Posted by: sailingspirit | April 11, 2011

License for Faith: Responsible Representatives

(From a discussion on religious studies and history, focus: the origins of Islam)

The history of the Christian church…this was one of my greatest surprises and griefs, also.  I became so ashamed of my faith’s heritage, and more ashamed of myself for being a bad example of Christianity when I was in the company of Muslims.  I mean, I already grieved that missed opportunity, but now that I know the history, it seems all the more grievous.  I became furious that the Church has decided its history is not important for us to learn, and immediately resolved to correct it in my own life by reading a book on Church history.  (Every Christian should be required to study the history of Christianity.  It’s not just a personal opportunity, there’s a liability there!  It’s like getting a driver’s license!  We wouldn’t think to give those out as freely as we glad-hand salvations!)  I learned so many more disturbing things about the Church…but as a man whose name I don’t know once aptly said, “The church is a whore.  And she’s my mother.”  I may be horrified by some of the things she’s done, and neglected to do, but somehow she managed to keep the faith alive well enough that I could come to it today.  Mixed feelings and all.

Perhaps no coincidence, then, it was the cultures of the Middle East that drew me to a spiritual awakening, and interactions with Muslims (far more Christ-like than most Americans I knew) who helped me ultimately return to Christ.  For real this time.  I am now deeply sympathetic to a man who was just trying his very best to strive for God in a heathen age, impressed and encouraged by what he managed to accomplish for good with what he had, as well as cautioned by what can go sour when we don’t learn how to rightly discern the voices trying to influence us (lack of good mentorship).  Never did I expect this class to teach me so much about my own faith, nor did I ever expect to have so much personally in common with Mohammed.

What a life-changing discussion.

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