Most Christians have a story, whether they came to faith through an personal experience, or were brought up in Church. These Christian stories are what bring meaning and/or understanding of what is of value and why. Different denominations, as well as the Catholic or Orthodox faith would understand these meanings differently and thereby would impact one's life differently.'
I do not believe that a person's faith commitment is defined in childhood, as understanding one's faith is a lifelong process. And life's commitments, contingencies and questions all impact how one evaluates their faith and how they continue or discontinue that faith.
In coming to faith, I had understood an unconditionality to love that I had never known and desparately needed to believe. But, as understanding changes due to many variables, I have chosen to distance myself from such a simplistic understanding, as God is not "active" in the way I had understood in my earlier experience and understanding. God is the great unknown mystery of life. He is not confined within any text, or within nature itself, but is seen in many ways through the human capacity for love, inspiration, creativity, hope and rationality. These are the ways in which I long to worship, not in a particular form, but a particular thrust.
I am glad that my Christian faith has been impacted by American ideals of justice before law, liberty to pursue goals or values that mean the most to me.
I am fortunate to be in a free nation, which allows freedom of speech, press, and assembly. Americans need to understand their faith as one that represents a God that allows individual difference and values individual uniqueness.
I'm hoping that my faith journey will not be defined by what I do not believe, as that has been of major importance in throwing off what is unvaluable to me, but what I choose to be committed to and why those commitments are of importance. Faith, then, becomes a flexible, but defining choice.
Third Sunday of Advent
10 hours ago