I am frequently asked about my faith. At the end of my marriage to Ted Turner I became a Christian. For several years prior, I had begun to feel I was being lead. I felt a presence, a reverence humming within me. It was and is difficult to articulate.
Today I think I know what was happening: I was becoming embodied, whole. I had spent 60 years dis-embodied, trying to be perfect so I could be loved. You can’t be whole if you’re trying to be perfect. Now, as I entered my sixth decade and with much work, I could feel myself becoming whole and I knew: This is what God is. I was stunned when I read in William Bridges’s The Way of Transition, that in Matthew 5:48 when Jesus tells his disciples, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” it was a mistranslation of the Greek adjective teleios which actually means “whole, fully formed, fully developed.” Jesus wasn’t telling his disciples to be perfect like God, he was telling them to be whole, like God.
This is what the third step of Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program means. It says we need to give ourselves over to our higher power, become whole (which addicts aren’t) by welcoming the Holy Spirit into our innermost selves.
I began looking for a container to house this fledgling feeling of reverence. Having grown up an atheist I had almost no experience of church and had never read the Bible but I had dear friends in my home-state of Georgia who found comfort and inspiration in their church community and they offered to open this world to me and “bring me to Christ.” Perhaps this would be the container I was seeking.
Unfortunately, my very private, tentative step into religion became a loud public misconception. A small- minded person, knowing about my quest, did an interview on a national website without my permission and said that, because of him, I had become a Born Again Christian. I had no intention of going public about my spiritual journey and in no way wanted to be tagged with the fundamentalism that Born-Again Christianity has come to be associated with. I found myself having to defend my action before I was entirely sure what it meant. I did feel reborn, I couldn’t deny that, but it had nothing to do with the perceived doctrines of fundamentalist Christianity.
Over the months, I went to Bible study every week, had it interpreted for me by biblical literalists, did my homework faithfully but, as time went on, I felt myself losing the very thing that had called me from within: Spirit. The literalness with which I was expected to read and interpret the Bible seemed to simplify and flatten out what I wanted to experience as metaphor. Christianity was beginning to feel shrunken, freeze-dried. Words like ‘Thou Shalt,’ ‘Salvation,” ‘Lord,’ and ‘Repentance,’ drowned out one of my favorite Sufi poems by Hafiz:
Has known God,
Not the God of names,
Nor the God of don’ts,
Nor the God who never does
But the God who knows only four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with Me.”
As I diligently slogged away in my weekly bible class, doing the homework and studying the charts, I began to notice that the dance was gone. Try to render it literal, concrete, and it dies. I had started my journey with a powerful sense of the divine presence, but the linear approach seemed too rigid to contain this and I began to get scared: What had I gotten myself into?
I had met some inspiring, extraordinary Christians, but there were others that came at me, fingers pointing in my face, demanding to know my position on this or that and if I could not say certain key words like “died for our sins,” it meant I wasn’t a Christian.
I winced when God was spoken of as a man. God is beyond gender, beyond being, and although gendering God as “Him” may not seem consequential to many, I think it belies the nonbeingness of the Divine. Seeing God as “Him” only serves to reinforce the belief that since God is man, then man is God-like and women are less-than.
Riffat Hassan, a Pakistan-born professor of religious studies and humanities at the University of Louisville says that in Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions there are three basic (and unwarranted) assumptions upon which the ideas of male superiority over women are founded: “first, that God’s primary creation is man, not woman, since woman is believed to have been created from man’s rib and is, therefore, derivative (As Carol Gilligan has said, “If you make a woman out of a man, you are bound to get into trouble); second, that woman was the primary agent of ‘Man’s Fall,’ and hence all ‘daughters of Eve’ are to be regarded with hatred, suspicion and contempt; and third, that woman was created not only from man but for man, which makes her existence merely instrumental.” From what I can see, none of this was Jesus’ idea. He did not see women as less-than after-thoughts. In fact, his friendships with women were revolutionary for that time. The more I study the teachings of Jesus, the more convinced I become that a foundational aspect of his teaching is the equality of women and men in God’s eyes, deserving of equal treatment. Look at the many women who followed him, sustained him. Look at the women who were shunned by all others but who Jesus touched and kissed and loved. Christian women preached and performed the Eucharist. It was to women that the arisen Christ appeared. After his death, when many Christians fled into the desert to set up Christian communities women outnumbered men 2 to 1.
I find particularly moving and plausible his special relationship with Mary, the apostle that is revealed in the Gospel of Mary. Jesus was love, not just love for some and not for others but…love…for all.
I think two thousand years ago, Jesus’ teachings, including and perhaps especially his respect for women, were so radical and so threatening to the Priesthood (Patriarchy) that they had to try to claim and cage and redefine him as “God in our [read male] image.” The formal church that grew up in the centuries following his death had to diminish the revolutionary content of his teachings in order to create a unified Christian church.
In my studies, I learned that 325 years after Jesus was crucified at the Council of Nicea, a gathering of Christian leaders, all men, decided by a show of hands and amidst bitter theological differences, what would be included as Biblical cannon and what was to be left out and decreed that Jesus was not only the Son of God but God himself.
In no way do I want to offend more traditional Christians, but if the content of the Bible was determined by a group of men (not all of whom agreed), then surely those seeking to know Jesus should not be demonized for looking outside the canons to what others (including women) had to say about Him.
I stopped my Bible study classes but was unwilling to renounce faith. I wanted to see if somewhere there wasn’t a perception of Jesus that reflected my intuition of him. This brought me to Elaine Pagels’s books on the Gnostics, along with various theologians’ and religious scholars’ interpretations of the Bible and the books of the early Christians, all of whom believed that experiencing the divine was more important than mere belief in the divine. I needed to move back into the reverence of metaphor, the language of the soul. That is where I know my faith wants to reside.
From time to time, there have been the awakened ones, conduits of perception, who, by fully embodying Spirit, have shown us the way—Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, Allah, and others. Their messages have invariably been bare-bone-simple, remarkably similar and often embedded in metaphor, stories, and poems—all forms of art. Why? Because the non-linear, non-cerebral forms that are Art speak on a different frequency, they by-pass thinking, penetrate our defenses and jolt us open to consciousness.
For a while, I became a student at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta, the largest training center for African American ministers in the country. As a college drop-out who still has anxiety-ridden dreams of leaving a job unfinished, I relished being back in school and overwhelmed with homework: Biblical Exegesis, Feminist Interpretation, Systematic Theology. I was one of the few white students and, despite that, managed to come and go in anonymity—until Monster-In-Law came out and stirred up some excitement—the little old white lady in the back row is the one who kicked Jennifer Lopez’s ass!!
Over time, and, I feel, because I stepped outside of established religion, I was able to rekindle the spiritual experience that I’d been seeking. Some will say that because of all this I am not a true Christian. So be it. I feel like a Christian, I believe in the teachings of Jesus and try to practice them in my life. I have found Christians all over this country who feel as I do. They may not have been ‘saved’ yet they hum with divine spirit.
