Archive for April, 2012

Religionless faith? Or faithless religion?

April 3, 2012

I hear a lot about those who claim to be spiritual but not religious. Maybe this is an assertion that is especially prevalent in my part of the country. The Pacific Northwest is widely known as an unchurched corner of the country. Apparently more people stay home from church, or never join a church, or state that they grew up as a (whatever) but have exchanged church going for hiking or camping or traveling or sleeping in followed by a tasty brunch.

I do not, however, hear much from those who say that they are big on religion or church but low on spirituality. Maybe the lack of conversation about this option is because it’s seen as unacceptable. It’s all right, even preferable in some circles, to be big on spirit but low on church. How about those who may be big on church, but have questions about the validity of spirituality, especially as popularly defined and understood?

If there is a continuum between high church on the one side and high spirituality on the other, I suspect that I fall on the church side. I love the church’s liturgy (done reverently and well), the church’s fellowship (when graceful and forgiving), and the church’s sacraments that cover life from conception to death and beyond. Many spirituality questions are frankly over my head. It’s like when I’m sitting in a men’s group, and someone reads a poem, and everybody but me goes “hmmmmm.” I (silently) go “huh? What was that all about?”

I’d love a conversation about this.