About Me: Updated

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to post a new “about me” since I’ve like never done it here, apart my from About Me page.

The Bible
I take the Bible seriously – incredibly seriously. It is the Word of Life. But I don’t take it literally.

Like I said in my previous post about the Old Testament, I do believe the Old Testament stories have some basis in historical truth, but I don’t think what is written is exactly how it happened, or that Moses wrote the first five books, etc etc.

The Church
I have a complicated relationship with the church, and Christian culture in general. I’m a moderate-to-liberal leaning Christian who fights for all rights of humanity and creation, and I believe that we need to be kind and love others (and ourselves) as Christ unarguably loves us. With that, church is a place of communion with other believers and seekers, where we share our highs, our lows, our understanding, and our hope in Jesus. I’m moderate because I believe in modesty in apparel and speech for all sexes/genders, and take the Bible somewhat literally (as I said above), but that’s about it.

And as far as modesty, I believe it should be a choice, and that every person is free to describe how modesty/immodesty is for them.

Jesus
A year ago, I was a Unitarian Christian who underwent a conversion to the Trinity this past Easter. Holy Week was a trans-formative week for me, as I finally understood God dying on the cross for all of us. I know regularly pray to Jesus, as he is the gateway to God the Father. Most of the time, I just pray to the whole Trinity to acknowledge God in His Fullest.

Where I stand in social stuff
I am very liberal and a Democrat politically. Like I said above, I fight for rights for all: trans folks, black rights, immigrant’s rights, and women’s reproductive rights. These four things are incredibly important to me, and I focus on funding these four areas when they need help. If you try to post anti-queer, anti-Planned Parenthood comments here, you will get blocked. I see the holiness of each unborn child, but I cannot force a women/whomever to carry a child if they don’t want to or can’t. That will NEVER be my place to judge them or force them or whatever. I fully support a woman who has an abortion.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks,
Leigh Todd

The Bible…based off truth

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been gone for a while. I’m back on Twitter, even though I prefer to type on here and get all my thoughts out on one page.

So, something has been bothering me for a while: While I am a progressive Christian, I’m also moderate when it comes to interpreting the Bible and culture.

I believe in modesty in apparel and speech, but also queer rights. I believe in controlling our sexual urges before marriage, but also am pro-reproductive health rights.

I’m at odds with myself, and THAT IS OKAY!

I live in paradoxical Christianity, and I’m okay with that. I’m happy, actually.

THIS comes to my conclusion about the Bible: While it is man-written, I do believe it be divinly inspired because men were looking for God, in awe of God, and in awe of his plan of salvation and creation.

I don’t believe it to be completely historically accurate, although I don’t believe the writers of the Bible pulled these stories out of their ass, to say! I believe 1) these stories came from various folk stories from each part of Israel, and 2) these stories come from a true story-line.

While I do consider man’s opinion, and our already-formed opinions when we read the Bible, I do believe the Bible is true.

It’s been a long time coming to realize this. I believe in critical biblical scholarship, but I believe the stories written in this Bible has having a true source, ya know? I believe the Torah (first five books of Moses) were stitched together during and after the Babylonian Exile, but the overall story was written from true stories passed down from generations.

I once had an Old Testament professor say the Exodus “was a bunch of bullshit,” and that he didn’t believe any of it to be true.

My question is this, though: How do the Israelites take a hold of a story and hold it as their own during and after the Babylonian Exile, if it is complete bologna? That seems ridiculous! They must have believed even the folk stories as their own before the Torah was written. As I was taught in my Seminary Old Testament class, the writers of the Torah (during and after the Babylonian Exile) completely made up the entire Torah to create a unified people that were in Exile in another land. Why, though, would you need to make up a story that lavish to unite the people? That just doesn’t make any sense!

Anyways, just had to get that rant out. I hope your Sunday is going well, and I hope and pray for you that your prayers are being answered, whatever they may be.

I’m a moderate Christian when it comes to the Bible, and all parts of Christianity. I’m not an extremist-leftist, and am not a fundamentalists/extremist-conservative. I’m smack-dab in the middle, and I’m glad to be that way.

I just hope and pray that the Presbyterian Church (USA) accepts me that way!

Love, Leigh Todd (soon to be Leigh Lestina, as I’m hoping to finally change to my married name soon!)

Edit: My relationship with Christian culture (especially American Christian Culture) and the Bible are really complicated, and I’m in the thick of detangling all that right now. Sorry for all the confusing posts these past two months – I’m trying to figure out how I fit into all of this!

False Believing

Hi everyone,

I wanted to talk about something that is dear to my heart, and is a reflection on my theological adventure so far: False believers and false believing.

There is plenty of evidence of the concept of “false believers” or in the New Testament. I’m not going to list verses, as you can find those on other websites. But the big thing is this: Those not chosen by God may be baptized, supposedly given the Holy Spirit, but are never believers. They show they are false believers by the way they live. True, though, is that all Christians struggle with sin, so it is virtually impossible for us fellow Christians to call out a false believer. We will NEVER know if someone was never chosen by God or if they’re just a struggling Christian, like the rest of us. JUDGEMENT will never be our job – that is only God’s.

The reason I bring this up is because I live in two different cultures: In rural, conservative Nebraska, and attending a liberal, progressive, dare-I-say-it heretical Seminary, which I attend online (UTS-Twin Cities). There will always be conflicts between these two locations, namely because I live in Nebraska, and go to school in Minnesota, online.

A serious conflict of cultures, I might say.

I’ve felt great tension between here and UTS, and it came to a head while I was having a bad mental health day, today.

I love my Nebraskan culture – I truly do, so I will not move to Minnesota, where I feel people are more hypocritical on their inclusion than we are.

So what am I saying? I just wanted to say this: You can be a false believer. I am Nebraskan enough to say that you can be a false believer, and believe that God chooses some and not others (I’m also Reformed enough to say that). BUT I’m also progressive enough to believe in critical biblical scholarship, queer rights, people-of-color’s rights, etc. I am also, for the most part, pro-choice. So the conservative Calvinist churches around here don’t fit me very well, so I’m attending a progressive PCUSA church here in York.

Like I said in the beginning, the signs of false believing are clear: Your life resembles someone God’s grace hasn’t touched. In this life, we are given grace to enable us to believe, endure, and obtain Heaven. If you were never chosen by God, then you will never be touched by God’s grace. Like I said, though, others still struggle with personal sin after grace, because we have free will, so while we might endure, we will struggle.

This is not blaming game of pointing fingers, saying “YOU are not a believer, while I am!” Rather not, this is a declaration to check your behavior and to ensure your election. This is a calling for you to push away personal sin, to love, to cherish, to not judge, all that. It is a calling to love your queer neighbor, your black and Native American neighbor, to advocate and fund for children of the border being reunited with their parents, all that. This is a personal call to push away adultery and promiscuity, and to follow Jesus all the way.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Alleluia and Amen.