¶ … interview was conducted with 30-year-old Sandra. This essay examines her answers within the context of her identity as it pertains to religion and religious belief. The first question asked what she identified as. Her answer was non-denominational Christian. What is it to be a nondenominational Christian? It means these Christians choose not to formally align with an established and Christian religious denomination. (Lantzer) In essence, they hold on to the framework of the basic Protestant tenets, electing to identify themselves as "born-again Christians" or just "Christians." When someone chooses this kind of Christianity, they desire to believe and follow the word of Jesus Christ, but not through a specific tradition or group.
This could be because of her origins with Christianity. Her family is Baptist and while she attended church service when she was around 6 or 7, she did not go to church in her teens. While her parents identify as Baptist, they did not make it a requirement for their family to go to church on Sundays or other days. This lax religious environment could have led to her current standing of non-denominational Christian. Because she was not exposed to the traditions shard by those that are practicing Baptists, she lost her religious identity early on, at least in the sense of the Baptist sect.
When asked how she defines religion, she explained it as a structured and systematic belief system. She did not want to put herself in such a systematic "box," but instead she wanted to believe in Jesus Christ and God as is, without the traditions and the rules that often come with religion, and especially in certain Christian sects. This quite common in those who have lost their way and found Christ and God again. There is simply a desire to believe rather than adhere to guidelines and rules.
When asked how religion plays a role in a person's personal being or well-being, she states the extreme importance of it. It is important in her words, to know that people are parts of a big whole instead of simply individuals. To feel the sense that she is not alone, but rather, connected to a higher power. This higher power who has her best interest at heart is not only comforting for her, but gives her life meaning and purpose. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for humanity and in His story it brings about the belief that there is someone out there that cares, that loves and that will forgive trespasses. This is why religion in many ways provides a comfort to those that feel they need it.
She also answered how important religion is in general to her and with passion and fervor, she explained it as the most significant part of her existence. She emphasized however, that her faith in God is the most important aspect not necessarily religion in general. She explains her relationship with God changed her life as well as her perspective on people and the world. Because of her relationship with God, she changed how she interacts with others and because of such changes, she has peace of mind even amidst all the chaos of day-to-day life.
Having a relationship with God and faith in God gives people a sense of assurance and clarity. Sandra felt not only like she is not alone anymore, but that the world does not have to be a certain way for her to enjoy it. She gained a sense of self and stability when she accepted the Lord into her heart. So while religion does not play an active role in her life, her love and faith in God does.
While religion may not play an active role in her daily life, the moral codes as shown in the Bible do. She states...
She does not feel the need to try to convert others to her faith. However, she does believe in letting people know how happy she is because of her faith and belief in God. This not only comes from a genuine place, but also a place of gratitude and love. She is grateful that the Lord and Christ have given her a way to be and feel happy every day.
How can she feel happy because her relationship with God? It is simple, she has stated that she has had confirmations of faith and proof that God is with her through the answering of her prayers and the prayers of others. She states that these proofs of faith were no coincidence and show that God is listening and there for her, keeping her best interest in mind. These miracles are what give her confidence to keep believing in God and give her faith that no matter what God will always be with her.
Sometimes knowing that one is not alone and feeling the comfort of God is enough to keep a person's faith from swaying. Other times it takes miracles to make people believe in the power of God. Sandra believed without the need for miracles. However, miracles showed just how beautiful believing in God is and truly prepared her for acceptance of God into her life for the rest of her life. This is the power and glory of God.
While God can present Himself in many ways to those who believe in Him, there are times when faith can be tested. Sandra replies by sharing that there were times when her faith was tested. She wanted answers to some of the questions she felt she got no answer to. However, these experiences happened more so at the beginning of her journey towards deeper faith in God. With time her trust deepened and through her positive experiences in believing in God, her faith has strengthened.
When asked if she would ever switch to another religion, she never even considered joining a specific religion. As her religious affiliation suggests, she does not like the structure of choosing one specific religion, even when it comes to Christianity. She feels her faith lies in revelation of the truth as well as personal fulfillment. So she would not consider changing simply because she does not adhere to any specific religion. Hers is more personal than anything else.
Different religions have interested her, not for the purpose of joining, but rather for the purpose of learning. She feels different religions have a lot to offer in terms of education and she seems interested in learning their traditions and beliefs so she can expand her knowledge of religion in general. Again she reiterates she is not looking for a particular denomination to join. It is as if she wants to emphasize that she is not religious at all, but rather wishing to adhere to faith only.
Another important reveal from her answers is the fact that her religion or faith in God had helped her move away from a "people pleasing" personality into a more independent and comfortable personality where she does not seek approval of others because she feels free to be herself. When someone has unconditional love and acceptance from a higher power, there is no need to seek this love in people. This of course is very freeing allows the person to become more of what he or she is versus what he or she expects people to want him or her to be.
Her renewed faith in God also helped her to improve her relationship with others. She no longer felt judgmental of others and could actually be herself. By removing the constant worry of what others thought of her, she feels more comfortable in her own skin and began thinking more of others than herself. Her experiences in having faith in God taught her to view things not just from an egocentric perspective, but from a perspective of growth.
When asked if anyone else's religion had any effect on her relationships both professionally and in her personal life, she answered yes personally as well as a healthcare professional. She states the religious beliefs tend to be a significant and integral part of a person's life and she comes across such beliefs often in her field of work because she is around a multitude and variety of people each work day. She says she respects a person's religious beliefs regardless of if she agrees with them or not and truly shows respect and compassion for others.
How she came about this was through the idea that through education, one can learn about another's perspective and beliefs and also becoming considerate and respectful of said perspective and beliefs. It seems her stance as a non-denominational Christian has left her open to experience other perspectives all while retaining her own belief system and faith with God. She appears open, friendly, and confident, while also upholding…
Faith vs. Tradition This paper addresses the lecture on faith Vs tradition. It shows how many traditions are mistaken for faith and thus followed. It also sheds light on how these ideas have gone to twist the Muslim faith and look at Islam as an oppressor religion. The paper discuses the lecture and several other resources regarding the same topic. The confusion between faith and tradition is common in many religions. Islam
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