February 26, 2007

NextReformation's Jesus Creed

We have confidence in Jesus
Who healed the sick, the blind, and the paralyzed.
And even raised the dead.
He cast out evil powers and
Confronted corrupt leaders.
He cleansed the temple.
He favored the poor.
He turned water into wine,
Walked on water, calmed storms.
He died for the sins of the world,
Rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father,
Sent the Holy Spirit.
We have confidence in Jesus
Who taught in word and example,
Sign and wonder.
He preached parables of the kingdom of God
On hillsides, from boats, in the temple, in homes,
At banquets and parties, along the road, on beaches, in towns,
By day and by night.
He taught the way of love for God and neighbor,
For stranger and enemy, for outcast and alien.

via NextReformation.
Just thougt I'd share it, I like it.

February 3, 2007

Blasphemy Challenge

In Mark, 3:29, scriptures says this,

But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, he is guilty of an eternal sin.
I'm not sure how you interpret this passage, but it seems dangerous in ways. Well, not if you're an atheist. A group of atheists calling themselves the the rational response squad have begun a "one way street" dialog on the verse at blasphemy challenge. They have called out all atheists, targeted mostly at younger teenagers, to denounce God publicly on the video sharing community, youtube. According to their site, the only requirement is to say "I deny the Holy Spirit," and then to commence denouncing God in any way you would like.

There has been a Christian response with a group on facebook, and also a site called challenge blasphemy, calling Christians to post videos on youtube. The only requirement for this site is to say that the scripture provides proof that the blasphemy challenge is committing the "unforgivable sin." Here's something else that was in the news.

I think both responses are misguided. Atheists are one of the most misunderstood groups in America. They are cast in the light as scumbags, and the worse people on earth. In ways, I can sympathize with some atheists in agreeing with the atrocities that uncontrolled religion can create. But, this call will never create any useful dialog. If anything, this will only make things worse.

Also, as far as the Christian response, I think we need to focus more on dialog. With atheists, we cannot try for conversion, but simply to open pathways to understanding and cooperation among the two groups.