Monday, October 6, 2008

When God comes to Pot-Lucks

Ok so I'm sure I am not the only liberal religious person who has had to both balance a plate of food on my knees and explain my beliefs to a group of skeptics. Whether it's in bookstores, pot-lucks, coffee shops or other activist rallies often we as people of faith are expected to be able to give good and convincing answers to the nitty-gritty theological questions.
So I'm wondering what are the questions about faith you are called on to answer the most? How do you answer them?

For me it would be:

-but you're not Christian right? (after I say that I'm Quaker)

-as a Christian what is your views on homosexuality?

-how can you talk about your religious experience without making people feel like your trying to convert them?

-but you're not evangelical right?

-do you believe the Bible is the word of God?

-what about all the horrible things people do and have done in the name of God?

-how can you be both Universalist and Christian?

What are the questions about faith you get asked the most?


Ashley W said...

Hi Anna,

I'd say the question non-Quakers ask me the most is why I became a Quaker. Lately, the question that Quakers ask me the most is why I attend an unprogrammed Friends meeting instead of a programmed one.

It seems like liberal Friends often do not have the same language to describe their experiences as evangelical Friends, and so they avoid talking about what they believe altogether. A few days ago, I wrote a post trying to explain what I believe. I was a little nervous about writing about my faith so openly, but I am glad that I did.

Good luck answering hard questions!


forrest said...

The "answer" to keep with you always is "no answer."


Ask not, "What does thou think?", but
"How should I answer this person, Boss?"
Better yet (better than I usually do, alas) would be to ask "What is this person telling me, Boss?" first of all.

Daniel said...

Over in the UK, most people, even people who are past the 'oats' stage assume Quakers are Christian, and take some persuading about the significant number of non-theist Friends. Perhaps it is a bit different because, as I understand it, many groups in the US are a bit more selective with the term than they are over here.