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Our Quest

Our Quest

"It's not YOUR quest. It's not MY quest.
We're on this journey together, so it's OUR QUEST!"

This blog is for the purpose of carrying on dialog about Quest@Kingsway, God and spirituality in general.

Quest@Kingsway is a group of Christians in Seffner, FL who are trying to figure out
what real spirituality looks like in a modern context.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

We've moved to MySpace.

Quest Page

Anthony aka Minister of Mayhem

John aka Mininstigator

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Supersede Me - Evangelicals rethink how to convert Jews. By Mark�Oppenheimer

It's been a long time since I posted, but I found this article that fits perfectly with the theme of the blog.

Supersede Me - Evangelicals rethink how to convert Jews. By Mark Oppenheimer

I hope you enjoy it, and comment if you wish.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alito signals reluctance to reverse 'Roe' ruling

In private meetings with senators who support abortion rights, Alito has said the Supreme Court should be quite wary of reversing decisions that have been repeatedly upheld, according to the senators who said it was clear that the context was abortion.

"He basically said . . . that Roe was precedent on which people -- a lot of people -- relied, and been precedent now for decades and therefore deserved great respect," Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) told reporters after meeting with Alito yesterday. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she had a similar conversation about an hour later with Alito, who has made clear that he personally opposes abortion.

"I asked him whether it made a difference to him if he disagreed with the initial decision but it had been reaffirmed several times since then," Collins told reporters. "I was obviously referring to Roe in that question. He assured me that he has tremendous respect for precedent and that his approach is to not overturn cases due to a disagreement with how they were originally decided."

From another article (quoting Jimmy Carter in an interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball)
I never even considered the fact that our country would be debating whether or not we could continue to torture prisoners around the world in secret prisons. This is something that's inconceivable.

But I notice that the administration now is pushing hard to get Congress not to approve the John McCain proposal, supported by 90 out of 100 senators, that we not resort to torture. This administration is insisting that we resort to torture, which I think is a profound change in
our basic moral values, just one of many.

Abortion is a moot point. It is something that the Republican Party uses to get the "Christian" vote. When will we stop being duped and vote on real moral values that can and are affected by the policies of the administration that we vote for?

Torture is not okay. Preemptive war is not okay. Outing covert CIA operatives is not okay. Concealing pre-war intelligence to manipulate congress is not okay. Abortion is not okay. But, of all the things listed here abortion is the only thing of which this administration is not guilty.

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

BushFish

While I may have offended some of you with my commentary on W a few post ago, I want to offer you an outlet that is just as offensive to me. Make no mistake that I consider the following link to be sacrilegious. Should you elect to purchase a bushfish I reserve the right to openly, publicly and ruthlessly ridicule you. BushFish.org: Supporting God and Country

What would Jesus blog?

Here's an interesting link that I found:
What would Jesus blog? - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

I haven't checked the links so proceed from this link on your own recognizance.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

You've been duped!

Here is an article, that because it so articulately states an opinion I agree with seems to me to be fair, balanced and reasonably objective:

Whither Roe v. Wade? - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

The President won the vote of the church with his moral position as supporting a "culture of life." Yet at every possible juncture at which he could have had influence in support of a "culture of life", he has elected to take the path of least resistance.

I have attempted to hold back under the assumption that it isn't appropriate to use this forum to discuss politics; however politics is an area where the church has displayed some of its worst traits of the current age and throughout history. See, in the 1400-1500, the church had power; it acted as a government, and in many instances controlled government. It didn't use this power to further the gospel; instead it used its power to amass wealth, power and control. It used fear, superstition and manipulation to maintain its power base. But, Martin Luther decided (was influenced by the Holy Spirit) to speak out even though it wasn't appropriate. The church in Germany was one of the essential voting blocks that were responsible for the success of Hitler's campaign for Fuhrer, they were duped his populist message. But, men like Bonhoeffer, and Barthe spoke out even though it wasn't appropriate, and even cost Bonhoeffer his life.

So now it's my turn: Bush is evil! He told you what you wanted to hear so that he could have power. The only ones that have benefited from him being in power is big oil and big business.

You were lied to, and you believed it.

Why?

Because, you want to believe we live in a Christian nation; you want to believe that voting is your public witness; you want the Government to outlaw sin so it won't be so hard for you to be a witness; you want to close your eyes, cover your ears and pretend that the Government will make the world less dark so you can feel better about your feeble little light.

It's time for the church to grow up and stop being gullible. Let's look at situations the way they really are not the way we wish they were.

Moral talk means nothing without moral action.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Starfish Project

Rabbi Gellman's latest piece is project that may just work-The Starfish Project - Newsweek Hurricane Katrina Coverage - MSNBC.com

In addition to using his plan to minister to the needs of Katrina's victims. What if we apply this plan to people already in our community that are "victims" of life in general?

What do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator

The Pastor has been warning us to be carefull which charities we give our money to. Here is a tool to research charities before giving your money.

