Monday, September 24, 2012

Christian or American

I think some day soon, I may have to decide.  I never before thought it would be difficult to be both.  I don't think I'll have to make this choice in my lifetime, but you never know.

Tonight my small group bible study starts up for the fall.  I'm excited and nervous.  I'm excited to meet with a group of people, I can say, I call friends.  I'm looking forward to diving into the bible and learning more about how I am to live in this world today.  I'm nervous because, this fall, we are using a new study and a very different format.

I've been in a BUNCH of bible studies in my life.  I know the drill.  I know a lot of the answers already.  I think this new study will be quite challenging.  This study is a life to bible study.  (as opposed to a bible to life study.  bible to life is reading and studying scripture and applying it to your life.  life to bible is taking current events from our life and discovering what the bible has to say about these things.)  The study is called The Wired Word.  It is non-denominational and looks to be thought provoking.

This is my first life to bible study.  Tonight we are delving into the anti-American protests that erupted in the last couple weeks in Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya in response to the YouTube video.  It will be interesting to look at these events through the bible and not through the media.  (here's an analogy for the bible from Phillips Brooks "The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees the worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter.")  I believe this study is going to challenge me.  I've looked over the material for tonight's study.  This is the first set of questions we are going to tackle.
    1. Are you aware of any personal attitudes or concerns that might be rooted in Islamophobia? How do those stand up when compared to the reality of the Muslim world, as best as you can ascertain it? What concerns do you have about Muslims/Islam that seem rooted in reality? What appreciation do you have of Muslims/Islam that seems rooted in reality? What religious resources help you not to demonize all Muslims? 

I'm a little scared.  (I'll let you know how it goes.)

The idea of looking at current events through the bible peeked my interest.  My husband and I were watching a movie about a trio of Jewish Nazi hunters in Germany after WWII.  They were to hunt down and kidnap a Nazi surgeon.  Helen Mirren was in the movie.  This movie got me to thinking about my life.  What if my husband and I had been German citizens during WWII?  What if my husband had been a career navy man when the Nazis came to power?  Would we have been Nazis?  Could you be a Nazi and be a Christian?  If my husband had wanted to leave the navy he probably would have been killed or imprisoned.  How did German Christians behave during this time?  How did churches respond to the political climate?

I believe our nation is entering a new political climate.  We, as Christians, are going to have to decide what we will be the base for choices we make in our lives.  Will we act on the basis of our faith or will we act on the basis of nationalism? 

577.  Quiet day at the office
578.  Receiving an email from my son with part of a class paper and asking for my opinion
579.  Listening to acorns on the glass topped picnic table on my deck (BANG!)
580.  Getting back together with my small group bible study
581.  Reading encouraging blog comments


  1. I've been asking some hard questions like this. Not exactly like this, but I mean to say: I've been trying to figure out where religion and politics intersect, where they don't, and how to deal. Mostly, it's gotten me a big, fat headache. I wanted to say, also: those acorns sound like guns going off, sometimes, don't they? I'm happy you've found a study group that works for you and hope you'll have a great fall. Still hoping to catch up w/ you in real life. We're sticking close to home and pinching pennies, right now, though, until we figure out how long we're going to have to pay two mortgages.

  2. wow this is fascinating! Can't wait to hear the outcome.

  3. def some hard questions to be asking and i think it is really cool to look at the events through the bible...of course you will also see how different people interpret them side by side...both the events and the bible...i think one thing that makes it difficult is the rigidity or polarity of our parties...because neither one really lines up with truly biblical principles no matter how you try to slice it...

  4. Good luck with the new study.

  5. sounds like some Bible study!   heavy stuff!!

  6. This sounds like an awesome Bible Study. Very heavy though. I can't wait to hear what it is like. 


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