Personal Narrative - Research Paper Example

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A NARRATIVE A Narrative About Personal Learning: Being a Christian in a Pluralistic Society Word Count: 780 (3 page) One of the issues I’ve struggled with the most as a pastor of 27 years is the fact that we are increasingly living in a pluralistic society…
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490). Indeed, maintaining a Christian attitude in a society where relativistic platitudes are common, I have found that my attitude to pluralism has changed (from beginning to end), the reason for pluralism, and the context in which my attitudes about pluralism have developed. The arc of my learning over time has spanned several years. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and was the fifth of five children. My attitude about pluralism changed from the day I started preaching at age 12 until 34 years later as I write this piece from the standpoint of having been preaching formally for 27 years since I was age 18. When I first started out as a young Christian, I thought that all worldviews that were not my own had to be wrong or backward in some way. Then, as I began to become more wise with age—having attended Selma Unviersity—I learned about different ways one can see the world with my university studies. I learned more about my Christian faith and how to preach at Birmingham Baptist Bible College. At Faith Grant Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama—my spiritual formation was shaped even more than when I was at BBBC. My BA in pastoral theology, my MA in religion, and my doctorate of Divinity have all shaped who I am today. Without that theological training, I doubt that I would have become as open-minded as I am today. In addition, I studied through distance learning with Trinity Distance Studies. As such, I am currently working towards a Masters in General Psychology with University of the Rockies, after having received a BA in Psychology from Ashford University in 2007. Before getting my degree in psychology, I never had fully appreciated how complex human beings are—from their motivations, to their religious practices, and everything else which makes people their unique selves. The reason why pluralism is the focus of this writing is because I feel it is a very important issue to address in today’s society—and I have learned to become comfortable with pluralism, because I now understand the intricacies of Cartesian dualism and can appreciate the fact that everyone who does not believe what I believe is necessarily wrong. In fact, we may all have different paths to God, but that does not make my religion any better than someone else’s. We just have different perspectives. I believe this is a wholesome outlook in a world where relativistic attitudes are common, and lots of people don’t stand up for their beliefs anymore. I believe that I can be a strong, committed Christian—even in the face of shifting paradigms in various religious communities. The context in which my learning took place with regards to pluralism includes a strict Christian upbringing in a Baptist family. We quoted Scriptures (the Holy Bible), and studied them well enough so that we knew them by heart (rote memorization). My expert knowledge of the Bible catapulted me to the forefront of my profession, in the capacity of a preacher. After having spent over 20 years in the pastorate, I realize the importance of teaching people to stick to their moral compasses, with the idea that hopefully all of our moral compasses are more similar than different. Of course, it is always difficult to get people to try to agree on doctrine—because it can be a dicey issue—however, in the end, I believe the results of having focused, unified goals help everyone. In a pluralistic society, this can be a difficult challenge when people come from different ethnic and faith backgrounds, but it is not an Read More
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