Why I Am a Christian   3 comments

Snapshot_20130616_13

Above:  The Author and the Irish Book of Common Prayer (2004), Sunday Afternoon, June 16, 2013

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A Christian is one who follows Jesus of Nazareth.  Following Jesus is the definition of discipleship.  This discipleship is a matter of active and intellectual faith, for deeds reveal creeds.  This is a spiritual journey I have made for a long time, with varying degrees of success and always on the power of grace.  But my sometimes misapplied free will has gummed up the works too often.  Nevertheless, I return to the right path inevitably.

I am a product of a Christian family, one which has been Christian for uncounted generations.  Christianity is therefore my inherited religion.  True, my style of Christianity differs from that of my ancestors.  My parents’ forms of Christianity also differs from mine.  I stand, however,  on all these shoulders while acknowledging my separate path.

One of my off-an-on blogging projects is entering sermon outlines by the Reverend George Washington Barrett (1873-1956), my great-grandfather, at TAYLOR FAMILY POEMS AND FAMILY HISTORY WRITINGS, which links into this weblog.  I have far to go before I complete the undertaking, not that I am in a hurry.  The simple truth is that her sermon outlines bother me after a little while, for I argue with many of them in my mind often as I type them.  The sermon notes of George W. Barrett reveal him to have been a revivalistic Methodist; I am a ritualistic Episcopalian.  His writings tell me that he had no use for what he called “externals,” but I find many of those “externals” indispensable.  I know that he condemned all drinking of alcohol and playing of cards, but I think that he needed to relax.  My great-grandfather’s writings reveal his contempt for Roman Catholicism; my attitude is mixed yet generally amenable.  I understand that he was a product of his milieu, as I am of mine.  And I acknowledge him as being one reason that Christianity passed down through the family to reach me.

Yet growing up in a religion does not guarantee that one will remain in it.  It is no secret that people have been converting from Religion A to Religion B for a long time.  (I refer to religions, not sects and denominations within a particular religion.)  Some people raised religious have dropped out of religion entirely, and others raised irreligious have become devout.  These are also old patterns.

There come times when one must decide what to do, whom to follow, and where to belong.  These times occur daily.  Some of these occasions prove to be turning points in the process of relating to God.  For some people a particular turning point is so dramatic that they can recall the date and/or time.  But conversions are not restricted to “born again” experiences.  For many of us conversion is a slow, steady pilgrimage with some notable turns in the path.  I have never had a “born again” experience, for example, but I am a Christian.  God does not relate to every person in the same way.

I remain a Christian because of the person of Jesus of Nazareth, a figure infinitely more complex and interesting than the cardboard cut-out I learned of in children’s Sunday School in southern Georgia.  Jesus, I understand, did not die because he said to love one another.  I affirm that he said that, of course, but I grasp that he died because he confronted the corrupt Temple system, the twisted union of religion and state which served as the seat of collaboration with the imperium.

There is Jesus, whom I follow.  He is the incarnate Son of God who confronted corruption and an empire and who died and rose again on the third day.  My family background explains why I grew up a Christian, but Jesus accounts for the fact that I am one today.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABIES AND THE ANGELIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF H. RICHARD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF WILLEM A. VISSER ‘T HOOFT, ECUMENIST

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on August 11, 2017

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Below:  The Author Studying Glory to God:  The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013) on November 17, 2013

Hymnal Studying November 17, 2013

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Advertisements

Posted July 5, 2013 by neatnik2009

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: