Growing up Presbyterian in Minneapolis
In my experience, the reason that most people have no respect for their own church, or their own culture for that matter, is that they have never taken the time to see other churches, and other cultures. As an inquisitive person, I have. And when you do that, you gain a perspective that allows you to compare. You may even stand back some day and say, "hey, that was pretty cool".
I started learning about other faiths when I was 12, which made the grown-ups around me pretty nervous, I guess. We had a neighbor who was kind enough to lend me their Book of Mormon, which I kind of read, but mostly I looked at the pictures. I mean, what kind of kid reads The Book of Mormon at 12? I like reading, and I like learning about stuff, so as I grew up, I read and learned more. I have read just about every translation of the Old and New Testament. I have learned about Islam. No, I don't know it all, and I never will. But I will continue to be a student.
More than anything else, my family, the Puritans, wanted to strip away ostentatious displays, and elaborate ceremony and get to what really mattered - the Word of God. They wanted to be plain speaking, like their Bible was. To my child's eyes, it was, well, kind of dull. As an adult, I am now understanding that they were being true to their faith. If you have never been to a Protestant church, I recommend that you do so. Come as you are.
Posted by Brad Hall