God in America
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Faithbook bmcanally

The only thing that matters is faith expressed through love (Gal. 5:6). I'm a follower of Christ, an author about heaven, hell, the afterlife, and about world religions, and I'm a pastor. I like people...they are God's finest creation!

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 I imagine God as Spirit who I cannot begin to comprehend with my finite mind, apart from what he has self-revealed. I imagine him as holy & loving, perfectly pure. 1 person liked this

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in the triune nature of God (Father, Son, Spirit). I believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, of his physical death, burial, and resurrection. I believe that Jesus died to redeem fallen humanity, and anyone who believes in the sufficiency of Jesus' self-sacrifice is restored into a right relationship with God for eternity. I believe that God's grace changes everything.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Giving up my own efforts to control my life and putting my faith in the biblical assertion that Jesus died so I may truly live...here and now, and forever.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator My greatest doubt happened when I was 19 and went to a priest to counsel about my rebellion against God. I left unsatisfied and disappointed. It was in response to my doubts of religion that God revealed his call to relationship with him. God overcame my doubts with faith that perseveres through difficulties and ever-changing circumstances.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator worshipping God in Spirit and truth. This means believing passionately the right things about God. This means continually keeping my relationship with God in proper perspective - He is God and I am not. This means serving him by serving others...being his hands, feet, and voice to a world that he loves and to whom he offers relationship. 1 person liked this
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that Jesus came to make your life boring. That we're "against" people. Unfortunately, most misconceptions are self-generated.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Rick Ferguson, Sam Cotter, Ron Cathcart, John Weber, and a few of other faithful men you wouldn't know but are kinda a big deal to God because of how they gave their lives to share his love with others.
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator God will overcome every obstacle and go the greatest distance to bring you in to relationship with him, and he will keep you in relationship with him forever.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in God, in the Christian tradition. But I never understood the personal appeal of God to each person. I believed that religion was about rules, rituals and expectations.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator A story about God's grace. I came to faith in Jesus precisely at a time when I wasn't looking for him. I was boldly confronted with the gospel and came face-to-face with my own limitations. I've learned that the tests do not get easier as you mature in faith, but God lavishes more grace and mercy accordingly.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a Roman Catholic. I quit participating after my confirmation at 14, until visiting the priest at 19 (see above). My spiritual conversion occurred when I was 21, and at that time challenged to choose my church according to belief (and what it teaches), rather than because of convenience, tradition, or relationships with other people. 1 person liked this
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 mom was a nominal Catholic and my dad doesn't have a church he identifies as his spiritual home. My mom was a holiday church-attender. Worship is my way of life, and I'm a minister. My mom experienced a spiritual conversion late in her life, and began to re-think her life-long practices.
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 Yes...inasmuch that becoming a dad helped me understand God's "dad/child" relationship with me, and caused me to appreciate his patience, discipline, and amazing affection he has 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 every day, in the world within which I've been placed. I go to church to worship God with other like-faith people, where I revere God and learn more about him. I worship him in my service to others, not in order to gain God's favor, but because I've already graciously received it. 1 person liked this
Does your family practice more than one religion or faith? If so, how do you blend the traditions? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator No...we are a family of a singular faith. We teach that man exists for relationship with God, and religion exists for man (not man for religion). We love the church as a sending place for God's servants.
How easy or difficult is it to live your faith? Why? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It's easy to live my faith when I get out of the way. Living eyeballs-deep in grace is radical and requires total trust in God's control. Often, the biggest obstacle to my faith's efforts is the bad behavior of people who dishonor the name of Jesus. 1 person liked this
In my house, the thing that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Our family Christmas photo from our earlier trip to Ecuador, where our family spent the week serving others and telling them about Jesus.

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 Politics should not be able to endorse NOR restrict religious expression. I've long thought that America gets the leaders it deserves, and its chief leader often represents how it collectively relates to God. 1 person liked this
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 That should be a local municipality decision, or at most a state's decision. My belief is that the family is the institution best established to teach the matters of faith, and the local church best equipped to support the family's efforts. 1 person liked this
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 A school should be allowed to offer these as electives, if its community is inclined to do so.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. We need to strive to understand even as we ask to be understood. We should have enough faith to have confidence that our beliefs can thrive in the marketplace of reason and discussion. 1 person liked this
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Yes. Ultimately, everybody has faith in *something.* My faith commands that I share my beliefs with others, and then let the person decide for him/herself. I'm not threatened by learning about the faith of others. 1 person liked this
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 Yes...telling others, serving others. Making a difference in this world by investing in others. 1 person liked this
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Too often, yes.
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 To me, it has just reinforced the importance of sharing God's love through faith in Jesus. By our nature, humans are conflict-oriented and rebellious. God's love is revolutionary and world-changing. Neither politics nor religion can fix this...but God's people doing God's work can make a meaningful difference.

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Published October 11, 2010

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