think diminish us in some way.
If we each stay focused on the truth in God’s word (all of God’s word) and remember that His love through the Holy Spirit and through fellow follower’s of Christ Jesus is part of our spiritual journey and growth we will be the better for it. John 10:9- I am the door: by me if any man enterin, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. It does not say that you must be a baptist, a methodist, a lutheran or a catholic… Christ says, “I am the door:” Listen to our Lord and Savior. Jesus said,I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide withy you for ever; Even the Spirit of truthe; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:16-17 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembeance, whatsover I have said unto you. John14:26 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4;23-24 And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said let their be light: and there was lightl Gensis 1;2b-3 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe God ahead of all of men and women’s interpretations of what he is saying to us through His word and through experiences in truth in our lives. We each have learned some things about God and Christ and His purpose and our part in that through our family’s beliefs, through our church’s beliefs (founded on others struggles, learnings,and beliefs), and through life experiences of our own, but God is the only God and no church has the right to say….Hear…!!! Here…! if you don’t believe the way we do you are surely going to hell and you are a heretic!!! We are free to say what ever we want…does that really help anyone on their journey to God? If you must know who is right…and how could their possibly more than one mortal who is right about these issuses?!!! If you don’t find out in this life, God will let you know in the next life…and you can try to argue with him…and you will not be able to block his words out with your own rendiction. I decided not to waste my time doing so…life is too short. Where ever we each are, on our spiritual journey, may God’s Holy Spirit teach us, train us, and guide us to live for Him the way He wants us to… and for each of us to leave behind any previously held beliefs, if we find that they do not match up with the whole of God’s word or just admit humbly that we just didn’t understand God’s Spirits truth at that time in our life. The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, to to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16, And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s see, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29 May God each of us on our journey to Him.