My faith is a work in progress (as am I) but I will plant my flag on the belief that God lives within each of us as Spirit (or soul). I like what Reverend Forrest Church says: “God is not God’s name. God is our name for that which is greater than all and yet present in all.” I believe that Christ was the personal incarnation of the divine wisdom in everything, including every form of spiritual expression.
Lots of folks go to church every Sunday and spend the rest of their time avoiding dealing with the question of consciousness. They try to pass time with pastimes, possessions, prestige. They think about God and talk about their religious beliefs but avoid experiencing Spirit. Thinking and experiencing aren’t the same. One happens in the head. The other is a flash, a rush of intuition that seems to permeate our entire being. That is what Jesus meant when he said that God is within us. That is what I am seeking, and I have found that since I have come to feel God within me, I experience less fear—of anything, including death. Sharon Salzberg, in her book “Faith,” explains it this way: “As our faith deepens, the ‘container’ in which fear arises gets bigger. Like a teaspoon of salt placed in a pond full of fresh water rather than in a narrow glass, if our measure of fear is arising in an open, vast space of heart, we will not shut down around it.”
Another result of my faith is that I have become a deeper, more embodied feminist. Helen LaKelly Hunt is right when she says in her book “Faith & Feminism,” that feminism is about fighting for the core beliefs and values of Christianity. “Religion and feminism are different expressions of the same impulse toward making life more just and whole.”
William Bridges, The Way of Transition, Perseus Publishing, p. 196
“Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the Woman Apostle” by Karen King of Harvard Divinity School
The VCCA Fellows Visit the Holiness Baptist Church, Amherst, Virginia
by Barbara Crooker
We are the only light faces in a sea of mahogany,
tobacco, almond, and this is not the only way
we are different. We’ve come in late, the choir
already singing, swaying to the music, moving
in the spirit. When I was down, Lord, when
I was down, Jesus lifted me. And, for a few minutes,
we are raised up, out of our own skepticism
and doubts, rising on the swell of their voices.
The singers sit, and we pass the peace, wrapped
in thick arms, ample bosoms, and I start to think
maybe God is a woman of color, and that She loves
us, in spite of our pale selves, so far away
from who we should really be. Parishioners
give testimonials, a deacon speaks of his sister,
who’s “gone home,” and I realize he doesn’t mean
back to Georgia, but that she’s passed over. I float
on this sweet certainty, of a return not to the bland
confection of wispy clouds and angels in nightshirts,
but to childhood’s kitchen, a dew-drenched June
morning, roses tumbling by the back porch.
The preacher mounts the lectern, tells us he’s been
up since four working at his other job, the one
that pays the bills, and he delivers a sermon
that lightens the heart, unencumbered by dogma
and theology. For the benediction, we all join hands,
visitors and strangers enfolded in the whole,
like raisins in sweet batter. We step through the door
into the stunning sunshine, and our hearts
lift out of our chests, tiny birds flying off to light
in the redbuds, to sing and sing and sing.
“The VCCA Fellows Visit the Holiness Baptist Church, Amherst, Virginia” by Barbara Crooker, from Line Dance. © Word Press, 2008. Reprinted with permission.
I found this quotation that for me sums up the differences between religion and spirituality:
“Religion if for those afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.”
I wish you all the best on your spiritual quest. You are truly profound.
Jane, I get a sense that you have experienced something very profound, but now is a time of interpreting what it was that you experienced. The most important thing to remember is the context of your spiritual experience. I understand it was in the context of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, the Jewish man who is called the Christ (the anointed one) by those who have been ‘born again’. May I suggest to you that Jesus is the flag (YHWH Nissi, meaning the Lord our Banner, one of the hebrew names for the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob) . Jane do not allow others to interpret your experience. The term ‘fundamentalist Christianity’ is used as a smear by those who would reinterpret the Christian faith. Fundamentalists are merely those who read the words of the Bible and accept them as written. Jane I have read a number of the ‘apocryhal’ writings that were rejected from inclusion in the Christian Bible, they in fact smell different. Jesus does not make sense unless one understands his Jewish roots. The writings of Moses and the prophets tell the story of a family which became a nation. The God who interacted with the family and the nation is the God who invites all of humanity to interact with him. Jesus is given to us as the door of access. Religion on the face of the earth is a newcomer on the scene compared to the story of the self disclosure of the God (hebrew,YHWH or I AM that I AM) who spoke to Abraham and told him to leave his family, his city and his country. Jane, I think as we experience God, this same call is for us also. We must leave the former ‘world-view’ and follow Jesus and love the people around us. He is the Good Shepherd who willl lead us to his home. Last thought, the church is God’s plan to bring Jews and gentiles (everyone else) together into one body which is called the church which is Bride of Christ. That’s as feminine a picture as we can possibly have. Regards, ahti (Jane you are still the best looking senior I’ve seen in my life)
Have you read “The Shack”? I highly recommend it.
Hi Jane, I admire your honest and courageous feelings. Thanks for talking about what you have been through. More people need to find out it is a matter of the heart. Gentleness and kindness to our fellow man is the hallmark of a Christian life. I feel that if good manners are left behind ….. there is always something missing. After all, God and man must commune on their own. In a recent dream, footsteps were left behind for me to see….I am trying to walk in them daily.
I am so proud of Ms. Fonda! I have always felt that she carries a wisdom that is empowering and inspirational for all generations. I hope she continues to play a role in keeping the public aware of issues that need addressing in our society. She is a rare treasure indeed. I hope that one day she gets the respect she deserves!
Just came by to wish you the best in your search for the truth. I’m praying that in your quiet time God reveals Himself to you in a real way.
You have always had a special place in my heart since I was a child growing up watching your movies. My favorite movie of all time is Cat Ballou. I’ve wached it so many times I can probably say the lines word for word 🙂
Seriously though I do care for your spirituality and your search for the truth.
I heard this line once; Religion is man’s way of reaching God – Jesus was God’s way of reaching man.
The way I see it is we don’t know everything there is to know about God and His word but the Holy Spirit teaches us the inner most secrets of God and He reveals that to us when we look to Him for the answers. All we have to do is ask God to give us the wisdom from above and He will. It takes time but we have to wait on Him. I know waiting is a hard thing to do, I know because I’m an impatient person. In fact I think we all are, but really I think you should ask Him. I like the fact that He’s just a wisper away and when I’m in trouble I can just say His name and He’s there and I can rest my head on His lap and be comforted like a little child.
You are so welcome to write me any time and be my friend and remember I’ll be praying for you.
As Jesus says. Keep The Word simple. As that of a child. Faith is just that. Faith. Becoming a believer is knowing that you have asked Jesus into your heart and for Him to guide you and with this comes instant knowledge that is very simple but is built upon. The very foundation for the walk you will make in your Christian life. Believing every word God has written and not just what you want to believe and discarding the rest. Kate
I tripped over this entry today and want to thank you for the beautiful job that you have done of articulating your faith experience. Echoes much of my own.
