First Presbyterian Church
Sunday, September 23, 2018
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I once was (pretty) blind, but now I see (better).

Thursday, November 11, 2010 View Comments Comments (0)

True confession time: I grew up in a very conservative and very devout Christian faith.  My family went to worship every time the church doors were open.  The singing, the praying, and the sermons were all fervent and heartfelt.  There was strong emphasis on being certain that you believed the right things and that you knew exactly what was sinful and avoided it. If you did those things and prayed frequently for forgiveness, then, since you were a member of the “true” church, you would go to heaven when you died.  But, if you weren’t careful, if you strayed off the path just a little bit, then you would roast in the fires of hell forever more.  All in all, it wasn’t much different from what you might see and hear on many Christian television or radio broadcasts today.  If nothing had changed, I would still be living in anxiety of damnation or would have eventually rejected Christianity as mean-spirited.

What changed my understanding of the life that Christ calls us to live?  There were at least three things.  First, I began to wonder about some assumptions that seemed to be the foundation of what I believed for the first twenty years of my life (and continued to be an influence for decades more).  I realized that we seemed to treat the King James Version (and the Revised Standard Version that followed it) as if it had descended from heaven, bound in black leather.  Second, a bit of study of history helped me understand how we came to have the Bible that we have today, and appreciate the deep faith of writers and translators who were involved.  Third, I came to realize that science and religion weren’t enemies but complimentary, each giving us greater appreciation and understanding the Divine.

More later.  What’s on your mind?

 

Mike Lamm


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