God in America
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"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." C.T. Studd

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 God, by virtue of His majesty and glory, is unimaginable. His divine qualities are manifest in the creation and its astounding beauty and power. It is in Jesus of Nazareth that we encounter the manifestation of God's qualities-- love, mercy, grace; holiness, justice, power under control, judgment.

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator in the Lord Jesus Christ, His life, death, resurrection, Kingdom, and eventual return. I believe in the hope of the resurrection for believers in Christ to eternal life.
My most powerful moment of belief was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator while adopting our daughter. The hand of God was most evident in the whole situation.
My greatest moment of doubt was ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Doubt has always played a role in my faith life. It is a good stabilizer and source of humility. If taken too far, it leads to paralysis; nevertheless, when I have never doubted not much good has come, but many times where there were some doubts that demanded a step in faith, there has been much good and much promise.
My spiritual life means... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator death to self to live for God. To serve more than to be served. To be willing to suffer loss for the benefit of others.
The biggest misconception about my faith/belief system is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator that all Christian groups believe and teach the same thing, and that profession of belief is sufficient to make one a believer in Christ.
My spiritual role model is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the life of Jesus of Nazareth (1 John 2:6).
The tenet/practice/teaching I appreciate most about my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the love of all mankind.

My Faith History

As a child I believed ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a very hazy concept of God, Jesus, and America.
My spiritual journey has been ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator a very interesting and challenging one, overcoming first the intellectual doubts, and then working on fears of stepping out in true faith.
I was raised as ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator secular.
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 Quite different; my parents are much more secular and "spiritual," not religious. I was not intellectually or morally satisfied with such a condition.
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 I feel the awesome responsibility of developing and fostering a climate of love, life, and faith, and can more deeply appreciate the image of God as the Father and His excellence as such.

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 Everywhere and at all times...and if I do not, I am not living up to the calling of my Lord.
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 The immediate family believes in Christ or is learning of Him.
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 quite the challenge to die to self and live to God. I haven't mastered it, but I still seek to cling to the good and abhor the evil.
The song/book/film that most represents my faith is ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator the New Testament. If it's not, I'm in trouble.

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 If people who practice religion want to participate in politics, well and good. But when the cross is draped in the flag, the cross suffers.
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; the woeful ignorance of the general American public on all matters religious has led to many tragic consequences. If we are truly developing critical thinkers, we need not fear that teaching what religions teach is to really advocate religion and compel people to convert to one or the other.
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 Absolutely; Western literature, on the whole, speaks the words of the Bible, and to not understand Biblical images, metaphors, and events is to not understand the literary resources of Western civilization.
Is interfaith dialogue important? Why or why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator To what end? If to come to an understanding of what is really true, well and good; if to make everyone feel better about themselves, or just to inform one another of what each believes without any resolution, then it is pointless.
Do you feel comfortable discussing your faith with others? Why/why not? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator It depends on the circumstance and the person(s) with whom I am speaking. I work diligently to better communicate the Gospel message, and will continually do so.
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 Absolutely. To live as Christ is to love all men and women, regardless of nationality or deeds, to show compassion and mercy on the distraught and dispossessed, and to advance God's purposes in His Kingdom.
Are religious beliefs compromised by engaging in politics? your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator By necessity. The successful practice of politics demands compromise.
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 9/11 shows the inherent danger of attempting to portray the secular US as a "Christian nation." Some people in other lands might just believe it, and then associate what they see coming from the US as "Christianity."

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Major funding for God in America provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John E. Fetzer Institute, Inc.  Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. God in America is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
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Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual.  Major funding provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Major funding for FRONTLINE provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  Additional funding provided by the Park Foundation.  God in America, FRONTLINE and American Experience are made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television viewers.
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Published October 11, 2010

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