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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nate Phelps and Called to Question

A man who's journey is a tale of pain, sorrows and struggling; but it does not end there, rather it is also a tale of overcoming, becoming, beauty and love. It is a tale that inspires, challenges and encourages. It is the tale we heard from Nate Phelps last night at Called to Question. 

Last nights Called to Question was a wonderful success. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful these gatherings are. As a host I constantly worry whether or not everyone is enjoying their time or if they feel comfortable. But as the evening progresses I begin to feel more and more secure as everyone settles in, has some food and drink, and absorb the topic at hand. It could just be the wine that makes this so, but what I really think this is due to is my beautiful wife. She is a big factor in making everyone comfortable with the decor and warmth of our home. She has truly made our home a safe place, a haven and a sanctuary for all who enter our doors. So thank you sweet maiden, thou art   the fairest of them all, thou splendour is far more radiant than that of the sun. :) Seriously, my wife is a great contributor to the success of these events. So thank you my dear. 

 Thank you to all who attended, shared their thoughts and gave community through perspectives, laughter, food and drink. You are all deeply appreciated and are important people to the larger community. I would like to specifically thank Nate Phelps and his beautiful wife for travelling out to attend and speak at Called to Question. It is a brave thing that one does when they speak of their own stances and ideals to a group that may not necessarily share the same perspectives. While Called to Question is always a safe place for questions and differing perspectives it is still not always easy for a speaker, or attendee, to open ones self to a group of strangers. It is brave, indeed. So on behalf of everyone who attended Called to Question, I would like to thank Nate for his gentleness, his honesty and his wisdom. You are always welcome back! :)

To the reader:
Did you attend? Tell us your thoughts on the event. What did you think? Did you agree with Nate's perspectives on faith? Did you enjoy the evening? What would you like to discuss in the future? Did you think your host was awesome, wonderful and devilishly handsome?


Kmarie said...

I thought the host was awesome, wonderful and devilishly handsome ;) more so I think he has the truest soul and I don't know how I would bE in the world without him;) I love u.
Thanks for your compliments and it was a raging success! Nate had a very gentle disposition and I appreciated his thoughts;) the group was also impressive. I admire you for having this brave and comforting idea;)

CalledtoQuestion said...

Ahh, thanks babe. You are absolutely right about Nate. Who knew an atheist could be so sweet(insert sarcasm)? ;)

Thanks for going on the journey with me!

I asked the kids if they enjoyed listening to Called to Question to which our oldest responded with, "all I could hear was laugh, laugh, laugh, and clap, clap, clap" Pays testament to how great it was. :)

Grant said...

I would begin with the last question and work backwards from there.
I would say the host is indeed devilishly handsome with the emphasis on devilish. (Whatever that means!) And he often causes us to "wonder" so that makes him "wonderful". And as to "awesome", what can we say?

I have no idea what we should discuss in the future. How about something that "questions" unbelief (?) in the same way we question "belief"? Are there any more "grounds" for rejecting "faith" as there are for accepting it? Is the rejection of "faith" or religion based on "experience" (negative or lack of exposure) as the "blind" faith of those raised on it without question?
Or maybe it would be interesting to discuss "Career choices" and how each of us came to be where we are at this point. How much is formed by our "interest of talents or skills", or how much by parental influence, or how much by financial opportunity, (who could afford to go to college or university to follow their dreams, how many had to take what was available?) How does physical strength determine career? Is there a sense of "destiny" or "calling". How much is "self fulfilling prophecy"? etc. (Or any other aspect that this line of thinking might lead to as a tangent?)

Did I enjoy the evening? Very much. I did have concerns at the beginning that it was too much a dialogue between Nate and Grant, but also felt that it was necessary to expand or clarify what was understood by the too broad term "faith" and on what basis Nate had come to his definition. I was glad when others began to participate.

I suppose it was obvious that I did NOT agree with Nate's perspectives on faith, but at the same time it is quite understandable where he has come from and he almost has no alternative but to conclude what he has and to come to his "Narrow" perspective. Maybe not so much as to what "faith" is, but as to what "the Faith" as a misinformed body of professing fundamentalists have made it. Although he says he has studied much, and read texts that would be in any theological school, has he really done any more than reject the "pat answers" and come up with an "escapist" answer rather than really setting the Scriptures in the context that I suggest. ie. Written to a specific group of followers of Jehovah/Jesus as the guide for them to follow in the conduct of their own affairs. When the OT "saints" said they put their TRUST in Jehovah, they did not find it to be in vain. When NT "saints" said they "kept the faith", they did not find it to be in vain. (and whether that was 4000 years ago or 2000, or those of us in this generation, I still have no reason to reject the efficacy of faith that we have "proven" in physical healing, provision of goods when there was no 'logical' explanation, and other "coincidences" that are too numerous to count as "mere chance".

I think it was a good evening, but somehow, it passed more "slowly" or covered more in a short time or whatever, because it was "easier" to get away than some nights and yet we ranged all over the place subject wise.

Oh, and now to the first question. Although I cannot prove it, I do believe my body and (most of) my mind was present and in common parlance, I did attend.

And indeed the Hosting gifts of your dear wife is very evident and together you make a great team.

Kmarie said...

Thanks grant for contributing and always participating in your giving manner. Could one suggest however that it's perspective? those who do not believe the bible to have proveable authority ( other than what certain groups profess) could say the same thing about faith...( for instance the example of NT people not keeping the faith in vein would hold no merit to someone who feels that the bible is a good resource but not authoritative.) The same statements could be made in the opposing situation couldn't they? People could accuse faith based believers as making a reaction to upbringing or rejection of the worlds pat answers too perhaps?
To me the answers do not really matter for these questions but instead how we conduct ourselves in whatever we choose... In that I was impressed that Nate held his stance in gentleness and grace. As one attendee mentioned " I have never met an Athiest before and I thought they would be bitter, reactive or hopeless. While I believe still in my faith I now have to face some assumptions I had and consider why I had them." That to me was the whole point of gatherings that give different perspectives. We don't have to change our core beliefs but if we consider or question why we hold them or some of our Pre judging is called into consideration ... It's a beautiful thing.
I also feel that applies to you because even though you disagreed you also held your stances with gentle compassion and humour too.we always appreciate your presence in that regard and the vivacious way you express your heart for others. We enjoy the sparkle that lights your eyes when you speak upon the faith that fuels your decisions...;) i was just impressed once again at the way people can commune in great diversity with respectful dialogues instead of severe anger or arguments. In that we become fellow supporters and travellies onward . My goal for the evening is different perhaps from my husband as the only thing I want is for each person of any belief including fundamentalist to unbelief to feel welcome, calm ish or safe and worthy;)
Thanks for partaking with us;)

CalledtoQuestion said...

@ Grant

Why thank you Grant. You are so sweet. :)

"Narrow" perspective...? But doesn't Christ tell us that the road to heaven is "Narrow" ....So then Nate would be correct. ;) Yes, each one of use will approach the matter in differing ways, some more than others. I believe it is all circumstantial as to why we believe the way that we do. So for Nate to come to his conclusions is totally rational and reasonable. The "faith" however it is defined, is both used for good and for evil. I would say that most of those events are explainable, for almost any event I could come up with some sociological reasoning to the event. Except, that is, the question?

Appreciated your thoughts, Grant. Thanks for sharing and attending these heathen gatherings.

My Little Warriors said...

sounds like a great time and I think your wife is AWESOME and someday I hope to enjoy the safe haven your AMAZING lady has made. :)

CalledtoQuestion said...

@ M.L.W.

Yes, it was a great evening and yes my lady is AWESOME! :)