Staying Focused To God

24 01 2013

By Jocelyn

Wordle: Why don't people go to church?

When beginning my adventures here at Luther College, I was so excited to only attend classes for four-ish hours a day, since this was a complete change from grade school where we were in the classrooms for eight hours. I believed that there would be so much time to do other things… Oh man was I wrong!! I forgot about the homework and studying that you have to do every night, which tends to be a lot. Weekends have always been the worst for me; making time to hang out with friends, working at Marty’s Cafe, finding time to do homework, trying to get a workout in, and then attending a church service on Sundays. Sometimes there just isn’t time for all of these things.

The past couple years here at Luther, I have realized, for me, that the item that I decide to get rid of in my schedule is attending church services. I know that attending church is something that I should and even need to do, but it is usually the easiest thing to cut out. I hate myself for even doing this, but it just happens. Church here at Luther is during the most inconvenient times (well for me at least). We have our regular service at 10 am on Sundays and our focus service at 9:15pm on Sunday nights. For me I have a lot of classes on Monday, so Sunday is the last day that I have to finish up my homework. Sundays do not work.

I am not trying to make excuses for myself, but this is the truth. I try to make time for church here, but for some reason I just can’t. Instead of attending church here, I try to either read a passage from the Bible or I try to listen to Christian music to keep myself focused. These items usually help focus me not just on my studies, but also help me stay close to God. Everyone needs to find something that helps keep them closer to God and still work on their faith. This is one way for me to do this.

I need to always remember that God will always be with me and will help me get through anything that comes in my way. “Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. Surely I will help you; surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. So when I do not attend church I will do the things like listening to Christian music or read the bible, in order for me to remember what Isaiah 41 states.





The Deniance of Science and the Cheer of Beer

24 01 2013

by Jo

Now that I have established I do believe in God, I want to hit on a few reasons why I find myself in such a conflicted state regarding my religion.

 

So one of the more interesting topics that conflicts with my Catholic roots is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. I am a firm believer. How could you not believe in evolution?

It boggles my mind when people deny the evidence. I was given a large background on this topic in high school. I bought On the Origin of Species when I was 15 years old.

How can one refute what is proven with science; genetic mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, common ancestry? The Bible conflicts with the history of the coming of man. I cannot take it literally.

So that is why I like the above cartoon. God did not create man and earth in the same week. God may have created evolution, but for me, that is pretty out there.

 

Next:

 

Drinking. One of my favorite pastimes since turning 21. It is clearly a sin according to the bible: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”.

This conflicts with my given Catholic faith because I do like to have a cold one, ok, several…every now and then.

I haven’t attended church for some time now. And I know that if my church community cared to hear about my liking for beer, they would be very much against it.

So these are a couple things that make me conflicted. There have to be more people like me out there, and that is what this site is about.

You can also read Andrea’s thoughts on this topic while we both go and grab a tall one! Cheers.





Alcohol, College, and God

24 01 2013

By Andrea

Sayings like this can be seen pretty frequently in the bar scene amongst the (usually obnoxious) signs hung on the walls that basically persuade the customer to have another. You know what I mean- the little wooden ones with expressions that only a drunkard would find hilarious.

Like these ones for example.

Okay, so they’re a little humorous, but what caught my eye about the image above, which is actually a poster, is that: 1) It’s telling me that God wants me to drink. And 2) It’s a quote by one of our founding fathers, so it must be true, right? Sounds like a pretty good excuse to go get some beer and get smashed because let’s face it…I love beer!

Anyway, as much as I enjoy going out with friends and getting a little crazy, I’m not entirely sold on the idea that God wants us to do that. In fact, I’m sure he doesn’t want us to get to a state where we’re not thinking clearly, making bad decisions, and doing harm to our bodies, no matter how happy it may make us at the time. The Bible makes that pretty clear in many verses, such as:

Isaiah 5:22 – Woe to “champion” drinkers and “experts” at mixing drinks.

Proverbs 23:29-30 – Drinking causes woe, sorrow, fighting, babbling, wounds without cause and red eyes.

It’s fairly common among college students to become “experts” in the world of alcohol, and being named a “champion” at a drinking game or competition is seen as something to be proud of in our population. I don’t feel that I need to explain the second verse because I think we’ve all either been that person or been around a babbling, drunk friend before. Alcohol is one of the reasons that I find it hard to be a college student and still try to live a Christian lifestyle. It seems like being a Christian and getting a “full college experience” conflict quite a bit when drinking comes into the equation.

I’m guessing this is a controversial topic, so I’m really interested in hearing others’ opinions on Christian college students and alcohol. Please feel free to comment!





Discovering My Faith…Well, Sort of

22 01 2013

by Andrea

When I began my freshman year at Luther College, I was sort of nervous that I would meet a lot of outwardly Christian, avid church-going “Bible bangers,” as some like to call them. In reality, I’ve only had a few encounters with that type (thank God!), and I found that I really don’t fit in with that crowd.

Although Luther is a private Christian college, it still attracts many students who practice other religions or are unsure of what to believe. That’s such a great thing because I think that during this time in our lives, people are still discovering who they are, and for me, I feel more open to others’ opinions than I ever have in the past. I’ve met many people in college who do not share my religious beliefs, and it’s caused me to question my Christian faith.

One of my best friends at Luther is Hmong, and I also have numerous friends who are atheist or agnostic. When I learned about how different their spiritual beliefs were, yet how similar I was to them in other ways, I started to wonder why I had thought that my religion must be the right one and everyone else must be wrong. It seems pretty ignorant considering the twenty-something official religions in the world. That’s when the questioning of my own faith began, and I admitted to myself that the main personal reasons I had for being a Christian were that I didn’t want to burn in hell if I died, and I wanted someone to pray to when things got rough. Pretty selfish, huh?

As of now, I still consider myself Christian, and I often think back to a question one of my atheist friends asked me when I was reconsidering my faith: “Can you honestly say that you don’t believe in God?” My answer was, and still is, no. There’s something within me that knows there is a God, and it’s not something I feel that I can choose. For now, that’s my reason for choosing Christianity; after lots of questioning, His presence still prevails.





Pascal’s Wager

22 01 2013

by Jo

Pascal's Wager

I can easily say my religious belief system could be thought of in the same light as Pascal’s wager.

Why do I believe in God? Because it is better to believe in God and gain everlasting life than to not believe in God and lose everything.

It is simple really. The brilliant French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote about his “wager” in a work called Pensées. It truly will make you think.

Believing in God is a coin toss. There is equal chance of gaining two lifetimes of happiness (for believers) and gaining nothing (for non-believers).

“If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.”

So, I go on, believing in God through my own eyes. My Catholic faith and I disagree on many levels, but while growing up, it has given me a place to start.

I believe in God, yes. I do because I believe there is more to life than what I can clearly see. But I do not go around quoting the Bible, and it makes me a little crazy when people take the book’s meaning as literal.

So I wager with reason, as Pascal would, because this is what my comprehensive and meticulous education has taught me to do.

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