In 2011, a book was published that would change my life. It was called “Love Wins: A Book about Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.”
Written by former evangelical pastor Rob Bell, the book questioned the traditional foundations about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. The book created quite the buzz.
On April 14, 2011, Time magazine put the issue front and center for national discussion when its front cover asked the question: “What if there is no hell?”
This was no discussion for the faint of heart – battle lines were drawn. Within the Christian community, it was a scene out of Exodus when Moses saw the golden calf and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!”
Indeed, as an evangelical you had a choice, believe the word of God, or believe a heretic who authored a blasphemous diatribe that would most certainly lead naïve believers down a path to perdition.
As a member of a conservative, evangelical home church, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t want to be led astray. After all, I knew what 2 Timothy said, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine… but will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
But that didn’t give me any peace. Once you have seen, you can’t unsee. Once you have heard, you can’t unhear.
Once you have seen, you can’t unsee. Once you have heard, you can’t unhear. For six years, I continued to attend my little home church, but wrestled with the big questions of life and yearned to hear answers that resonated with my soul.
For six years, I continued to attend my little home church, but wrestled with the big questions of life and yearned to hear answers that resonated with my soul.
On Easter of 2017, the thought of attending my parents’ church or my in-laws’ church sounded nauseating. After a little online research, the Community UCC website offered an alternative that intrigued me.
The first thing that I heard that Easter Sunday was that, “No matter who you are or where you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.” THAT was I needed to hear.
I needed the freedom to explore the questions that I had without feeling like I was some naïve heathen susceptible to the evil schemes of the devil. I needed a church that still believes in Jesus but is comfortable wrestling with just who he is and how my faith tradition fits into a larger global community.
Here at Community UCC, I have found that church. A church that believes that Love Wins. That’s why I attend Community UCC and that’s why I give to Community UCC.