This is why I’ve always been against organized religions. Instead of just truly praising the way they claim they are, they point and ridicule. All the major religions do so. I love God and I wish to praise him in my own way without going on like a drone/robot the way the rest of them do and then completely lose sight as to why I’m doing what I’m doing. I feel all the religions have such good parts about them and if combined together there could be such a wonderful religion but what truly matters is remembering why you are doing the things you do and not making it some strict doctrine/law. Thank you for putting this up and reminding me why I was drawn to read your insight.
Jane you are one of my favorite actresses ( I loved you in Georgia Rule and of course On Golden Pond) but after reading about your faith, I love your heart as a fellow sister in the Lord and transplanted Georgia whoo also became whole in GA.
Jane I became familiar with your work with GCAP while I worked as Dr. Betty Siegel’s writer and web designer. I also met Johnetta McSwain and want to help her publish her book, but I love that you narrated her story. I love what you do for women. If that is not a GOD thing I dont know what is.
Thank you for sharing your faith and your favorite poem. It reminded me of these thought I had one summer on the banks of Blue Ridge Lake in North Georgia- I felt God whispering them to me as I was going through a tough time with “religious people” and all the hypocrisy.
Listen. Listen to the music.
Do you hear the rhythm and the rhyme of our Dance?
The melody – I chose it just for you. It is OUR SONG. No one else shares this song with Me. They have their own song if they choose to listen.
Our dance began the day you met me and it will continue through eternity. Close your eyes and listen. Ignore those around you. There is no one here but you and I.
People will always be watching and waiting for you to miss a step – I don’t care if you miss a step or dance off the beat.
Come…step up on my feet and I will teach you the steps. I am your Daddy, I will let you stand on my feet until you can dance on your own.
I know the Dance is hard to learn -it is hard to let yourself go and dance freely with all your might. So stay on my feet as long as you need and let me carry you as you learn. I will dance for both of us. I choose the steps, the pace and the tempo. I keep time with My eternal purpose for your life.
Keep your eyes on me. Look deeply into my eyes of love. Fix your gaze on me and not your surroundings, circumstances or the people in your world. They can’t show you the steps to Our Dance.
Lay your head on My chest. Can you hear the beating of My heart? It beats to the rhythm of our song and it will keep you in perfect time to Our Dance. You have to listen to my heart or the other songs will confuse you. Listen to the rhythm of my heart until Our hearts beat as one.
I know your heart – you want Me – but you are afraid to step up and dance. You are afraid I am going to leave you on the Dance floor, alone, ashamed, humiliated. I will never ever leave you.
Do not let anyone “cut in” on us. Hold on tight and do not let anyone pull you away from my embrace. No one, no matter how much they love you can Dance to Our Song. Do not let anything keep you from the Dance.
You cannot schedule a Dance – for the Dance is your very life. I am your life. You are my life.
At some point during the Dance, while our hearts beat as one, and our steps in unision, your feet will slip off mine. You will be dancing alone – before me in worship. It will not be an act of defiance and independence but it will be an expression of the freedom you have in Me to worship me uninhibited in pure devotion. I will stand back and watch and enjoy the overflow of Our Dance.
As you dance in my honor – those watching will be overcome by the Love we share. They will want to Dance with Me too. They just never thought they could, but you showed them the way to the Dance. Some who are watching, used to Dance with me but now stand in the shadows – embarrassed to come to Me. They too will see Our Dance and be enticed back into their Dance with Me. They will want to climb up on my feet and learn to Dance anew.
Dance Dear One – Dance with ME -Dance with all your might.
Dance with the One you love
Your Heavenly Father
“And David Danced before the Lord with all His might’ 2 Samuel 6:14
Dear Ms. Fonda (this appelation is intended to be respectful, not rude, I don’t know you at all, and can’t call you “Jane” comfortably). I appreciate your willingness to answer the question on the hearts of many who don’t know you but for your notoriety – thank you for your transparency in an area you confess is personal. I too feel, and felt, that yearning to know intimacy with God. I believe that I felt it as a child, although was not exposed to organized Christian worship until my late teens – and rejected it (my mom had “been saved”, and this was only one of many forays into spirituality). However, it was to Christ that I turned when I had a crisis of faith (and of spirit) in college. It was not the “discriminatory” (in the sense of exclusive) nature of the uniqueness of Christ which drew me, but the profound thought that God would reach down, all the way down, to a stable to demonstrate his identification with my “personhood”, and then with the words “forgive them” welcome me home … although I had kicked, and railed, and hurt those he loved besides me. I am a free actor, and I choose to surrender my prejudices and call myself a child of God, and serve him who loved me when I hated him.
I love this entry because I’m experiencing something similar right now. I’ve actually always had a pretty strong faith, although I of course have had struggles. But right now I’m in a class called Christian Marriage and Sexuality and it’s so conservative and fundamentalist that I shake with anger every time I sit through it. This class teaches exactly what you were saying, about women being less than men because of the “fall” – this is also their excuse for why homosexuals are sinners. Like you, I identify as Christian, but I know a lot of people in that class would doubt that, as they have heard my many, many arguments to what the Professor states as fact.
However, my point is actually to make a suggestion. I was raised Episcopalian, and while it has a lot of the traditional aspects of Catholicism, it is more…well, I’m sorry Catholics everywhere, but it’s more intelligent and analytic. At least in the congregation I was raised in, the Bible is read more metaphorically and spiritually. Never in my life did I think it was meant to be taken literally!
The reason I’m writing is because I know how personal a spiritual journey is, and I admire you for writing about it here. If you chance upon this comment, I hope you’ll smile knowing that there are many of “our kind” of Christians out here, despite the fact that the Christian Right is so much louder. I smiled reading your thoughts – I was getting a little tired of hearing about how even married couples can’t have sex unless they’re trying to have a baby. Craziness!! It’s like they’re completely missing the point of religion!
Beautiful. I wish you joy and love on your Christian journey. I admire your words; they have lifted my soul today. Thank you for sharing with such reverence and intelligence. I especially loved your words about Christ and his relationship to women.
Bonnie, a Mormon woman from Utah
Jane – I loved your autobio.
