It has been a while since I walked into a church, today I broke that streak. My ability to write this blog rules out any indication that I was struck by lightning for walking in those doors. I also regret to inform my Christian friends eager for me to be born again that that didn’t happen either. I did enjoy the service very much though and as with any occasion when the person in the pulpit is actually well-educated in scripture in a non-dogmatic way, I learned something and was impressed with his perspective. The service focused around Paul’s letter to the Philippians and how it was a testament to the importance of prayer. The pastor wove the necessity of prayer into how it can affect our relationships with other people. I don’t know if the folks were listening, but he pretty much blasted the notion of self-serving prayer and crisis hotline prayers – this was a very good message! Naturally, I went on with my day and was looking forward to everyone going to sleep so that I could take the time to read the entire Letter of Paul to the Philippians just so that I could get the complete context – yes, I will always be skeptical of another person’s method of scriptural exegesis. It is a very short epistle and I will have to admit it is one of Paul’s better writings. I read it in its entirety in both the KJV and the NIV and was happy to see the pastor didn’t spin it out of context. This was a nice discovery because my kids really enjoyed the youth activity that was going on while the “big people were in the big room”.
So why did I go to church?’
Well, to be honest my kids need more stuff to do and they have some really good friends that go there and my wife and I figured it would be a good thing for them. Mind you my wife is about as secular as it gets so if she is telling me we should go to a church, it has to be divine intervention. The kids had a blast and want to go back so we will.
What happened to me converting to Judaism?
I can’t go through a conversion because I refuse to go into anything halfway. This means a conversion to really be legit, I would need to go Orthodox. That kind of thing affects more than just me, it affects the entire family. And while I thoroughly enjoy Torah study, I do not believe any writings of man to be infallible and I still found a lot of value in the New Testament and it is really hard not to admire the character of Jesus.
So am I a Christian?
If being a Christian means that I revere the character of Jesus, respect his teachings above all others, and believe that by following his example is the manner in which a person can live a moral life – than the answer would be yes.
If being a Christian means that I believe Jesus is God and should be worshiped, and that faith in his death and resurrection will wipe away all my sins and that is all I need to go to heaven – than the answer is no.
My mind is full of ideas for more posts – this may be a busy week here at The Quest so stay tuned.