Teaching the Faith

That led her to join a nine-month process known in the Catholic Church as RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

In the Nazarene Church, we go through a membership class which lasts a few weeks. In the Lutheran Church, the same. However, these classes do not truly teach the faith. Of course, a nine month course like the Roman Catholic Church might scare more than a few people off, which might not be a bad thing. I once heard that the early Christian church, there was a three year “apprenticeship” for new converts before they became baptized. That’s a whole lot different than today, which may explain why so much of the populace call themselves Christian, but have no true understanding of the faith.

Oddly enough, it might also might explain why churches, as a whole, are losing members, not a conflict with the world (although, that doesn’t help), but if the church cares so little about teaching people deeply about the faith, encouraging them to invest in their faith (note: I am not talking about a church building or congregation), perhaps they might not be so quick to leave it.

In the Lutheran church, I heard nightmare stories about confirmation. While they sounded horrible, I suspect that they were inflicted upon the children not as punishment, but for the very reason I mentioned. They became invested in the faith.

Now, that does not mean that through trials, tribulations, doubts, depression, or questions, that a person will not leave the faith. There is nothing that can guarantee it. The end goal is to have a Christian who has more than a cursory understanding of their faith, so that they can truly live it.