Now at 26, I don’t go to church anymore. Because I don’t like the idea of people telling me what I should do, and how I should be doing them. I think many millennials feel the same way.
During my time in university, I’ve learned to be my own teacher when it comes to issues close to my heart. It’s about objectivity. This is why I did my own research on the subject of homosexuality. I stop letting one specific group of people dictate how I should view myself, and other gay people. I realise that what it means to be gay is really, my own business. How I want to live my life is my choice, not some other people’s.
I think this is probably a very common sentiment in our culture. There are really two aspects to this challenge: First, there’s the question of why this approach to life is unwise. Second, there’s the matter of how you would communicate that to someone who expressed this opinion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on both.
What is wisdom? How do we find it? How do we evaluate it? Where does it come from? Is there a standard? Is it a good standard? Can we trust it? All of these things and more play in the background of this challenge. Give us your thoughts in the comments below, and come back on Thursday to hear what Alan has to say about it.
Jesus wasn’t a very nice guy. American Christians talk a lot about so-called family values, but that concept doesn’t have much, if any, basis in the actual story of Christ. Jesus demanded that his disciples abandon their families and save all of their devotion for him and him alone – a rather narcissistic and not particularly family-centric expectation…seeming to be in direct contradiction to the commandment about honoring thy mother and father.
To be fair, I think churches often do put more emphasis on “family-centric expectations” than on the person of Jesus, so I can appreciate her confusion at trying to match up the Jesus of the Gospels with what she’s heard in churches. But on top of that, I think she may be importing an atheist’s view of Jesus into the Gospels, and surprise! The story doesn’t make sense with a human-only Jesus. That’s because the story isn’t about a human-only Jesus, and it can only possibly make sense as a story if we try to understand it on its own terms. (For more on the problem with atheists doing this, see here.)
All that having been said, how would you answer this challenge? Leave your comments below, and then come back here on Thursday to hear Brett’s response.
[H]ow arrogant I was, to think that my form of small-town Southern-Ontario Catholic Christianity was the only way that people could come to know God properly, when there are billions of people all over the world who reach out to all kinds of higher powers and forms of spiritual enlightenment all the time? And those people feel the same kind of assurance, peace, and goodness that I do? I can't have the nerve to say that these people were wrong because how they relate to their god is different than mine, when all I have to justify my belief is a book.
This is definitely an idea you will run into: Billions of people have spiritual lives, so how can we claim we’re right and they’re wrong just because they’re different? How would you counsel someone who expressed this view? Can we know spiritual truth? How would you go about finding it? Tell us what you would say in the comments below, and Alan will post a video with his response on Thursday.
If you're a Christian why do you worship the scriptures in the current Bible and not those that are left out? … [T]he Bible had a long history of changes before becoming the collection of books that Christians worship today. Entire books have been removed or added during the Bible's history and entire generations of Christians have devoted their faith and lives to earlier versions of the Bible which contained a various different collection of books and teachings. The Bible only became relatively consistent in its current form because of the 15th century invention of the printing press which mass produced copies of the current collection of books.
How would you respond to this challenge? Give us your answer in the comments below, and come back to the blog on Thursday to hear Tim’s answer.
So let me get this straight: the rules are that if people screw up, they have to brutally murder an innocent animal. God is omnipotent, so presumably these are his rules. But it’s been changed. Because a couple thousand years ago humans killed a man in one of the most savage manners imaginable it was enough sacrifice for everyone for all time. What I don’t understand is why a sacrifice was necessary at all. God is only in a forgiving mood when he smells fresh blood?
This is obviously a huge topic—sin, evil, God’s holiness, justice, and more are involved with this one. How would you go about responding to it? Tell us what you would say in the comments below, and Brett will be here on Thursday to respond to this challenge.