Religion is an interesting thing. Essentially, people follow a particular religion because they know there are things in life that are beyond their control or phenomenons in life that they cannot explain. It is no wonder that when everything in someone’s life seems under control, he or she does not feel the need to have a religion. That’s also why secularists try to explain everything with science or philosophy or anything, so that they can reject the need for a religion. However, if we are honest, we know that we cannot control everything. Our birth and our death are just two examples. Also, if we are humble enough to admit, we know that we cannot explain everything intellectually. There are always things that belong to the area of unknown, and must be taken by, well, faith. That’s why there are smorgasbord of religions out there because people are trying to find answers to their big questions of life.
I grew up in a traditional church with organ and piano, no-clapping during the church service, and hymns where the songs are known by the number and not the title. So, when I had the chance to visit another church that is very different it could range from refreshing, interesting, and at times shocking.
I still remember the time I went to a church and the pastor said something along this line, “I was meditating on this last week, and then God spoke to me that … ” OR “I was praying earnestly about this issue and then the Holy Spirit gave me this impression that …” I have to admit that as a young Christian, this kind of statement was not just interesting. It was cool. I wanted it. I wanted to have that experience. I wanted to have the kind of relationship that the pastor had with God. I wanted to reach that stage of spirituality where I could converse with God like that. Furthermore, some well-intentioned Christians described prayer as chatting with friends (which I think a misrepresentation of what prayer is about) whereas my prayers were at best second-rate monologues that I was not even sure I myself wanted to listen to.