My Religion

In Friends, Religion on September 7, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Yesterday I couldn’t help but think about the state of my religious beliefs. I was at the open house where all the people there except for me go to the same church. It is a large, evangelical church in Worthington, Ohio. I don’t know if it is non-denominational or a member of the Churches of Christ. It’s so large it has welcome desks at each entrance according to its website at It was founded in 1975. I think I remember it from the days when I was first married to Bob.

Anyway, I was the white elephant in the room. Not that everyone wasn’t perfectly nice to me, but I thought it was interesting that no one asked me where I went to church. Maybe they assumed that I didn’t attend one (and they’d be right). But if they had asked me if I was a Christian, if I believed in Jesus as my personal savior, I would have said yes. And what would they have done with that? Because i obviously don’t fit the stereotype: I’m pro-choice, for one thing, have been divorced three times and married four, am not married to a “believer,” don’t attend church, only one of my four children is Christian (and I don’t know if she has accepted Jesus as her savior), and none of my kids went to Christian schools or colleges. Not only that but they were raised in the Methodist church, not exactly a hot-bed of evangelicalism.

I still believe that I’m an orthodox Christian, however. I may have not had the most exemplary life, but doesn’t God forgive us our trespasses (as long as we forgive those who trespass against us)? God knows that I have always tried to do the right thing, but that I often haven’t. I’ve made plenty of ill-advised decisions in my life, but I’ve made them all in my quest for a more authentic life. I refuse to live a lie. God would know if I was anyway.

Still, I feel a powerful pull to churches like Worthington Christian. I felt perfectly comfortable yesterday when one of the guests led us in prayer for Jenny. We all held hands and stood in a circle. I may have surprised the others by my willingness to do so and they may have doubted my sincerity, but God knows my heart and that’s all that matters to me (most of the time–obviously other people’s opinons matter or I wouldn’t have written the above!).

One thing I found interesting was a brief discussion about Catholicism. Martha asked if there was such a thing as “fulfilled Catholics,” like Messianic Jews. One person answered that she thought Catholics could be true believers but that there was a whole lot of stuff added to their religion that shouldn’t have been there. That was her implication anyway. I see what she means; I struggle with some of that stuff myself. But surely evangelical/fundamentalist Christians find a lot of common ground with Catholics? As much as with any other Christian denomination? There are non-believers and wrong believers in any church, just as there are evangelicals and fundamentalists. It’s all a matter of interpretation.

All in all, I’m glad I went. I was wonderful to see Martha and an honor to be there to share in her daughter’s big adventure. I just hope I didn’t make anyone uncomfortable. And it did give me a lot to think about.


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