Life Update: Spring Semester & Grace

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog this month. As always, I basically live at Walmart because I work there so much, and spring semester finally started on the 14th for school!

But while I’ve been away from the blog, you might have seen some updates on Instagram. First, I’ve moved away from a works+grace theology to just grace, where I reversed back to the Wesleyan theology that our works are a sign, but not a cause, of a faltering faith. I’ve been very flippy-floppy this past winter about salvation, but if our works hurt our salvation, then salvation can so easily be lost. I lose my salvation that way, every day. I am NEVER in grace with the Lord this way.

So, just like my previous revelation this past August or so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I believe in just grace, but that our works are a sign of our faith, and that our works hint at a faltering faith and our eventual doomed apostasy.

The Bible, including Paul, Jude, James, and Timothy, believed in a works + grace theology. But as an old pastor taught me a few years ago, Paul (and his friends) used exhortation to get their way through their congregants. They preached a works salvation to get them to act righteous. I know I can’t believe in a works theology, but that I should still repent as I good daughter of God would reconcile her relationship with the Almighty Father and maintain that great relationship whenever I messed up. God never lets go of me – I just can let go of God and salvation if I give up the faith. But don’t fret – I’m never giving up on Jesus, God, or God’s Spirit! This salvation is too priceless to give up. His mercy is never-ending and I will always rejoice that I have been cleared of my guilty bill by the Lord Jesus’s sacrifice. When water poured over me, I was forgiven and claimed by God, Jesus, and the Church. There’s no going back for me! My life has forever been changed by Jesus and becoming his disciple – I can’t imagine my life without him, his teachings, and his love and mercy. Even if God the Father doesn’t seem there, I know he is there by the fact that he introduced me to His Son.

With school, I’m learning from new professors and awesome readings. I have a Tuesday professor, a sassy black woman, who inspires me and gets me blood boiling on being a future chaplain. I’m looking forward to my spiritual class now, too, as we’re reading Martin Luther King Jr.’s book, Strength to Love. The book is so relevant in today’s society, from being both tenderhearted and firm and nonconformist and being like Jesus.

Well, that’s it for now. My loans for school came in, so I’ll be paying rent and old bills and school books. So exciting to be paying bills!!!

Alleluia and Amen.

Thanks, Leigh Todd

Testimony: This State of Grace

Hi everyone,

Today’s post, just shy of tomorrow’s lectionary sermon, is about salvation.  I’ll be talking about my faith, even though it doesn’t match the majority of the Protestant Church’s beliefs.  I’m okay with just my beliefs as a Unitarian Christian, and I hope you extend the same mercy and grace as I extend to you.

I write this as I’m on the cusp of graduate school.  I start Seminary on Monday, and classes on Tuesday.  I’m very nervous, but I’ve started some of the school work and all I can say is that I’m excited!  This is my testimony of grace, works, and salvation.

I believe that we are saved by grace, but that we must remain in a state of grace to obtain salvation at death.  As the Bible points down, whoever endures to the end will be saved.  To remain in grace, I believe we must demonstrate and continue our faith via our works (or attitudes and behaviors).  Hebrews points out that we are judged by the intent of our hearts.  I don’t believe all sins will damn us, as 1 Corinthians says that not all sins are mortal sins and hence cause spiritual death.  Like my Arminian cousins (the Catholics) point out, there are venial sins and mortal sins.  What could be considered in a mortal sin is up to debate in these times, but I know that Jesus pointed out the social gospel (how God cares how we treat others) is a big factor (Matthew 25).  I’m a very social justice oriented person, and I think God considers today’s sexual ethics, such as rape, molestation, and going against non-consent as well as the social justice aspect of Jesus’ teachings as mortally important.

But as I’d like to think of it, if we have messed up in the past, it is not the end of the world.  There is always time for repentance.  For confession of sins.  God is always there to sincerely forgive anyone is sincere about their mess-up or mistake.

But a big deal for me is that we cannot save ourselves.  It is by Jesus’ doing on the cross that we are saved at all.  So why we must remain in this state of grace, we cannot boast of our own work (Ephesians).  Because Christ died on that cross for me, I’m lucky to get a chance to repent at all!  Christ died so that I could get baptized for remission of sins and applying the atonement again and again.  It’s all because of Christ that we get to go to Heaven and obtain Eternal Life at the Resurrection.

Thanks be to God, and Christ.  Christ is awesome.

Alleluia and Amen.

Thanks, Leigh Todd

Nebraskan Life: Church

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I’ll just start by updating how the Nebraskan life is going, although it can be summed up in one word: boring.  Unlike Minneapolis, where you can just walk down the street and find something exciting to do, you’ve got to make times fun.  Whether that’ll be a barbecue or going to a coffee shop, you’ve got to make things exciting (that’s why I wonder if everyone just drinks around here).

I still don’t regret moving back to my home state.  In fact, I feel more comfortable.  I’m reminded, being back here, of what I fight for: rights for everyone, whether they be LGBTQ+, women, people of lower education/lower economic status, etc.   Being back home and being a progressive Christian in Nebraska is tough, though.  Even my sister reminded me that being a liberal Christian, who for one doesn’t believe in the Trinity, will be tougher before it gets better.  I’m not looking forward to the rough journey ahead.  I’m not really in the mood to create my own church, as that is painstakingly difficult and I don’t feel trained yet to build my own church.  But, with none of the churches around York welcoming of non-trinitarians in speech or sermons, I’m not sure what else to do.  I’ve been thinking of quitting church for a while until I can travel to Lincoln and attend First Christian Church (a welcoming of all church) there.  As I said, I don’t quite feel equipped to stand up and give sermons and lead hymns.

I know going to church is good for you, but when you’re sitting in the back of the pews wrestling with the trinitarian sermon when you KNOW you don’t believe it, it’s hard.  It just doesn’t fit.  Church, as of late, feels less and less welcoming each time I attend it.

I feel like I don’t fit into any church, though.  Even though I can check out other Arminian churches, such as Catholic, Methodist, and Churches of Christ, none of them give me the freedom to not believe in the Trinity.  None offer me the grace to teach my future children my faith.  So, I’m thinking of giving up church for a while until I can attend First Christian in Lincoln.  Who knows.  I’m still waiting to hear back from their pastor on if I’m welcomed or not, though!

I ask for your prayers on this matter.

Alleluia and Amen.