I was never meant to be a writer. English was never my best subject, and the only writing class I voluntarily took in college was because it included a study abroad trip to Greece. Putting my thoughts into words is a grimace-inducing process, and I hold several authors in high esteem who often seem to voice my opinions more clearly than I ever could. But the biggest thing that holds me back from writing is fear. Fear that my beliefs will leave me ostracized from some family and friends. Fear of backlash from those who don’t agree. Fear that I won’t be able to effectively communicate the things I believe. But those things are small. Those are things that I can overcome.
SO…. here are some things you should know about me and why I’ve started this blog:
I was born into Christianity. I guess you could liken it to being born as an American. It wasn’t something I chose for myself, and it was something I never expected to change.
I grew up in the Church of God, a denomination of the Pentecostal/Evangelical variety, known for its potluck lunches, speaking in tongues, and “hell fire and brimstone” sermons. I started attending a non-denominational church at the age of 18, which doesn’t seem like a big life change, but if you come from a Pentecostal background, you know how huge of a difference it is.
I don’t currently know what I believe about God. I don’t know if I believe he is real. I’ve never known what it is like to “feel the love of God” or hear God speak to me. I’ve gone my whole life feeling “less-than” because of one “Christian-qualifier” or another. When I was young it was the “Gift of the Holy Spirit” and older “knowing His presence.” I feel a constant need to seek out answers to questions, and I don’t rest well in the tension of the unanswered. If I do believe in God, I want it to be because it’s a truth I rest in, not a conformity to those who surround me.
Even though I’m not sure what I believe about God, I’m fascinated with Bible and, more specifically, with Jesus. Especially in light of the way he is perceived by the different Christians of our current culture. From a historical and Biblical perspective, he was an amazing man that embodied beliefs that were radical for his time. He came to spread forgiveness and love, and it pains me to see people use him as a scapegoat for their fear and judgement, because I don’t think that’s the message Jesus spread during his time on earth.
I would never want my lack of belief to be seen as a reflection of what I think about others’ beliefs. Some of my very best friends are amazing people who are full of faith and incredible representatives of the love of Christ. I admire their convictions, and I’m thankful for their guidance in my times of need.
It’s a weird position I sit in. So I ask for your grace (and forgiveness for my bad grammar) as I hash out my thoughts on this humble sort of sounding board. I welcome your criticism (as long as it’s constructive) and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not alone in this journey, and I hope that you all don’t mind walking along beside me.
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