Friday, April 18, 2008

R is for Religion

Erica at All Dressed Up (If you don't read Erica's blog, go read it. She rocks!) gave me the word for today's post. (There were more suggestions for R and I will use them, but I'm going in the order of who gave them to me first.) Well, Erica, I hope that you're not too disappointed in my post about religion. It's probably rather boring.

I grew up in an amazing Christian home. I went to the same church almost all my life. When I was born my parents were attending a United Methodist church, so I was baptized as a baby there. After a while they found another church that is part of the Christian & Missionary Alliance (CMA, aka Alliance). They have been attending at the Alliance church near them ever since. Shortly after they started attending there, my sister was born. At the Alliance church we don't baptize babies, but instead we dedicate them. So, when my sister was dedicated, so was I.

I became a Christian at a young age. I was a bright one (too smart for my own good maybe?) young. I specifically remember asking Jesus into my heart when I was 4 years old. I loved going to Sunday School, learning about Jesus, and memorizing scripture from a young age. When I was 8 years old, I went to church camp for the first time. I remember asking to rededicate my life to God, because I had accepted him so young I wanted to be sure I was making that my choice. Shortly after that I was baptized at my church.

I have always been a pretty conservative Christian. I have never strayed from my Christian values and beliefs. To me my Christianity is about a relationship and not about religion. I live my life for God.*

When Matt and I got married and moved here (a little ways away from home), we looked for a new church together. There are two Alliance churches here, so we decided to check them out first. We fell in love with our current church immediately. Honestly, we were planning to check our other (non-CMA) churches, but something about this particular church drew us in. It is amazing and we've now been here for almost 8 years. We've seen our church go through good times and bad, and it's the people there that make us stay. As long as we stay in this area we will raise our children in this church too. When Zachariah was 2 months old he was dedicated here. When he's older and has accepted Jesus as his Savior, then he can decide if he'd like to be baptized here. I hope that we can pass our beliefs and values on to him, but ultimately it's his choice. We will love him, guide him, pray for him, and do the best we can to raise him.

Matt's father is a United Methodist pastor. Matt grew up in a UM church. He started coming to youth group events with me when we were in high school. We went to each other's churches for services occasionally, but mostly we stayed at our respective churches for our parents. In college, Matt started coming more to my church. He fell in love with it and he loves this church here as much as I do.

If you'd like to learn more about my church in particular, I'd be glad to tell you more. Our church website is an awesome resource and it explains "11 basic beliefs" and our churches views on baptism, communion, and baby dedication. I don't want to link here for just anyone, but I'd be glad to give it out to those of you who I "know".

I'd be happy to answer any more about this subject. I feel like I gave you a brief overview, but it's hard to know where to begin/end and what to include/not include. So there you go for now.

* Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.


Anonymous said...

Yay! Thank you for this. I've only ever been Lutheran and haven't studied a lot of other religions, so it was nice to get a peek into yours. I appreciate it : )

Jana said...

How interesting! I'm so interested in other people's religious beliefs. I'm Methodist, so I know all about that one, but I didn't know much about your current faith. Thanks for posting this!

desperate housewife said...

This was a good explanation of our church; I liked it!

Mommy Brain said...

Very interesting! I enjoy learning more about other religions. There's so many nuances to each Christian church. I'm glad you shared this.