So, I've kind of decided that notes like these [and now this blog] are a good way to put down where I'm at and what I'm thinking as I figure out my life, especially in relation to the spiritual dimension. This is for a few reasons - firstly, if I have to spell out what I'm thinking, whether by writing it down, typing it up, or talking it out, I end up figuring a lot more out than I have just mulling it over. I suppose it's part of how I process stuff. Also, it'll provide a record for me to look at and, when the time comes, for my parents to look at. In addition, some of you that I've talked to on various occasions may want to know how I'm doing, and this is a good way to do so.
So...here goes. This first note (actually, there's a prelude below in case you didn't read it already) will be a brief history of my life as relevant to my spiritual journey, if you want to call it that. Note that "brief" is a relevant term, my summaries never end up being all that short.
So...relevant things...let's see. First and foremost, I'm a PK. That's preacher's kid for the unenlightened. Now, I'm not writing these to whine about how being a PK has been tough, and you should all feel sorry for me. It just has a lot of bearing on how I was raised, and how I see (saw) things. What does PK mean in my case? It means that as far as I can remember (since I was 3) my father has been a pastor at Chehalis First Christian Church, a non-denominational, rather conservative congregation. Basically, Chuck Colson, Focus on the Family, very traditional church. We still sing hymns (which I actually do have a special spot in my heart for), although several years back we got a projector and started singing more contemporary songs in addition to hymns. It's an older congregation of about 100, the median age is probably...ehh, late 50s/early 60s or so. A few years back, we hired our first real youth minister.
So that's my church in a nutshell. My schooling is the second major factor in my views. I attended Centralia Christian School for preschool and kindergarten, and then was homeschooled for grades 1-5 (awesome experience by the way, I owe my mother a lot for the excellent education I got in those years). I went back to CCS when my youngest brother reached schooling age, and went into 6th grade. The Christian education I recieved there was similar in ideology to that of my church - very Bible-based, Christian worldview kind of stuff. Once again, focus on the family, Harry Potter is the devil.
The biggest factor, of course, is my parents. Which is very similar to my school/church, because of course my father was the pastor, so no surprise there. I'm sure I'll get into more specifics in further notes, but basically it's the same kind of thing. A few more tidbits: Bush is the best thing to happen to this country since sliced bread, and Al Gore winning the election would have been a sign of the end times. No kidding. Butt, frick, screw, crap, sucks are all definitely not allowed. Oh, also - devotions every night, prayer at every meal. More on that later, I'm sure.
Oh yeah. SPU. Well, you'll notice a pattern in the first three influences. Yeah, they're all the same. And I don't think I'm exaggerating the similarities too badly, anyway. SPU was different, way different. The professors, the people I talked to late at night and into the wee hours of the morning, the ideas floating about at SPU - were different. But still Christian. Just not my Christian. Or should I say, my parent's Christian. Combine that with not having the careful eye of my parents, and my community at large (being the son of a pastor, two chaplains, and a teacher lead to a lot of people who know you in a small town) to make sure I don't stray from the path of "correct" Christianity, and all of a sudden, I have a lot to think about.
Ergo the notes.
And the thinking.
Bring it on.