Thursday, February 17, 2005

What do the others think?

As I mentioned a little while back, I was asked to prepare a sermon for last Sunday night's church gathering. Instead, I put together a PowerPoint presentation, and organised a discussion.

What I'd originally wanted to do was interview on camera a number of people who weren't Chritians, asking them about their perceptions of Christians, God and the Bible, and show the video to the church. What I found was that a lot of people were quite happy to talk about these things, but were to shy to talk about them on camera.
So instead I showed a PowerPoint presentation I'd put together from people's opinions, art (Gustave Doré, Diego Rivera and Michelangelo), photos and music ('If God will Send His Angels' and 'Please' by U2).
These are the quotes I used:

If God is real, where ... is he? Why isn't he fixing the world?

God isn't doing anything because we created God, not the other way around.

It seems with a lot of Christians that any time something good happens, it's because God willed it, and when something bad happens, it's 'part of god's plan,' which is the most obnoxious excuse I've ever heard.

Half the Christians I talk to don't believe in God either.

What's the point in even having a religion if you're just going to take one, pick and chose the parts you don’t like, and then get rid of them?

People do religion to much for show.

If you believe in God doesn't that automatically make you a Christian?

Isn't the god from Judaism, Christianity and Islam the same God just different beliefs ... I thought they all had the basic concept ... creator of life.

The less gods a religion has, the more violent they are and the less tolerance they show.

It's not just other religions that the more radical Christians damn but their brothers and sisters in other denominations too.

I believe in one God-like being for lack of a better word, but I'm not a Christian.

I know more about Christianity than most Christians my age. I am thankful for my Christian knowledge, as it provides me with legitimate answers and views on their questions and attacks.

People use the Bible to justify almost anything they want to, from slavery to murder.

The Bible that people read in church is edited. Books are missing, pages are missing. It's put together as people see fit. Some places in the Bible are extremely loosely translated.

I'll admit it's a good moral book, but it takes away the free choice. God wouldn't make laws that we govern ourselves by. Why would he let his people fight over him? Huh? He wouldn't. Supposedly he’s an all-loving god, yet he lets people represent him and fight for him. What ... kind of god is that?

For example you have the crusades. First the priests say that it's a sin, evil, not join the crusaders and then they were sent off to kill thousands.
I personally feel sorry for all who believe in any religion 'cause there's a huge chance that their going to be wrong.

I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle.
- Frank Sinatra

Religions, all of them, give man something to live for. Without that we'd be depressed, useless slobs.

The Judeo-Christian metaphor of God is simply that, a metaphor. It is just a symbol used to explain something more complex.

There's no heaven. There's no hell. There's six feet of dirt and maggots.

God created us as little animals and helped us through evolution. The big bang? How the hell do you think God made the universe? He triggered the big bang. The Bible is a little bit inaccurate at times, because it was written by several people spanning over the period of thousands of years. And scientists are also right most of the time, they just come up with any [rubbish] they can think of to lead minds away from the Bible to explain their discoveries.

The majority of the Bible is ridiculous, if you think about it for a minute, and think of it happening, literally as it’s told, today. Its just a bunch of stories created to keep people in line and to behave civilly in society.

God works in weird ways.

'God' is everything, in everyone. It's like a huge soul. A force. He's not one, he's infinity. God is an entity. The thing that makes us know what's right and wrong. No one needs to tell me what God is. God is what I make him.
I met God while on mushrooms. That's where you meet God. Not in a book you read. God is the experience.

God is that old ... guy that lives in one of your neighbours' basement and is a cleaner (not like Bruce Almighty) at your school and one day he will smite us all with a really wet mop.

Once the presentation had played through, I got everyone to form little groups and discuss how we can respond to this. If they wanted they could use these questions to guide their discussion:
Do you agree (partly or completely) with any of the opinions expressed?

Would you have identified with any of them earlier in your life?

Do any of your friends, family, co-workers have similar opinions?

What might have brought people to these conclusions?

How can we respond to these ideas?

The guys in the sound booth recorded the session, so I'm going to see if I can get an mp3 of it served somewhere.


Tab said...

Chris, can you tell us what some church people's responses were? Were they supprised? It's basically what I expected un-christian-ised people to say really. What did ur poplation sample consist of? Did you know these people or were they random? It's interesting what that person said about meething God on Musrooms. Not unlike a friend of mine, who said basicly the same thing. I believe them too.

Christop said...

The quotes were from the Totse forum. Once I've gotten the CD back off Trav I'll post a transcript of people's responses.

PI007 said...

I bet that some of the responses would have been very interesting. This way of doing things does get people thinking and talking.