Old Fashioned Faith

I’m a Christian. I’m religious. I’m spiritual. I’m Lutheran. (and Norwegian Lutheran at that!)

I feel all these things are true for me, even though they have vastly different connotations. Spiritual can mean someone likes incense or meditation on their own time, while organized religion usually means being part of a house of worship and a larger body of people.

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Especially in rural America in the past, faith was just a given. Every small village or community joined together to raise money for a church and support a preacher. Church was social, supportive, and religious. I suspect church was even (gasp) entertainment back when people had little else to do during the week but work from sun-up to sun-down.

It’s iconic to see the simple image of an old man or woman knelt in prayer. People seem to embrace the faith and rawness of such an image. It’s admirable when someone is at peace with their impending death and their savior.

But somehow, it’s not cool for the young to be faithful. Our world got easier — at least in terms of manual labor. We got office jobs, cable TV, Internet, and delivery pizza. We can feel good about ourselves through yoga class and exercise or volunteering. We can easily see our friends after work or chat with them on twitter instead of waiting to see them after Sunday service.

I’ve never felt openly attacked and certainly never persecuted for my faith. The modern world does question it. Especially my own generation.

The message from the media, internet-land, or even the virtual eye-roll of a fellow blogger or Facebook friend when someone brings up church is generally similar. It may read something like this:

Hey you. Yes, YOU. Why are you wasting time going to church and listening to boring sermons and silly stories? Strong, independent people don’t need a prop like religion to tell them what to do. They make their own choices and have way more fun. Plus, they get to sleep in on Sunday morning. Church is for old people. Ignorant people. Weak people. Certainly not for young, fun, hip people.

While I do and have surrounded myself with friends who share my faith, many also don’t. And I know I will continue to hear questions of faith, religion, and values until I die. I will be a church-goer until that time too.
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You see, that message above is partially true. I am weak. I do need a savior.

I don’t go to church because I have to. I don’t even usually feel I should go. I go because I am broken.

With all my faults and shortcomings, I know there is nothing under my own power that can save me. Save me from my own resentment and bitterness when days are hard. From doubt, worry, and all the baggage I carry around in my heart. From my own humanness.

God knows, understands, forgives, and redeems. It really is that simple.

God loves you. No matter where you’re at. See 1 John 4:10

When we’re feeling empty, it’s easy to immerse ourselves in TV and entertainment, food, hobbies, shopping, or the lives of family and friends. Most of these things are fine in their own right. But only if we keep them in perspective. Otherwise they fill our void for a little while, but it’s only temporary.

The people closest to you will let you down at some point. Your money will run dry, debt will pile up, or you simply won’t be able to spend your way out from the emptiness.

I don’t write these words to be pessimistic. I really do want you to know that even though we all face bleak times and huge challenges, we don’t have to face them alone. We can chose to go at them with the creator of the universe as our closest ally.

Knowing and loving God doesn’t mean you can avoid problems. In fact, you may even have more of them as the evil in the world tries to tear you from Him. {So I guess that makes it a tougher sell??}

Personally, I’ve had many moments where I wonder why God allows bad things to happen. He’s all powerful, so why doesn’t He help all the innocent people dying in Syria? Why are women and children abused all over the world everyday?

Why didn’t He keep my beloved dog Wellington from dying? Why does He allow several of my family members to struggle with cancer, depression, financial hardship, and more?

“Why” is a question that often can’t be answered in this lifetime

But sometimes it can. Losing Wellington opened our home and hearts to Calvin, who otherwise would have been a homeless dog on the run.

Depression is awful, but watching my mom deal with it, never lose her faith in God, and come out stronger on the other side is one of the most powerful stories in my life.

I might be old-fashioned to believe as I do. I’m okay with that. I would rather be old fashioned than unbelieving. I don’t want to let bitterness or pain or evil or whatever-you-call-it stop me from missing all the goodness and blessings God still pours into this busy, modern world. I hope you’ll embrace them too.

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About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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7 Responses to Old Fashioned Faith

  1. Pingback: The Friday Favored – the beginnings of a blog rut | Beef and Sweet Tea

  2. just stet it says:

    This is lovely, Lisa, and a true confession of how the Lord is at work in you to serve others! And if that’s considered old-fashioned, well, then, sign me up too!

    The “why” question does plague us, doesn’t it? I read this not long ago: “Unexplainable tragedies bring pain and chaos. God leaves the wound open, to use the words of Bayer. We cry out to God in lamentation in the face of events that defy our capacities for understanding. But the anguished lament ascends from the crucible of faith, not unbelief. It is a confession of trust in the God who works all things for the good of those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).” Hopefully that offers some comfort to all of us who seek to understand.

    Many thanks for your post!

  3. lifecorked says:

    Hi Lisa! I just found you via Emily Grace over at Beef and Sweet Tea. I absolutely love this post and what you said. I think we were thinking along the same lines as I just wrote about something very similar today! My dad grew up Norwegian Luthern, however, I’m currently taking classes to become Catholic. I feel so much passion towards my faith, yet I feel so alone amongst my generation at times. It’s as if I’m speaking a different language when I talk about church and Bible study – the looks! Anyway, thanks for writing about something so important in my mind.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi there! I’m glad my post connected with you. It’s exciting that you’re spending time to deepen your faith. Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc, etc, I know we’ve all got willing hearts for Christ. πŸ™‚ You have a powerful story yourself, and it’s wonderful that you share it.

  4. I grew up Norwegian Lutheran too πŸ™‚ but now I wouldn’t really consider myself any denomination. Just a Christ follower. I agree that our generation doesn’t seem to understand the importance of an objective truth and a personal relationship with Christ. Even for Christians, it’s easy to get distracted by the things of this world and turn our eyes from God. I have just been reminding myself the past couple of days that I won’t be satisfied by anything in this world – not friends, family, success, health, kids. Christ alone satisfies. Thanks for sharing and boldly stating why you’re willing to be ‘old fashioned’!

    • Lisa says:

      “Just” a Christian is a great thing to be. πŸ™‚

      It’s so easy for me to get caught up in things that pull me in the wrong directions. Sometimes I think I write to remind myself what and why I believe more than anything else.

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