So I recently ran across this site here.

It compares the differences between Muhammad and Jesus. I find it very disturbing. Whether or not the facts that are presented are correct or not does not matter. What sentiment it is trying to convey is aggravating. By putting the 2 prophets up against each other it implants in other peoples’ minds that Jesus is good and Muhammad is evil. To me this is against the Christian way, to love others as you should love yourself. You can find positive things that Muhammad and the Qur’an has said and negative things that Jesus and the Bible has said. Both religious traditions have had their dark histories. I have been taught to be accepting of all people form all walks of life.

Although…But…

First of all, sorry it has been awhile… I was busy with school, then with work during the summer.

So, this post is based on a sermon given at my church last week. This is what I have gleamed from the sermon. The pastor spoke about how even though things may not be going the way you want you still have to believe in God. The framework of the saying is “Although…But….”.  An example is “Although I have lost my job and I am down on my luck, but God is good and he will provide”. It reminds you to take a negative situation and look for the good.  I try to do this in my everyday life, it has made me a happier person.  There is always a little nugget of truth and/or something you can learn from in every situation.

Another tangent, but similar the topic.  It seems as though about every month there is some shooting going on, such as in Tennessee or in Ferguson.  You need to look for the positive out of this destruction.  For me I see that God is teaching us to treasure everyday that we have because we do not know what tomorrow will bring.  “Although there is so much destruction, but God is teaching me to value my own life and the people in it.”

Big Bang or Creation?

This question has been plaguing me ever since I have stepped back into religion.  And really is the reason why I started the blog. But I feel as though this has been somewhat answered for me now through my class. These are my conclusions…Creation is not really a story of how the world came to be but a story that is told so that we have to learn from it.  I believe now that science and religion answer different questions. Science answers the question of “How we came to be?” Religion answers “How powerful is God?”  How humans try to come grips with Genesis is to put it into a historical context.  When the author’s of Genesis wrote they did not think in terms of history, they just used images that people could relate to, to understand God’s power. So, it is not Creation vs Big Bang it Big Band and the Creation of God’s Power.

Easter

Easter- It is the day before the most holy day in all of Christianity.  Is it more important than Christmas? I think so, for me at least.  On Christmas I wake up half way in a “coma” from the previous night’s inhalation of food. As well as from the previous week of preparation to insure that the gifts I want to give are in proper order. I also don’t feel I grasp the true meaning of Christmas due to the previous 2 months of over-commercialization of the holiday.  But Easter, is less commercialized, and I actually feel like I am renewed and clean. I actually feel a calmness of God’s presence and I feel as though I grasp the true meaning of it.  It may have to do with it being the unofficial start of Spring or what God is trying to do in my life.  I don’t know, but in any case I feel more connected to God at this time than any other time of year. Happy Easter I feel as though this quotemost embodies my feelings:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.   John 3:16-18

Reflective Essay for my class (aka, my walk up until now)

Prompt: This first reflection paper is your chance to reflect on how you’ve participated in and/or thought about or regarded the Christian tradition up until this point in time.  Please narrate your relationship with Christianity in as detailed and concise ways as is possible. This narration should include particulars (you attended this particular church or knew these particular people or remember this particular news story), but should also include some interpretations or feelings about these particulars (you decided you hated Christianity when a flaming crucifix was pointed at you; you grew to trust that pastor or priest whom you first thought was nuts).

Essay:

I believe in all of the Sources of Christian Theology that Hanson presents, but the one I rely upon is experience, being exposed to viewpoints that shape who I am and from these experiences that I can learn from. I also believe in Hanson’s special revelation, I need to experience the outside world in order to believe in it. I am a scientist by nature, I also have a degree in Environmental Science already from another institution in California. I transferred to Augustana to broaden my resume and skillset (amongst many other reasons that would add another couple of paragraphs and is also irrelevant to the topic).

The following is my story and how I view Christianity based on these experiences. I grew up going to a Christian pre-school and after-school daycare through third grade where I learned all the basic bible stories. I am glad that I did go through this, it gave me a fun and basic understanding of what Jesus was all about. I did find it to be annoying and repetitive because it was every day that we studied the Bible. After the preschool I only went to church on Easter Sunday because both my brother and I were active in sports and school. This kind-of drew me away from the church and secularized me. I have always been a naturally inquisitive person and I found solace in science to be the answers to my questions about the world. Also, my parents were/are both in the science world and sort of drove me toward science. This was a factor in me choosing the major that I did. My junior year in high school I started going to a Presbyterian Church with my grandmother for four years. I did this because I needed a social group to be a part of, I did not drink or party, so church was a natural choice to choose. It rose questions in myself that I had based on the difference between science and religion and how these come together. I was not terribly involved in that church because I was timid to join groups, but I did join a small group of college students a couple of years after I started to attend church. It did allow me to explore what the Bible was really about. Also the church being a traditional Presbyterian church, it was formal and regimented with traditional songs (It was a good experience, but I wanted a little more freedom in worship.) I left the Presbyterian Church because I wanted a church that had a large young adult group that I could become a part of. A friend introduced me to a non-denominational church with Baptist origins. It was great, I became more involved and met people outside of the church group that I could ask questions and explore my faith. I did go on retreats that allowed me to grow. I loved the church set-up and it was less regimented. It helped me find my faith again and has helped me become a better, happier person. I had moved a couple of months ago and as a result changed my church, I go to Bettendorf Christian Church in Iowa and I got involved in their local young adult group.   The church is very similar to the one I have back home in style, I am slowly becoming more involved in the church. As a result I like less traditional churches and like just singing and the sermon and values small group discussions.