In the wake of the New Age, and the ever-growing love affair our culture has with all things spiritual [*smacks forehead* so that's what all those aromatherapy rocks and candles are about!], a new mantra has emerged: I’m spiritual, not religious! It is the mantra of ex-Catholics and once-in-awhile Protestants [just once in a while?] and others on the spiritual path. This emerging mantra has grown up in response to religion that looks more like a museum [one of those dinosaur religions that still believe in, like, Christ crucified for our sins, ya know], religion that says you practice THIS way or you aren’t one of us, religion that isn’t relevant to the life I lead [goodness knows, if it ain't relevant, why believe, eh?], religion that tells us to believe 12 impossible things before breakfast [like a creed, mayhaps?] and leaves no place open for questions or doubt [you know what they say about being so open your brains fall out].Via Chris Johnson.
And there’s this longing and maybe even a presence of energy in life. Perhaps if you are on the spiritual journey, you have felt this. Energy that gives life and joy [play video of children running through fields of flowers in slo-mo] — whether it’s looking at Rainer [sic] at sunrise, or playing music with others, or sitting with someone in a time of sorrow. That energy [is that like The Force kinda thing?] is what the Christian people call the presence of the Holy Spirit [ah, so that's what they put in energy bars]. The followers of this Jesus [which Jesus?] know this longing and energy only too well [oooh, ominous].
What is this longing? It is the longing to live in community with others from all walks of life — a community that is present in sadness and joy, a group of people searching and questioning and doubting and finding more questions [so will you also seek answers? or do you just want questions?] about that presence together. [that sounds like an old-fashioned neighborhood]
It's not about having answers as much as it is about engaging a story [ah ha, so it's not about answers, after all, 'cause answers might demand, you know, change, transformation, contrition? ugh, can't have that]. It is about your story [once upon a time...can I live happily ever after, too?] and how your story connects to an ancient story of desert wanderers that [cue in old Star Trek theme], in time, came to see that humanity and this energy they called God mingled and existed through Christ and thus, exists in all of humanity [Girlfriend, what have you been smokin'?!?].
Is it possible to practice and grow your spirituality within an organized church? Yes! [kind of you to be open to the possibility] The Episcopal Church [hello! the epitome of relevance] holds many possibilities open for those on the spiritual path looking for a diverse community of believers [except for those awful conservatives egged on by those Africans].
The beauty of the Episcopal tradition is that it is open to questions and new possibilities [needle is stuck on this possibilities groove], as well as ancient teachings [hey, the Gnostic and Pelagian heresy were ancient teachings, too. heard of them?]. Imagine a spiritual practice that is both grounded in tradition [cue in Tevye] and open to new possibilities [ahhhhh, no, not that word again!].
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Spiritual but not Religious
~(Episcopalian, again.) From the Episcopal Church website by a Washington parish's Vicar. She invoked 'ex-Catholics' so she's fair game [well, to be honest, I don't know the gender of this person....George Anne...hmmm].