Commitment-Phobe: Love, joy and running
Since my last venture into Christianity at the local Catholic church, I have been asking a lot of questions. Do you need to believe that Jesus was resurrected to be a Christian? OK, the answer should be obvious, but I struggle with this integral part of the Christian faith. I don’t do the supernatural. I’m scared of ghosts and unexplained things, so I choose to not believe in them. Yes, there may be some contradictions in the logic of that sentence but it is logic that has got me by up to this point. So if I need to believe in the Holy Ghost, that means I need to believe in all the other ones, doesn’t it?
Then there is the question of good and evil. Well, yes, people do evil things, intentionally, and also unwittingly, for what they think are good reasons. This feels too sophisticated to lay at the door of a symbolic entity with horns and a fork. So it is with trepidation that I enter a Baptist church, known for its evangelical conservatism.
I absolutely loved it. This was mostly due to a member of the congregation – whom I only know as Sister – who took me under her wing and helped me brave the heights of a Baptist service in full swing. When I sat in my favoured position (right at the back), little did I realise that I was joining the beating heart of the congregation. To look at her, with her buttoned up coat and hat, you couldn’t imagine that 40 minutes later she would be grabbing my hand and leading me in a run for joy down the aisle and past the altar. And when she asked me where I was from, I could not have known that this was not a polite gesture but a preliminary to a heart-warming two hours which ended with me hugging her tightly. “You go home now,” she said, seeing that I didn’t know how to end this amazing experience.
This is an extract from the February 2014 edition of Reform.