Charity Navigator - America's Largest Charity Evaluator

Monday, August 22, 2005

In search of the spiritual

In this Newsweek article, the writer discusses the current state of spiritual hunger and various attempts to satiate it in America today.

What do you think?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another peice by Rabbi Gellman-Paper Boats

Rabbi Gellman never ceases to amaze me with the unique perspectives that he offers. I hope you enjoy Paper Boats as much as I did.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Jesus of Suburbia

Tonight I was coverring for David in youth, and the past 2 weeks have been so hectic that I struggled to find something to talk about. Well, one of the best albums recently put out there on the alternative/grunge/punk rock scene, especially lyrically, is "American Idiot" by Green Day. One of the songs on the album is called "The Jesus of Suburbia," but a line in another song referring to "The Jesus of Suburbia" has caught my attention from the first time I heard it. The line is in song 5 ("Are We the Waiting") and it is: "the Jesus of suburbia is a lie . . ." We had a great discussion about what they thought it meant, and also compared this present day assertion to one made over 100 years ago by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche where he said "God is dead and we killed him." I understand that these topics may cause some contreversy but we had a great discussion regarding where America's faith is and why. Before I let on too much and drive the discussions one way, let me stop and ask my question. What do you think about these two statements? How do they compare? Do they both apply, and if so, how?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Remembering the Scopes Monkey Trial

Here is an article that I enjoyed Lessons learned from monkeying with history - U.S. News - MSNBC.com

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Conversion Therapy?

I found this article interesting:

Most gays, and psychologists reject conversion - U.S. News - MSNBC.com

As many of you know I'm concerned with the way the church has treated the gay community and how we can reach out to them after the abuses they have suffered in the name of Jesus. Please read the article and tell me:

What do you think?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Would-Be Bride Throws Homeless a Party - Yahoo! News

This is inspiring to me. This young lady took what must have been one of the most difficult situations of her life and used it as an opportunity to focus on people who had a worse situation than herself.

Would-Be Bride Throws Homeless a Party - Yahoo! News

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Two rulings on the Ten Commandments

There were two rulings concerning public displays of the Ten Commandments yesterday. Essentially, one ruling was that if it is part of display to show the role of the Ten Commandments as a foundational document to our legal system then it was okay, but if it was for the purpose of pointing to a Christian heritage or an attempt to identify America as a "Christian" nation then it was not okay.

I am a big supporter of the idea of separation of Church and State. I believe that our founders understood that the intermingling of the two leads to the atrocities that were/are the Holy Roman Empire, the English Monarchy, the Religious Right, the Taliban and even al Qaida. They were able to foresee that it is not the stable true practitioners of a given faith that are the type to seek power, but that instead it is the power hungry that would seek to use religion to manipulate politics or politics to manipulate religion.

Now, some of you may be put off by this position because you are in favor of the way that certain political leaders use religious positions that you agree with to manipulate political situation in your favor, or because you feel like you are losing the right to have your beliefs endorsed by the government because America was founded on "Christian" principles. This why there is anger over the ruling on Ten Commandments in Kentucky.

How does this affect you? Are you Angry about one or both of the rulings, or do you feel the two rulings are a reasonable compromise? Do you feel cheated by a government that was put in power by the church on the promise of sanctity of life and marriage, but has done nothing about either situation, and instead has initiated an unjust war, further suppressed the poor at home and abroad through their fiscal policies which benefit corporations over individuals, as well as making great efforts to show blatant disregard for if not outright harm to the environment? Do you feel threatened by the rulings of the Supreme Court, specifically with regard to these two rulings or are you more threatened by there ruling about eminent domain?

What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Forgive me readers, for it has been 12 days since my last post.

I am a bit exasperated.

I attempt to bring you fresh perspectives, provocative articles and the like. I also try to avoid using this space for my own endless diatribes. It is my intention to create dialog so that we can grow together in our efforts to discover more about ourselves, our beliefs, our community and how to bring all of these together. When, I post something and there is no response, it sucks the creative energy right out of me. It feels like I'm talking to myself.

When you chose not to respond I don't know why. It could be for any number of reasons. Some of my guesses are: possibly, you are intimidated at the prospect of putting your thoughts and ideas out for public scrutiny (I know this is true for myself, but you have the option of posting anonymously); possibly, you are too busy or lazy to respond (not trying to be mean, but this is a realistic possibility for some of you); possibly, you find the posting boring or disinteresting enough to not warrant a comment (I'm open to suggestions, but this possibility exaggerates my feelings of venerability); possibly, you don't see the value of the blog; or possibly, you either so totally agree or disagree that you see no point in responding.

I certainly don't intend for this to come across as whining or as an attempt to guilt or manipulate you in to responding. I have put a lot of time and energy into this blog, and I want to see it flourish instead of wilt. The purpose of this blog is to create dialog, and it is failing in its purpose. If you can help me understand why, I will attempt to revive it in its purpose.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What are you waiting for?

