The last couple of months I’ve been rethinking my religious affiliation. I was conservative for a time (oh, those were dark days!) and once I got out of that, I bounced to the other side. I was as liberal as you could be without losing sight of Jesus. And, to some extent, I still am. I still think personal autonomy is very important in religious matters, and I still wonder if there is truth to be found, somewhere out there. I still don’t know if what I believe is true; but I know it’s true for me and that’s what matters. I am still a feminist; I will never, ever, ever vote Republican; I am still LGBTQ-friendly; I still don’t really see why abstinence is supposed to be so holy. I still think the Bible wasn’t written by God, but co-authored, in a way. And that it says more about people’s relationship with God and what God was doing in their lives, that is says about his absolute will for humankind.
But what I mean when I say liberal, is not always what other people mean when they say liberal. I believe in God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I believe in loving my neighbors. I believe (theoretically, at least, even if I’m not so good at it yet) that God has plans for me and would like to get a word in edgewise, sometimes. I can recite the Nicene Creed without crossing my fingers. I believe in the message of the Bible. I believe that Jesus died for us, and that he rose again. And I believe God loves me (and you, by the way). Sounds suspiciously orthodox, no?
So I’ve been kind of trying out that label on myself for a while now. It feels funny to refer to myself (even if it’s only in my mind) as orthodox. And although I still preface it with left-leaning, mostly because of the beliefs described in the first paragraph, it feels funny to put myself back in a category I ran so hard from almost three years ago. But it also feels more fitting, more right, and more true. It was a wild ride, from right to left, and although I learned a lot from that process, I’m glad to have settled somewhere in the middle.
*ten points if you get the reference!