Often times i get constructive criticism after a post. I have some great friends who give me great feedback. One of the criticisms a friend gave me was that I often speak from a standpoint of ideas and thoughts more than narrative and stories. He suggested that I use stories to back up my points. So for this post I thought I’d tell you a little bit of my story. My upbringing, my struggles, and what lead me to starting a blog.
I had a childhood that was different than most. For starters I was homeschooled until tenth grade. My parents were devout conservative Christians, and decided it was best that I was taught from home. I thought it was pretty normal doing school at home, but as I got older I realized that most kids went to public school and sat in a classroom for 6 hours a day. My experience was much different because my school time usually lasted until about 12 P.M and I had no homework. Looking back I’m grateful that I was homeschooled because i had so much more time to be a kid. My neighborhood was heavily wooded, so my neighbors (who were also homeschooled) and I spent long days in the woods building forts, climbing trees, and swimming in the creek in my backyard. Every now and then I get lost in my head thinking about these times. They were great.
During this time I attended a pretty conservative Baptist Church. The church was a hymns only, suit and tie type of church. Once again, I just figured this was normal. This mentality also crossed over in to my family. I grew up without much tv, Christian only movies, and definitely no rock music (christian or not) of any kind. This all changed though when I turned eleven. Our church body got a new pastor and he soon began to teach that modern praise and worship music is ok, and God honoring. This was good news to my dad because he grew up with a guitar in his hand and he was thrilled to get back to it. I remember sitting in his room watching him play all of these guitar licks like the ocean by Led Zeppelin, or Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Still whenever I hear these songs I am instantly transported back in time to sitting in that small bedroom, my dad with an acoustic guitar on his knee playing these songs like he discovered his long lost love. My dad was and still is an amazing musician.
When I hit eleven I picked up the drums and never looked back since. I had a very unique opportunity to not only get taught by many great teachers, but I started playing in the praise band at my church pretty much once I started learning drums. I had a very unique opportunity to not only play with my dad for over 10 years, but to play with musicians who were much better than me consistently. There’s more to my music story but in this post I want to focus more about my spiritual story.
When I was around 13/14 I started getting involved with a organization called Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), and this no doubt had the biggest impact on me more than any other individual thing. It wasn’t the organization more than it was the people. I met two great guys who essentially discipled me through my teen years. Of course I don’t think any of us saw it that way, we were just three great friends who hung out all the time and made memories that still make us cry of laughter to this day. Without those two guys in my life, I have not the slightest idea as to where I would be in my faith today.
I eventually got to a point where I had two roads to go down. The first road was abandoning my faith (or I should say my parents faith) and the second was owning my upbringing and making it my own. To be honest it was never a hard decision, for some reason that I still can’t explain I’ve always wanted to follow the ways of Christ. Don’t misunderstand, I had plenty of issues that I had to work through, in fact I’m still working through many of them, but I understand this is part of the human experience, a constant wrestling with my flesh, the other side of me that has no interest in following the ways of Christ.
When I was around 18, I really started thinking more in depth about my faith. Not only did many of my friends walk away from the faith, I began to meet new people who didn’t follow Christ who raised up very good points about the hypocrisy in Christians and in the Church. The Lord put a massive burden on my heart for His Church in particular. I started seeing that we had some major problems that were tarnishing the image of Christ and what He stood for. The more I read about the Church in the New Testament and then compared the way we do Church today, the more I thought “Are we all reading the same book called the Bible?”. It’s been six years since I started reexamining my faith and I feel like I’m only scratching the surface.
I starting posting my thoughts on my facebook and apparently I wasn’t the only person thinking about the things I was thinking about. It got to a point where some of my statuses had over 100 comments on them. People I ran in to every now and then would say “I follow your facebook all the time”. It was pretty weird to hear this from people I would never expect to even know I had a facebook let alone to hear that they were reading and following what was going on there. After a while my facebook got too cluttered so I decided to start a blog so I could write longer posts, and so people could have a place to comment and engage in some kind of conversation. I asked my friend Rob to be a coauthor because he has some very different views on the Christian faith than I do, and it’s great to have a different voice posting on here. Both of us do agree however, that we love the Church. This was why I started the blog in the first place.
We believe that in many ways we’ve put the institution before the actual body. We put emphasis on buildings, Sunday morning events, and programs that we forget about the person of Christ, His headship, and His leading. This concerned us a lot, so we made a place where we can voice our concerns and attempt to offer solutions to those concerns. People disagree with us, and that’s ok. We are not here to put the Church down but to be honest about it even that honesty hurts. This is the main purpose of this blog. Over time, it’s evolved in to a blog about the Christian faith in general and it’s been encouraging to see more and more people read it and offer positive feedback.
This blog has grown in its audience and it’s been so encouraging receiving so much positive feedback. Thank you for reading Rob and I’s thoughts about the Christian faith, it’s great to know we are not crazy.