A note from the author: Welcome to my blog. If you would like to start this series of articles from the beginning, click here: first post. I hope you enjoy the article. Don’t forget to leave your comments.
My earlier experiences led to a perception of many religious people as pushy, holier-than-thou, hypocrites. (See my article Obstacles) In reaction to this, I developed a philosophy during my teen and college years that one should study and develop their religious beliefs on their own, that one should not try to push their beliefs on other people, and that one should not force their children to go to church, once they get old enough to object.
This philosophy carried over into my parenting. We were not regular churchgoers and the churches where we took our children on Easter and Christmas, and a few other rare occasions, were generally horrible for children. (I could barely stand some of them as an adult.) The singing was dry and painful to listen to. Sometimes, the sermons weren’t much better. There was little of the spirit and joy that I have since seen in other places.
I must say, though, that the Pentacostal church that my mother-in-law and her family attended was an exception. There was joy in their music, for sure.
I felt that my children could and would develop their own religious beliefs. Looking back now, I feel that I neglected a significant part of my duty as a parent.
Part of me still firmly believes that one’s faith should be between themselves and God, and that it’s nobody else’s business. OK, so why am I baring my soul and my beliefs by writing and publishing these articles? Is it an ego thing? No, I don’t think so. Do I feel that I need to boast of my holy relationship with the Father? No, far from it. I don’t feel that I’m holier than anyone. In fact, key parts of my philosophy are to be humble and to respect the beliefs of others, who may have forged their relationship with God in a different way.
In a way, my current project of writing all of these articles for you to read runs counter to my philosophy and belief. The reason I am doing this is found in several of the quotes from Jesus. Perhaps the more popular is found in Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
A short and sweet version of this instruction is found in John 20:21
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
This instruction from Jesus is often called the Great Commission. If you use Google, or some other search engine, you will find many articles on it. One good one is found here:
What is the Great Commission?
As a follower of Christ, I believe I have a duty to share my beliefs with others, and to help them to come to a relationship with the Lord. However, I am not an aggressive person, and I firmly believe that others should be allowed to absorb religion (or not) at their own speed and of their own free will. So, my way of dealing with these two seemingly conflicting beliefs is to tell my story in these articles, to publicize the articles, and to pray that the articles will help others on their journey. I’m putting the information out there. What you do with it is up to you. At the start, I am using Facebook to make these articles known. As I further develop and refine the blog, I hope to find other means of publicizing it as well.
By the way, I have already received a special blessing from doing this writing. One of my cousins, the only one that I had not met since becoming an adult, contacted me recently via Facebook chat. She said that she enjoyed the articles and a couple of stories that I told about times past in our old home town. I felt rewarded for some of my work right there.
I would love to have your comments and feedback on this project, even if you think I’m off my rocker. Some of my friends have preferred to give me feedback in other ways than the Reply box at the end of each article. There is a Contact item in the menu line at the top of the article that you could use to send me an e-mail as well. If you ask me a question, I will try my best to answer it.