You gotta have faith

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: I have strong reservations about posting this. The only thing I feel more uncomfortable discussing on this blog more than politics is religion. Both topics are so all consuming and divisive and that’s not what I want this blog to turn into. I don’t want to be a pundit and I don’t want to be a religious blogger but I also figured that with as much time as I’ve spent detailing my musical theater experiences, I could at least drop one post about my spiritual side. I’ve always defended myself against people who say I should “witness” more or “spread the gospel” more by saying that everyone who knows me knows what I believe and that if they ever had any questions about it they would approach me. Nobody wants to be Bible-thumped. But with my recent expanse into the blogosphere there is a whole section of people who don’t have the faintest clue what I believe and I want to change that.

I grew up in the church so it’s been a very big part of my life since I was about 5 years old. Of course it hasn’t always been a big part of my life by my choice. I spent my first 9 years of school in private Baptist schools so I was forced into chapel everyday and had Bible classes every semester and during elementary and middle school years there’s bound to be a bit of rebellion. I faked sick on more than one occasion to stay home on Sundays and watch Columbo instead of going to church. But even at that age, I still enjoyed the culture of the church and the family feeling it brings. Without a church where do people get dinners when they are sick or helping hands when they need to move? Where do people find doctors and dentists and hairstylists without a church?

Through high school I spent time with a couple of other church youth groups because my home church groups was so small. Most of my close friends at this time were from church. There were some dark times during my first few years of college. I was still going to church every Sunday because I was living at home, but there was no connection with my life and it wasn’t exactly having a profound impact on me. It got worse when I left for a semester away at Western Michigan University. When I returned though, I hooked up with a college age Bible study through one of the churches I hung out with when I was in high school. This group was drawn from several churches of different protestant denominations so the discussions were lively and I started to develop my own beliefs based on what I had grown up with and the new ideas I was hearing. Ultimately, my core beliefs fell closer to the traditions I had grown up with, though I do tend to swing more liberal on some areas.

I’m still growing as a Christian and constantly evaluating my life and my faith but I don’t think there will ever be a time where I don’t have it in my life. I’m an optimistic person by nature, but having faith and having an understanding of my place in this world gives me a hope that I can’t imagine having otherwise. I love the idea of being part of a plan bigger than anything I could conceive, or even understand, on my own. With the security and grace that comes with faith, there is also responsibility and accountability. Many people misunderstand Christianity and see it as a set of stringent rules and commands. The part many people misunderstand is the love involved. The Passion of the Christ was attacked on many front and some of the most common attacks were aimed at the excessive violence. I think the best explanation though for why it was needed comes from my old roommate. He is non-religious but his girlfriend is a Seventh Day Adventist and she talked him into going to see the movie with him. Later that night we were talking about the film and he said, “If you believe he went through that for you, then that’s amazing.”

And that’s the thing. It is amazing.

My life is not my own. I won’t get into the cliched “created for better things” speech, but the truth is, this world isn’t all there is and eventually I’m going to be held accountable for the things I’ve done. If I have to face that relying only on my own strength and my own good works I’m out of luck. I want someone in my corner, someone who can cover my failures and my corrupt nature. And if that means I have to abide my a few rules and regulations until then, I’m happy to do so. I mean for crying out loud, I just finished a story about a sperm bank robber.

12 thoughts on “You gotta have faith

  1. “I want someone in my corner, someone who can cover my failures and my corrupt nature.”Paging Burgess Meredith! Paging Burgess Meredith..! Aw, man. I really don’t feel like being serious right now. Later, perhaps.

  2. BYRON GOOD ON YAHMY BELIEF IS REAL SIMPLE….RELIGION IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRAID OF HELLSPIRITUALITY IS FOR THOSE WHO’VE BEEN THEREYOU IMPRESSED THE HELL( NO PUN INTENEDED) OUT OF MEKEN

  3. Even I can’t take the piss out of that. ;-DI’ll still keep finding comedy in Chick tracts and dinosaurs, of course, but you can’t fault a man’s individual faith at all.And I can’t top Ken’s way of putting things.

  4. Bryon, It is a hard topic to broach, but it’s always good when people such as yourself (or Anne Lamott) choose to do it.That said . . . would you now reconsider what you said about fat girls in short skirts? Because I’m pretty sure that’s going to come up at the pre-interview with St. Peter.

  5. All righty, just to be serious for a moment, I’ve always been a God fearing Christin, Roman Catholic, though I’ve kind of made up my own rules as I’ve gone along. Though, yes, it is good to know this about you.

  6. Correction… I’ve always been fearing Christin more than God… man, she is scary. (STUPID TYPOS… I CAN’T EVEN BE SERIOUS WHEN I TRY)

  7. I envy people who can believe with this kind of conviction. I’ve been too many places where God was conspicously absent to think kindly toward a deity who would abandon his children.But don’t let this heathen’s dark view of the void shake your faith. Like I said, I envy that.

  8. Bryon,As the other born again-type in the crime fiction community (there are just the 2 of us, right?), I appreciated what you wrote a lot. Thanks for having the conviction to speak out about your faith. I usually don’t, and I’ll confess to feeling a little ashamed about it at times.

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