This I Believe

Drew - Spotsylvania, Virginia
Entered on January 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

A Church, Bible, and Figurehead Do Not Make Religion

The bible means little to nothing in religion. In my world, it has absolutely no bearing on my religion, my beliefs, or my life. I do not believe religion has anything to do with bible translations, religious figures, or churches. I believe in direct communication.

Since I was little, my parents raised me in a formal, Presbyterian church. Throughout my adolescence, I would sit in church trying my hardest to absorb and comprehend what was being told to me, yet it was usually met with frustration and narcolepsy. The service would consist of some singing, some interpretation, but mainly scripture. Even when I was little, I would notice the fake enthusiasm and routine of some people of the church. Once I hit fifteen, I was still having these problems and was so religiously empty that I needed to find God. I confronted my parents and started trying new churches.

It took a few different churches, but I finally ended up at my best friend’s church- a contemporary, non-denominational church. The formality and routine of my old church was gone, and now I was free to express anything I felt without being looked at with animosity. That winter, while still relatively new to the church, I decided to attend a retreat that changed my life.

The retreat was meant to be a safe haven where teenagers of the church could get away, have fellowship, and increase spirituality. The first two days flew by while playing and reading scripture, which was entertaining but not spiritual for me. On the last day, however, God entered my soul. The last night at the retreat, a sermon was given while the band played in the background. The sermon was about giving your whole self to God. At that moment I felt something I have never felt before and I found out what it means to interact with God.

After this event, I needed no proof that God existed. I needed no person to tell me how to find and interact with God. All I needed was to interact directly with him. Even now, I look at that moment as the pivotal point in my life where doubt was transformed into faith. So much of my life had been about reading the bible and the routine of a formal church. It was not until I had set out on my own that I realized the bible has nothing to do with religion- it is merely a guide to help one find God and at that, has much discrepancy with different versions and interpretations. It is a great work of art, but I believe religion is one’s direct communication with God. I noticed that so many people view religion as a routine which I saw at my old church, but no one knows what religious practice should be. This is because there isn’t one way- and I learned that neither the bible, nor the church, nor a religious figure could show me religion- they could only guide me. Religion is between God and my soul.