What I Learned From My Christian Education

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A week from today I will be a college graduate. Shhhhhh….. can you hear that? That’s the sounds of a thousand angels singing and playing harps in perfect harmony.

Okay, so it’s probably not a secret that I’m PUMPED about crossing the finish line, but you might not know that this year there have been moments when I’ve regretted attending a small Christian institution.

I’ve had thoughts like “Gosh I wish I’d gone to a school with more diverse perspectives.”

or “wow I wish I’d gone to a school with less rich white people.”

and my  personal favorite ,”Geez, the selection of boys at this school is so pathetic.”

And, of course, there have been aspects of the faith integration portion of my education that have seemed laborious and stupid. Chapel started to feel aritificial so I just stopped going and (despite what you’ve heard) required service isn’t actually service.

Nonetheless, there is something precious I’ve gained from my Christian education that I’m not sure I would’ve gotten anywhere else. This is big- no huge. It’s vital. And, to be truthful, it has kept me hanging on to my faith.

The truth is, there are professors at Lee that have taught me more about what it means to live out my Christian calling than service learning, required chapel and religion classes combined. 

Thank you Doc Moe, Prof V, Dr. Barnett, Dr. Singletary and others for showing me what it means to be like Jesus.

Thank you, Dr. Singletary, for coming around the desk to comfort me when I cried. 

Thank you, Prof V, for helping me see everything I’m capable of and reminding me to treat every person that I interact with like they are the most important person in the world, because in that moment, they are.

Thank you, Dr. Barnett, for seeing me in a sea of students and caring for me individually.

Thank you, Doc Moe, for showing me what a strong, intellegent, bad ass woman looks like.

This is what my Christian education taught me: People will forget about books and bullet points and what grade they got on their midterm, but they won’t forget how you treated them.

I graduate in a week. I plan to change the world and get a PhD and write books about the things I know. I plan to spread the seeds of my knowlege on fertile soil that will grow into mighty oaks.

But I know that all the education in the world could never be as important as treating people with dignity, respect and love. None of that could be as influential as being Jesus to someone, and that’s what Lee has done for me.

So, I guess I don’t regret my Christian education one bit. What the hell- I’m proud to be a Lee Flame! (but like could we take the mascot under review bc it’s so lame you guys)

 

 

 

I Went a Month Without Praying


*****This post was shared without my permission on several political blogs. As the author, I DO NOT FEEL as though these sources accurately reflect the sentiments expressed in this post. Also, please see the below addendum for clarification on my thoughts**** 


I went a month without praying. Not on purpose and not because I stopped believing that someone was listening. I stopped praying because my heart got so blocked up and hard that I didn’t even know how to anymore.

How did I get there? I’ve never felt far from God. In all of my life, it’s never been difficult to turn to Jesus when I feel pain, doubt, loss or discomfort. Each time the world licked me with its lashes, I ran to Jesus. But… when the Church punctured me with her pernicious pride I drew into myself and armored my heart with iron.

I watched in horror and disbelief as Christians I love and respect supported a man full of greed, hate, arrogance and prejudice in the name of Jesus Christ. “We won!,” they said. Who won?

I wept bitterly at the photos of refugee children and grew furiously angry when Christians I know thought only of protecting themselves.  I became disgusted to the point of physical illness when Christians passed off jokes about sexually assaulting women as “loose lips” and “locker room talk.”

And then there were those who said nothing- an offense more desructive than any other.

I grew hot with rage. Is this the bride of Christ? Are these the people who are supposed to be walking in the footsteps of Jesus? I feel so incredibly distant from that Church. I will run as far as humanly possible from that brand of “Christianity.” If that is what Christianity is about then count. me. out. 

And Holy Week comes. For the first time in my 22 years, I identify more closely with the death of Christ than His Resurrection. I feel an absence of Christ in this world. On the evening we remember the crucifiction of Christ, I worship in a room with 100 other people and I wonder if we’re even worshipping the same God.

I feel like I’m greiving the loss of my Jesus. I’m greiving the loss of compassion, selfless love, benevolence, peace, generosity and kindness.

And though I haven’t prayed in a month, I hear His voice, “I AM the Lord. I change not.”

The iron armor falls. My heart pounds furiously with her new freedom. I worship Jesus for who HE is and forget the awful rest of it.

On Easter I weep with hope, because although the Church can feel like a terrible thing, Jesus will always come back to set things right. 

I’m turning a new page in my book. I’m setting out to find a community that seeks to be like Jesus. I’m done living out my faith like I’m a member of an army that’s fighting for converts and voting republican every election because “democrat” is a bad word.

Being like Christ should mean that my heart breaks every day for the lost and hurting. It means that I’ll break bread with any type of person and that I’ll fight for justice and for the liberation of the oppressed. All that’s left of my Christian faith is Christ, but I’ll take Him. Every single day.

Addendum: As someone who practices inclusivity, I want to clarify that I do not want to shame anyone for practicing their freedom of voting for whoever they choose. I am very aware that many Christians voted for President Trump with the motive of improving the world, and I can absolutely respect that. In this post, I was aiming at the spirit behind the sorts of evil that I feel Presdient Trump has evoked in many people. 

Also, I want to clarify that I ADORE the people of my church. This was written in reference to the chruch at large (That’s why I used the uppercase C). My church has contributed so many wonderful things to my life and made me who I am.

feminism // abigail hewins

There was a popular article circulating the web not too long ago detailing the ten types of women that Christian men should avoid when considering marriage. On this list, in spot number 4, was (you guessed it): The Feminist.

As the author of the original post put it, “There’s no room within Christendom for the ‘Christian feminist.'”

When Abigail Hewins was a freshman at Lee University, she would’ve agreed with the aforementioned article wholeheartedly.

“When I first came to Lee, I thought feminism was dumb, and wrong, actually,” Hewins said, “Not only was I not a feminist, but I thought that men were greater than women. Not just that we didn’t need feminism because men and women were already equal, but I legitimately thought that God’s best way for us was that God loved men and He loved women, and he created them differently. But, men were designed to be…

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