God in America
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"You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed you're gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you're gonna have to serve somebody." Bob Dylan

How Do You Imagine God?
God in America and USA WEEKEND Magazine are partnering to explore Americans' images of God.

How do you imagine God? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is an interesting question about how we imagine God, when He doesn't need to imagine who we are. But I imagine God as someone who looks at you and just sees you as a beautiful creation with all of the potential and promise that a new parent has when they look at their newborn baby.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I believe in the Father God, Jesus the Son of God, and God the Holy Spirit. I believe that God's essence is love and that he is the creator of all that there is. I believe all people have rebelled against God and because of their rebellion can not be in the presence of God and the penalty for that rebellion is physical and spiritual death. However, God loved us inspite of our rebellion and sent Jesus to die on a cross in our place and for our rebellion in order to save us from death and give us the gracious gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus. I believe in God even when he is silent.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator That I am spiritually, physically, and intellectually connected with God and with other believers.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Taking a bath on Saturday night, getting up and eating breakfast on Sunday, dressing up, putting butch wax in my hair and having it brushed (ouch), going to my Lutheran church and sitting in a pew while singing songs, repeating sayings, and listening to someone talk (Pastors sermon), going to Sunday School and learning about a Bible character or story, and then going home but stopping at the drug store to buy a Sunday morning paper and trying to read the funny paper comics on the way home, getting car sick, and for years associating reading and comics with illness!
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Reasoning and thinking like a child and taking baby steps in my maturity while physically and socially becoming a man, husband, father, uncle, and adult.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A Lutheran and a person who questioned my faith and that of others.
Are your beliefs or practices different from your parents? If so, how and why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. My parents faith seems to be more of a religious practice that doesn't generalize beyond the walls of the church while my beliefs and practices are based more of an ongoing and deeper and more personal relationship with God.
If you have children, did becoming a parent change your relationship to faith? If so, how? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator When my son was born, I remember determining that he was someone I would die for and that helped me realize, to some extent, what it was like for Jesus to die for me.

How I Practice My Faith

Where and when do you practice your faith? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I practice my faith when I sit and read and meditate on God's word (the Bible); when I pray for or with someone; or I attend worship services and listen, sing, pray, give, thank, and praise God.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It is easy to think about, talk with believers, and maybe live out by practicing justice in ministry and work but more difficulty to talk about with non-believers.
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My Bible.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Movie: "God on Trial"

Religion & the Public Square

What should be the role of religion in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Religion should be the focus of the values that determine your political stance on issues of concern to yourself, your family, community, world.
Should courses about religion be taught in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. Absolutely they should be taught in public schools by people who have expertise in the areas of literature, history, social studies, science, and math. However, matters of religious doctrine or areas of religion that are outside of the expertise of the teacher should not be taught and should be deferred to members of the clergy or people with the credentials or license to teach that areas.
Should the Bible, Torah, Quran or other religious texts be taught as works of literature in public schools? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. And the Supreme Court has ruled that is acceptable to teach in that manner in public schools.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Very much so. The more we know about other religions and beliefs than our own, the less we are going to act irrationally on emotion or misinformation.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Not usually unless they are a believer in the Christian religion.
Do you feel that you have a duty, because of your faith, to put your beliefs into action? What are some of those actions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Seek justice for the poor, oppressed, weak and downtrodden.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator They can be if your politics become your religion (as what you believe in as the primary source of truth in your life).
Has 9/11 had any impact on your thoughts about religion? Are you more/less interested in learning about other religions? Do you feel more/less comfortable expressing your religious beliefs? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator I think I have more of an interest in Islam and what is true or not generally true about that religion. The same is true about Christianity and Judism. I suppose there are extremes in all religions.

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Published October 11, 2010

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