My diverse spiritual background

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV

Jesus wooed me to himself through the influence of several religions. Here is my journey.

As I have written on My Story page, my family heritage is primarily Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. I attended a LCMS grade school and church, which shaped my childhood understanding of God’s truth and his Word. I knew the Bible stories inside out and I memorized hundreds of Bible verses. I am thankful for that beginning.

From the age of 12, I watched Dr. Charles Stanley on Sunday night television. His preaching is undeniably Baptist, and it is grounded firmly in God’s Word. After one of those Sunday night sermons, I experienced spiritual rebirth at age 15. I have been listening to Dr. Stanley for almost 25 years now on television and radio. Probably no other teacher has shaped my faith more than him.

In high school I attended a small Presbyterian church. A friend in that church led me to my alma mater, Covenant College, the official school of the Presbyterian Church in America. At Covenant I gained a solid biblical worldview, and I was inspired to reform and redeem every circle of my influence. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve listened to Dr. John MacArthur, a Presbyterian Bible teacher, via radio or podcast. I also consider Tim Keller, a well-known Presbyterian pastor in New York City, a major influence.

I have some exposure to the Catholic church through my stepfather’s family and through my husband’s family and friends. The best takeaway I’ve had from Catholicism is the imagery of believers as priests, a practical application of the book of Hebrews. I have mixed feelings about Catholic teachings, but I have loving relationships with many Catholic believers.

For the past eight years I have participated in Bible Study Fellowship, a non-denominational group. I have grown so much from the BSF method: interacting with God’s Word alone, discussing it in a small group, listening to a lecture, then reading the commentary. It’s wonderful to see how God’s Word unites believers through BSF, and I’ve made many friends there.

Jesus is the thread who runs through all my spiritual influences. He gave me a love for his Word in the Lutheran church. He made me strong in the Spirit through Baptist teaching. He called me to action in the Presbyterian church. He increased my compassion through Catholic believers. He brought me to spiritual maturity through non-denominational Bible study. My story is His story. He is my Way, my Truth, and my Life.

How has God wooed you through your religious background?

Thank you Renee Espriu for inspiring this post, by your comment on My Story page.

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9 thoughts on “My diverse spiritual background

  1. I remember watching Charles Stanley, always loved his gentleness and grounding in th Word of God. I think i’ll actually start watching him again.

    One of the most influential authors in my life is Biblical Scholar called Scott Hahn. I have never come across someone who is so well versed in Scripture as him. Believe me when i say, I’ve searched a lot.

    He specials in explaining the practice of covenants in Scripture, in the Life of God’s people, and it’s centrality to understanding God’s plan for us.

    He has many books, which are very readable. I was very anti catholic at one stage and one book that opened my eyes was by him, Scott Hahn and is called “A father Who keeps his promises.

    I highly recommend it, it will help you to better understand those things that challenge you about Catholicism. It helped me.

    Thanks for you’re post, it reflects the fruit of the Spirit in your life, Gentleness, Kindness, Humility especially for me!

    Thanks and God Bless!

    • Dominic, I will check it out. Have you read any Brennan Manning? He was an amazing Catholic thinker and writer. Thanks for your kind, thoughtful comments. By the way, I like your updated blog theme. Blessings to you as you keep writing!

      • Thanks Sarah, I haven’t ever actually read Brennan Mannin, but I’ll google him! Thanks for the encouragement too! ABout Scott Hahn, out of the very few books I would recommend outside of the bible he would be in my top 2 or 3!

        God bless , pray for me and have a good week!

  2. You, indeed, have had a wonderful mix of some of the many different churches and what makes them unique in how they view Christianity. I had thought that your Lutheran teachings lie in the Missouri Synod but did not want to assume. My own lie in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Every faith has something to offer up to those on a Spiritual journey and that includes religions outside of Christianity, of which I had the priviledge to learn about while attending the Lutheran Seminary in CA. Thank you for sharing your diverse background and may it continue to grow with your Spiritual walk. Renee

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