A Few Thoughts About Christianity – Stephen Mattson

I am not going to “preach” to you, but every Sunday going forward I am going to give you some thoughts from those wiser than me, about what it means to be a Christian. I promise I won’t add any more of my own words than is necessary to get the point across.

Today’s post is a Facebook from Stephen Mattson

7 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts About Christianity – Stephen Mattson

  1. Faith vs religion. “I” am a follower of Jesus- faith. “I need or desire” to have a group to walk my journey with- religion. “I understand” that no one is perfect and some even attempt to control others using any means they can find. “I also understand” that my faith calls me to walk with and call others.

    My daughter sees her religion as having the moral bumpers she desires for her children as they grow their faith. Although she, only occasionally, sees the leadership enhancing her very strong faith.
    My son and wife rejected religion, attempting to be sole practitioner in their strong faiths, as they raise their children. The children, in turn, are seeming to be confused between what is the bumpers of society and the bumpers of religion. It is an interesting thing to watch.


    1. To me, faith must constantly be earned, especially by all the different varieties of Christianity. As Stephen said above, beliefs should change over your lifetime as you become more mature in your spiritual life.

      You certainly have had an interesting mix of faith and beliefs in your clan, JanBo. I wonder how that will change over the years with your family. But you must understand that beliefs guide faith and not the other way around. It is up to each of us to find our path.


      1. I never thought of faith being earned. I believe that faith is a core- like breathing. What I am taught, and do with that core may form my belief system, which often manifests into religion.
        I cannot think of one scriptural passage that faith is earned. How you use that faith is discussed- but faith is a gift.
        Very interesting perspective RJ.


        1. Yeah, you are probably right in that the primary definition of faith is a strong belief based on religious doctrine. Maybe I should say “trust”? If I no longer trust something, then I can’t put my faith in what the institution is telling me to believe.


  2. I would say that both faith and belief stem from experience, and it’s the examining of one’s experiences that leads to belief, spirituality and faith. But perhaps that’s just a Quaker perspective and other paths work better of other folk.

    I grew up in a nominally agnostic family and found Quakerism in my late 20s or early 30s, and more recently have begun to value aspects of Māori spirituality. My wife was brought up in the Shinto and Buddhist traditions of Japan and converted to a liberal form of Christianity as our children reached adulthood, where she can still adhere to many of the beliefs of you childhood. Our daughter has adopted a humanist perspective with Quaker values and aspects of Māori spirituality, while our son has gone down a different route towards a more fundamentalist understanding of Christianity including, unfortunately, a fundamentalist view of morality and sin. Notwithstanding that his views do present difficulties from time to time, we as a family do value our different perspectives on religion


    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Barry. If I were to go back to some form of organized religion it would be Quaker. But, since their form of worship is not very compatible to my deafness, I shy away from looking into it further.

      After all the Kiwi shows I am now watching, I have become infatuated with Maori, it seems to parallel with some Native American religious beliefs, and since I am ⅛ Native American I have studied up on that. Now that Philip Gulley has convinced me that claiming humanism is not a dreadful thing, I also accept that brand as part of me.

      As your words show, each one of us must find our individual spirituality. None of us, and I mean NONE has even a slight understanding of what God really is. All we do is to create our version of what she might be like.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Abrahamic religions seem to be outliers as every other religion I’m aware of views humanity’s relationship to the environment and the cosmos as much more spiritual and holistic.

        Being hypersensitive to sound, I find the silence of meeting for worship approaches the serenity of a forest. Probably 3 out of 4 of our meetings are in complete silence, and on the other occasions, it’s very rare for more than one person to speak, and then usually for less than a minute. Apparently at many other meetings around the country the silence is interrupted more often. I’m not sure what my response to silent worship or a forest would be if I was deaf. It’s something I hadn’t considered before.


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