Spiritual Movement

I had a great conversation with the guys over at caffeinated faith. The interview will be podcast later this week. I'll let you know so you can listen to it if you want. One of the issues that came out in the conversation was, of course, the church. I'm not "going" to one right now, and if my memory serves me, I think most of them aren't regulars anywhere, for one reason or another. Many of my family and friends aren't either. Our attachment and commitment to the organized church is suffering. This is a generalization, but I'm seeing a progression (or digression)… a movement from within to without the church. I am speaking of the organized church. The institution. I see different groups and our movement among them:
  1. Those committed to a church and regular attenders.
  2. Those who have a church but aren't regular.
  3. Those who consider a church their own but don't go.
  4. Those who've left the church but not their faith. They might go to an alternative, like a house church.
  5. Those who have a Christian heritage and have no connection to the church nor the need for it.
  6. Those who have a Christian heritage and have left the faith.
  7. Those with no Christian heritage and have no connection.
Like I said, this is just a generalization. And it applies to what I've seen among my family and friends. I have compassion for all these people. The organized church has had a historic monopoly on who is in and who is out. Many of these people still play by the church's rules and understand themselves according to the church's agenda, and therefore either find that they are excluded from the church and therefore alienated from the faith. They are either endorsed or disqualified by the church's standards. It is good to doubt, question, explore and discover one's own understanding. It is even necessary. But for many of the people I know this has been an illicit affair that cost them their membership within the church and even the faith official. Why? Often it's because they still define themselves by the power's definition of them. Each one of us needs to come to terms with our own discoveries and understanding and live with confidence accordingly. We mustn't allow any power or authority to define or determine our spiritual status. This doesn't mean we reject the church. But we can, and indeed must, reject its poor opinion of us. Please join my newsletter for special exclusive offfers.

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