Keeping the Faith

24 01 2013

by Angela

In tough times, it seems like we always turn to or away from God. When we turn to God, we’re looking for answers and comfort. God becomes our rock. But sometimes we turn away from God. We question if God has a plan, why a loving deity would allow bad things to happen, or even if God exists. Our faith can be strengthened or weakened.

Since college, I haven’t gone to church as often as I used to. Yet when I studied abroad last spring, I went every week. Even though I ended up loving every minute of the experience, spending six months in Chile was way out of my comfort zone. Everything was different, from the landscapes to the culture to the language. And to add to the stress, I was going without knowing anyone else.

One of the other girls in my program couldn’t find anyone to go to church with her the first Sunday, so I went thinking at least it’d be a good way to practicing my listening skills. I was surprised to find that I ended up loving it. I had never felt so connected to God. Throughout the next six months, I continued to go to church weekly, joined a Bible study, read my Bible, and prayed more than I ever remember doing before.

Now that I’m back in a familiar place, I’m struggling with leaning on God in the same way I did while abroad. There are highs and lows in any journey, my faith journey included. I hope that one day I can rely on God for more things. But for now, while I’m not relying on God, I have faith that God’s still there.





Discovering My Faith…Well, Sort of

22 01 2013

by Andrea

When I began my freshman year at Luther College, I was sort of nervous that I would meet a lot of outwardly Christian, avid church-going “Bible bangers,” as some like to call them. In reality, I’ve only had a few encounters with that type (thank God!), and I found that I really don’t fit in with that crowd.

Although Luther is a private Christian college, it still attracts many students who practice other religions or are unsure of what to believe. That’s such a great thing because I think that during this time in our lives, people are still discovering who they are, and for me, I feel more open to others’ opinions than I ever have in the past. I’ve met many people in college who do not share my religious beliefs, and it’s caused me to question my Christian faith.

One of my best friends at Luther is Hmong, and I also have numerous friends who are atheist or agnostic. When I learned about how different their spiritual beliefs were, yet how similar I was to them in other ways, I started to wonder why I had thought that my religion must be the right one and everyone else must be wrong. It seems pretty ignorant considering the twenty-something official religions in the world. That’s when the questioning of my own faith began, and I admitted to myself that the main personal reasons I had for being a Christian were that I didn’t want to burn in hell if I died, and I wanted someone to pray to when things got rough. Pretty selfish, huh?

As of now, I still consider myself Christian, and I often think back to a question one of my atheist friends asked me when I was reconsidering my faith: “Can you honestly say that you don’t believe in God?” My answer was, and still is, no. There’s something within me that knows there is a God, and it’s not something I feel that I can choose. For now, that’s my reason for choosing Christianity; after lots of questioning, His presence still prevails.





I’m Ron Burgundy…?

22 01 2013

by Angela

 

Who can forget this scene from Anchorman? Someone accidentally typed a question mark instead of a period on the teleprompter and Ron Burgundy stated his name as a question. Hilarious! Students do something similar in classes. They turn a statement into a question and immediately the professor retorts with “are you stating something or asking me a question?” in a very sarcastic tone. We only do this to show hesitation. We’re unsure of our answer and don’t want to commit to the statement.

I have the same initial reaction when telling people I’m a Christian. I turn a statement into a question. As soon as I tell someone that, I can immediately see the stereotypes placed onto me. With the label “Christian,” people might assume that I’m a creationist, extremely conservative, judgemental, or intolerant of other religions. The stereotypes we imagine are negative, so I hesitate when telling people my religious beliefs.

College forces us to think critically. We’re forced to rethink everything we’ve thought. We have to consider all the possibilities and challenge everything we learn. Because of my religion classes, I started to see how labeling myself a “Christian” could change how people saw me. I don’t want to become part of the faceless crowd if my beliefs don’t quite match up to the stereoptical “Christian.”

Is it possible to break from the crowd, yet still identify as Christian? Whether or not it is, I think it should be. No one agrees 100% of the time on anything. Why should religion be any different?








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