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Fontbonne University

Andrew- Disciples Broadens Religious View

by Fontbonne University on November 2, 2009

in Uncategorized

fontbonne andrewCollege is all about experiences that help you grow as an individual, that broaden your horizons and provide you with an expanded mental landscape that helps you process the world better than ever before. … Right? 
 So, I’ve started attending Disciples, Fontbonne’s weekly faith-sharing group. They meet Tuesday nights in the Interfaith Chapel, in Medaille, at 8:30 pm, and usually go to around 10. For people with time commitments and early bedtimes, this can be a little bit of an issue, but I thought that the commitment to this group would be worthwhile if it helped me explore my faith. 
 Before I continue, I need to elaborate on “my faith”. I am a Baha’i. To explain that briefly, the Baha’i faith essentially is the next step in a ‘religious series’ which begins with Hinduism and continues through Islam. Describing it this way is important, because part of the Baha’i faith is the belief that all the great world religions worship the exact same God, and were led by prophets that God sent down who taught religion in a way that made sense at the time given the current culture. So, for instance, not only are Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed all prophets of God, but so is Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, and Abraham.  The Baha’i faith reaffirms the core values of each of these religions as important lessons from God, and promotes the unity of all religions and all people across Earth. There’s much more to the faith than this, of course, and I welcome you to investigate for yourself!  
 So, back to Disciples: I sometimes struggle with this faith-sharing group. I’ve come to realize that here at Fontbonne, “faith-sharing” does not mean “let’s talk about how you’re Muslim, and you’re Buddhist, and you’re Christian, and you’re Jewish.” It means “Let’s talk about how you’re Protestant and I’m Catholic.” I suppose I should’ve foreseen this, since the group is called “Disciples” and all, but nonetheless this is naturally a little frustrating for me. While we do discuss a lot of topics that aren’t necessarily “Christian-only” at Disciples, the way we think about issues—for instance, the meaning of beauty—ends up being through a Christian lens; we’ll look at Bibles for passages to help support our ideas, and only Bibles. The group is for Christians, and while I don’t feel rejected by any means, I also feel that I’m not understood because of my different beliefs. 
 But I’ll keep going to Disciples, because I like the group, because I like the people. Say what you will about Christianity (particularly about Catholicism), but the Baha’i view on it is that Jesus was an incredible teacher who brought a powerful message about Love to humanity, and so taking a little extra focus on that isn’t a bad thing. Everything else in Christianity besides the idea of love really is just irrelevant; if you can learn the love part, then everything else on ‘being a good person’ comes kind of naturally. I think Disciples can help further my understanding of love—and maybe yours. So, hey! If you’re free on a Tuesday between 8:30 and 10, swing by the Interfaith Chapel!

For more religious events on campus, check out campus ministry’s webpage!

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.