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Archive for February, 2010

nola represents

The Economist had an article titled “Back in the game” about New Orleans winning the Super Bowl (2-13-10 issue).  Being from Indianapolis, I was rooting entirely in the opposite direction, though particularly in light of the regional aspect everyone is taking, I can appreciate this being good for the city and whole area.  Essentially the article is about our post-racial world.  New Orleans has “historically voted along racial lines”, although the new white mayor had received 63% of the black vote and 70% of whites.  “Just over a year earlier, of course, Americans had elected a black president, a result that clearly shook up old patterns.”  Glad to see further evidence of what our generation inherently believed anyway, that if you were born a decade after MLKJr’s speech, you take it as an obvious given that color means no difference, and can’t we move beyond having fear of a fight for even discussing the topic.  Political markers indicate on a public scale that we are post-racial… choose to live that way individually, work together with the people around you to better our community group regardless of their physical description.

super bowl and racial harmony

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seeking the truth

How to deal with different beliefs among friends?  After a weighty discussion with a regular debater on the flip side of the coin, I wrote this email to one of my closest friends:

Two different points of view, we both have to answer the same question, just from contrasting sides of the table:
– You have to decide that someone involved in a religious, unintelligent, fantasy-believing group of people will not harm you by making decisions based on a foundation in the guidance of the Easter Bunny.
– I have to decide that someone denying the most powerful truth of existence (God, and his love for you) can have a stable foundation, when I know that no foundation except that in God is secure.

I have addressed this question in my mind long ago, and here we are together still.  My confidence in the future does not come from our inherent abilities or from the feeling of security that money can buy.  God gives us abilities, which we should grow and develop, such as working hard to build a career.  God provides money.  God provides oxygen.  Just as we can find reasons why oxygen exists without proving God, we can point to many reasons money is gained that seemingly have nothing to do with the Creator.  But money is a tool, not the answer itself.  There may be a direct correlation between our work and the money gained for that work, but that does not make ourselves or other people the actual source.  A person puts a plant seed in the ground, a person waters it, but that doesn’t mean the person makes it grow.  God created the soil, the water, the person, and the process by which it grows.  To deny this is to, I think, deny reality, and therefore have a less complete understanding of every past and future activity.

It seems that one refutation of my belief is that, well, if I really believed it I would live differently, and would never have any contradictions or do anything unChristian.  Perfect faith would act 100% of the time with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  You know my flaws and that I’m nowhere close to that.  Christianity does not say, “believe this, and then you’ll be perfect and deserve blessings”.  It says, “Christ’s perfection covers your misdeeds, strive to follow his model of serving others”.

Please recognize the double-standard in place.  You constantly try to convert me to your point of view, yet if I try to convert you, in your words, “there’s no way we would be friends”.  If I refer to God’s existence as fact, you get angry, while you refer to your point of view as fact every day.  Sometimes it’s in a belittling manner, sometimes it’s in the most respectful tone you can offer toward what you consider to be a ridiculous myth.  As long as we are on different sides of this coin, it will take great effort to follow what we each believe to be true while treating the other person and their right to have a different understanding entirely with respect.

We both want the other person to believe the truth, not lies.  Not because we want the other person to concede we’re “right”, but because we care for each other deeply, and belief in a lie is a sad state to be in.  There’s no other way to say it than, God is calling for you to have the peace that only comes from knowing him.  I know you have an equally blunt and opposite statement for me.  There’s only one reality out there, and I hope we both get to as close an understanding of it as is humanly possible.

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