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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Religiosity? Spirituality?

As church attendance declines and mayhem increases, society as we've known it strains to go onward. The society of the 1940's and 1950's that cradled my childhood and youth is a far different one than exists today.

I think religiosity has played a large part in this shift/decline. What I mean by that is a rather empty, nonthinking, nonjuicy, religious tenor that truly turns people away from church and its usual values. Church is now a big business that for the most part is out of line with the modern understandings of science and Biblical scholarship. Instead of leading people to personal experiences of the Divine, people are expected to just believe things that are unbelievable in the literal sense, but are not led to understand the grand mythic stories that tell of a magnificence that is way beyond the literal. I think that most preachers get some of the grander understanding in seminary, but are told or decide the congregations are not ready or able to know the mythic grandeur. In most churches, the myths are told as literal and so are greatly diminished.

Theology has marched on with archaeological finds, older documents found, deeper understanding of languages and customs and idioms, with awareness of midrashic components of the New Testament, with the ability to read the words and understandings of the great spiritual minds throughout the ages, etc. For most part, none of this has reached the pews.

It is my conclusion at this point in my life that it is far past the time to shift to spirituality. It is time to have a vibrant, thrilling, impactful relationship with God, to know God not just to know about what others have determined we should know.

Let's use food as an example. First we'll take the foods we don't like, say liver. We try to explain what it tastes like and feels like in the mouth to someone who has never seen or tasted liver. It cannot be done. They have to taste it for themselves. Or we endeavor to tell someone what it is like to eat something we love to eat without them ever seeing or tasting it, say a hot fudge sundae. Words will never be able to convey the experience.

So too with spirituality, the journey into Oneness and intimate relationship with the Holy Presence, it has to be experienced. Words about it can give hints, but cannot give the KNOWING.

It is time to turn to spirituality.

My Beloved Lord, lead us to know You. Lead the religious leaders to turn to spirituality and leave religiosity behind in the dustbin of history. Quicken a great spiritual awakening on this beautiful earth. Lift our hearts to the song of Oneness and to living awake in Your Presence. Let this be such a time as never before as people from all walks of life and all histories awake up in You. Let a giant wave of awakening sweep across the lands. Oh God, I can see it. Make it so. Amen, Amen and Amen

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