Updated: Jan 14
Am I seriously a "reformed heathen"?
Or even a heathen at all? To answer that, I needed to learn the history and meaning of the word because, honestly, my definition was loose & when I've used it, it's been in jest. Let's start with the modern use of the word: "an unenlightened person; a person regarded as lacking culture or moral principles." Also, "an uncivilized or barbaric person". Yep, that's how I've been using it.
But then there's: "A person who does not belong to a widely held religion (especially one who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim) as regarded by those who do." Lastly, the original meaning found in the Old Testament, "a member of any nation or people not worshiping the God of Israel."
So, here's where it gets sticky for me. I wasn't raised practicing religion. We were, at most, casual Catholics. Even that is an exaggeration. I was Christened & received my First Communion... and that's about where it ended except the random occasions I joined my best friend and her family for church on those Sundays when I'd slept over the night before. I remember it as a series of conflicting emotions and impressions: confusion (stand up, sit down, kneel, sit, stand), sometimes frightening (sinners, burn in hell, fire and brimstone, and whatnot), and often boring. Yet, at the same time, I loved the big echoing church and stained glass windows. I loved dressing up and seeing everyone in their Sunday best (back when people still did that). I loved the sense of fellowship.
My overall perception, though, was that the Catholic church seemed intent on confusing me. I mean, do I fear the wrath of God or revel in His love, or both? If I sin and don't go to confession, am I going to Hell? And speaking of confession... you mean, I could do really awful things, and just confess, say a few Hail Marys, and all's forgiven? What?! Oh, and don't forget to hand over your money every Sunday, too.
Trying to unravel all the mysteries of the Catholic faith - or even the Jewish faith, as I had Jewish
relatives - was at best baffling to a child with no other spiritual education and guidance from the surrounding adults. Yet, my curiosity only grew and the deeper questions surfaced. Who is God to me? What do I believe?
Here's where I'm at in this journey: I know while I'm deeply moved by messages and stories from the Bible, I am not religious. My faith in God is strong, and I believe God is love, period. He is neither vengeful or angry, but rather loving and perhaps sad for us foolish mortals. Hell is not below us, but rather here on Earth through those with evil in their hearts and their actions. Oh, and if it counts at all, Gospel and Christian music fill me with profound emotion.
So, Am I a Reform Heathen, Or A Heathen At All, or What?
The conclusions I've come to over the years are not Christian approved, I suspect. I suppose it may depend on who's being asked. I guess - by the dictionary's definition - I am, since I don't practice or belong to any organized religion. This makes me inexplicably sad. I mean, I want to be a good Christian, guys. Perhaps you can help this poor, confused, wannabe religion lover. Is there a church - an organized religion - that both reflects my beliefs & can guide me toward understanding and enlightenment?
Lifelong Patriot & longtime Police Wife, Elsa Kurt has channeled her fierce love and passion for defending the defenders as the creator, Executive Producer & Host of the Elsa Kurt Show , correspondent and media personality for Right America Media & Law Enforcement Today. Her book, Welcome to the Family (Life Behind the Thin Blue Line) has been called the “must have survival guide for new LEO spouses.”
The vocal FoLEO advocate is also a multi-genre author who has penned over 25 books, including twelve contemporary women’s novels. Her fiction stories explore the complex and relatable experiences of everyday life – the love & laughter, the heartbreak & sorrow, and everything in between. She finds the extraordinary in ordinary lives and puts you in the front seat of every story. Elsa has also written several children’s books, all with themes of encouragement, empowerment & uplifting messaging.
In 2022, Elsa launched The Writer’s Tribe Talk Show, an audio & video podcast for authors & a line of author merchandise in her Writer’s Tribe Store with clothing and more for authors & aspiring authors. Elsa also created three lines of apparel, accessories, & home decor: EKS Store with show & first responder merchandise, iGoodhuman, and Very Sweary Stuff.