I was greeted on my Facebook page late this afternoon with a discussion regarding a blog post on which a number of my colleagues were commenting (hat-tip to Gerald Schlabach). The post is by Lillian Daniel, a UCC Church minister, on the reading Matthew 16:18, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Lillian Daniel makes a powerful argument for church in this post, not by (re)visiting Catholic-Protestant divides regarding exegesis, but by taking on those who claim that they are "spiritual, but not religious" and so have no need for church and community. She takes no prisoners in Spiritual but not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.
Here is a snippet of her article:
Next thing you know, he's telling me that he finds God in the sunsets. These people always find God in the sunsets. And in walks on the beach. Sometimes I think these people never leave the beach or the mountains, what with all the communing with God they do on hilltops, hiking trails and . . . did I mention the beach at sunset yet?
Like people who go to church don't see God in the sunset! Like we are these monastic little hermits who never leave the church building. How lucky we are to have these geniuses inform us that God is in nature. As if we don’t hear that in the psalms, the creation stories and throughout our deep tradition.
And with respect to those who claim this solitary pursuit of God, she says:
You are now comfortably in the norm for self-centered American culture, right smack in the bland majority of people who find ancient religions dull but find themselves uniquely fascinating.
Read it all here. What do you think?
John W. Martens
Follow Me on Twitter @johnwmartens