Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Has Past Expereinces Shaped My Theology?




(photo)

If someone were to ask me whether or not I thought that my past "church" experiences have influenced my "rethinking" Christianity... I would answer, "without a doubt".

Yes, Attending a very legalistic, Christian school my whole life... being asked to leave or being pushed out of a few churches... A church sending a letter out to parents warning them to use discretion if they allowed their teenagers to attend a bible study held at our house... etc, has definitely had its affect on me.

Looking back, I (try to) count it all joy. Maybe there was an easier way to get here, who knows, But I am thankful for where I am now. I see God differently. I see the church differently. I see others who aren't like me differently, and I am thankful that I'm not where I use to be.

As I have said many times before, I am more in love with God now than I have ever been before and i can only attribute this to grace. For i think it would have been much easier for me to give up a long time ago.

It is by grace that I have been saved and it is by grace that I am being saved.
It is by grace that I didn't completely walk away from all things "church" though sometimes, God knows I still want to.

It is by grace that I have people in my life who have shown me what God is like, and maybe more importantly, what God isn't like.

It is by grace that I have awesome friends who can disagree with me, believe differently than me, and still be friends. Apparently this is rare in many churches and even friendships. For many of us were taught to hang out only with those of like beliefs and stay away from everyone.

I am thankful for my past for opening my eyes. For allowing me to choose a different path. For allowing me to question, doubt, and even disbelieve. For allowing me to desire something different. For allowing me to no longer feel the need to get others to believe the same as me, but rather compelling me to love others.

So yes, of course my past experiences have influenced my beliefs and theology. But it is ultimately the grace I have experienced that keeps me going. It is because of my past experiences that I have a very high view of grace and why I am so convinced that it is unconditional love and grace, not fear and coercion, that truly changes lives.

1 comment:

Mindy M. said...

Hi Jacob - I am giving you (your blog) the One Lovely Blog award, because I think it's lovely (see http://small-letters.com/2012/07/27/lovely-blogs-part-2-2/). :)

(I'm commenting on your most recent post because you don't seem to have an About page on which I can comment.)

If you choose to accept this mission (heheh!), just write a post sharing seven things about yourself and nominating 15 other blogs for the One Lovely Blog award. You can pull the image from my blog at http://small-letters.com/2012/07/19/one-lovely-blog/.