SECONDLY, i just read your “ABOUT MY FAITH” blog. . i read it nervously -scared you were going to conclude with ‘christianity is B.S. . . god is in every religion . . bla bla bla’
thank God you didn’t – & are still on the right path.
doesn’t he provide such comfort? – that nothing else on earth can.
belfast, northern ireland
read the late Georgia Professor Elisabeth Fox Genovese’s books on feminism and God…the sad truth is, as big a star as you are…GOD RULES. and we his creation kinda have to listen to his requests of us…things like denying ourselves and loving our neighbor may be abhorrant to our flesh/selfish nature but that is ultimately what God requires…when you try to force God into an ideal formula for YOUR life you might as well have made him up and have him available at your disposal…what good is a God like that ? on a side note I happen to be in charge of the audio archives of a former Detroit columnist named SHIRLEY EDER…Shirley interviewed your dad and YOU many times and if you ever need a refresher on a period of your life for another book about your life get ahold me…in one interview with Shirl you actually say you would NEVER write a book about yourself…funny ain’t it ? Godspeed Ms. Fonda
Dear Jane, I ask this with all my heart, not to be mean or rude, but just seeking to understand…
You say, “I feel like a Christian, I believe in the teachings of Jesus and try to practice them in my life.”, but how could Jesus condone the killing of innocent unborn children, the Least of His, afterall “Thou Shall Not Kill” is a fairly clear Commandment of God the Father.
You say, “My faith is a work in progress (as am I) but I will plant my flag on the belief that God lives within each of us as Spirit (or soul).” When does a human being get a soul? Does a baby only receive a soul once she exits her mother’s birth canal?
You say, “Lots of folks go to church every Sunday and spend the rest of their time avoiding dealing with the question of consciousness. They try to pass time with pastimes, possessions, prestige.”
Yes, so exactly how does your conscience justify killing unborn human life for the sake of pastimes, possessions, or prestige?
You say, “That is what Jesus meant when he said that God is within us.” Yes, God is within us and when we kill one another, we are in essence killing our Lord and Creator.
I sincerely hope to continue this intriguing discussion with you and wish you the very best.
Hello Wynette- You know, there are those who believe, like myself, that the soul does not enter the body until one draws one’s first breath and does not leave the body until we breathe our last. Having said that, I was wondering if there is ever a time when you think that it’s appropriate to take another’s life? Do you believe in war, capital punishment, killing in self-defense, etc? I am not being accusatory, just curious.
Wynette, there is the thought that we humans do not possess the ability to decide or determine at what exact moment God means for a soul to come into being. Some people conclude that it would be presumptuous of us to think we have that power.
thank you jane for saying yes to jesus now we can spend eternity together thank you thank you thank you
Carol M. Carreon
Hi Miss Jane,
I am just so blessed to know that you are spending eternity in heaven. I like what was said about in the book of Matthew that being perfect is not like
God because He is the only one who is perfect, but being whole for Him without any reservation so He can use us for His Gospel to go out. I am also a born again Christian love God with all my heart,soul and might in fact I answered the call to go out and preach the good news, right now I am in the Philippines doing His will and I am happy.
Also, we don’t have to through all those religious experts, just read your Bible and believe what it says and pray everyday the word of God you will go places you have never dreamed off.
God bless you and take care.
Carol M. Carreon
This is probably not a comment. I just want to extend my congratulations to Ms. Jane Fonda for being a fine actress consistently. I have been a fan of Ms. Fonda way back her movie They Shoot Horses don’t they? and until now she showed a great love to her craft. I just hope that she will continue to do more movies so that I can see her more often.
Happy Birthday and may God bless you and what you do for Him.
Interesting that in the third paragraph, you mention the 3rd step of AA, which is also the 3rd step of Al Anon. To wit: “Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
I’m in Al Anon (friends and relatives of alcoholics) and do that every day — along with steps 1 and 2, which acknowledge my powerlessness and that only God can restore me to sanity.
Those three steps, repeated daily, have given me a serenity I have never known. And, for the first time, FAITH.
The Urantia Book, a revelatory text I find credible, talks about having a personal religion based on the EXPERIENCE of God rather than one based on beliefs.
I had all kind of ideas about God — 25 years of spiritual seeking — but I never had faith. The serenity I have experienced in the past three years, however, is teaching me faith, and I am still just in the foothills.
Jesus is my only hero, but I do not call myself a Christian. The term has been used too often to exclude others, something He never did. My guess is He doesn’t mind.
BTW, we shared an elevator once from 10 south at CNN (along with your daughter and grandchild). It’s pretty cool to realize we also share a spiritual hunger.
Peace and blessings,
Your experience confirms my own experience and what I hear from many of the young Christian women I work with. The male oriented, left-brain dominant, belief/thinking approach to faith leaves us empty and looking for something more.
In my own search in feminist spirituality, yoga, meditation, art and other realms outside of the Christian church, I found what I was looking for — embodied experiences of God’s love, wisdom and joy.
Now I offer retreats, workshops, health coaching programs and other resources to support others in discovering that too.
Thanks for sharing your experience here Jane. Since you’ve gone public with this, I’d like to quote your story and share it with the women I work with. I look forward to passing this on to others and hearing more from you on this topic.
Blessings of love, wisdom and joy to you in 2010.
Dear Jane –
Ever since I found your blog today, I’ve spent a great deal of time reading your various expressions.
This entry was amazing to read. The thing that struck me the most was how brutally honest you are in expressing the spiritual journey you are on. There is no arrogance. You simply make a gentle statement of what you believe, what has resonated in your soul and more importantly, what has not.
I’ve been a Christian since the age of 13. And I use that term in it’s literal meaning – trying to be Christ-like in my actions and speech. In all my years of studying scripture it has been the compassion and love Christ has for people, whatever walk of life they are in, that has confirmed my belief in His divine existence.
I have often pondered how frustrating it must be for Christ to watch us alter His beautiful truths. To distort them in order to oppress and rule a people. To use Christ’s words to forge judgments on others in order to feel superior. To employ Christ’s words as an excuse to kill others. To take the beauty of all Christ is and with our blood stained hands, re-write scripture to fit our global views. It must break Christ’s heart to watch us get it so tragically wrong.
As I’m sure you know, when you read the New Testament you will not find one place where Christ’s condemns another person. The harshest words Christ spoke were towards the religious zealots of the day. He called them vipers. An animal which sucks the blood from its prey. Pretty strong imagery for those religious individuals who were using God’s laws to oppress and rule a nation.
But what did Christ say to the woman at the well? [John 4: 1-42] The woman who was shunned by the public because of her questionable life style – living with a man who was not her husband and having been married to five men previously (which in that day was viewed as being a whore). She was a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews didn’t normally converse with one another as Samaritans were viewed as being a low class citizen. She was a woman – meaning she had no civil rights and could be legally abused, raped, sold and killed. What were Christ’s words to her at the well? He had been hanging out with 12 men mentoring them in truths and He didn’t give them what He gave her. In fact she was the first person He revealed this particular truth to…………and what was the truth? He revealed He was the Son of God, the Messiah. This is who Christ decided to reveal the greatest truth to. A Samaritan woman – whom society had forgotten. And why? Why her?
I believe Christ wanted to demonstrate to the world then and now, how deep and vast His love is for all of us…..regardless of our backgrounds, social/economic standing, regardless of our failures or how the world judges us…..the God of the universe, who is the beginning and the end…who holds all things together….loves us all………just as we are. What a gift of truth to give to the world…….and to every soul who desires to have a friendship with Christ.
