Member Profile Series, Entry One: Our Seminarian in Residence

Beginning this week we will be highlighting the diverse viewpoints of our members: first up: erica

Erica is a founding member of our community, and she has helped bring others to the network through authentic relationships.  In her post you’ll quickly see how Erica’s humor, open-mindedness, and pursuit of knowledge is a great fit for our growing community.

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Member profile seires, entry one:

For the majority of my life, I was taught to take the Bible literally. I never questioned anything I was told in Sunday school or church and tried to tell people to accept Jesus as their personal Savior or they would regret it. In short, I was clearly very popular and fun to be around.

Then came my first class in college: Introduction of New Testament. I was taught to look at the people who wrote the books in the New Testament, the historical context in which they wrote, and the particular biases they had while writing them. That was when I learned that it is okay to question religion; in fact, it is necessary. That idea stayed true to the learning of my faith over the past six years.

Before I entered seminary this past month, I was warned seminary
professors would attempt to tear apart everything I ever believed about
Christianity. I scoffed a bit at this notion, thinking that I was already so used to
questioning my religion that this wouldn’t be so new to me.
I have already discovered in this short amount of time I was a bit too
conceited regarding my past questioning. Even with the immense amount of
questioning and doubting, I still held true a few beliefs. These few beliefs I had held so dear are even starting to crumble.

At this point, I have two options. One is to take the easy route. I can revert
back to my original views, happily accepting everything I’m told about religion. The other choice is to recognize that faith, just like life, is not simple or effortless. Instead, it requires intense questioning and the courage to realize what we believe now may not be what we believe in a few years.
These are scary thoughts. However, I find it’s reassuring to remember I am
not at all alone. I’m so grateful to have people in my life that I can tell my doubts, fears, and questions.

This leads me to the Indianapolis Interfaith Conversation Network. It is
extremely comforting to know that I have a community where I feel welcome to
share my new ideas and to hear others’ thoughts, as well. I know that no matter what my thoughts are, no matter how “out there”, I have a group of people who will accept my ideas and me, whether they necessarily agree or not. This knowledge allows me to look forward to my journey through seminary with excitement rather than trepidation.

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