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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Called To Question

There is no doubt that we live in a community that has a large religious populace. Of this, I have no problem, however, a problem arises, at least for me and I am sure that there are others, when members of this populace feel the need to convert everyone to his or her own personal beliefs and/or dogmas. These well meaning peoples, at times, stop at nothing, for this is their “calling”. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that everyone is guilty of this, in one way or another, religious or not.

This practice has occurred through door-to-door visits, tracks left on windshields to face-to-face encounters on our streets, homes and work places. There is then the ever-popular question, “Where do you go to church?” [That of which I have come to understand as really being, “Are you saved?”].

It has been said that, the loudest voice is most often heard; we have had our fair share of lurid voices. The loud voice of one will mute that of the other. And thus, I am left wondering, what of the muted voices? Where might they be heard? Where are the perspectives of the others? Allow me, if you will, to be a voice on behalf of the voiceless, though I know all to well that this is no easy position to take. However, it must be done. I shall out stretch my neck and speak, no longer idly standing by, allowing this community to be bombarded with the entourage of “Religious” dogmas without the presentation of other perspectives, without the voices of the muted being heard.

It is for this reason that I have started a once a month event entitled, “Called To Question”. Called To Question invites a variety of guest speakers to share their own perspectives, philosophies and views on differing topics. Atheism-theism, evolution-creation, faith-reason, war-peace, chauvinism-feminism, love- hate and the list goes on as to what issues are covered. The evenings are an opportunity for members of the community to share in on and take part of authentic dialogue. It is a chance to question ones own beliefs, regardless of what they are. Too see that there are more ways to think, believe and have faith in, then what may most popularly be presented to us.

Most of us, if not all, have grown up in a culture of answers. The modern era was one of exactly that, answers, and with it came rules. Rules and answers are not to be questioned and if questioned, only allowed to go so far. Obedience was, and is, of the upmost importance. To question is a sign of disobedience, defiance and weak faith. ‘Keep the rule and the rule will keep you’, it has been said. Authority figures, parents, police, clergy and political leaders with everything they represent are the last word. Societies, religious establishments, institutes and families that have all the answers and are void of questions, are also void of possibility.

Within the last century, modernity, with all its answers, has had to face some very difficult questions that have arisen along side of and with post-modernism. The answers we were once given have lost their merit. The unquestionable is now questioned more then ever.

“If there is one thing that we have all been taught to fear, it is surely questions. There are some things, we learn early, that are never to be challenged. They simply are. They are absolute. They come out of a fountain of eternal truth. And they are true because someone else said they are true. So we live with someone else’s answers for a long time. Until the answers run dry.”  -        Joan Chittister

Possibility is a freeing concept. Instead of giving answers, I want to provide an opportunity to ask questions and broaden the mind’s horizon. If you are interested in having a topic presented or attending an event, please contact Philip at Look for ads of upcoming events at local retail stores or checkout for details pertaining to the next event.

Philip E
Founder and Director of Called To Question


Anonymous said...

I've appreciated every single one of these that I've attended - thanks for providing this important place to interact as a community of varied beliefs and 'faiths'.

CalledtoQuestion said...

Thanks, Miriam. I am glad that you come out to these events and are always willing to share your thoughts and heart.

Kmarie said...

Agreed... As usual. Are we married or what? Love that we travel similar paths spiritually at the same time. Your ctqs and fellowships are brilliant ideas. I admire that you put these practices into being. It takes guts and bravery and patience to organize what you do and reach out and make the wonderful connections you do. You also are a unique voice and I love that I get to hear that voice in my home day after day. In fact, I'd make the case that I live for it. Love you. Love your voice.

CalledtoQuestion said...

I love you as well, my dear. Your so special to me and I relish the journey we travel. Thanks for all the encouragement along the way.

David.Smith said...

Hey Phil! Are you around Friday evening or Saturday? I'm coming to Three Hills for a visit and I thought I'd pop in! -David-

Kmarie said...

Hi David. Stop by around 7:30 ;) friday

Ben said...

Hey Phil, I appreciated being able to share what has been on my mind regarding war, violence and my personal response to it. I found a receptive group that, while not always agreeing, shared their thoughts openly and the night was a good interchange of initial ideas. Its great that you've opened this up and I hope it does lead to a safe place to ask questions without marginalizing anyone.

I think every culture has its "answers". We need to look at what lies behind those answers, careful not to toss them aside just because they are answers but also being careful to not blindly accept them without vigorous inquiry. One question that comes up is: what do we question it against? Another question: what answers have we been given by this age of modernity (looking at its progression from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment through the Industrial Age to the present) that have now lost their merit? Interesting topic. I suspect we might each have different responses.

Cheers brother!