Don’t let fear and ignorance win!

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In times of great evil my advice is simple; don’t let fear and ignorance win. With the horrific event that happened less than 24 hours ago in Paris, we need to realize that it wasn’t our Muslim brothers and sisters who were behind the attacks, and yet that might be the lie we tell others and one we ourselves might buy into.

How sad that Islamophobia and other religion-based phobia are very prevalent in our world today. To give weight, to have convoluted thoughts and lack sound judgment and rationality and go on and accuse Muslims (or any other religious people group) of doing something in the name of their God because supposedly that’s what s/he demands.

As a follower of Christ, I know that Christianity’s history is at times patchy, dark, and reeks of evil. From having a hand in modern Palestine and Israel to The Crusades, but just because something was done in the name of God does not mean in the SLIGHTEST that it was God and that religion, only the guise of God and religion.

I stand in solidarity with my Muslim brothers and sisters because I realize that what happened does not reflect true Islam and faithful Muslims across the world. I also stand with them because that is what Jesus would do and it is my desire to be Christ-like in my words and also my actions.

~Nathanael~

Reading as a spiritual exercise; day 24 of Ramadan

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“We read to know we’re not alone.” – William Nicholson

I have a bad habit of purchasing books at a faster rate than I read them. There was a time this wasn’t so, I would spend a lot of time reading (what I wanted) and would be easily entertained by curling up with a good book to read. But then college rolled around and my reading for the most were required textbooks. It’s not a bad thing to read what’s required, but it certainly puts a damper on things when it’s not always fun and/or easy.
But recently I’m turning the tide in my reading; I’m being more intentional in giving myself time to read what I want for however long I want, I’m going to write in the margins and highlight things that capture my attention (I come from a tradition of not doing so.), I’m going to write notes in a notepad to come back to, and I am going to talk to whomever asks me about what I am reading about what I am reading and why…

So the book I’ve jumped into is Marcus Borg’s Reading The Bible Again For The First Time:
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The contents of this book is rereading and re-examining the Bible through a lens that gives weight to the Bible not being entirely literal, but it’s contents still should be taken seriously, and why. It’s not a book that gives weight to affirm my views as a Red Letter Christ-centric Universalist, but it certainly does a good job unpacking the hermeneutics and helps to recognize that while there are parts of the Bible that are indeed literal it isn’t that way across the board. In which the Bible does in fact give weight to the quote that says “it doesn’t have to be factually true in order to be actually true”, we all know of such examples in our own lives and traditions.

Personally speaking even when I didn’t have the words for it I grasped that parts of the Bible weren’t literal despite growing up in an environment that stated it was so. I kept my opinions to myself because I didn’t want to be any more of the odd one out that I had been. But now that I am older and more assured of myself I am able to have these thoughts and communicate them to others, both here on my blog but among those I know in real life. It’s also helpful that I have views and beliefs that sit in my open hands rather than in closed fists, I am not above reproach nor am I am dismayed when people have disagreement with my views. If anything I find myself to be more content than I’ve ever been in my life as well in a place where I welcome good conversation and dialogue with people from all walks of life!

It’s been a good read thus far, for a non-committal reader such as myself I read the first 51 pages of the book without putting it down! I guess I lucked out with being this engaged in a book because I know it’ll help me navigate what to read next and thus remain engaged with the next book I read.

So with all that being said, reading was my keyword on the 24th day of Ramadan. Thanks be to God for whom we can attempt to learn more about him by reading our sacred texts or by being in his presence. May we be ever so driven to learn more about God, and while we won’t ever have a complete grasping of the Divine, may it not deter us in our pursuits to know more.

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael

P.S. Showing that a story isn’t factually accurate doesn’t diminish its truth