Thursday, July 02, 2009

How to find God

On Channel 4 on Sunday there was a programme on called "How to find God", you can catch it on 4OD. Its a show that records the lives and events of some agnostics who go to Alpha. We are taken on a journey to see how they respond to Alpha, the questions they have and their response at the end.

Some bits I wasn't sure about. I am not too convinced whether its right to get non Christians to try to speak in tongues. I also wasn't sure whether the narrator was being sarcastic and trying to expose Alpha as a ploy to brainwash people. But what it did show was real people coming from very real and diverse backgrounds that have real questions. The one thing I love about Alpha and Christianity explored is that it is for everyone and anyone can come with any questions they like.

I have seen Christianity Explored work in Exeter. A good meal and a Gospel message is key. Bringing friends along is essential and being honest and real is important. This year through Christianity Explored I have seen a number of people come to know Jesus and want to give up their lives to follow him. These weren't people brought up as Christians nor were they brainwashed. Instead they were shown who Jesus is through the Gospels, they were shown the evidence, their questions were answered as much as possible and then they made up their minds. They weighed up the evidence. Nothing spooky happened. Real people seeing the truth of who Jesus is and making a response. It isn't something to sit on the fence about.

Alpha and Christianity explored does work, not as a magic formula, but because the Gospel is true and when you present who Jesus really is through the Gospel then lives will be changed, which can be seen on the programme. But for some it doesnt work and they walk away not wanting to know more - its sad, but their hearts are veiled to the truth and we can continue to pray for them and continue to show them Jesus but it is God that removes that veil. It doesnt mean we say that those events don't work, because our trust isn't in them but in God. It means that we keep striving, keep bringing friends along and keep showing them Jesus.


DJRodger said...

Yeah I watched the program as well, the director comes across as really condescending and I found it quite frustrating that the group leaders didn't seem to have sufficient answers for honest questions and assertions from some of the agnostics at the table. However the guy leading the main talk seemed reasonably solid.

I recently had a friend whos been going to an alpha course at some church and the weekend away freaked him out. Should people who aren't disciples be trying to speak in tongues? No.

Hope you've enjoyed relay Cat!

Steven Carr said...

... quite frustrating that the group leaders didn't seem to have sufficient answers for honest questions and assertions

You can hardly expect Christians to have already asked themselves the honest questions that such agnostics might come up with,and to have already thought about such questions.

You can ask any question you like at an Alpha course, but the Alpha course is not in the business of supplying answers.

The group leader at the Alpha Course I was on said that it was the group leader's job to ask questions for dicussion and for the participants to answer them.

Group leaders are trained only to answer questions where there is a pre-packaged answer in the book.

Where there is no pre-packaged 'answer' they are taught not to attempt to supply an answer themselves.

They are given a list of questions that they are allowed to 'answer'. All others are fobbed off.