Thursday, March 13, 2008
Our Agape Explore Series is a time to have discussions concerning faith and belief in God. I remember doing these years ago at Cascade and found that they were well received. I had my friend Chris Jackson come talk about Agnosticism and the United States Atheists talk about why they were atheists. Then we would close the series with a panel discussion/debate on the topic of faith in God. It has been 4 years since we had done this so I found it a good opportunity to bring this back. Thanks to the generousity of an anonymous donor/friend from the south--we were able to revive the discussions. Our second discussion on atheism was well attended and the students and adults asked a lot of great questions and generated discussions with the speakers long after we finished.
How often do we challenge our beliefs, faith, and convictions? Seems that it is easy to be a Christian when everyone agrees with me. However, these discussions always cause people to ask questions and explore their faith and what others believe. It also is a challenge to our ethics. One thing I always point out to the kids is that these speakers are very moral people. If you are raised with the belief that those in Christ are the only moral people--you will be sadly mistaken. In fact, many atheists suggest that Christianity can be an excuse to lack morals (we are all sinners but thanks to Jesus for making me better). We are also accused of fostering an environment of ignorance (questioning your faith or education will actually cause you to leave the faith).
This provides a great opportunity to correct these errors.
In April the three groups (atheist, agnostic, Christian) will have a discussion/debate over Anthony Flew's book There is a God.