...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Lousy Night to Be An Atheist Indeed

While last night might have a bad night for atheists who happened to be watching the Home Run Derby, I found Josh Hamilton's record first round of homers incredible. His references to God's grace in the interviews which followed (which I didn't hear about until earlier today) is something I hope we can all claim for ourselves.

If the atheist has trouble explaining the grace operative in human life and all of creation, then Christians are those who should be shouting it from the rooftops. If the atheist is challenged to see life as gift instead of chance, then Christians could be world leaders in gratitude.

It's sad that we often impose limits when speaking of the vast and inexhaustible grace of God. Our words betray this whenever we say, "There but the grace of God go I." Does that mean that, due to whatever calamity or hardship that has happened to someone else, they are therefore outside of God's grace? And we who are in God's grace are quite fine, thank you. Instead we might more honestly say, "Better them and not me!" Really, why bring God into it? It would also allow grace to be bigger than we are.


6 comments:

  1. Sadly, you don't seem to understand anything about theologies (or lack of theology) which differs from your own.

    As an atheist myself, and an ex-professional ball player, I was in awe of what Josh has done with his life, and what he can do on the field. An I am happy for him that he has found something worth living for so that he can share his remarkable talents.

    However, it was in no way, shape, or form a bad night to be an athiest. Certainly not because a ex-drug using born-again Christian went on a tear and hit a shocking quantity of absurdly long homeruns.

    If it would have been an Atheist hitting bombs, would that have been a bad night to be Christian? Would it have rendered the Christian belief system worthless? I'm pretty sure that in your eyes, it would have made zero impact.

    And such was the theological value of the HR derby on the mind of an atheist. Incredible performance? Yes. Inspirational? Absolutely. But did it make me question my own beliefs and rational constructs? Get real.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think the post was meant as an insult, it was more of a catchy headline recycled from the reporter who was covering the derby after Josh stated his faith in God. I believe this post was meant to encourage Christians to better their faith and not be afraid to proclaim it rather than to insult atheists. It wasn't an attempt to start a debate. You are just trolling. Please stop.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Mr. Clergyperson,

    Your belief in a personal god is your prerogative, but the way you express it here is ugly.

    You think grace is easy to explain? You think non-believers don't understand that life is a gift? Such a tidy little world you live in.

    Sincerely,
    A Non-Believer

    ReplyDelete
  4. This post wasn't really about winning an argument. It was meant to discuss gratitude and grace, and their special place in my particular faith heritage and not in hitting homers at the Derby or anywhere else.

    We have a different set of beliefs, that doesn't mean that we can't be respectful.

    Sincerely, do you think it is more or less congruent with grace and gratitude to have no higher power to thank? Do you think it is easier or more difficult to experience gratitude?

    My thought was that it is easier, more congruent as a Christian, because there is someone there to thank, thereby enhancing the expression of gratitude. That also speaks of the value and the cost of the gift, which increases appreciation and the experience of gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When she won an Emmy, Kathy Griffin proclaimed that “Jesus didn’t have a thing to do with it” It's "cool" to point to the sky and go on and on about Christianity?

    Then Kathy's comment was cut from the re-broadcast because Christians were offended.

    Well, I’m offended that children die in pain and squalor throughout the world everyday. I’m offended that we have maimed, brain damaged troops coming back from Iraq. And Josh Hamilton is so arrogant and self-centered and so sure he is “special” in “God’s” eyes?

    Why aren't children and soldiers special in your God's eyes? That's a rhetorical question - I already know the pat answer -- nobody knows how God works, the children and soldiers will be rewarded in heaven, (but only if the accept Jesus)

    How can an otherwise reasonable person worship a narrow, jealous "god"? That's a rhetorical question too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. These rhetorical questions seem more than that. Do you really think disciples of Jesus are happy with suffering and injustice and the Bush War and ecological disaster? You seem to be identifying everything terrible in the world with Christians or "god." Your use of the word is cartoon-like, and if that is who you think god is, then you are better off not believing in that one. Tell you what, I won't lump all "atheists" into one category if you won't assume that all Christians have the same answers or even any answers at all. But that would require a little more risk from both us- going beyond the easy stereotypes. We should be able to represent ourselves instead of throwing around labels.

    ReplyDelete

Blog Archive

Follow by Email

Why Clergyspirit?

My photo
Houston, Texas, United States
Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

Try Gratitude

If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

Making Good Decisions