Tuesday, 13 May 2014



“Now choose life so that you and your children may live and that you may
 love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him.”
Deuteronomy 30 : 19-20

            In the opening sections of Diana Butler-Bass’ book (see below) she describes the choices we each make today in comparison to those of just two generations ago. Choices that have come into existence because of the economic, social and political world in which we live. Choices in everything from a cup of coffee, to worship of God and how to love your neighbour.  Some people will choose well, others badly and some will choose what is familiar or something new. But each person makes choices.
            This is also true today of religion and specifically three big questions of what is meant by church. Believing, behaving and belonging are under stress in terms of what it is we are called to do and it is in answering these questions which enables us to glean information so that we may make informed choices.
            Believing- what do I think? People do believe in God but they appear to think differently about God. Is God ‘a person ‘with whom people can have a relationship or is God an impersonal force”. Or maybe God is really God based upon where God exists in relationship with people—Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical, Distant (ABCD). Just what do we/ you/I believe? And how is this belief in you developed?
            Behaving- How should I act? What do you do and how do you practice your faith? People say they attend church services regularly- yet churches are not full? The reality is that people attend less regularly and when people pray they are doing so in different forms or ways not only what was once learned and shared in services.
            Belonging: Who am I People’s sense of belonging is not particularly stable People are checking things out in different congregations, churches, mosques and synagogues to ultimately answer the question of who am I as a child of God.
            What is occurring is that people” begin to doubt their sense and sanity and they search for new gods, new ways to perceive and comprehend the power that guides the universe.” What results is that that there is a new beginning; signs of longing in the midst of the discontent.
Religious activities include behaving, belonging and believing. Thinking of your own life has your religious activity changed in recent years/ months? Why? What does this mean to your faith growth? What do you believe is directing this renewal of faith?

Holy God in you we have our being- but through faith we come to know you more intimately and about the Gift you gave us in Jesus. Please speak to us now so that we might know and reflect a new way to understand our faith, belief and love for Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Diana Butler-Bass Christianity after Religion: the end of church and the birth of a new spiritual awakening. .New York Harper2012 (chapter2)

No comments:

Post a Comment

please type your comments here.