Thursday, September 22, 2011

Untethered from Childhood Beliefs 1/2

This is from a recent article on Brad Pitt that appeared in Parade Magazine on September 15, 2011. Pitt was interviewed and asked to open up about his family and finding time for the important things in life. You can read the entire interview by clicking on the link above, but here is his opinions on faith.

I grew up Baptist, and then the family switched over to more of an evangelical movement, probably right around the time I was in late high school. There’s a point where you’re un-tethered from the beliefs of your childhood. That point came for me when it was finally clear my religion didn’t work for me. I had questions about Christianity that I could not get answered to my satisfaction, questions that I’d been asking since I was in kindergarten. I realized it didn’t feel right to me, that one question just led to another.  It was like going down a rabbit hole, each answer provoking another question. There were things I didn’t agree with.

I believe what Pitt describes here on faith describes many people that I come in contact with everyday, in many ways even myself. We both grew up Baptist/Evangelical, we both had many questions from a young age, some that received unsatisfactory answers, and we both found things that we didn't agree with in the faith of our parents.

Perhaps one of the most profound statements by Pitt here is when he says, "There's a point where you're untethered from the beliefs of your childhood." I would say that I too experienced this untethering of the beliefs of my childhood. In conversations about faith people have even tried to use being raised in a Christian home against me as the only reason and means that I am indeed a follower of Christ. 

To be honest there is a slight bit of truth to this, but only in the sense that I, like Pitt, was raised in an environment with parents who love me and desired to see me follow Christ. But I believe there has to be an untethering point for everyone who comes to discover the truth that made Christianity revolutionary in the gospel. 

The untethering point is where Pitt and I differ. In my questioning of my childhood beliefs, I, unlike Pitt, discovered the gospel and came to the realization that the Bible is truth and that the only ones that will enter the Kingdom of God are those that believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. 

Does this make me any better than Brad Pitt? No, because it is only by the grace of God that I came to the realization and understanding that I did. It encourages me that Pitt had an untethering point, but I pray for people like him that their questions have not stopped, but that they will continue with their questions and that the God of the Bible would reveal Himself to them. 

So for Pitt and others like him, I practice what is taught at my church as "intercessory faith." As described by J.D. Greear in his new release, GOSPEL, "Intercessory prayer is not informing God on behalf of someone else; it is believing God on behalf of somebody else." 
(Check back tomorrow for 2/2 on being Untethered from Childhood Beliefs)

1 comment:

  1. One admonition I've been giving in my Wednesday evening hermeneutics class is that every generation of believers and even every individual must test the old doctrines anew. We can't simply accept them without question, but must test them to see how firmly they stand.

    The definition of "untethered" that you and I might use I'm sure differs from Brad Pitt's in a significant way. Likely, his untethering is not being untethered from a true faith that he once had, but from a faith he was once taught and made to obey. For you and I, we were untethered from obedience to simple Sunday School lessons only to be drawn closer to the One who untethered us. We are never untethered from true faith. Thank God.