I'll let her speak for herself (enjoy!):
i was raised a christian universalist, so never had to 'unlearn' hell. and yet, i embraced many other traditional/literal interpretations of scripture that
finally began to give me no small amount of angst. for years, i kept pounding that square peg in the round hole in order to stay in lockstep with the group think that i found 'safe' (why are we deceived into thinking that if thousands of us agree we must be right...?! LOL).
for example... i grew up with the teaching that God told abraham to kill his son isaac as a human sacrifice. i was told that it was because God was 'testing' him. yet, it just didn't resonate as truth within me. i squelched the doubts i had for fear of 'starting down the slippery slope' (as some repeatedly warn) toward 'heresy'. yet, would the God who said, "do not kill", who does not lie, who
(according to james) "cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man with evil" tell abraham to sacrifice his son...? more and more, the notion seemed to besmirch the character of the God who is Love, who is Light and in whom is no darkness at all - every bit as much as the traditionally accepted dogma that God will send a good majority of his beloved children into eternal fiery torment.
then, i read a great article by john gavazonni (a respected UR [Universal Reconciliation] teacher). he explained that in his view, the translators got it
wrong. the hebrew 'elohim' is translated God or god (as in the heathen gods) at the discretion of the translators. but, it is the same hebrew word. in his view, abraham confused the voice of god (the ego inside his head, influenced by his past living in ur of the chaldees, that was accustomed to honoring their deities with human sacrifice) with the Voice of God - and the translators made the same mistake. that resonated. o/w, there are huge contradictions between what abraham claims God told him and what the later OT prophets and even Jesus proclaimed as the intent/heart/mind of God, stating that God didn't want their sacrifices. (in matthew 12.7, Jesus is quoting hosea 6.6)
later, i read a wonderful book, "the gifts of the jews" by thomas cahill, historian, pastor and universalist. he pointed out that, while abraham had come out of ur of the chaldees, not all of ur had come out of him. however well-intentioned, abraham chose to sacrifice his son to 'honor' God out of his own vain imaginations (god) rather than an actual directive FROM God. why do we elevate these OT characters to divine? scripture confirms that they were human - just like we are. i'm certain we've all thought we heard the voice of God at one time or another, only to find out later that we were mistaken. so again, why would we believe that everything
abraham (or any of the other OT characters) thought he heard was inerrant?!!! paul said that the OT stories were written as an EXAMPLE to us - not for us to build doctrine upon.
though some have made good arguments in favor of the 'virgin' of 'virgin birth', in truth being 'young woman', i continue to believe the virgin birth. though if i were in error, that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me, for in Jesus i see the fully matured/manifested Son of God and the circumstances of his birth don't change who he was or what he did - his perfect Love, his amazing sacrifice. yet, i do not condemn those who no longer believe in the virgin birth as 'heretics' - only folks who see differently than i do. we are all one in Christ. our oneness is not destroyed by a difference in those things we have chosen to give intellectual assent to, for our oneness is rooted and grounded in God himself, in his Love. Jesus said it is
our love for one another that marks us as his disciples, not the uniformity of our doctrine.
i am not quick to toss out a belief just because it is traditional. i spent several months studying and praying before i came to the conclusion that i do not agree with the traditional interpretation of this story of abraham, isaac and God. for me, it's not about 'the bible tells me so', but examining the bible in the light of the
character of the Divine Nature. this is what resonates in my spirit. and if it turns out i was wrong.... so what?!!! my faith is not in my theory-ology ABOUT God, but in the person of God himself. i can be wrong about this story of abraham and still be in no danger, "for Thou art with me". "I will never leave thee or
forsake thee". it's not about what i give mental assent to, but about the One who is able to keep us from falling and present us faultless before the throne.