We have strayed so far away from the simple truth of God’s love. And so I stand with you in your journey. You are seeking God with all your heart. And I know, having experienced it first hand, God will not hide from you. God will reveal truths to you in a way that speaks to your soul. God has promised all of us He will never leave nor forsake us. God’s love is too vast to let any soul wander aimlessly.
There is joy in the journey Jane and I pray you continue to bathe in its beauty! May God continue to give you wisdom, strength and courage in your endeavor.
I look forward to the opportunity to learn the ways in which your faith has altered your day-to-day experience. I am fascinated by your description of your initial exposure to Christianity in a practical as well as an emotional sense. Your search for the meaning of life and the anguish you experienced along the way is no doubt shared by many. However, your willingness to invest the effort necessary to forge an enhanced path to God rather than adhere to the dictates of established religion or discipleship will undoubtedly enrich your experience. Whether this particular instance is yet another expression of your creative spirit or merely an extension of a skill set developed on a stage that enabled you to fully experience and express any written word – it is to your great benefit that you engage completely the resources at hand in order to maximize this great experience. I and other readers I am sure would like to read of the impact of your experience on your your interaction with the world at hand. After all, you have been granted a stage much grander than ours and you interact with a much more extensive cast of characters.
I remember praying for you years ago. First I prayed for your father to come to know the LORD. I thought, LORD, He is getting old and probably won’t live a lot more years. I prayed that the LORD would save His soul. By this I mean that the LORD, Yahweh, (see Isaiah 48,) would maker Himself known to Henry Fonda. The specifics of my prayers I can not remember, but every time that he came to mind I would pray for him. I never heard any report back on this except that he did die.
Then the LORD also put it on my heart sometime to start praying for you. I can imagine that a rejection of the cannon would make it quite hard to find Truth. Instead of trusting “men”, males, I would hold that the trust for cannon be in that the LORD that loves you is faithful to preserve that which is enough to lead you into the Truth.
The Holy Spirit will testify to you of Truth if you really want it. The devil will provide you with any lie that you will believe if you do not desire truth.
The problem is that our motives can trick us, because the flesh is sinful even as the LORD has said in His Word. The root of “sinful” attitudes is a worship of self versus worship of the being who did indeed create us as objects of His love.
I would love to converse with you one on one, step by step because I would hate to see you stuck somewhere short of understanding. I do not have the Bible memorized but I know a lot of it, and I know the Holy Spirit, and I would hope that you really want Truth. In the end it will have to be the Holy Spirit that convinces you.
Your body is a temple in which different spirits would love to indwell and control you. the LORD would have you to know Truth. The devil, a real being, a liar and the author of lies, is about deceiving you.
I think you must know Dianne Cannon and I think that she is a genuine Christian by what I have heard out of her mouth. I prayed for her for years. She is also very intelligent and I am sure would love to expound on any questions. Yet intelligence is not enough. Only the Spirit of God can convince you. Only He can draw you to Himself. And only you can make the decision to follow.
I am just so disappointed to read your writing of what you believe and see you come so close but miss it. I am convinced that even more so it grieves the LORD Himself. Please spend time seeking Truth diligently through honest prayer.
to the “christians”
Live and let live people.
Judge not lest ye be judged.
You do not have a hold on God and TRUTH.
You do not have a God-given right or mandate to force your beliefs on other people and force them to live, think, believe, feel, like you do and believe in your politics.
I once knew a woman who said only HER church is right and other fundamentalist christians are wrong unless they agree with her and what her minister teaches.
ALL religions are valid; EVERY personal inner spiritual experience is valid. The spirit of truth leads people in many ways (indeed an infinite variety of ways).AND YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO TELL PEOPLE HOW TO LIVE, MURDER PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU THINK ABORTION IS WRONG, BOMB PEOPLE IN COUNTRIES YOU DON’T LIKE AND DESIGNATE TO BE ENEMIES, SUPRESS WOMEN AND FORCE THEM TO SUPRESS THEMSELVES—-ALL IN THE NAMES OF GOD, FREEDOM, PEACE, SELF DEFENSE AND “THE DIVINE ORDER OF THINGS”.
You enrage me. Once again: you do not have a right to force people to be what you think all people should be or to pray for them to become what you believe all people should be. And you do not have a right to even decide what all people should be or become.
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.
And that woman I mentioned in the previous post called me a demon and condemned me to hell.
Because I was born Roman Catholic, Italian, white, male, in the north and SHE classified me as a “librul”…I DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BELIEVE; YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO DEMAND I BE WHAT YOU THINK ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE OR BECOME. WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE TO BELIEVE YOU HAVE A HOLD ON GOD AND TRUTH AND FREEDOM AND THE AMERICAN WAY AND EVERYTHING ELSE.
It sounds like you have both a rare intelligence and a rare spirit, and so have received and retained a rare spiritual gift. You were able to feel and recognize the difference between what has been called churchianity and real spirituality – that which comes from the Creator within – and restored to yourself the Inner Dance It gave you. I’m glad to read what you wrote about your journey and hope it helps others through your visibility. You are blessed to be a light in the world.
I, too, have had a long journey in the confused world and much of my native Joy was buried under years of miserable social conditioning, but I always knew that just under the surface was what I call my secret happiness. It remains with me regardless of the troubles I’ve had, the gripes I’ve learned and so forth. I’m learning to bring it out. You have to learn to hear only the holy voice within. This is a marvelous world; miraculous and benign because its Creator is miraculous and benign.
They say God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh. I believe it. The free spirit knows the hilarity of it all. What a relief.
Good for you Jane. Stick to it, and break a leg.
I love your comments about Jesus. I, too, have a difficult time calling myself a Christian as a result of the fundamentalists and their take on the laws. I can relate to so much you have said. At first I tried to go by the book, but lost the passion for my God in doing this. It is so liberating to just follow Jesus. No other teacher, living or dead, compares. Thank you for the heart that you have shared with me through the years. Your passions, ups and downs.I wish you were my next door neighbor and I could have you over for tea. I would love to talk about “Our” Jesus and how he loves us and every other sinner.
Thanks for the Blog…
Blessing to you,
Thank you so much for posting this and being so honest about your journey. I can’t believe I “randomly” came across your blog when searching this very subject. I have recently had a similar experience from the standpoint of experiencing God in my heart but when I started attending a local church I did not agree with their narrow views of the world and those that don’t share their fundamentalist views. They say they aren’t their views but “what Jesus said”, well, I need to do a lot more studying before I can even speak of all that but I can’t go against what I feel in my heart just to fit in with the group. Thank you again for your candor and taking the time to share.
Me parece muy bien que se alla convertido en cristiana, pero quisiera saber que piensa Janet Fonda y tambien uds.de la unica Iglesia fundada por Jesucristo Mt 16,18… (señalada con el dedo) y la que es infalible en sus enseñanzas y es columna y baluarte de la verdad 1 TIM 3,15, y que existe desde Jesucristo y los Apostoles, hasta nuestros tiempos.
