Friday, October 24, 2008

Coming To Terms With Past Beliefs

It's kind of like having an uncle that taught you how to fish, but he has some really harmful traits as well. If he's disrupting your life and causing harm to your well-being, you may have to distance yourself from him for your own good.

But it doesn't take away the fact that he taught you how to fish. What are you going to do now? Are you going to curse fishing even though you love doing it? No, you're going to keep fishing - just not with your uncle.

Growing up within fundamentalist Chistianity taught me how to be interested in spirituality, in matters of the soul (whatever that means..that sounds so deep!) I am thankful for that, and will take some of the things that I learned with me as I continue on my journey. Things like loving those who are different than you, being kind to those who are abandoned by society (I suck at these things a lot of the time.) I can look at Jesus again and ask "what was it about this man that caused people to associate the divine within him?"

For as long as I remain bitter about everything associated with Christianity, the longer that piece of my life will be left out in the cold. But it is part of who I am.

I have been lucky that there have been people in the last few years that have helped me to see that there are other lenses by which to see Christianity and the Bible other than fundamentalism or literalism. Thanks go to those who have encouraged me to think, or steered me to take a look at different viewpoints. I think of the prof in Bible college who directed me to a book called "God of the Possible" by Gregory Boyd, and more recently I've also appreciated the Unitarian church in town, and Unity, where I currently go on Sundays, often on very little sleep. Authors such as John Shelby Spong, Henri Nouwen, and Marcus Borg have been helpful to me as well.

The journey continues, with an acknowledgement of my fundamentalist past.