Monday, December 23, 2013

OK, I Confess

I will sit here in front of the world and finally confess that I am a Christian. This absurd "Duck Dynasty" brouhaha has driven me to this. I intended to keep this to myself until they stuffed my ashes down some abandoned rabbit hole, never to be seen again.

Some personal history, for perspective. When I was old enough to attend Sunday School. I was summarily delivered to the local Methodist Church by my father in our old Pontiac. At which point he disappeared for an hour. For Christmas and Easter both of my parents would drive me to Sunday School and they would actually go to church.

But I did go to Sunday School. I read the Bible some. I loved to sing the hymns on Sunday and still remember most of the words. Later I sang in the choir and spent many enjoyable hours as a member of the youth fellowship. I did not "accept" Christianity. Christianity was part of me. I grew up into it.

As a child, I knew that there were Catholics and Protestants. I did not understand that Protestants came in so many flavors. But one night at a youth fellowship meeting we had a speaker who was of fundamentalist leanings. He gave a "Hell" raising speech about sin and accepting Christ as you savior. We were young and confused. We were trying to figure what in "hell" he was talking about. To our good fortune, and maybe not by chance, Dr. Linden, our minister attended the meeting.

The good Doctor walked to the front of our group and explained the difference between the sudden acceptance of Christ and being nurtured as a Christian from baptism.  He was moving, understandable, and commanding in his explanation.

In my mind, total unquestioned acceptance does not make the total Christian. All of my life I have sought answers. Blind faith is a wonderful thing if that is acceptable to you. Me, I question everything. I have gone from total acceptance to absolute confusion.

To me, religion is a very private journey. One travels across the plains of confusion and climbs the mountains of sure knowledge. On your lifelong trip you descend into the abyss of doubt. But as you mature in years and, hopefully, wisdom. The answers that you have sought start to emerge. But, be aware, they are your answers. Others may share them. Many will not.

I am coming to the end of my journey. I have been high on the mountain and lower in the valley than was necessary. But it was necessary to my journey. Every person must discover their own path. My understanding is greater than it was in my youth, but far from complete. I accept that in my mortal coil I will never completely resolve my doubts. After all, I am but human. But to my last breath and, hopefully beyond, I will continue to seek the truth.  

This is the first time that I have discussed religion and the first time that I have gotten this deeply personal. I decided that on Christmas week it might not be inappropriate. This will be my last blog until Christmas has passed. But I want to wish everyone a happy, merry, and joyful Christmas. It will be all family, all the time, for us. I hope you all have a Christmas that is as fulfilling.

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