Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When God Talks Back to the Evangelical Church

NPR's program Fresh Air featured an interview with anthropologist Tanya Lerhmann who did a study on the evangelical concept of having a relationship with God. Her study focused primarily on a Vineyard church in Chicago as well as another Vineyard church in California. I found this interview fascinating as it gives an outsider's take on prayer and relationship with God. During her months studying the Vineyard she said that on a few occasions she experienced God herself, though she is not quite sure what she even means by that. Check out the segment, WHEN GOD TALKS BACK TO THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH


greenturtle said...

Having had a personal relationship with God, is the only thing that keeps me believing.

I mean, you have to admit, there's very little evidence to indicate that there's a God.

And yet to go so far as to say there isn't, leaves so many questions as to how we all got here, etc.

I get confused when I read about greek mythology, and notice that many of their stories parallel with the story of Jesus.

And then there's the beliefs about Mithra, hundreds of years before Christ, which are nearly identical.

And I don't have an explanation for that. Most Christians would say "Oh, that's just the devil, planting counterfeit stories to confuse you."

Could be, but how do we know?

While I claimed to be an atheist circa 2003-2004, in reality, there was always a small part of me that never completely let go.

For the simple reason, that I'd once had a relationship with God and personally experienced Him. You just can't deny that, you can't reason that away.

And besides... to quote William Murray, son of the infamous Madalyn Murray O'Hair... "there has to be a God, because there certainly is a devil."

greenturtle said...

Now, as important as a relationship with God is, we must never forget about the OTHER part of the equation... our relationship with others.

You know, the second part of Christ's command.

All too often I used to observe people completely bypassing the importance of connecting with others, being so caught up in trying to connect with God.

Don't get me wrong, connecting with God is important too!

But remember, Jesus said "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to Me."

Seriously, what good are you to the people around you, when you're constantly looking at the sky with your eyes closed and your hands in the air?

Your "ministry" is right there among you.

There's people right next to you, who don't need to watch a show; They need you to care about them and have a REAL conversation with them, that doesn't involve incessant repetition of scripture and cliches.

Just keep that in mind. Relations with others shouldn't be neglected (or sabotaged) in pursuit of your relationship with God.

Crispin Schroeder said...

Did you listen to the NPR story?

greenturtle said...

Um, no. Now I'm thinking I probably should have?