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Faith & What it Means to You.

April 17, 2017

This article was written by TheOtterRealm

This interview is part of a series that explores the religious/spiritual identities of different CSUMB students. The beliefs represented do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the broader faith communities, the university, the Otter Realm, or its reporters. If you would like to be featured and answer questions about your religious identity, contact Daniel Ramirez at dramirez@csumb.edu.

1. What is your name?
Andy Candreva

2. What is your major, minor, concentration (whichever applicable)?
I’m HCOM with the Literature and Film concentration.

3. How long have you been a CSUMB student and what is your class standing?
I’m a Junior and have been at CSUMB all 3 years.

4. Do you have a religious/spiritual identity? If so, what is it?
Yes, I am a Christian.

5. How long have you identified as a Christian?
I’ve been a Christian almost 5½ years. Since my Sophomore year of High School.

6. What are the main teachings of Christianity?
To put it as succinctly as possible:
1) God created everything, including mankind.
2) Mankind has free will to follow or disobey God.
3) Mankind “sinned” i.e. we have chosen to follow ourselves not God.
4) Jesus Christ came to die on the cross (bearing man’s punishment) and rise from the dead (giving man life.)
5) Jesus is God and The Son of God.
6) Through faith and repentance (acknowledging our sin and turning from it) man can receive this forgiveness and eternal life (called salvation) in Christ.

7. There is a view that there are too many rules in religion and that it restricts people too much. Do you feel that your religion restricts you in any way?
No, my faith gives me freedom. I’ve been purchased from my wrongs and have life in Christ. I now get to live with my desires serving me, not me serving them.

8. How do you see the world? The nature of good and evil? Afterlife?
Wow, big one. I see the world as God’s creation, bearing His image. Good as what follows the will of God, and evil as what rejects the will of God. Afterlife is a choice. Christ’s sacrifice allows us to choose eternity with God or without Him.

9. How do you worship?
Many ways. Sunday church is the obvious. Reading the Bible, prayer, meditating on who God is, fellowship (talking about God) with other believers. To name a few.

10. Are there any important rituals or holidays associated (with your religion or spirituality) (with Christianity)?
Rituals, not really. For some there are. Communion comes close, eating the bread and drinking the cup as a way ofremembering Jesus. Same with baptism, publicly identifying yourself with Christ. Holidays are Good Friday, Christ’s Death, Easter, His Resurrection, and Christmas, His Birth.

11. How does your spirituality or religion impact your life?
In any and every way imaginable. The Bible says, as a Christian, “ It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) I try to live this way every day.

12. How does your spirituality or religion inform your scholarship?
I want to do the best I can. I believe my intellect and knowledge are means of glorifying God.

13. How does your spirituality affect what you stand for in terms of politics and social issues?
Just as I try to embody Christ in my life, I do the same in my political opinions. Doing this doesn’t mean I’m Republican or Democrat. I means I try to promote in our government what God promotes. A few examples are: Freedom, Human Dignity, Compassion and Generosity, Wisdom, and Equality.

14. Where can people find more information about your belief system?
I would recommend reading the Bible. Start with Matthew and John, to learn about who Jesus is. Then read Romans for the Philosophical, Theological, Practical message of what He has done. I would also recommend sitting in a church service or two. I know we’re super skeptical of churches these days, but, in a solid church, their heart is to teach the Bible and teach about who God is. I go to Calvary Monterey, but a few others in the area I would also recommend are Shoreline, Cyprus, Sanctuary Bible, and Refuge Salinas. Each of those churches will love you and faithfully teach you about God and His Word.

15. Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
Yeah, I’d love to turn this article into a discussion. I’m the big guy with red hair usually hanging around the Library or Peet’s during the week. I’d love if anyone wanted to come up and start a conversation, ask questions, raise objections, or just share life.

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