Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 15-17

March 4, 2008

Nakedness was not part of spirituality at this time. I tried to satisfy my spiritual thirst with conservative religion.

During my last three years in high school I carried a Bible with my school books. It had a red leather cover; and the red, for me, stood for the redeeming blood of Jesus.

The pastor of the church that I had joined did not consider himself a Fundamentalist, but within the spectrum of mainstream Protestantism, he tended toward the conservative. In the spring of my freshman year, a series of interdenominational evangelical services was announced. I attended many of them and by the end of that series, I believed I was “born again.” I continued to attend that church, but also went to nondenominational evangelical meetings.

While sexuality may have been suppressed, it was still there. Swimming was required in phys-ed, and we were naked for these classes. The attention I paid to fellow students was noted by at least one boy. I overheard him say to a friend, “He wants your ass.” I didn’t know what he meant.

My break with Fundamentalism started after my junior year. I traveled on one of my father’s tours. One stop was the headquarters of Moral Rearmament (MRA).

MRA talked about everyone needing to change by living according to strict moral standards: absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love. Purity meant no sex outside of marriage, not even masturbation.

They also taught that God would help and that, by listening each morning and writing down my thoughts, God would give me guidance. After leaving their headquarters, I wrote down thoughts every morning.

Next week I’ll write about my college years, during which I broke away from dogmatic Christianity.

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