"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right'. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." -- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) Author, personal success pioneer

Religious right, left meet in the middle

I found this article:
Religious right, left meet in the middle - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com
It appears that I am not alone in my efforts to find a middle path. The article touches on a lot of the Hot Button issues.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

1 Year and 1000 visits later

Happy birthday to Ourquest Blog.

Although, the one year date is actually Thursday 6/16. We rolled over a 1000 visits some time last night, and I thought that it is note worthy that we are hitting these two milestones in the same week.

Thank you, readers for making this a great year.

I'm looking forward to next year. I hope you are too!

Friday, June 10, 2005

On human interaction and the "Fried Dough Flamefest"

On one of the other Blogs that I read, another reader had maligned me with an accusation that I had voted for Bush and was of low intelligence, because I am a middle class, doughnut eater. I felt an obligation to defend my honor as an intelligent, Kerry supporting, middle class, doughnut eater (with more humor than malice). But, one of the moderators saw fit to chastise the four of us who participated in what will be henceforth referred to as the "Fried Dough Flamefest" in a follow-up post.

The reason I told you all of this is because I have no idea who Mira Furth is other than she commented on my chastising with the following comment:
What if we look at conflict, debate and dialogue as a continuum. Conflict is: "I am right and you are wrong and it is important that I prove it to you". Debate is "while I believe I am right, I might listen to your logic, as an intellectual exercise". Dialogue is "I am willing (at least for a short time) to suspend my opinion and truly hear you, hear where you are coming from;I am willing to listened to you with my mind and heart and am willing to hear your mind and heart". As much as I know the value of a true dialogue,the more convinced I am of my rightness the less I am willing to be open to a different point of view (i.e. a different slice of reality...). Mira Furth

(The only part of this quote that I have issue with is that the word argument should be used in place of conflict.)

So often, the church has conducted our apologetics at the level of a conflict/argument, or at the level of a debate for the more academically minded among us. What if we approached those that we wish to convince in the spirit of dialogue? Could we be more effective in our evangelistic efforts? I think we could.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My favorite rabbi singing the praises of one of my favorite preachers.

In this article by Rabbi Gellman, he reminds us why Billy Graham is almost universally respected. What if any of what the rabbi says about him could be applied to your life to make you a better Christian, a better witness or a better human?

I have on at least one occasion gotten the art of sermon delivery right. If I could consistently preach with the grace, eloquence and effectiveness of Billy Graham, I wonder if I would want to do anything else. Perhaps I should practice more.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Oxymoron of the Day-Instant Intimacy

Here is an article from Fast Company Magazine's Networking section entitled "Instant Intimacy."

Do you think this method if applied properly would make it easier for you to develop closer friendships more quickly?

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Fast Company Now

Here is a blog entry on one of my favorite blogs Fast Company Now, called "God is in the Details". Some of the comments get very political, but I'm interested in your thoughts on the main topic of the entry and the comments that stay on topic.

What do you think?

Ministry uses dinosaurs to dispute evolution

This is an article about a Ministry that uses dinosaurs to dispute evolution, and how they are building a museum.

I have outlined my position thoroughly in a previous post.

This article says that the proprietor's father "taught him that the entire Gospel message depends on Genesis being true." Do you believe that to be the case? For me, I believe that Moses was telling a story to convey the truth that God is a loving Creator that is responsible for creating life as we know it. I do not believe that Moses was trying to write a science text book on the origin of the species, I don't believe that his understanding of the world around him would have allowed for this even if God had explained it to him. He would have gotten that glazed look in his eyes that some people get when I try to explain complex Excel formulas.

I also believe that promoting a rigidly dogmatic belief in a 6000 year old Earth is counter productive to a viable presentation of the Gospel. But, this is a hot button issue for me, and I've rambled on enough

What do you think?

Monday, May 16, 2005

God -- grant me these three wishes!

Ok – so we like to watch TV. It is coming down to the end of seasons which means conflict resolution / evolution time. I noticed watching the new sitcom, Joey, on NBC, that even the writers of highly popular sitcoms have succumb to the instant gratification requiring public. Years ago on the sitcom, Frazer, also on NBC, Niles Crane waited 6 years before he was able to nab his long time love, Daphne. This conflict was stretched out, rather creatively and very effectively over these six years. Contrastingly, on the pilot episode for, Joey, a particular love interest was identified and everyone knew how the last episode of the season would end – with the two of them in the throws of passion. The problem is this – throughout the season the characters went through such things as career moves, divorces, serious love interests, and the like. Each of these things could have been stretched to last longer than thirty minutes. But they did not.

I understand this somewhat addresses the predictability in today’s entertainment, but that is an issue for another time.

The question I have is this: In a society where people are hungry for instant gratification and are constantly being fed this by the media, how has this instant gratification affected the world’s/society’s/Christians’ opinions and ideas regarding God’s role in meeting our needs? Has He been reduced to a gumball machine, a genie in a bottle we summon whenever we think we “NEED” something?

What are your thoughts?