My formative years (middle school) were spent in a hyper-conservative church environment. It was the cofC-way or the hell-way, so to speak. The way I understood God, His church and His word, was – and probably still is – shaped by those years. I understood that my entire purpose here on earth was to go to heaven after I died. This purpose dictated my speech, actions, doctrine and opinions of other people and groups.
In high school, I went to a less conservative, more grace-attuned church, but I still held pretty tightly to some of my old convictions (instrumental worship and salvation to name two).
I then went to Harding University, where little of my worldview was challenged until I took “Human Situation” (I think that was the name of the course) with Dr. Garner and “Christian in the 21st Century” with Dr. Monte Cox. Both classes forced me to examine my worldview and determine upon what it was based. The idea of paradigms entered my…well…paradigm, and I began to recognize and appreciate the importance of where someone is coming from and how that flavors the way they see the world.
Looking back, it seems a bit silly that I had to take a class to understand that. But honestly, I had never given the idea of context or worldview much thought.
So today, I’m reflecting on my context. I know, based on my personality, that many of my opinions and thoughts are reactions to my former worldview. I’m working on respecting where I’ve come from without reviling it and I must admit it’s been a difficult task. It’s also been difficult to respect the people who still hold my former worldview (or various pieces of it) and this has perhaps been more difficult to remedy.
This journey that I’ve been on over the past 13 years has been an interesting one, and I’m anticipating, with hopeful expectation, that the next steps in this journey will be even more remarkable. At the least they’ll be surprising, as I have no idea where I’m headed next – or rather, where God is heading me next.
So, where are you coming from?
EDIT: I’ve reread the post, and I realize that perhaps I’ve communicated that I am no longer committed to Christ. That was not my intention, as it is wholly untrue. I’m more fully in love with Christ today than I ever have been before. I’m more at peace with my purpose and ministry in His church than I ever have been before. I’m more fully alive than I have ever been before.