The Role of Faith in a Secular World: Does God matter?

As human beings, we have the tensions of not having all the answers, Charles Falzon told an audience assembled at the Ram and the Rye pub at Faith Connections’ most recent Theology on Tap event.

“We have the tensions of doubt, the tensions of uncertainty, the tensions of not quite knowing anything 100 per cent,” said Falzon, Chair of the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University.

Charles Falzon, Chair of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University

Charles Falzon, Chair of the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University

How do we deal with this? Some people isolate themselves by only hanging out with those who hold the same beliefs and values. But we’re called to do more than that, he said.

Jesus didn’t say let’s erase all our vulnerabilities–he embraced the vulnerabilities and the differences.

“Just because I’m sitting with someone who happens to be a Hindu or a Muslim and I’m trying to relate, I cannot and shall not and will not have such confidence that it turns into arrogance that I don’t realize God is also present in what that person is saying.”

We also need to look at the fact that the joy we find in each other is found in a lot more areas than the tensions, said Falzon.

And remember that shutting other people out when they challenge your beliefs is not the answer. Just leave the labels out, he said. “People may not agree with you at the end of it, but they will never shut you out.”

Falzon said he was inspired to go back to university to study spirituality and theology about 10 years ago when he was on the board of a public company.

“I presented a plan to give the people decent severance and he said why are you giving them decent severance? And I said because it’s the right thing to do.” The board member disagreed, saying “I leave the right things to do for my personal life, this is business.”

I think you can bring your values in, I think you can shape society in a way that your faith and God are active and engaged, said Falzon. “And I think we can do that in any profession.”

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