From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Alpha USA: If you could ask God one question

(Greek letter "alpha")
"If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?"  That is the question that Alpha USA emphasizes on its website.  Here are some of the
listed responses:

Why am I here?  Why do we die?  Why does God love me so much?  Why am I suffering?  What is life all about?  I'm a good person.  Why has my life gone to hell?

These questions are certainly not unique.  They have been asked for millennia by people from many (and no) religions.  What is somewhat unique (at least in this day and age) is Alpha's approach.  According to the website, "Alpha gives everyone the opportunity to explore the meaning of life [from a decidedly Christian
perspective] in a relaxed, friendly setting."  This "relaxed, friendly" atmosphere includes the following:  ten weeks of once-a-week gatherings (one of which is a day-long or weekend getaway); shared food at the
beginning of each session; a short talk after that; and a discussion about the talk during which "everyone is welcome to contribute their opinions and no question is considered hostile or too simple."

What's interesting (and seemingly significant) is that many of Alpha's attendees "have never been to church…"  Still others "have attended church occasionally but feel they have never really understood the basics of the Christian faith."  Some come for theological inquiries into "the claims of Jesus" and such – and then there are those who "want to get beyond religion and find a relationship with God that really changes life."  Alpha USA proclaims:  Everyone is welcome.


Copyright October 21, 2012 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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