During our class session on January 22, we watched a documentary called Separate Realities that documented the experiences of two individuals involved in churches in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. The woman that was interviewed belonged to an Episcopal church, and the man belonged to a Baptist church. I found it intriguing that their experiences were so different because those are both Christian denominations.
The woman felt that religion was more of a psychological experience and it was more personal. I remember her saying that the making of a spiritual life has to come from a “breaking of yourself”. There wasn’t an evangelical aspect of religion in her life. However, that was the complete opposite of the experience that the man in the Baptist church had. He was very loud and vocal about his religion, and he believed that “[God] saved us for a special reason…to tell about Christ.”
My life was very similar to that of the man in the Baptist church. I went to a non-denominational megachurch for about 14 years of my life, and we were always told the great mission was to be “great among the nations…and an offering of salvation to a world of broken hearts”. I have struggled with my identity because of this calling that I thought was my own for my entire life, so it is comforting to hear that there are other options than this. Hearing about the woman’s journey through the Episcopal church opened my eyes to new religious experiences. I enjoyed hearing both perspectives because they were very different.