The Evangelical Universalist Forum

An Epiphany.


Do any of you ever feel resentment towards Christianity, like it’s really an abusive religion, one that fosters self-hate? I get this every few years, and it’s like I’ve come out of a trance, like I’ve been insane. Why do we have to go against ourselves, to see ourselves as fundamentally flawed? Don’t you just want to be okay and just live?

Maybe Nietzsche was right.


Yeah, I do, but I tend in the wrong direction too often to trust myself much. For me, it’s not self-hate that XTY fosters so much as self-understanding in the light of the truth. It ain’t always pretty, but just seeing it ‘ain’t pretty’ is a key to something bigger and better. Something to hope for.


To hope for…such as:

"I sit o’ercanopied with Beauty’s tent,
Through which flies many a golden-winged dove,
Well watched of Fancy’s tender eyes up bent;
A hundred Powers wait on me, ministering;
A thousand treasures Art and Knowledge bring;
Will, Conscience, Reason tower the rest above;
But in the midst, alone, I gladness am and love.

'Tis but a vision, Lord; I do not mean
That thus I am, or have one moment been–
'Tis but a picture hung upon my wall,
To measure dull contentment therewithal,
And know behind the human how I fall;–
A vision true, of what one day shall be,
When thou hast had thy very will with me."

Diary of an Old Soul, June 29,30 by George MacDonald


I’ve been having similar feelings lately and they’re very painful. When I read about how we can’t be friends with “the world”, how “the world” is evil, and how “the flesh” is evil, I get dissonance. I get dissonance because the faith I subscribe to says all this stuff is evil and I simply don’t see things that way. It’s incredibly depressing to embrace the idea that basically everything outside of Christianity is evil.


May I suggest that it is the other way 'round, perhaps. There is a small small core of stuff we should not do.
And then there is EVERYTHING ELSE! That we are free to do.
The ‘world’ that we are supposed to ‘hate’ is not the Earth, or the people in it - it is among other things:

" The Moral World. The moral world includes people indifferent or hostile to God, the God-hostile environment generally, and in the widest sense, corruption and evil summed up under the general term “the world.”

If the people of the world can be spoken of as “the world” in a neutral sense, “the world” can also refer to the subclass of indifferent and hostile people who reject God and his ways. Before the flood nearly all the people of the world became corrupt ( Gen 6:11 ). In Jesus’ time the world hated him ( John 7:7 ) and will hate his followers ( John 15:18-19 ). The world, ungodly people, cannot receive the things of God ( John 14:17 John 14:22 ; 16:8-9 ; cf. 1 John 3:1 ) and is not even worthy of the people of faith who live among them ( Heb 11:38 ).

In the New Testament the world also appears as a hostile environment. Because of the hatred of the world’s people, the Son asks the Father to protect his followers rather than remove them from their alien surroundings ( John 17:14-16 ). Paul expresses his indifference to the world by saying he “is crucified” as far as the world is concerned ( Gal 6:14 ). Seven times in 1 Corinthians 1-3 Paul refers to the world’s ignorance of God and its powerlessness to find him without the cross of Christ.

Because of the world’s hostility to God, it is full of corruption ( 2 Peter 1:4 ) and stands as a symbol of corruption. One cannot be friendly with the evil world and love God at the same time ( James 4:4 ; 1 John 2:15-17 ). Believers by their faith must “overcome the world” ( 1 John 5:4-5 ), killing whatever belongs to their “earthly nature” ( Col 3:5 ) and denying “worldly passions” ( Titus 2:12 )."


It’s incredibly depressing to embrace the idea that basically everything outside of Christianity is evil.

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I think it’s pretty obvious that things outside of Christianity have both good and evil therefore i take expressions like this as hyperbole to emphasize a point.


It depends on what standard, we are trying - to live up to. Take Nietzsche - for example. He was trying to live up to “the over-man” or superman, depending on how they translate the German. Which he could never live up too. It’s called Übermensch at wiki (see which they say is

I don’t think any Christian theology…ranging from the Calvinist total depravity to Eastern Orthodox theosis… experts us to live perfectly. We just try to be more loving and forgiving. Or try to follow the 2 commandments of Christ - in loving God and our neighbor.


It’s really not that, it more of the view one takes of one’s self. Under Christianity one must see one’s self as fundamentally flawed, so one lives a reactive life. Contrast to one who sees himself as at home in the cosmos, his being as such acts on life, on his world. It’s all about how you see yourself. Back in 1995 I left Christianity, with extreme prejudice. I realized that it was insane for me to live in a perpetual state of seeing myself as a sinner who needs forgiveness, a perpetual state of self-recrimination, as one who is in debt and will always be in debt. I felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with living like that.

Now someone may say my problem was I was getting hammered with the Law and experiencing no grace, and I will concede that possibility that that assessment could be so.