AnonymousDeleted UserNovember 11, 2020 at 11:32 pm
As I reflect on my journey of faith, I can see the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit everywhere. When I was 12, I first “accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior”. I can remember the joy I felt in that moment, believing that my sins had been forgiven and that I would go to heaven. A few years later, I discovered the charismatic/Pentecostal branch of Christianity. I still remember the first time I attended a predominantly black Pentecostal church in Ohio. The idea of singing and clapping at the same time was so foreign to me. The joy and excitement in that room was palpable. I subsequently experienced a baptism in the Spirit. I began to dive deeper into the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, studying their histories and their impact on global Christianity. I became fascinated with the spiritual gifts, powerful preaching, signs and wonders, and all that comes along with a robust Pentecostal experience. I was introduced to inner healing – the idea that Jesus, through the Spirit, could heal past memories and make life in the present better. Several years later, I discovered the Reformed tradition and began to take theology much more seriously. I began reading N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, and others. At this time , the emerging church movement was becoming increasingly popular. I was intrigued and compelled by the idea that church could be done differently, that church could happen in more communal home-based settings. As time went on, I began to question my faith’s alignment with right wing politics. I also began to question the church’s position on the LGBT community. I explored and embraced a much more inclusive and expansive understanding of God. When I look back over these experiences, I truly believe it has been the Holy Spirit leading me through each phase. I realize now that the Spirit inspired one relationship after another, each leading me to a new dimension of truth. Each new truth caused me to experience a new freedom and liberation. The Spirt truly leads and guides us into all truth. I think I have a much more expansive understanding of “truth” now.