Introduction: Kelly Marchewa

Hello everyone. My name is Kelly. I am a Software Developer living in the US state of Missouri.

I was raised as what I would term a nominal or cultural Christian, an upbringing in which competing dialogues and viewpoints were often discouraged instead of being welcomed or engaged with. As with many young Christians with similar upbringings, this created a bit of a “faith crisis” as I matured, entered into college and started being exposed to more diverse perspectives. Without resources such as RZIM, I am not sure where my faith would be, and I am very grateful to God for such ministries. I feel the work is deeply needed.

Even though I am now blessed to be part of a great church, I still feel I lack a good venue to engage with some of life’s “thornier” issues in a thoughtful, respectful way. That is why I am here! :smile:

7 Likes

Hello Kelly, welcome to what I believe is just what you are searching for. A venue of mutual respect in a non threatening frame work filled with love and care for serious Q&A about truth.
Share as you are led the controversies you are facing about knowing Christ and who He is to you. Be careful out there in our covid climate.
Mike

4 Likes

Welcome Kelly! God bless you!

3 Likes

Welcome being from Texas I can understand a little about cultural Christianity being part of the Bible Belt hopefully these times will encourage people to dig a little deeper in there bible but have also found people can only grow as much as their willing to as well we got to realize some are on milk others on meat we all grow at different levels. Hope this come across in a helpful way. It’s not meant to come across as harshly.

4 Likes

@KLM Welcome aboard! You hinted that your somewhat philosophically restricted upbringing contributed to your crisis in faith. Can you elaborate?

3 Likes

Hi Kelly and really great reading through your introduction and how the ministry of RZIM was able to help restore your faith to solider ground :slightly_smiling_face:. I look forward to learning from you and with you and do please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. Are there any areas of apologetics or ministry that you find most interested in?

Blessings :slightly_smiling_face:

4 Likes

Welcome aboard @KLM. It is good to have you joining from Missouri. Thank you for your heart and transparency. Thank you also for mentioning how engaging the ministry here is as well as the graceful manner in which they approach the answers and discussions. That is exactly one of the reasons I have enjoyed this forum. I hope you continue to enjoy and have the same experience here. God-bless you and your journey.

2 Likes

Hello and thanks for the welcome.

To elaborate a bit, I found that alternate viewpoints were either ignored or quickly labeled as “wrong” rather than seriously discussed, even though the beliefs I grew up in were quite a minority view. For example, our science books encouraged a very literal reading of the Genesis creation story without acknowledging the diversity of viewpoints that have long existed in the Christian tradition.

To be clear, it was not a lack of engagement or interest in the more intellectual/tougher issues that bothered me; these topics do not interest everyone and are certainly not required to be a good witness for Christ. It is more a matter of how you treat differing views. I think one has to acknowledge that his beliefs, no matter how strongly rooted in local culture, can be wrong. To me, this is especially important considering we are part of a global body of Christ. The traditional beliefs in the American Bible Belt may differ substantially from those of the Chinese Christian for example. I just think such attitudes can breed disunity, and really do a disservice to the faith, impacting both the perceptions of those outside the church and preventing us from acknowledging cultural prejudices and learning from one another.

To clarify the points above, I certainly believe in absolute truth, but, as fallible humans, think we need to approach questions and Scripture reading with humble and prayerful hearts. Love needs to permeate all we do. Also, to be fair, I think my crises in faith was due to a combination of the above issues alongside some more “practical” behaviors and beliefs I observed in those around me - most notably racism.

Thanks again and looking forward to learning from you all.

3 Likes

Hello Brain and thanks for the welcome. :smiley:

I would say ethics, and finding reasoned, loving Christian responses to practical issues of our day - racism, responding to the LGBTQ+ community, climate change, social justice, etc. More intellectually, I am interested in metaphysics, the sciences, and the intersection between religion and technology. Finally, on a more personal note, being able to find and articulate genuine meaning in life. As a Christian who has, and continues to struggle with severe depression, I think my faith is the only thing that keeps me going. I want to bring this hope to others, but in a stable, realistic way (e.g. not one that implies that a Christian’s life is care free or that emphasizes temporal highs or feelings). I know this is an issue RZIM has expounded on, and one reason I am so grateful for the ministry.

3 Likes

It is great to read of your desire to be able to give loving and reasoned responses to some really challenging questions we often face as Christians. We have a God who is able to speak into all aspects of a persons life which is why it is great to learn together and be able to reflect on how to best respond. I hope that you find this a place where your faith will continue to grow and to know that you are among brethren who desire to love and support you where possible :slightly_smiling_face:.

Looking forward to interacting with you through the site!

4 Likes

@KLM Thank you for your clarification. I was blessed to grow up in a home in which we children were free to explore different ideas and ask a lot of questions without fear of judgement. I look forward to dialoguing with you about various things on RZIM Connect.

2 Likes

Welcome @KLM. Glad to have you here. Look forward to chatting with you! God Bless!

1 Like