Skeptic Shares his Thoughts on theStory

I wrote this post putting my letter to the editor in the Sarnia paper about churches in Sarnia needing to step up and actually fulfill our mission to do what Jesus has called us to do.

A guy from Sarnia found it, his blog is called Sarnia Skeptic. He commented on the post a few times. Then he wrote a post on his site and blasted at theStory and me a little bit on his latest post (the beauty of leaving our budget online, we become an open book to criticism, but it’s one step in the right direction ) and for the most part he’s right on. Anyway, I thought you guys may enjoy the post a little bit, but I’m more curious about what your thoughts are on it.

I’m sort of at a loss of what to say. Many of the things he said were valid and demand answers. Others, I just want to fill up his comments section with reasons and excuses as to why theStory is different. But like I ask myself everyday, are we? Are we really that different or do we just sit on couches and do potlucks and convince ourselves that we are better than everyone else? Most of the time I don’t feel like we are all that different. However, I do think we are at least heading in the right direction, even if it takes us ten years to get there. I don’t think you can just turn a beast around, I do wish it would be a lot faster than its going though. We have a long way to go.

2 Comments

  • Wow, Nathan – either you have some very protective blog followers or I pissed off (even more) the people who were bothered enough by your letter to come to your site.

    I’ve posted a clarification on my site. I wasn’t, I didn’t think, bashing you.

    I thought I was supporting you (as best I could, given that I don’t believe in god/jesus/religion). My “attack” on your church wasn’t aimed specifically at TheStory (as yours was not aimed at any specific church, etiher). This “story” as it may be, is not about “TheStory”.

    My disagreement with religion and faith in a creator goes far beyond what we’re discussing.

    There are a number of things that you and Joe do that have to be encouraged and I hold no ill will towards either of you as people.

    I am concerned that moderate religion enables less moderate (more extreme) versions.. and so on. And where it interferes with public policy, science education, medical research, etc., it is harmful.

    Seldom do followers of a particular religion (or even a church) speak up about the oddities/actions of others. What you did, with your letter, was counter to the popular religious culture. You will burn in hell for doing so :)

  • Hey Skeptic (I’ll post this on your site too)

    I never thought you were bashing me, I thought it was a well grounded and logical critique and encouragement, so I’ll take it as both, but thanks for clarifying. Not sure who is reading your site or commenting to you, but hopefully they were graceful in their words to you.

    I share a lot of your struggles with religion, but I just choose to work from within the system in a lot of ways, it’s a different kind of route all together, but I would say it is just as entertaining and has just as much logic and faith mixed in it as you have in your beliefs.

    You are right on with your point. theStory is new and it is different, but it is far from the church that I imagine being an actual force of good in the world. I think we make beautiful strides, and great things come from people in our community, but we are also filled with pride and selfishness and I’m sure we will constantly struggle with it.

    You are right, we can only be so different. The things you struggle with about church, I struggle with about church.

    I appreciate what you said about money. While money is the vice of many of us in North American culture, I don’t think it is the final sign of showing whether someone, or some church is virtuous or not. Of course, this isn’t to excuse the massive waste of money that churches and individuals have thrown away at corrupt systems to appease their own guilt, but it does at least reassure me that there can be some good amongst everything else that haunts the church.

    I don’t know how else to explain my position to you. I don’t generally look at my position on religion and church as an overly religious position. I’ve grown up seeing religion be used for nothing more than to further selfish desires of the people in power. I think religion (or whatever we want to call it) in its purest form can actually be an act of beauty in the world. I would like to think that any religion that I could adhere to is one that encouraged grace, love, peace, putting others before yourself and inclusion to the whole of the human race. Generally religion is though of as a list of rules of do’s and don’ts and 7 steps for salvation in your afterlife, and most religions, Christianity included has been unfortunately reduced to nothing more than that. I do however, believe there is more going on than that, and that is where my faith lies.

    So I’m a skeptic right alongside of you. I’m skeptical towards any religion, including my own. I’m skeptical towards anyone that says God told them something. I’m skeptical towards anyone who doesn’t allow room for good conversation and for the strongest of beliefs to be held up for question. I’m skeptical towards those that say they are following a religion but really are just pushing nonsensical jargon down whoever will listen, and usually only because of their own insecurities about what they believe. I’m skeptical towards any religion that lies and doesn’t make room for truth (in medicine, science, math or physics or anything else) and I’m skeptical towards all the abuse and horrific things done in the name of God. Without skeptics like you, we are never pushed for truth and we usually end up staying content with whatever lies feel good to us that day. So thanks again.

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