How to Read this Blog
I have already been approached by friends and family with some valid questions and concerns about this blog. I have also received so much love and encouragement, and for that I am very grateful. This post is to help clarify my intentions with the blog and kind of set the scene for what is to come.
What made you want to do this?
This is probably the question I have gotten the most, and the one I was the least prepared to answer. Having identified as an atheist for all my adult life, most of my close family and friends knew I wasn’t religious and had a mild distrust of religion. So, I think those close to me were worried I had experienced loss or trauma that was drawing me to Jesus. That’s not the truth. I have several inspirations. First and foremost, my former roommate and one of my best friends, Jenny. Jenny spent a lot of her life as an atheist as well and found God during college. When we began living together and started becoming friends right after we both graduated from Ball State, I had a front row seat to her accepting with her new faith. It was the first time I had seen a Christian express that they had doubt, that they still struggled with parts of the Bible, and that they were worried about how other Christians acted and didn’t want to be lumped in with Christian groups that preached more hate than love.
I had always seen Christianity as something binary. Either you believed it all or none of it. Doubt meant you had no faith. Being a person that rationalizes most things in my life using logical reasoning over emotional reasoning, I knew I could never be all in, all faith. But seeing Jenny journey into it and learn from it and wrestle with it made me curious. Her husband Aaron and our friend Allison also spurred my interest.
Finally, I absolutely adore the podcast Good Christian Fun. If you haven’t listened, I would recommend their episode about Christian Mingle. Even in their early episodes, they talked about some of the things that had been lifelong hang-ups I have had with religion and, like Jenny, helped me realize there are a lot of different ways to be a Christian or a believer in something.
Plus, I love writing and wanted a reason to write again. I also wanted more discipline in my routine, trying to draw myself out a depression and anxiety spiral I found myself in during the end of 2017. Which is the reason I created the set-up for this blog.
Will you gather perspectives on Christian topics apart from your own?
Yes and no. This blog is my thoughts, reactions, and feelings to the things I will hear, read, and experience over the next year. That means the opinions expressed will be entirely my own. The take will be my personal take on something, and if it ever seems like I am speaking for someone else or for Christians or Atheists as a whole, I assure you that is not my intention.
However, being a n00b to religion, there are some concepts that I need some help to digest. Although the goal of this journey is to visit a variety of churches and listen to different sermons and hear the perspectives of different Christian groups, I need to converse with friends to really break it down. I will be talking to people I love and trust about their views on what I’m writing about each week, and indirectly their views will inevitably shape mine.
Can you really get the feel of a church with only one visit?
The goal of this journey isn’t to find a church or evaluate the churches I am going to. I will never go to a church and expound on how much I disliked it or highlight the things I thought were flaws.
I’m going to experience the breadth and not the depth of the religious communities available. I want to hear many different voices and, frankly, I want to keep it interesting. A new place with new people and new experiences each week is what excites me and what I think will propel me through this even during the weeks when I am feeling lethargic about it.
I know a huge draw of joining a church is joining a community of people with common beliefs and values, and visiting somewhere different each week won’t allow me the opportunity to do that. It’s an unfortunate consequence of the set-up I have, and I will address it along the way.
One final note:
I want this blog to be readable and fun. I can't cover every perspective on the topic, I might ignore something you find very important. I might be flippant about things that you find very serious. It's not on purpose that I do this, but it is all in good fun, and everything I write is meant to be from a place of respect. But, always feel free to use the contact form on my "about" page and I will read everything I get.
Thank you for your time and your attention.