Story of Recovery: Donna

This is the last letter that I wrote to my 'Pastors' - a chruch that I attended for quite some time. I never recieved a response or even a 'thank you for supporting our chruch' reply. I was very hurt, but not surprized. This had been my 4th chruch and I tried everything to believe what they believed. I am now out forever -
I can never go back. It has taken me 30 years of agognizing over this. This was the letter:

Dear Pastor----- and -------- Jan 06/08

The first thing I would like to say is Happy New Year to you both!
The second thing I would like to say is that you MUST not take this little letter personally because this is NOT about you dear folks (but it really was!)?this is about me and my beliefs.

One thing that I would like you both to know---I believe with everything that is within me, that Jesus knows my dilemma AND he knows my heart!!
I feel that I do owe you a short explanation for my lack of attendance and dedication to the church. Basically, I have been living a lie (to myself and to the church for many years). Please Pastor-----,I think you already suspect what my greatest problem is-- I have never really believed that the bible is the ?true? spoken word of God (you know that I have always leaned towards Charles Templeton?s rational thinking). I do believe that the bible is full of wisdom, guidance and many good stories of the people and how they made it through their struggles back in ancient days. I also believe that these same people were inspired to write of their experiences-- of who they thought the God of the heavens were because of some of the huge violent circumstances that they faced. Do I believe that it was Gods own voice speaking through them? Not always. (God supposedly spoke and told too many people to ?slay? innocent women, children etc. in the old testament for my liking) The God of the old testament, when read in context of the stories seemed to be very cruel .I?m sure there must have been times when you questioned this yourself? My goodness ,God even ?blinds? his creation at times from knowing the truth, which means these dear people(that he himself created) will land up in Hell. Why would he do this?
My goodness, Pastor -- and ---,to be honest with you, IF ONLY I could believe the way you all believe about the bible, it would have made things so much easier for me, but, the fact is ?I don?t.
I also understand that you will all think that the devil has got me ?blinded?. But you see---I don?t believe that there is a devil. I do believe that we as humans have the capability to make wrong choices (and God knows I have made a lot of poor choices in my life) and I have had to pay the consequences. I have tried sooooo hard to believe that you folks had the ?full truth and nothin? but the truth?---- but again, I don?t. I pray with everything in me that I have not committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit- but I may well have. In this case, I have understood throughout the years (according to this word of God) that there isn?t any forgiveness from God-- so part of me will always be a bit frightened.
I have agonized with this for 30 years and I have certainly prayed over and over to God about this .I am actually willing to take a chance on hell at this point (but really, deep down I don?t believe in hell either) I do not expect you wonderful folks to understand this.
Can I prophesize? Yes, I believe that I can-I am a highly intuitive person and I believe that I have a special ability to speak loving words of encouragement to people about Gods love.
Can I speak in tongues? I have studied glossolalia and I know as a fact that every religion around the world (not just Christianity), AND new age people can ?speak this unknown tongue?. (And I know you will say---so do the devils?..) The language experts say it is a learned behaviour. I guess I?ll never really know, except the fact that I have learned to speak it quite fluently. Maybe highly gifted, intuitive people DO possess this ability.
Do I believe in the law of ?sowing and reaping?? You bet I do! When I have done wrong, I have faced the consequences and ANYTIME that I have been loving and kind, (including giving money) it has come back to me. The money part I find to be quite disappointing because I personally have worked very hard to make my money. I have re-financed my house 3 times in the last 5 years, took in ?nasty? borders etc? to hold on to it (And I DON?T make a large amount of money) But I realize that I am blessed to even have a house, and for that I am very grateful!
If God shows me anything different in the next while ?'New ------ Ministries' is DEFINITELY where I would come back to, (IF you would allow me to) because it was the closest I ever came to being really happy in a grace filled religion. It is religion to me, regardless of what anyone tries to promote. The churches are all still legalistic and preach ?works? to some degree to get the ?blessings? of the Lord.
You see Pastor --- and --- ?,to me, there is NO free will in this bible?you either believe the whole thing OR you go to the burning fires of hell for eternity. That is NOT the God that I believe created the universe and it is certainly not the God that I personally serve.
Again, I question myself-If I don?t believe in the burning fires of hell, then do I even believe in heaven? I really don?t know what happens when we die. I pray that the Creator will finanally reveal ?himself? and show us why we were born and tell us the purpose of it all.
You might ask ?does Donna really believe in God? Your darn tootin? I do!! I have studied the laws of the universe for many years and the microscopic details of the human body and nature, to ever not believe in God!!
Do I believe in sin---widely known ?as missing the mark?? Yes, again, I have missed the mark many times in my life. Do I believe that we were born in sin because of Adam? No.
I will probably lose my church friends over this(and I did!) because I know you are not supposed to stay connected with a non-believer---?lest they pull you down with them?--- and this makes me very sad because I really do love you all. (And I am not a bad person)
I am NOT going to another church. Literal bible doctrine is just not for me. (Please, don?t stop praying for me) MAYBE, just maybe, someday I will be a true believer in the bible the way you are.
Do I believe in Jesus? Yes. I believe he was a rebel (much like me) and that he died trying to show the people back then in ancient times that the God of the Old Testament was a very cruel version of God. Do I believe that he was God in the flesh? I don?t know. Born of a virgin? No. But I do know one thing for sure-(just not sure why) he did die for ME, and that makes him the love of my life.
I will end my little letter now .I love you two very much and I know that you are good people. When you meet me on the street-Please just give me a hug and do not let my belief system get in the way of our friendship. You may show this letter to Pastor --- and --- or whoever you want (because I also consider them to be my dear friends) if you wish. It may help them to understand me a little better.(Ilost all these so-called friends)
I will miss many things at the church and this letter makes me very sad, but I have cried long enough (30years) over this .Jesus knows how I feel---I have been VERY honest with him in prayer. I have asked him over and over in the last 30 years to change me and make me a believer the way you are ,but it just doesn?t seem to happen for me .I have also said the sinners prayer a billion times in my life (and I have been very sincere every time). Maybe I have never really been born again because of the doubting Thomas syndrome?
Ray feels a little different then I do about all of this, but he has his own reasons for leaving the church. You will probably hear from him soon. He loves you both also!
Thank you for some of the best memories and happy times. (Almost 3 years) I REALLY tried. With every ounce of love in me ?I wish you all the best.Good bye and God continue to bless you both!

With my whole heart and soul, I thank you for listening.

Sincerely,-----------