MI EMAIL ES : [email protected]
Alas, most of the comments above that I have read have completely missed Jane’s point and misconstrued her message…
Mark A. Craig
You might find it useful to find and read some of Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts about Jesus and the Bible, including his private letters (there is at least one compilation of them, I have the book). Later in life, he “translated” his own version of the New Testament – now called the Jefferson Bible – by removing what he called the mystical elements and leaving intact the history, philosophy, and ethics. He was a great admirer of Jesus as a philosopher. As you probably know, Jefferson was open-minded and had studied the Koran and other texts. He questioned the unquestionable and demanded answers. Like you, Jefferson was not the Christian that people presumed and demanded of him.
Wow, Anil Philip! That is a very dangerous accusation – to judge another’s relationship with God. I’m from the Bible belt and was raised in a very conservative Christian family, and I do believe that Jesus is the only true Savior, but please be careful about saying out-right that someone isn’t a Christian! God is so much bigger than any of us know and those of us who call ourselves Christians are each on his or her own journey with Jesus. Let’s not worry about judging another’s relationship with God, but let’s just concentrate on our own relationship with Jesus and getting to know him better, love one another and pray for one another – I think that’s what Jesus would want.
Sorry Jane, you missed it!
I followed your Christian journey through the media and wondered what happened when I no longer heard anything about it. So I googled for you and found your post.
Sorry, but you are not a christian. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and The Word became flesh”. A few chapters later, Jesus himself says that his words bring life and that we must eat his flesh. So if you think that the Bible was cooked up, then you are not a christian. A New-Ager perhaps, but not a Christian. Jesus himself said that the road to heaven is narrow. You missed it.
I am saddened. Also read Georgia’s comment on 4/15 below.
My name is John Solomon and I am from India.
I have been reading through all the material posted above having been led to the website by a TV program that hosted ” Business Titans” featuring Ted Turner and somewhere in the bottom titles the word “Christian faith” flipped by along with the name “Jane Fonda”. I knew Jane Fonda was an Hollywood actress and somehow the Christain Faith was associated with her. I was curious to learn more, as recently the Indian Press made a big news about an Hollywood actress switching to Hinduism, the one who acts in “Eat, Pray and Love” ( I think it is Angelina Jolie-if my memory is correct). The press indeed presented a list of Hollywood celebrities who switched over to “other faiths” from Christianity, prominent among them being Richard Gere who embraced Buddhism.
My purpose here is not get into Holly Wood celebrities and their “Faith Status”.
Having been born in a Christian family in a Hindu Nation (I am calling it so because, that is the “Faith” professed by most around me- some call it a “way of life” or whatever…)
I have also had many an opportunity to read the material of eminent Hindu thinkers and philosophers which would include Mahatma Gandhi-the most influential of them.
I have also grappled with the Bible as Jane Fonda does or did: its warnings scared me, the morality of the Old Testament baffled me, the morality of the New Testament eluded me, but through it all the Personality of Jesus Christ I must confess, does overwhelm me. The points I wish to make are concerning a perspective on the Christian Faith:
1) Over the years, I have realized that Faith need not be blind: It is built on learning and having experienced. It is founded by the twin strands of Trust and Love without loosing our God Given mind. Once Faith is founded thus, it begins to see father than sight.
2) We view the so called fundamental preachers as imposing Judgment on us. But the fact is God holds us accountable for our actions: if he does not, he is not worthy of being a God. I can very well replace Him. This accountability before God is a strong feature in all Semitic religions.
My experience in living in a different society seems to indicate that there is barely a God with an all prying eyes.
3) The third question is whether Man needs Absolute standards and discipline to live by; or is a discipline of convenience good enough. Absolute standards require an Absolute God. That God being our Creator and Father who is Merciful, are other attributes of God. But He also is Absolute. If we denounce an Absolute God , then we get into relativism in which we can become our own gods. With 6 billion gods going around, what order or sanity can we expect.
4) Of course God is just and merciful when we realize and confess that it is difficult to meet the standards that he expects us to live by. As far as I can see, God is the God of all creation -those who believe in Him and those who do not. He expects us to treat all men (and women) as His children. Hence when we fail and realize it, he seeks a sincere heart of repentance. He can help us to get up and walk as parents help their new born ones to walk.
5) God does not have any favorites as all men and women are his children.
6) God has given freewill to man to choose or reject Him. Hell as far as my understanding goes is Man’s conscious decision to separate himself from God. He has given man the right to do so.
7)If God decides to walk on the face of this earth, He has the liberty to do so. We cannot decide to limit Him. We cannot say He cannot do so.
8) If God decides to communicate to man the nature of his character so that if man aspires to adopt it, he is free to do so , however magnificent and powerful, God might otherwise be
9) If God decides to make himself a part of human History and to show the world how life was before it and how life could be after it: having made clear that he does love man and expects man to acknowledge it- He is being simply fair to man without violating his free will.
10) Based on a study of many men who have walked the face of this earth, the various philosophies and theories including scientific theories like the “Origin of Species ” or the evolution of man and the many theories of self divination including the experiences of those who went into it and walked out of it, I do not find anything that has helped me through the years as the Gospel and Person of Jesus Christ to help me lead a redeemed life and to have a bright hope for the future for me and mankind as a whole.
Not only Jane Fonda can dance with him, but the lame and the crippled- in mind, heart and the body and the many millions that may not be as blessed as Jane Fonda. Joni Erickkson Tada was a budding athlete who lost both her legs and arms consequent to a diving accident, in her teens. Over the years she became a Christian. She acknowledges in her biography how she was able to lead more than a normal life, an exciting one, one in which she hopes to literally dance with Jesus one day.
Here ends my points which aims to give a perspective on Christianity, living in a world which seems to regard Christianity as outdated.. ..or so many seem to wish.
But unlike the Beetles who predicted the death of Christianity within the generation they lived, and have themselves become well spent for a long time, Christianity through the person of Jesus continues to engage the hearts of millions across the globe now, as ever. Very few people know that Christianity endured the hardest persecution ever inflicted on man within the first 300 years after it was born. It continues to endure persecution in many non Christian societies which do not value freedom as most western societies do.
I think we need to have a broader perspective on Christianity than focusing on fundamentalist preachers or on issues such as feminism or abortion-when 2/3rds of the world is still going hungry. As regards the Cannon and the Apocryphal writings, Biblical analysts who have studied the earliest manuscripts have stated that the New Testament is founded on the most reliable ones. Apocryphal writings have been disregarded as not forming a part of the earliest creeds and cannons and their reliability are suspect because they were written many years after the New Testament was written. The cannon was not formed in 325 AD as Jane Fonda seems to think. Analysts state it existed informally since the later part of the second century. It went as an official declaration once an office came into existence around 325 AD. Indeed the Bible was not born out of the church. Rather it was the church that came out of the Bible. The Bible preceded the Church. Dan Brown in his novel the “Da Vinci Code” and Elaine Pagels in her research, do not present full and truthful pictures of how the Bible came to be constituted. Jane Fonda can do her own research in this matter. Scholars state that there exists no ancient book of history or writing or scripture that are so based on historical happenings , as the New testament.
