A Reflection on Faith and the Body
It’s quite fitting that I began to deeply examine my faith around the same time that I started my first year at Davidson, and while I was taking Humanities. I’ve grown up Presbyterian, and for the majority of my life, it was a central part of who I was. Perhaps it was because I had more time to think during quarantine this spring, or because I decided in May that I wanted to read 5 chapters of my Bible every day with the end goal to have read it all, but I slowly began to question my beliefs. I’ve been questioning a few aspects of Christianity for much longer, specifically mission trips and evangelism (I even wrote about issues within mission trips in my college application), but I never took the time to think about why these harmful practices exist. Fast forward to 2020, and I was tearing apart almost all of my beliefs. Does hell exist? Does heaven even exist? Further, I couldn’t ignore the painful history of Christianity, and the immense harm the church has caused for so many people.
Stepping away from a religion is not easy. Christianity has become ingrained in my body over the past 18 years, and how I view the world has always been shaped by my Christian background and beliefs. Our focus on the body in Humanities encouraged me to ponder the ways that Christianity has shaped my view of the body. My whole life I have been taught that I am formed in the image of God, and that my very body reflects that. I’ve been taught that Jesus resides everywhere, including my body. I’m okay with these ideas. And I don’t know if this reflection will even result in me leaving the church. But if I do eventually make the decision to leave, how will I view my body in the future? What would its purpose be, if not to reflect God’s desires?
In my definition of the Body, I discuss community, and how community is a form of body. Deconstructing my views of christian theology has also caused me to examine the Christian community, this large body I have always been a part of. It might actually be the community that I am questioning the most. Perhaps if I can separate the body of the Christian community from the body of Christ himself, I’ll be able to figure out what I want my faith to look like. But for now, I plan on leaning on communities in other areas, continuing to examine my faith, and to search for empathy wherever I can.