Growing Apologist

Becoming a Defender of Truth

Come Christ, Come

There were many reasons that I left Christianity in high school and followed other, less justifiable paths of religion.  While not a main reason, a significant reason was the history of the origins of Christian holidays, traditions and symbols and the lack of knowledge among Christians of this topic.  Much of the holidays and traditions had been absorbed from pagan religions.  I remember pointing to this fact and saying that all Christians are blind if they celebrate these holidays but deny the history of them.  I had felt like it was just one more justification of the falsehood of Christianity and that I was going back to the source of it all, back to the pagan religions.

It was really I who was blind and too proud to admit it.  I didn’t delve any further into the issue, learning just enough to feel correct, but not enough to actually prove that I was.  Perhaps my heart already knew I was being silly and feared that if I looked any further than the surface, I would be humbled.  Now that I know the truth about the holidays—yes the holidays came from pagan culture, but only because the people fell from God and it was easier for the people to accept God by absorbing their culture rather than annihilating it—and about Jesus, I believe that it is our duty to know the history as well as meaning of the traditions we celebrate.  We never know when or where we will need to witness to someone who was much like I was, disappointed with Christians and their inability to defend their faith.

Sometime I will come back to the subject of Saints and finish that series; however, with the onset of Advent, I am going to move on to another series of posts:

  • This first week of December, I will discuss the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.  A mouth full and very much Catholic, this celebration is really all about the preparation of Mary to bear the Savior of the world.  With Mary, we too are preparing for the world to bear the coming of Christ.
  • The second week, I will dive into what Advent is, how the Church celebrates Advent, and some suggestions on how all Christians no matter the domination could prepare themselves to accept Christ.
  • The third week is the week of Christmas in which I will present the early history of Christmas and the Christmas tree.
  • As the month of December ends, I will close this series with a post that summarizes the Feast of the Holy Innocents (a remembrance on Dec. 28 by the Church of all of the babies sacrificed by Herod in his attempt to kill Christ) and the Feast of the Holy Family (a celebration on Dec. 30 of the role model that the Holy Family is for all families).
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Keep Your Fork!

I used to love to write. I would write about mages, wizards, dragons, swords and chivalry. I would create stories about young rising prophets learning to master their ability and queens from humble origins thrown into their position of authority by necessity. I would weave tales of vampires falling in love with humans, and slayers who discover that maybe vampires were not a thing of evil. I would write about dragons trying to save their own kind from wrongful accusations and about a great society of underground elves who just want to find their way back to the surface.

Only once did I write about real life. It was shortly after my great grandmother’s death. My story on the surface was about her funeral and standing in the cold, but underneath it told the tale of how troubled I was. My grandmother had been an amazing woman, or at least that was what I had always been told. Hunting and camping and full of life. To me, she had always been a quiet old lady who couldn’t see or hear but was patient and smiled easy. Even at the time of her death, it had been unclear whether she had been a Christian. The pastor went on with his beautiful, solemn homily, and we listened to those words, and watched as the cold earth embraced her coffin.  The quiet words of the pastor speaking about ‘walking in the shadow of death but fearing no evil’ echoed in my mind as I tried to stomp my frozen toes back to life.

My story of her funeral was not a happy one. As I pondered on her death, I also pondered on the kindness of God to people like my grandmother–those good, kind people who may or may not believe in God. I questioned the existence of heaven and the likelihood of people making it to the pearly gates. That story marked the beginning of my quest for truth.

I remember my story being selected in English class to be read to the community at the local art museum. Schools all through the valley selected one or two kids to read piece of their work. My story was the last one to be read. I remember standing up on the stage, listening to my voice crack in the microphone as I tried to remain composed while reading to the community my questions of God’s grace. Then afterwards the coordinator came up to me with congratulations. “I always put the piece I think is the best last,” she told me.

That was the last piece I wrote. Life was full of turmoil after that as I tried so desperately to find myself. There was pain and suffering in growing up.  A lot of hard lessons learned.  But after I hit the bottom, God’s grace pulled me out.  He rebuilt me slowly after I was torn down by my own doing.  It has taken me some time, but I am slowly coming to terms with my past and what I’ve been through.  As I learn more and more about God and His grace and more importantly, Jesus’ great sacrifice as the Lamb of God, I have come to a better understanding of where I have come and where I am going.  But most importantly, I have learned to keep my fork, because there are better things to come.

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