I’ve been learning a lot of new things as I rebuild my relationship with the Lord and hopefully flourish again soon. I came to the Episcopal Church out of necessity, not only because of the liturgy and the Eucharist but also because of their progressive ideas. As I have observed and researched and had conversations with people, I’ve come to a different conclusion on some key beliefs that used to be different. I’ve tried not to make too much conversation with people that I knew would be unhappy about my new beliefs, but I’ve also been less than honest about some of my new beliefs in an effort not to rock that boat and for that I am sorry and I’m going to talk about what has changed for me.
I no longer believe in one magical moment of salvation, where one recites a prayer and somehow that means they get to go to heaven when they die. These days I know that baptism plays a part in salvation, and I’m wanting to get my children baptized because I believe that that will be their moment of salvation, and the Bible does seem to indicate that baptism is a part of the salvation process. Also, my children believe in God, and a belief in God and baptism is what guarantees their place in the Kingdom of God.
I also no longer believe in a literal hell, a place of eternal torment. I think we all go through our own personal hell on earth. Even if there were a literal hell, it isn’t the main point of what we are being saved from. I don’t even like the terminology “being saved”, because it seems to focus on hell rather than the fact that God is changing us to be more like God and that after we become Christians we are supposed to change. The waters of baptism regenerate us and show our belief and commitment to Jesus Christ. Also, heaven is not the point of salvation, heaven is merely one of the benefits of salvation. The point of being saved is to be saved from living in our sin and by our own strength.
“Being saved” is supposed to do something in the here and now while we are on earth. It’s supposed to change us and allow God to work in us. My children and I believe in God, and on Easter Sunday my children shall enter their baptismal covenant permanently marked as a child of God. I’ve come to realize the importance of the sacraments to Christian life and can’t wait for my children to experience the sacrament of baptism.