Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

10/14/2009

Agnostic


Agnostic comes from the Greek meaning "Not Know." It is the decision that whatever is being considered is something one can't know. Yann Martel wrote about having a problem with those who remain agnostic in his novel Life of Pi,
I'll be honest about it. It is not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics. Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" then surely we are also permitted to doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Jean Paul SartreThe French philosopher (and atheist) Jean Paul Sartre taught that to do nothing is itself a choice. And so remaining agnostic, continually saying that one can not know whether there is a God is to effectively be an atheist.

Jesus comes into our lives as a point of decision. Was he God made man? If this is possible, it is a fact about which any person has a stake in not remaining neutral. But not to decide Jesus is the Son of God is the same as deciding he is not. If the early church got it right and Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Son of God, then there is an obligation in terms of how we live our lives. Right?

What did it take for you to believe in the truth claims of Christianity? If you don't yet, what would it take?

Is this something about which one can or should remain neutral? Can one be Agnostic without effectively being an atheist? Does the difference matter?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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3 Comments:

  • At 10/14/2009 6:41 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Here's one for you: My brother in law calls himself agnostic, but admittedly believes God exists. What he's not sure about is the physical , ie Jesus,the Bible, religion, etc...

    Obviously he is not a Christian or of any religion. (He has the heart and actions of a Christian though. :) )

    So, what would we call him? A backwards agnostic? Sideways maybe? Is the fact that he can grasp the abstract over the physical considered faith?

     
  • At 10/14/2009 1:30 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Did not Christ Himself say that we must be for or against him and that lukewarm we could not be? To be lukewarm is to be cold. I think many agnostics say they doubt because they are trying to hedge their bets. To say, "Yes I believe" would mean they would have to change their lives, their actions, their relationships. To believe, to act in faith requires courage because we are stepping out into the realm where science and reason do not have all the answers. Perhaps they don't realize how much believers doubt their faith. I constantly find myself questioning my decisions, church practices, church traditions, the possibility of a virgin birth, of a life lived without sin.

    The antidote to the doubt is the changes I see in myself. As an agnostic I could only chalk it up to me becoming a better person through my own actions. As I believer I know it is Christ in me making the changes.

    I pray that those on the proverbial fence would realize it is not about them..

     
  • At 10/14/2009 5:49 PM, Anonymous cmbaxrtersr said…

    I was in the Episcopal church before I was born. However that did not make me a Christian. In my 50's I woke up with such filth in my head, and could not dispel it. And Scriptures says flee from evil, so I went out side at about 3:AM, and ran from there, one sock on and pants and nothing else, and pleaded for this anguesh in my head to stop, and I could not even remember the name of Jesus. But the name of Jesus came to me and I pleaded for the pain to stop. I came to my senses in the cemetery draped over a tomb stone, cut up and bleeding. My feet packed with sand spurs. I leaned up against a cool tomb stone till daylight and got enough of the sand spurs out of my feet to make it home. If the filth in my head had not stopped, I would have agreed to anything. What about them what do not believe, and this happened to them, where would they end up. I'll follow Jesus so I will never have to find out.

    C.M.Baxter.

     

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