Christendom often seemed like a safe camp. I, for one, grew up safe within its walls. Campfire songs, flannel graphs and water colored storybooks fanned my beginner’s belief with sweeping and salvific stories. As I matured into Study Bibles and adult services I found a sturdy faith anchored by creeds, sacraments and plenty of sermons–so many of them about how to be good, stay above the fray of sin and keep out of trouble.
In retrospect, the catechism of the church taught me a protocol for a secure life. Right belief assured me of eternal protection from the fires of hell and right living kept me out of harm’s way until then. I learned how to follow rules, obey leaders, honor parents and avoid the appearance of evil (or wrong associations) at all costs.
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