|Our present need in religion is spirituality. Yet religious
buildings seem nearly everywhere and the usually empty talk
that goes on in these buildings babbles on unceasingly.
The churches remind me of waterfalls that furnish no
water. In the middle of waterless waterfalls, we might
die for lack of water. In the middle of countless buildings
built to furnish spirituality there is a real dearth and
need of spirituality.
Generally our churches come split in two sections. One section is the overly literal, which Luther railed against, but the structure changes not. It just gets more literal and further out as such an absolutist system guarantees.
Luther railed against indulgences which still go on. I was given time off purgatory in Rome recently for a visit to a morbid shrine. The mass is still said to be the literal transubstantiation of bread into Christ when a bell rings. Christ of course is a spiritual Being not a literal magic transformation.
However, the Roman Church has gone further than Luther could have imagined. Now when the Pope sits in a magic chair and pronounces on faith and morals, he is said to be infallible. Such nonsense. Nobody is infallible. But unfortunate Christianity bounces back and forth between the too literal in Rome and far out liberalism in Protestantism.
Generally I find Roman Catholics assume we can believe anything, and therefore suggest we believe everything. On the other end of the rainbow, the liberals suggest that, as we cannot be sure of everything, we can believe nothing. Therefore the liberals glory in shredding every spiritual truth they can find. There seems to be no recognition of either Trust or a Loving, cleansing, creative Spirit in their universe. As for me I suggest God is intensely alive and caught in the middle of those trying to believe over much or out righteous everybody else.
So I often feel in faith as if I am caught in the middle between bizarre people either believing too much or too little. Then if some tell me a lot of dogma, post or non-scriptural nonsense, is necessary for my salvation, I generally smile and wave as I go by. (Some times the too believing believers are Protestants. I’ve had silly people say I must believe the pictures in the King James Bible which is to me about like kneeling to eat God at a mass. I think, “Get serious.)” Generally I think a problem in faith is people are so confused about God, maybe never having experienced God on any level, they get insecure and hysterical about points of creed and faith that simply aren’t that important. People can make mountains of no consequence out of mole hills of creed and scriptures. Generally I want to advise folk, “Cool it. God isn’t mean at all. However, God is firm. He does Hold Fast.”
My thinking has been God will give you as much of Himself as you can handle. That may not be much, and is somewhat dependent on your attitude, but whatever grace you get or learn it’s better than no awareness of grace at all.
Seek God. Matthew 6:33 bids us “seek first the Kingdom of God.” But remember we are not seeking things. We are seeking to attain a spiritual state of mind that is now lacking in our too literal religion or too liberal faith. I suggest you will find the highest state of Christ in neither too literal or liberal a view. Spiritual wholeness is lacking in both.
Our real need in today’s faith is SPIRITUALITY reclaimed where it existed or introduced where it did not. True spirituality, a relationship with God, a spiritual awareness of God, is the essence of true faith. Seek that.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.