Why My Blog Has “Changed”

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I often get letters from readers of my blog. Some of them are positive and encouraging, and some of them more like, “concerned.” I can totally understand. The following letter comes from a thoughtful and caring long-time reader in Nigeria:

Dear Julie,

I came in contact with your article “Talk it out before you say I do” in 2007 and it changed my life. Thanks for putting that piece together. I have since been an avid reader of your blog and followed your passion through parenting, orphans in India…and then lately something happened. Your articles started getting critical of church doctrines, pointing out flaws in bible translations and church history and the like. Today after reading your latest article on the book of Revelation, I could not hold it any more. I love you dearly and I desire for you to please return your focus to loving God, fearing Him and keeping His commands, specifically that unique assignment He has given to you. Forget all others, just as Jesus told Simon Peter he was to mind his own calling in John 21:21-22. The most important need of humanity (orphans, homosexuals, people in need of food, clothing and shelter in Africa and other parts of the world) is JESUS. Yes there are immediate needs, but my greatest desire is that people are not just given aid but given a permanent solution to their problems- JESUS.

Remain steadfast in His love…

For the record, I love this woman’s heart. That she would care THAT MUCH about me and my readers to send such an email is very heartwarming to me! I welcome such gracious feedback anytime. However, I must digress on the premise of her email. Let me share the reasons why.

1. Truth is living and active because it is found in a person—Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. My reader suggests I focus on Jesus, but I cannot imagine Jesus standing still. To follow him, I must venture along a changing, sometimes meandering path of discovery. When Jesus walked the earth, even he did not stand still: “Jesus grew in wisdom and maturity” (Lk. 2:52), and even he confronted the lies and hypocrisies of his day, and rebuked the “doctrines of men.” If I am to follow Jesus, I must continually reevaluate what I believe, why I believe it, and what God wants me to do in response.

2. The most important need of humanity, yes, is Jesus. But not the distorted Jesus. Humanity needs a healed, renewed view of the true, powerful, anointed Jesus. He is the revelation of the Father who is the Savior of ALL mankind. Word!

“For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers” (1 Tim. 4:10).

A weak, failing, watered down, false Jesus will do no one any good, and to be honest, it didn’t do much good for me before I had a more authentic encounter. Much like Paul, scales fell away from my eyes and I realized he was so much more powerful, and amazing, and loving than I had ever given him credit for!

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to Myself” (John 12:32).

Was Jesus lifted up from the earth on a cross or tree? Yes. Does he lie? No.

3. In order to truly love people the way Jesus does, I needed to know that he would never give up on them or endlessly punish them for ignorance, injury, or lack of opportunity. My old belief system caused me to fear people (their influence on me or my children) or to feel superior to them (they are choosing to reject God and therefore are not in “the club”). Knowing that Jesus is the anointed One through whom God will accomplish His plan of the ages has given me a new, pure-intentioned, fearless love for orphans, homosexuals, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, and all those who are different than me. I don’t have to have an agenda now to try to save them out of hell (an agenda they can spot a mile away) or a callous fear of them, I can just love them and accept them the way they are, knowing that (just like me), their little seedling will grow and bloom in its season.

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for ALL, the testimony given IN DUE SEASON” (1 Tim. 2:5-6).

4. I believe this IS my unique assignment in this season of life—to help amend the distorted view that the world has of the character of a loving Abba Daddy. When I write about these things, I believe I am focusing on loving God and loving people (and helping my readers do the same). What could be more important than that?

I’m not the same person I was three years ago, nor do I want to be. A revelation of truth—Jesus—has caused me to learn, grow, and change continuously as I move along his path. If I am not changing in my understanding, beliefs, and philosophy on life, I might want question my relationship to Truth.

Yes, my blog has changed because I have changed.

Read more about my journey in my latest book, Raising Hell: Christianity’s Most Controversial Doctrine Put Under Fire. The conversation has begun and it won’t be stopped!

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Posted in categories: Snapshots from Julie's Life | Start a Revolution

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  • Damian Masters

    Write on sister. What a great blog. I pray that those who have ears to hear do so, and be transformed by the love of our Father.

    • jferwerd

      Damian, it has been so amazing and fun, finding all these people who are being given one heart and mind. Something exciting is under foot!

  • Brian Brody

    Julie:
    That was a very interesting Letter, I wish to add that as someone who has watched you transform Kicking and Screaming the whole way, as God lead you in the Direction he has chosen for your life.

    This is one of the points you have been raising through you new messages, You have been trying to educate those of the truth about Jesus teachings, and not what those of the organized faiths lead you to believe his words mean.

