Cross Reference: In the beginning

In Columns, Cross Reference

Last semester I had the opportunity to provide a perspective from a Christian experiencing and observing a social shift and transition in his faith.

This semester, however, the perspective will be based on faith in the news. This semester will be different.

Through the eyes of people who were there, personally experiencing my theory of transitional attitudes in the world of Christianity, I will show the current state of Christendom.

The point of view of people on the ground will give you, my audience, the chance to feel and see some of the concepts I presented last semester from my eyes while traversing the streets of our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C.

From defending Catholics’ adamant stance on preserving the potential of life to the freedom of speech and expression of religion of Westboro Baptist Church’s venomous viewpoints, this semester I will show this hypothesis through their eyes.

A study done by LifeWay Research, published in Christianity Today last October, concluded that people in the United States who actually read their Bible are more likely to change their views on politics and social issues—usually from the right to the left.

“The discussion becomes even more interesting when we consider who is most likely to read the Bible frequently,” said Aaron B. Franzen, a graduate student in the sociology department at Baylor University, who authored the article in Christianity Today.

“It’s evangelicals and biblical literalists, those who tend to be more conservative on these topics. In other words, those who read the Bible most often are more conservative, but the more they read the Bible, the more likely it is that their views will change, at least on these topics,” he said.

My beliefs and many other presuppositions about “where we’re at now” stem from this. My (working) conclusions are based following an intense Biblical Studies minor at Hope International under world-renowned professors.

When I started my new college career four and a half years ago, I knew that my ideas about the world, God, and Christianity were going to change—I expected them to. By the exposure and acquisition of different ideas are these conclusions also based.

This continuing opportunity is meant to be a forum, an open discussion about these concepts. For I believe it is only by following this formula of exposure and acquisition of new and contrasting ideas that knowledge, and hopefully wisdom, be attained.

When opinions on philosophy, especially theology, are only based on what we’ve been fed our whole lives—without accessing the wide spectrum of history—uninformed conclusions are produced.

And it is my goal to present these controversial formulations that sometimes tear into the fabric of our identities so that God, whom I believe encompasses that fabric, will be presented as relevant, present, and necessary.

I also aspire to bring Christianity into a new light by bringing these voices and not my own. That includes those facing this supposed transition head-on and the practical effects it has on their lives.

Christianity, I believe, in conjunction with having a God that is represented by all (even if he or she doesn’t believe Him to exist), is “big enough” to epitomize everyone who has lived and is yet to exist.

And I encourage all to engage in meaningful discussion on talks of homosexuality, abortion, Biblical inerrancy, legitimacy of Scripture are brought up in the weeks before the election, which is set to decide the direction of the transition.

After all, most of us, by being involved in a college campus community, are already undertaking the worthwhile task of discussion and getting to know ourselves better.

And thus: Getting to know God better.

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