Today is the real DAY 4 of the BLOG CHALLENGE! I am officially caught up!
Today's writing challenge is: my views on religion.
I don't see this as being a controversial subject. Anytime anyone mentions the word "religion" or "religious views" people start getting defensive or argumentative. I simply see this as just another part of our life's jourey; faith.
I have always been a faithful person. I believe in God. Jesus Christ as our Savior. I grew up knowing nothing more than that however.
It was hard being a kid with so many questions, and not enough adults with the answers. I knew I was supposed to believe in God. I knew He had a Son. He was born on Christmas Day and died at Easter for us. But that was essentially it. (give or take a few bible stories told in Sunday School class)
But the practical side of me wanted to know how to GROW in Christ. How to BE a better Christian. How to USE the scriptures as my guide and be a disciple of the word. None of this really happened for us me until I became an adult. Having had married someone of a different faith, we had to find a common ground we could stand on and raise our children up in. I didn't want restrictions placed on me and he didn't want to be forced into going to church or being apart of church 5-6 days a week. So in doing our "church shopping" we found our home at St. Andrews United Methodist church here in OKC.
The church is bigger than what he and I grew up accustomed too. They don't play the classical hymns we grew up singing and are familiar with. They don't have someone scouting you out every week wondering : where you were the week before; why you aren't coming to such and such event; calling to see if we'd like to do A, B, C , etc etc. It was a refreshing change! :-)
Instead our church embraced us. Offered us things to do, at will (allowing you to be as involved or not as you want to), they offered AMPLE kids' programs for our boys to participate in (all of which they freely want to participate in). They offer ADULT Sunday School classes and bible study classes which has enabled Scott and I both to grow in faith without interruption of having to juggle our kids. It's a comfortable environment where others just like us are learning things for the first time too. It offers TONS of community service work (which I love!), and lots of FELLOWSHIP opportunities with people our age! :-)
The pastors of the church know us by name because we are involved with the church; not because we are not; they know our kids and care about their development within the church; they have laid blessings on us when Scott was deployed. This "big" church is now a lot like home for us. we're not just a number, we're family.
Now in terms of religion; I believe that everyone has the free will to practice their own religion. Not everyone has the same perspective when reading the bible or understanding our God. I do believe we are his children and its our life's mission to go out into the world and share our testimony of our faith with friends and non believers to draw them closer to him. I believe that in order to go to heaven, you must have a relationship with God. I do not place judgement on those who do not. It is their free will to choose to believe what they do and why. I do not have to answer for them one day :-)