I sincerely hope, i have not sermonized but just attempted to offer to a perspective, having been inspired by the note of Jane Fonda.
(ofcourse there are issues of evil and suffering, but i suppose it would require a different forum to deal)
Such an inspiring journey! Such a joy to see people like you who dare to seeks the fullness of life with all their heart and mind. You go, girl!!!!
The search for what we like and search for truth have different endings. Learning about God and creating god are different. One concerned with finding truth must think logically how it can be proven whether something is true or not. Verification of historical and scientific details of competing doctrines is important. Number, agreement and recency to original writing of manuscripts are big deals. Internal agreement or contradiction of the teaching must be considered. If you deny part of a religious “book” you reject the reliability of the whole book. Lives genuinely changed for good is powerful proof of the real God (among the imposters) since only He can do that. Prophesy is huge; only God knows the future beforehand. God is just, He will judge sin. We need to be concerned about that.
My Sister Jane,
As Jesus said “great is thy faithfulness!” I received a gift from G-d through you. I’m not sure how you found me but to God be the glory! i share some of the same views as Ahti (comments above). God is a spirit. I like to think of God as the Father (or Him). I didn’t have one growing up but I have an idea of what a father is and how a father is supposed to dote on his daughter and provide her with a love unique that can only be supplied by a man. G-d has given me this love. I have been looking at the faith of G-d’s chosen people…his biblical bloodline…to see the significance of all that took place before Christ. I believe there is importance in the history of the promise and instruction God gave Abraham, Issac, Jacob and even Moses during those times…from the miracles performed in the desert to the vision God gave Ezekiel of the dry bones in the valley to Jonas to Jesus and all of the confirmation to those instances found in the New Testament as well as in modern day Sabbath tradition still being held this very day in The Holy Land. There is so much significance found in your comment about the mistranslated scripture that gave a whole new meaning to the message Jesus gave. I believe the Dead scrolls are not lost but it takes a faithful human being to discover the hidden messages which first start in the Bible. Keep studying Jane, your enlightenment enlightens those around you and your blessings shall forever be innumerable. YHWH is Lord!!! Jesus is my salvation, because He intercedes for me at the right hand of G-d, He is the High Priest and worthy to be called Messiah. I could go on but i dont want to give away too much too soon. God is calling to me enjoy my blessing. Be encouraged my sister Jane.
faith is a gift. when it has been given, its still a journey to learn about the gift, and how we fit with it in this world.
the problem with traditional religion, is that the people get it all messed up, with their own agenda’s.
Knowing God Loves me…wow.
that is a huge thing to me.
being given a gift to believe that can take a lifetime to really walk it out, to become like that, to love others unconditionally.
its awesome but stiil I remember that God said his mercies are new every morning and when we are faithless, he is faithful.
things can be cliche, as in WWJD? what would Jesus do? I think we need to ask that question OFTEN, about everything.
its a guide for me. I’ve lost many a friend, over this in the last several years. why?
example, what would Jesus think about the healthcare in this country?
Oh, he loves us, he’d want us to be prepared to pay a few extra bucks in taxes, so that the ones without healthcare due to lack of insurance, could get healthcare!
I know the rich get healthcare, the really poor get healthcare, but the disappearing middle class, who’ve lost jobs and homes, or are just barely hanging on, are foregoing healthcare because they cannot afford it.
He would say I love you all, to you who I have given much, I expect you to pay a few extra bucks in taxes…so your brothers and sisters can go to the doctor too, and have the medicine they need.
that…is a radical thing to say in todays Christianity.
so radical, that I dont get it.
why is it radical?
I dont know but I’ve lost friends over it.
how can one christian KNOW Gods Love and Ways and absolutely realize that is Gods heart and another says “you socialist!!!!”
it hurts my heart, to hang around these kind of folks, so I dont.
I dont have a church anymore, but I do have God.
WWJD? What would He say? Beyond Love…thats a given. But Love says something, about everything.
God is love.
I think Jesus was probably a socialist if he was here today.
But, blessed are the peacemakers and my thoughts arent very popular and they dont bring peace.
I try to not read too many books to FIND GOD….or what others say about Him now…I used to and I got pretty confused. i learned its a relationship, not an understanding of a theory.
Everything is by Faith, and knowing He loves me and He will show me the right path…when I get off of it.
Knowing he rejoices over me…and saves all my tears in a bottle. I find that incredibly tender.
But, I’m lonely.
But, thats OK because I cannot lie to myself.
Jesus loves everyone and although we shall always have the poor amongst us etc, its not the way He wants it to be…He hates people going hungry due to the greed of corporate america.
I am in the middle of the “dump of information” from the cable dumps from the diplomatic govt hackers. OH MY…well..nothing is such a big surprise, right?
of course not!
but…the embarrassment of certain gov’t officials, is I believe, one of the ways, God has promised to show our hearts, to the world, when we arent acting in good concsence, and that is how we are judged in the last day, we take a breath.
But the love, brings that conviction of not living right, not living in love for those that god loves.
Dont let the Christians who spew hatred at others, bring you down.
They are trying to fit in, and dont realize how someone has a millstone thrown around their neck, for leading them down a path of pure judgement instead of love.
its sad to see what many christians, do to other christians, in the name of God and being right.
its all about the Spirit of God and Who He is and His Ways.
its about His Love and Jesus.
Karrylin, (never wrote that name before!) I agree with you, God is personal, it is a relationship. To follow Jesus’s way means we spend our lives striving to be whole people. Hate mongers who are quick to accuse and judge are not whole and, I believe, Jesus would not approve of the Christians who are like this. This is NOT at all what Jesus taught. I am sorry you are lonely. Perhaps it is solitude, not loneliness. What do you think? Xx Jane
Wow, Jane. Me hate gay people? no way. I’d lose too many great friends. Xx jane
Like you, I have been a spiritual wanderer and was not enamored with organized religions that were dogmatic about certain beliefs, particularly about women. I am not one to promote books, but a book named The Bamberg Affair in The All really opened my eyes and changed my entire view about who I am and the purpose of our journey.
Jane, you are lovely inside and out and it just SHOWS. I thought you might enjoy reading Margaret Starbird’s Woman with the alabaster jar. If you get the chance to hear her speak in person it is a rare treat.
Blessings and thank you.
Your experience that you shared reminds me of a “joke” that I love to tell: “When God made man… She was only practicing!” The thing I don’t explain when I tell it is that it’s not just a joke to me.
