10/18/13 Anthony 19
Walking down the sidewalk I stopped an approaching young man named Anthony, 19: “Excuse me, I have an interesting question” He looked curious. “What do you think happens after this life?” He broke into a big smile. “That’s an awesome question! I think about that a lot!” He told me he had “grown out of” his family’s Catholic roots while in a world religion class at his catholic high school. Now he favors a generic view of God as a sort of physical power and has picked various parts of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, such as reincarnation, that seem attractive to him. He feels like he is really thinking for himself rather than just going along with the faith he grew up in. I asked what it was that attracted him to the beliefs he has chosen. “We can all be God’s ourselves!” was his enthusiastic reply. “But what would the world be like if everyone was God, all deciding for themselves what is right?” I asked, trying to get him to think through the implications of his beliefs. It soon became obvious that he has not been “thinking for himself” at all. In fact, he hadn’t really thought through the Christian faith he thought he had grown out of. I believe his rejection of Christian faith is just part of a juvenile effort to establish an identity of his own, one in which he feels free to do whatever he wants. Despite his misguided efforts to form his own tailor-made set of beliefs, I have a lot of hope for Anthony. He has the energy and enthusiasm that, properly directed through the Holy Spirit, could help him discover for the first time the faith he thought he knew and grew out of.