I have a longstanding interest in Christianity, having gone through a sort of “spiritual journey,” which I’ve mentioned from time to time here and which I refer to in the “About Me” page on this website.
I started as a child in an American Baptist church. I don’t even know how the “fit” into the structure of contemporary American Christianity — probably sort of an evangelical/mainline church of some sort. In my early teens, I was a member of a Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Then I moved into a sort of “non-denominational” fundamentalist church or two.
When I met the wonderful woman who became my wife, Shirley, she and her family were attending an Assemblies of God church. Looked good to me, and I “signed on,” so to speak. I actually graduated from an Assemblies of God Bible college in 1970. I’ve even pastored a small A/G church for a few years, and worked to help launch an A/G mission church on an Indian reservation.
For a number of years, Shirley and I both worked at the A/G international headquarters, located in the city where we live. She was a full-time proofreader in their production area, and I was news editor of their weekly denominational magazine, “The Pentecostal Evangel.”
Still with me? Here goes: In 1994 we felt God was leading us to work with a newly launched Episcopal mission congregation here, so we joined the Episcopal Church. In 2005, the diocese closed that church and we moved on to join a local ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) congregation.
Many people are puzzled by my “journey of faith” from mainline Christianity to fundamentalist/Pentecostal Christianity, and on to a mainline/”liberal” affiliation. I don’t fully understand why that surprises people, because Shirley and I feel God has led us to where we are today in our lives.
I share all that to let you know something of who I am and where I came from. Personally, I rejoice in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I also look at my faith with a deeply analytical, intellectual bent. I suppose I wear the label “mainline” Christian most comfortably.
But that wasn’t really the point of all this, and I have no desire to start a religious debate. Chalk it all up to the Christmas season, I guess. I just felt like sharing something about my life and experience to help you think more, perhaps, about what makes you the person and the writer that you are.
Now get busy and write something to make us all proud of you.
[tags]writing and faith, Christian writing, writing and life, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]