Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Do You Have to be Stupid to be a Christian?"

This is blog is dead on! I repeat the first and last paragraphs of the blog. Be sure to go to the link to catch the whole thought. While I'd like to think I offer some exception to this notion in my work it is a challenge worth consideration.

"Do you have to be stupid to be a Christian? I sometimes wrestle with this very question. It’s reminiscent of the joke poster — 'You don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it helps.' One of the most common reasons Christian spiritual seekers outside the church give for not finding a home with us is that they are not intellectually challenged. Unreasonable, irrational, and simplistic assertions are deeply troubling and off-putting to a growing segment of spiritual seekers in the United States. A huge number of Christians — both inside and outside the institutional church — are irritated by the resistance they encounter when they ask questions about cherished notions and beliefs. People inside our churches confess to feeling threatened by more educated people who they feel question — and sometimes disrespect — their faith, while those outside the church feel unwelcome when they ask what they feel are legitimate questions."

"Insulating ourselves against hard questions, scientific discoveries, critical thinking, and expressions of serious doubt isn’t grounded in faith, but in fear. Our minds are gifts from God, and we don’t honor God by refusing to use the gift. Our congregations need to become safe sanctuaries for people at all levels of faith and intellectual development. We can ill afford to drive intelligent people away simply because we fear they might tred upon our sacred cows. If God is God, no amount of questioning, doubt, or scrutiny can change it. Recent (and not so recent) surveys indicate that 'the church' has a credibility problem in the United States. It is roundly criticized for being anti-intellectual, anti-science, non-rational, irrational, out-of-touch, and — ultimately — irrelevant. Much of this we have brought on ourselves, but the time is ripe to show, once and for all, that Christianity really isn’t for dummies."

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