religion

Quick SAT analogy - Movement : Institution as Spirituality : ______

I heard Brian McLaren once say that movements are organizations which call institutions to new social gains and institutions are organizations which conserve the gains made by past movements. 


I have heard that people are now more spiritual than religious. That is people are seeking out new ways to experience the transcendent and less interested in traditional experiences of the transcendent. 

Could it be that spirituality is to religion as movements are to institutions? 

Could it be that we are a culture that is more interested in seeking out new gains rather than preserving the gains made by our past movements? 

Why do you think we as a people are more interested in movements/spirituality than institutions/religions? 

In the next post, I will submit one reason that I think we are drawn to the movements/spirituality than institutions/religions. But until then, what say you?

Missing the point of college and religion

Freakonomics had a podcast  in which one of the people interviewed mentioned something about college that got me thinking about church.

He mentioned that those who attend college do so to obtain credit hours, but too many attend college for a degree. Think about that.

College is that place where most students are not learning a set of skills but different ways of seeing. We learn what it means to be a product of the Enlightenment and how that influences a great number of things that we "know". We gain a new language with words like "post-modern", "historical-critical", "behaviorism" and "meta-narrative" in order to understand the world in new ways. We are invited to see that as we sail closer to the island of the known the broader the shore of mystery becomes. We have reduced going to college to getting a degree, a slip of paper, a certificate of completion. As a means to an end, rather than a end unto itself.

Similarly, many of us (religious and atheist) view religion in the same way. As a means to an end.

I hear that people don't need religion to lean to be a good person or a moral individual. True.

But this is not the point of religion.

Like college religion at its best is designed not to get you somewhere but to teach you to see.

It is a shame that so many of us view college and religion as only worth it if it will provide me something in the future. The fact of the matter is, neither religion or college is set up to do that. They are institutions that are in place to help people see in ways they could not get on their own.

You cannot be Christian and...

I saw a sticker which read, "You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion."

First off I am not sure anyone is pro-abortion, even those who advocate for choice are not advocating abortions only the freedom to choose.

That aside, it is curious to me the number of dichotomies that are set up in order to create in and out groups among my Christian brothers and sisters.

If history serves me correctly then there was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and uncircumcised. There was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and embracing of civil rights. There was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and gay. There was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and in the army. There was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and not be a Capitalist. There was a time when people thought you could not be Christian and a whole slew of things.

The fact of the matter is there is always a flux in understanding what it means to be a Christian. There is always a continuum that all Christians fall into. Rest assured that somewhere someone does not think you are a Christian. What is often forgotten is that what makes one a Christian is not beliefs - it never has been about beliefs.