Monday, September 7, 2015

A Break in the narrative

"The tyrant dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his rule begins."  Søren Kierkegaard

Recently a person hit my blog and sent me about 2 dozen emails asking questions and demanding from me a variety of answers. Since I am not working upon a current entry, I'll speak to the questions asked.  I was invited by that reader to debate the existence of God.  He told me that if I could convince him of the existence of God that he would convert immediately to Christianity.  My requirement according to the reader was that I should denounce my faith and practice not discussing my beliefs whenever I write.

“"Let me light my lamp", says the star, "And never debate if it will help to remove the darkness”  Rabindranath Tagore

He called for facts, and I never ask for debates.  He asks for arguments to sway him, and I am convinced and not interested in a dialogue about that which I know in my soul.

“You always have to defend the imagination against idiots.”  Ursula K. Le Guin

There is really only one thing that needs to be said, which is, I am not an apologist, I believe in God and do not use statistics and facts to support it, because I would never assume that a holy book is meant for scientific answers to questions.  Also, I have said that I believe that God is so enormous, so powerful and beyond my understanding that humans could have evolved by a direction of the almighty, and every aspect of existence follows natural laws that could only exist if there was an architect behind the universe.  I am not someone who pushes my views on people.  I am someone who speaks about what I believe, but beyond that, I assume humans were not made to blindly follow, but to use their intellect to advance the betterment of humanity.  (For reference see Proverbs 26:4-14)

"It occurs to me that artists go forward by going backward, something which I have nothing against intrinsically when it is a reproduced retreat — as is the case with the better artists. But it does not seem right that they stop with the historical themes already given and, so to speak, think that only these are suitable for poetic treatment, because these particular themes, which intrinsically are no more poetic than others, are now again animated and inspirited by a great poetic nature. In this case the artists advance by marching on the spot. — Why are modern heroes and the like not just as poetic? Is it because there is so much emphasis on clothing the content in order that the formal aspect can be all the more finished?" Soren Kierkegaard

I think that there are a large number of Christian people who are lumped in together with the assholes of the crowd.  Westboro Baptist church hates gays and hates most anyone who have different views, different lifestyles and different beliefs.  A large number of self identifying Christians do disagree with gay marriage, with the advancement of a variety of social agendas that are considered left of center.  But, just as Christians are called to show tolerance and acceptance by the world, so too the world should understand, there are many flavors found in the Christian chalice.  Some are legalist, some are liberal, some are joyful, some are fearful, but all have views that involve emotional connections to a being that is supernatural.  My faith profile has been one of search.  I was baptized a Lutheran, confirmed a Methodist, spirit filled in a Charismatic non denominational church, and joined a Mennonite home church to express my desire for social justice. 

"And when night Darkens the streets, 
then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine."

John Milton

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

I understand the power of, and use of debate between friends and lovers to better their relationship.  Marriage is one fashion of this.  Parenting cooperation is another.  Best friends do not always agree.  But disagreeing about important ideas and beliefs isn't necessarily detrimental to friendship or other sorts of relationships.  Acceptance and tolerance of ideas is important but, more, respecting the person who has the ideas and beliefs helps.  So, I hope the person wanting debate understands, I am not an apologist for any faith.  I believe in God, and that does not make me less intelligent or able to speak to others or write about my life.

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