    The passage in Scripture about a time for every thing has its place here, you wrote about those things in the time you were supposed to, the problem I saw with this letter, is people wish to stay in their Comfort Zone's for this reader her Comfort Zone was for you to continue in one which made this reader feel Good, the one thing this reader and many Christians refuse to see is the lies they have been raised to believe.

    Much like the Person who expressed I was a Jew because I accepted Jesus as the Messiah, this lead by his limited knowledge and being lead to believe something the Rabbis' have drummed in him his entire life.

    God Bless and stay the course my friend.
    Brian

    • jferwerd

      Thanks Brian! I don't think I was kicking and screaming for long. I have loved this journey since about day 18 back in February 2009–once I got past being afraid to question. :)

  • Nelson

    I loved this post and I've also so very grateful that our paths crossed some 13 months ago. SInce that time we have both changed quite a bit and it seems as though our paths have started to fuse as one in so many ways.

    "What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." Ecc 3:9-14 (NIV)

    When reading the words of the Teacher, how can anyone fathom such a despicable concept like eternal torment in hell for anyone? The message has been so very clear since the beginning but for whatever reason those who have ears never seem to hear.

    You rock Julie :)

    Nelson Rose (Your fellow Rabbi) http://quest4light.net

    • jferwerd

      Rabbi Rose,

      It is so comforting to have other folks like you who don't think I'm crazy for having to go deep to make sense out of my world. So glad we can go there together–makes it so much more fun! Your devotion to understanding and willingness to share are very inspiring to me.

      Thanks so much for the passage! So encouraging. Can't wait to see what else we're going to learn in the coming months.

  • Shari

    I love what you said as a response. I believe people need to understand that we are all in the same journey to know God but that does not represent that it will look the same for all of us as a result neither would take the same amount of time. For me to grow more into the universal truth of who Jesus really was helped me to see the world with a new amazing pair of glasses. Now, I love just because; Before, I loved cause I had to…

    Life is more honest in this path and I know you feel the same. Ty for making me part of your journey sharing ^^

    xoxo,
    Shari

    • jferwerd

      So glad you were willing! We've seen a lot of miles in this journey yet never met face to face!

  • Julie, Great post here and response to the letter. It's interesting how traditionalists interpret criticism of church doctrines, Bible translations, and church history, as abandoning the "love of God, fearing Him, and keeping His commands." Ironically by NOT criticising false paradigms, you would be abandoning the way. I beleive traditionalists and literalists, although they are well meaning, who don't ask these tough questions are themselves abandoning truth. They aren't willing to go where Jesus and the evidence leads, but only follow "the traditions of men." Keep up the good work. I'm so glad you changed your blog!!

    • jferwerd

      Hey Michael! Thanks so much for your input. You are so right…but so many people don't want to make the effort to see if there is something they are missing. THey want to believe that the professionals have it all figured out. Either that or they are trained to believe that a lot of interpretation is better left up to the pastor and such. Thank goodness God has made all this information accessible to the common people. Which is who it was written to anyhow. Koine Greek=common Greek!

  • Ana

    Julie,
    I have had a similar transformation…I can say from experience reaching this place is very controversial but very liberating. How amazing it is to let G-d's Spirit lead you vs men's teachings. Human nature is to distort the truth, even when it is done with sincerity, so we must allow Him to bring us through to this side. The majority will disagree, but we are called to search out the truth, His truth, not ours. Keep going strong in the faith, in the end you will have to face the Holy One alone,as will all of us, and how amazing will it be to hear "Good work my faithful servant" :)

    A sister in the faith,
    Ana

    • jferwerd

      How wonderful to hear from you Ana. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I always feel so encouraged by comments like yours, knowing that I"m far from alone in this journey. I also love the search, and I love that the things I've discovered make so much more sense than anything I was raised with. Keep up the faith!

  • nicholshelen

    Julie, I was helping my mother move this past weekend and was loading old files into boxes when I came across a file regarding my uncle's death back in 1948 (before I was born). In it was a letter written by my grandmother who was distressed that the preacher at the funeral had stated that the young man would be in heaven. My grandmother felt that her son had wandered away from God and was not prepared "in the moment" to be saved. Although it turned out that my uncle had written a letter to his girlfriend just before his death saying he had turned back to God, I couldn't help but realize how devasting was the idea that her son, who had served God most of his life yet had become discouraged, would end up in hell because of the momentary waywardness. Everything in me wants to scream "God is not like that!"

