A Poem: Still Learning for Me in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

God,

With all our differing theologies

Where we claim this about God

And that about enduring to the end.

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we focus on Jesus,

The Author and Perfecter of our faith.

It matters, most importantly,

That we focus on Unity in Christ,

Because all that matters, ultimately, is that we are saved.

We have been renewed, set apart, freed from sin.

We are free.

Thanks to the cross,

Nothing else matters.

Doctrine doesn’t matter.

Arguments of theology don’t matter.

What matters is Jesus,

And his enduring love for us.

May we love him and all others back.

Because what matters most

Is Jesus and our love for him and all creation.

Alleluia and Amen.

A response to my theological focus in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  As Pastor Penny told me, all that matters is Jesus and that we are saved.

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

Life Update: Advent Approaching

Hi everyone,
It’s been a little while since I’ve given my last life update, so here it goes:

  1. I’m growing closer to Catholic salvation theology and mysticism. I’m enjoying studying about Heaven and Hell (and even Purgatory!), and how we can fall from grace.  See my latest “Informal Thoughts” post for that.
  2. Advent is getting closer, so I’m studying up on Matthew and Luke and preparing for Christ’s coming to Earth.  I’m really excited for Christmas, since it’ll be my first with a Christmas tree in FOREVER! Jacob and I had been evicted before we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple with a Christmas tree.  This year will be a first for both of us.
  3. I’ve been listening to Classic Christmas music on my Pandora/Spotify for the past month now!
  4. The job at Walmart is going good – I love working with Don and Jimmy!
  5. School is…okay.  I wish I could do better on my assignments, though.  I need to devote more time and energy into my papers. I don’t want to be the student I was in high school/undergraduate who always did everything last minute (and terribly).
  6. I got my own desk and marker board finally!!  Productivity for the win (also organization!).
  7.  I’m hoping to study Mormon studies and Pastoral Theology at Seminary!  I’ve decided to be both a rural pastor and rural chaplain!

Well, that’s all I got!

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