Being a different member of different forums, I have seen numerous depictions of God which have left me confused
I do know this much though that churches don't preach an accurate message, which results in many false conversions such as myself, when thought I was a christian, I hoped that God loved me, however I've never been 100% sure of my salvation, I don't think I've ever truly known God, I've always been an agnostic theist (I believe in God but I don't KNOW God), it's not because I haven't wanted to, it's perhaps been because I've never been chosen
What confuses me is that many people see God as all loving, I don't know if this is perhaps where a great deal of my problem lies, I've never felt love and acceptance from my own parents, I've always been an outcast, don't worry I'm not having a pity party, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not dear to my parents and being an outcast, in fact I can welcome it with open arms if only I could have the assurance in my heart that God has predestined all to be saved
When people speak of UR it seems right and it makes sense, however is it real or could it be a gospel built on false hope, there are so many passages that speak of the wrath of God that one cannot overlook, not to mention apocryphal books like the Book of Enoch, and 2Esdras that clearly spell out ET, in such a way that it was preplanned by God (surely this is largely responsible for the concept of ET to have taken a foothold in the first place)
Pro 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of it is the ways of death.
However I find the ETers very unloving, and they seem totally unbothered by the ET concept and come with phrases like "Gods ways are not our ways", or God is not only love, he is also holy and cannot allow sin in his presence which begs the question
WHY DID HE BRING US INTO THIS MESS AS SINNERS, WITHOUT AS MUCH AS CONSULTING US FIRST, THEN CONDEMN US FOR SOMETHING HE CREATED US AS IN THE FIRST PLACE
What scares me is that I'm figuratively stumbling in the dark as I haven't had the revelation many others have had, the Eters say they have this intimate relationship with God, so do the URers and the Annihilationists, but they can't all be right
The crux of the matter is that if ET or annihilation are true, then God never intended to save all mankind, however if so, annihilation at least shows much more mercy and compassion for the victim than ET and I could accept an annihilation God, although I would prefer an UR God
The thing is all 3 positions have scripture to back them up
The thing is I have to try find the true character of God, if he is an ET God then I'm doomed, however I won't go on ex-c forums and make a mockery as this is not my style, I will try put this behind me and try to live the rest of my life as best I know how, and try to enjoy it
I just hope that UR is true and that God will reveal it to me, so that I can know without a shadow of a doubt, one thing I do notice is that URers are far more loving and less vindictive than ETers (I could never be an ETer, I would have to become agnostic or deist)
I want those that wronged me to be in heaven one day, I don't want them to go to an eternal hell
I hope you can understand my dilemma
I think your confusion is shared by many people. However, I think what may help is to consider that UR, ET, religion in general, all religion, is first based on the faith, the hope, that it's all true.
No one knows. If it were a fact without question it would be the fact of...Rather than the faith of.
I see the quandary regarding feeling God speak to you personally, inspire you to realize the existence of that creative power, is exacerbated if we expect it to come by the book. In other words, if I hold to the absolute fundamental of the whole of the Christian Bible and wait for the God described within that tome to reveal himself, while realizing there is no gender pronoun applicable to a spirit, (he, she) , I'm boxing myself in expecting one idea to show itself to me personally. Because I've read it appeared in that way, through the scriptures, generations ago.
Instead, what I find helps me to have a relationship with the all powerful spirit that is God is to let go of my expectations and my doubts. To be open and yet aware of the message I may receive.
See if this sounds familiar to you. Coincidence.
Have you noticed since you began your spiritual quest that things happen that seem to be inter-related in some way. As if there's this common thread that joins everything that occurs or some things that occur, together?
Something happens right now and there's this hint within it that reminds you of something like it that happened earlier.
For instance, and this sounds trivial however it helped me to see how that slogan that is so often thrown about when people speak of spiritual relationship, actually means something; "There is only one of us" & "Everything is connected".
Sounds like bumper stickers text doesn't it? And yet, just the other day in the morning I saw this guy on TV who was talking about in the coming election his vote was going for the Democrats, so he could have a better future.
When asked to expound on that he related how he had just graduated college and was getting his wardrobe together for his first big job garnered due to the school transcripts he had earned just prior. He told how he found brand new dress shoes at the local Goodwill but they were a half size too small. He bought them anyway, figuring with a shoe stretcher over the weekend he could work them into his size in time for his first day of work. Meanwhile, his purchase was due to his saving his money to repay the student loan he was paying on for the education that allowed him to get that first big paying job.
I remember thinking that was pretty nifty. Shoes that had never been worn, still had the tags on them and he was blessed to afford them at Goodwill and patient enough to stretch them out to his liking.
That night I went to the local department store looking for a new pair of house slippers. There was one ballet style left that sold as two pair for the price of one. I wear a size 7/8, while the cardboard cutout tag they were attached to denoted they were a 9/10. I figured since they were ballet style they'd probably run small. And for the price it couldn't be beat even though they were a size or two larger than I needed.
I got them home removed them from the cardboard display hanger, looked at the tag inside the inner sole and they were...a size 7/8.
In that instant I remembered that man on TV and his shoes. A story that may seem trivial and yet for me at least helped reiterate the message we are all related. We are all interconnected. That we all have a relationship with the source responsible for our being here. We can no more remove ourselves from that relationship and the innate conversation that is always available than we can remove ourselves from the DNA of our parents who made us.
My point being, be open. Don't live with expectations your dialog with God will follow what others have related of their own in scripture. Scripture, we're told, was derived from communication with the Holy Spirit. What that is, that power, is available at all times to everyone. Just let it flow. Be aware, watch for the signs that show you links , interrelatipnships to time and events and happenings that seemingly overlap or bear strikingly similar characteristics. See what that common thread is and perhaps you'll glean the message you're intended to read there.
One of the best salves I've found that helped lift the confusion fundamentalist dogma implied in my family life, as we were all raised southern Baptist, is the CD by Neale Donald Walsch. The author of the "Conversations with God" series. It's called, "The Journey". It's one of the most wonderful conversations I've heard because for me it resonates with what I've learned over the years as I've found my walk with God to be so much more than that what dogma would have mapped out for me had I been a traditionalist and followed in my families footsteps in matters of faith.
You are a fact. You are here for a reason. You are sacred. This earth is your church, the house of the Holy, as is your body. And the creator of it all is your universal eternal parent that is always in communication with you, even when you look in the mirror into your own eyes and see it's power there. Open, trust, and listen. You've never been alone or apart from the truth of the matter.
God Bless You.