i've spoken to people from all walks of life. Every Race, and alot of faiths like Amish, Agnostic, Atheist, Christian (fundie to liberal to WTF?!), Wiccan, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. this program is helping me meet people where they are and explore a different perspective than my own. i've been so honored to see how others view the world through their faith, family, and cultural lens.
last night, in two of the trauma's the family system was a mess and people hadn't talked to each other in years. there was bitterness and resentment. but as soon as i walked into the room, they started to come together. they started talking about their hopes and what meaning they are finding in these tragedies. they asked for prayer and were comforted and one family even broke down and cried. i've seen this so many times, rarely have i seen faith during these moments divide. ppl are more accepting of their views and seem to gain some greater perspective.
when you're in the midst of suffering, it is my theory that it helps to triangulate. you know, the mathematical formula to help you find where you are. i think health faith-beliefs do this. provide perspective and look at the larger picture and let the small resentments and grudges fall away.
this isn't to say that things will remain like that.
to say that faith doesn't equal truth is short-sighted. it is one method of finding truth and hope in a situation that is hopeless. i've seen the scientific method and medical knowledge due the same for agnostics/atheists as well, to help them triangulate. both have worked and found hope and truth in their tragedy. to say one is inherently better reeks of egotism and priviledge.
start where they are, test whether their beliefs are toxic or helpful and go from there. this is a great way to COEXIST.
a new blog i've been chatting on, Triangulations has written an atheist's perspective on faith that I think is really helpful and eye-opening. In Sabio Lantz's opinion, here is what "My Favorite Type of Christian" protrayed in through a variety of Christian beliefs and the direction where Sabio and I would prefer them to move:
Christology: Inerrant –> ErrantI must say that this is where i am and where CPE has taken me. i used to think i was open-minded, but at seminary sometimes we're too used to attacking one another's beliefs than affirming what works. i think this stand is the best way to meet others where they are. that's not to say that all boundaries should drop and hold nothing serious... but to hold loosely, but don't let go... that reminds of a song... RAWK!
View of Scripture: High –> Low
Soteriology: Exclusivist –> Inclusivist –> Pluralist –> Universalist
Science: Anti-science –> Pro-science
Women: Misogynist –> Equal Rights & Respect
Homosexuality: Anti-Gay –> Gay-tolerant –> Gay-friendly
Resurrection & Other Miracles: Literalists –> Figurativists
Cosmology: Young Earth Creationist –>Gap Creationist –> Old Earth Creationists–> Evolutionist
Ecclesiology: Top down rule –> Local rule
Missionology: Salvation First –> Service First
Eschatology: Zionist –> Pro-Israel –> Israel-Neutral