I gave my life to Jesus at the ripe young age of 15, but it has taken me a lifetime of experience and study to understand what all that means. I am still learning at the age of 49, after 34 years of being a Christian. All my life, I have never been one to accept things blindly, but rather struggle with reason, logic, analysis and human experience. Therefore, faith is often a real struggle for me because it is blind, feeling it’s way along life with the hands of God’s love.
I stumbled upon your book “My Life So Far” while cleaning out a storage area from an old book dealer. I’ve always known who you are, but I was especially touched by your performance with your dad in “On Golden Pond”. I started reading your book in the hopes of finding out the truth about you – beyond the images of Hollywood and politics, because you seemed to have a strength and determination that I admired. Like me, you don’t let anyone tell you what to believe, but you follow your heart. So when I heard about you becoming a Christian, I was thrilled and encouraged. Your heart led you to the right place – salvation in Jesus Christ!
I’ve only just begun to read your book – I’m currently on “My Blue Genes”. I’m glad to find out your book covers what led you to Christ. I look forward to reading that. I am also an actress, so I look forward to your lessons in that area as well. I’ve always admired your talent.
I’m glad to find this article on your faith now; and glad to find you have withstood the criticism and hard lessons the Christian faith has to endure. It’s good to know that the love of Christ was shown to you through your Christian friends. (Hey, it really does make a difference!) More importantly, I’m glad to know that your relationship with Christ is of the Spirit, rather than culture. Worship Christ in spirit and in truth.
Whenever you are in doubt of what you should do with that faith, be encouraged by Micah 6:8 –
“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Thank you for sharing your faith Jane. Blessings to you, my sister in Christ! Have a wonderful, meaningful Christmas.
Peace and love in Christ Jesus,
I was thrilled to discover you had a blog in the L.A. Times article today about you and “33 Variations” at the Ahmanson, and jumped at the opportunity to make contact with you here. The cyber world makes us all feel that we know each other better than we would normally be allowed to by virtue of our interests and stations in life – and I feel as star-struck and adoring and admiring of you as I ever did.
Bravo to every bit of what you say here, to every new outlet you’re finding for your glorious talent and energy, for your happiness and personal life, and I hope at some point our professional or personal paths may cross.
Thank you for putting your life and thoughts and feelings out here for us.
Sincerely, Rori Raye
Rude Lee Waken
Good morning Ms. Fonda,
From what you are describing, it appears that you should look into the traditional (early) Quaker writings. Actually the name of the denomination is the Society of Friends, or you may see Friends just by itself.
I understand the plight of your walk in Christ, in that Fundementalists and Evangelicals have carried over the doctrinal correctness from Europe and plead no one else is Christian unless they believe in exactly what has been taught.
I’ve been a Christian for 35 years, there were times when I thought God had forsaken me and no longer felt His presence. But I know that I was called and have returned to that call.
I am getting my first book published in the next couple of weeks. It’s called Modern Myths of American Evangelicals. The first part is about the bible and prophecies. I would like to send you one when I get a hard copy. Or you can send me an email address where I can upload Part 1 to you. I think you will find it enlightening.
There are some basics that do make up Christianity, but it’s not the Trinity, nor Creation, nor inerrancy or inspiration of the scripture. It is who you surrender your spirit to and the life changing experience it brings about.
I would enjoy talking to you more about your life in Christ. Email me if you have any questions, I think you will find it refreshing.
Rude (pronounced Rudy
I enjoyed reading about your adventures with religion. I have struggled for years to find a religion/way of being that I felt comfortable with. I was brought up in a strict Christian denomination that was filled with a lot of guilt and shame..I also grew up in a town of 2000 in rural PA where it was mostly WASP. The Catholics were the outcasts and I had not encountered Jews,Blacks, Gays, Muslims or Asians until I came to college..Here a new world was opened up to me and I became close friends then and now with people from all walks of life. I had to let go of many of the “rules” that were embedded in my mind and I experienced a major bout of cognitive dissonance. And in college I also became exposed to feminist theory. I was having a difficult time embracing my religion who damned gays and lesbians, deemed that my wonderful Muslim and Jewish friends would go to hell just because they were not born again Christians, and subtly preached racist and sexist behaviors. I stopped going to church as I found myself getting angry at how intolerant they had become..I still believe in God and the teachings of Jesus, and I live my life to the best of my human ability and try to practice love, caring, and compassion to others every day. I worry though that I am not being “good” enough and because I am not following all the rules will go to hell..But I can’t in my heart think that my wonderful friends because they are not Christian will not be afforded life eternal if there is such a thing..sorry for rambling but this got me thinking tonight..thanks for sharing and I wish you well on your spiritual journey, Amy
I also forgot to tell you I was so sorry to hear of your mother in these comments. Children are a gift from God. Not everyone knows who God is or the nature of God. I am sorry you feel your mother never loved you, you were young. I am sure if she had lived things may have turned out differently between you two. She obviously was ill. But, you are Strong and full of life and Beautiful, most of all inside. Where it counts.
God bless you and keep you in his care,
I have loved your for years. I still quote to my fellow bootcampers to “go for the burn”. Sat next to you at ADAC and did not bother you, but soooo wanted to speak to you.
As a fellow Atlantan, I was so glad when you found your faith in Christ. I think it is so sad that people decide how Christianity is suppose to look, feel or act. God cannot be put in a box and as many of us Christians do just that. I was raised in a Christian home but my faith has grown as an adult. It falters at times and sometimes I don’t really think God can make things better, but then as time goes on I can see His hand in a past event or in what I am experiencing now.
I pray that you will continue your journey and ask for His guidance and love to hold you when you feel the pressure or expectations that society holds for “Christians”. Your journey is just that….your journey. It is a relationship that only you can experience with our Lord Jesus Christ, just as your relationship with your daughter and grandchildren. It grows with time and experiences.
I am so thankful you still refer to Atlanta as home. And I hope you never leave us for the West.
P.S. I forgot to tell you I loved you in 33 Variations. And I would love for you to check out Andy Stanley/http://www.northpoint.org. He is a great minister who is real. His sermons feel like he is talking to you in your living room, not lecturing or preaching. I think you would enjoy it.
With much respect,
Since you live in L.A. now I would suggest looking into the Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Its pastor, Mark Brewer, is a great preacher. About 3000 attend on Sundays. We have an “entertainment professionals” group, Beacon, that meets after church for lunch at the church, with guest speakers who tell what it’s like to be a Christian and work in Hollywood. It draws about 200 people. We meet every other Sunday or on the days listed under http://www.Belairpres.org/events. The Holy Spirit is alive and well at that church. I know, it used to be where President Regan attended, but if a left-wing Democrat like me can go there, it’s not that bad.
The Bible says Jesus is the son of God, the light of the world, and the morning star. Would thinking of Jesus as the sun/son of God help you? After all, the morning star = sun. “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Jesus came from the Father and is His sun/son bringing light to the world for us all.
“In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts17:28)
(John8:12, John9:5, 1John1:5, Rev22:16)