Monday, March 17, 2008

A Conversation

Fellow Traveler related the following conversation she had with Oldest Child Raised By Wolves:

OCRBW: Sometimes I think about God. But I don't tell my parents.

FT: Do you believe in God?

OCRBW: Sometimes. But sometimes I wonder if He's on my side.

FT: Are you alive?

OCRBW: Yes.

FT: Then God is on your side.

I think that one of the greatest gifts my faith tradition has to offer is the good news that God is on our side; that Christ, God With Us, is the ultimate expression of that.

So much of American Christianity is opposed to this message. Its message, by contrast, is that God is not on our side; that God holds us in contempt; is looking for reasons to damn us to hell; that we'd better shape up to get God on our side.

God is on our side. How do we best communicate that to people -- including Christians -- who need to hear it?

4 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

I've thought the same thing about some of American Christianity when I get stuck listening to christian radio. I keep wondering, "if we are saved by grace, why do you (the radio voice) keep talking so much about sin and about improving ourselves?"

Scooper said...

You never know about those moments of Grace. I remember when a stranger helped me get my car out of a rut on a country road. Once I was ready to roll again, he told me that just a few weeks ago he would have driven on by me, figuring that my problem was not his problem. But he had recently had a Christian conversion experience, which now impelled him to do things like helping me.

It didn't convert me back to Christianity then and there. But it made my atheism a little less cocky. To this day (almost a quarter-century later) I still thank that guy.

But what OCRBW probably really wants to know is, "Am I going to be all right someday?" Or maybe, "Do I have a chance of being all right someday?"

Remember that the original words of "We Shall Overcome," were "I will be all right."

Certainly OCRBW has a chance, in fact many chances to be all right someday. The chances given by God, who wants OCRBW to take at least one.

Tom in Ontario said...

"How do we best communicate that to people?"

Just the way FT did. You can take out billboards and paste it up for all to see but I don't know how many are going to take that to heart. One heart to another like FT to OCRBW is the best way.

Cecilia said...

I would go even further. Even if we're dead, God is on our side. "He descended to hell/ the dead..." "In life and in death we belong to God."

I love talking theology with kids. They are open to it!

Pax, C.