Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Faith

I'm going to venture into an area we're all told not to discuss.  Many of us were raised not to discuss money, faith, or politics, especially in mixed company.  What the hell does that even mean - mixed company?  Anywho...

Confederate Memorial State Historic Site - Missouri (02 August 2008)
Faith, this is a slippery slope in any conversation.  I'm guaranteed to upset someone in this post.  I was raised in the Lutheran Church.  We went nearly every Sunday, and by we I mean my mom and I.  My dad was what many refer to as a "sprinkler".  He attended major church holidays, baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  I attended the same church my entire childhood.  I took my first communion and was confirmed.  I was an acolyte and did things with the youth group.  As an adult, I got married in the same church, a church I hadn't attended in years.

Here's the catch, I left church.  Not just the church I grew up in, but the complete concept of it.  I didn't leave my faith, just the established idea of church.  As an adult I've become a sprinkler, following somewhat in my dad's footsteps.  Since our wedding, I've been to church maybe twice.

Let me set something straight, I left church not God.  I very much believe in God and we have a lot of conversations together.  I just don't go to a building once a week, sit with people who very often won't speak to me in the grocery store on Monday, pretend I enjoy listening to a pastor preach and have coffee with people who make me feel inadequate.   Some of you are going to say I just haven't found the right church, but church isn't like buying jeans.  I'm not willing to try on 100 of them to find the right one.  It's just not gonna happen.  I love that I have friends who've found the right church and I admire that.  I, however, don't believe in church.

There's always such a line in the sand between church and faith with some.  Some people feel that church and faith are one and the same and you can't have one without the other.  Some people believe that you must have an organized religion to have faith.  There are also people without both.  I'm not gonna hold any of that against anyone and I'm not going to judge you based on what you believe.  I have faith.  I believe in God.  I'm still a Lutheran, although it be a dormant one.

I often wonder why it has to be one perspective or another.  Why is someone always out to convert someone else?  I have friends from many walks of faith or nonfaith - Catholics, Lutherns, Baptists, some agnostics, even an atheist or two has been part of my life.  Can I tell you some of my best discussions about faith have been with the non-believers?  Pick your jaw up and shut your mouth.  It's quite amazing the discussions you can have when you don't try to force your belief on someone else's with the goal of changing them to your view.

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