    • jferwerd

      Helen, I wonder just how many mothers in history have been completely heartbroken, believing that God's love was smaller than their own when it came to the destinies of their children. If you remember in Raising Hell, Hannah Whitall Smith wrote about this in her book, "The Unselfishness of God." She had a revelation that in order to be God the Father, his love would HAVE to surpass the love of the greatest mother on earth. Now that kind of God makes sense!

  • rain

    soul sigh…
    i resonate so much with this post. my own shift has occurred so rapidly that i don't have language to describe the journey in ways that make sense, really… but it blesses me to see you respond with such grace towards those who share concerns.

    blessings.

    • jferwerd

      <3 Rain <3

  • Great post. It is all about Jesus, the Victorious Savior of All. But religionites are preaching a Bizzaro-Jesus and hijacking the Good News. It is important that people realize that not everything they are taught in Sunday school is true of Him. And in setting these twisted man-made doctrines aside, we are then free to understand Him as He truly is. I'm definitely sharing this post.

  • So true and well stated, Julie. Five years ago I flew to Kansas City to meet with people on Father's Day who had experienced this life changing paradigm shift and met Gerry B. and so many of the leaders of this revived truth.

    Every day I wake up thrilled to think about God's plan of the ages and to practice loving the lonely, lost, and broken in the world around me, and to desire deeply to set people free from the prisonhouse of fearing an angry God. My world has been rocked, and I say this as a man sitting in a room filled with scholarly books based on that old world view, but, long ago, I knew that if I continued searching, the truth would set me free.
    Thank you for stepping out to lead with your book and blog.

    • Kim H.

      Julie, LOVE your book and this blog!!!
      Don, you mentioned going to Kansas City to meet with people who had experienced this life changing paradigm shift and I would love to know more about that or if there are any upcoming gatherings? The churches in my hometown all subscribe to the same old ways and I would love to know if there is anything out there in terms of groups, etc. This question is really for anyone who has any thoughts on the matter. Thank You.

      • jferwerd

        Thanks so much Kim! Nice to meet you. The Christian Universalist Association is also having a get-together in New York in September. They haven't updated their site recently but you can contact them: http://www.christianuniversalist.org/contact.html

  • I, too, have experienced this freedom to love and accept people just as they are without any hidden agenda and it is AMAZING in how it revolutionizes your relationships with ALL people. I no longer feel I have to beat people to death with the Bible, but can instead love them until they ask me why and then share the love of GOD that shines into me and through me into the world. I say that I walk in the "radical grace of the gray" becasue I now know that that is exactly where GOD meets people and loves them home. I am THRILLED to have found your book and now your blog. Thank you for all you are doing to clarify the nuts and bolts of Universalism. I "knew" because of GOD that Universalism was truth, but I wasn't always able to articulate why accurately enough for my fundie friends. Your book is helping me do that. I am in awe of all of your translation searches and references. My wishlist has grown exponentially. Thank you, so much.

  • Don

    Kim, the church in Peculiar MO, is hosting a Fathers Day Meeting and Martin Zender in Colorado Springs as well

  • Reading your post is encouraging because you seem to be one who is willing to say, "The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes," and still retain loyalty to the Emperor. I find numerous sites where many of the responders have pitched the entire thing.
    (I would point you to my blogsite if interested in my take)

  • I like that you moderate comments. If you have a method of deleting obvious spam, I'd like to learn it. (still waiting after 3 months for an actual comment!)
    (please don't feel a need to post this!)

    • jferwerd

      Thanks for both responses Tom. I would definitely like to see your blogsite, what is the URL?

      I actually use Intense Debate for my commenting system but it has been a real pain because it's never consistent about anything. However, it's free and it does seem to be good about filtering spam.

      thanks so much for commenting.

  • Amy

    Julie.. tho I don't always comment.. I have to tell you, everytime I see that you have posted, I come running over.. lol! Your heart and the wisdom that comes is life to my heart.

    In my own freedom journey over the past 4 years or so, I have laid everything that I ever learned "about" God and who HE is down. And no matter how I intense the journey has gotten, the one truth I keep coming back to is that there is NO life apart from God.
    There are few things that I NO to be true, but this is definitely one of them.

    Loves to you!

  • Mercy Dashe

    The lord God will see you through! Write on for Jesus.

  • That she would care THAT MUCH about me and my readers to send such an email is very heartwarming to me! I welcome such gracious feedback anytime.

  • Yes there are immediate needs, but my greatest desire is that people are not just given aid but given a permanent solution to their problems- JESUS.

  • Yes there are immediate needs, but my greatest desire is that people are not just given aid but given a permanent solution to their problems- JESUS.

  • “concerned.” I can totally understand. The following letter comes from a thoughtful and caring long-time reader in Nigeria: