One essential element of living a thriving spiritual life is being part of a spiritual community. Being an independent-thinking kind of guy, I can’t say I really like this reality. When I was young, I was just part of a good community (which was composed of people from many, many churches) and didn’t think about things. When left home and went out on my own at college, I continued to go on autopilot – I attended a church regularly. Only when things went sour, after I had left college and started attending a bad church near where I worked, did I start to question the need for one. Can a person get along without a community of other spiritual people? Can a person live a thriving spiritual life by himself/herself?
Archive for June, 2007
I thought the theist crowd might enjoy this! This was inspired by mindonfire’s “What kind of atheist are you?” quiz, which I took and promptly flunked. Here is the link. I ended up being what I was hoping for – in line with Martin Luther! (this does not include his anti-semitism.) I have never read Finney, but I have always loved Luther and more recently, Anselm.
|You scored as Martin Luther, The daddy of the Reformation. You are opposed to any Catholic ideas of works-salvation and see the scriptures as being primarily authoritative.
About three years ago, I had a very bad church experience. It colored how I thought about church for a long time after – that it was corrupt and imperfect, an entity that detracts from a person’s thriving spiritual life. However, I realized the other day that I have completely recovered from my anger towards all churches.
What was the thing that helped me?
Its been too long in coming, but I’ve finally had a spare moment now that I’ve officially moved to update the website a bit. I’ve added more categories to my past posts for better category browsing, and I’ve added two sites to the blogroll that I should have added months ago!
This is the infamous Bored in Vernal’s weblog about the spiritual life, religion, politics, and Mormonism. She’s a women with a great heart for people, and always has great thoughts to post about on her site.
Mark’s weblog about everyday living, relationships, and the spiritual life. His posts are inspiring and thought provoking at the same time. When I get a chance, I want to piggyback on his post about failure, and its importance in our lives.
It has been great to get to know you both! Thanks again so much for pouring out your thoughts and ideas into the void, and thank you for stopping by for a bit and chatting here too. I really appreciate having both of you around, both on this site and the many others you frequent and comment on.
I’ve officially moved to Pennsylvania! As exciting as that is, there is still the unfortunate reality of having to work for another 2 months in Rochester, NY (5 hours away) for work related reasons. I desperately want to be with my family, so I will be traveling home and back every weekend. This means I will be alone with my thoughts with nobody else for 10 hours a week. For a majority of the trip, I will be going through deep country areas that are radio and cellphone inaccessible.
So I’m curious… What would you all do if you had this kind of situation? I’m open to suggestions!
Elise got me thinking about an interesting topic based on my last post – the discussion of what is a sin for you is not a sin for me – i.e. disputable matters within Christianity. Even though the apostle Paul clearly stated how to deal with them, religious institutions have a hard time with them because they want to codify the sin lists into “doctrinal statements” – unfortunately including the issues that are disputable. This is just more religion piled onto otherwise healthy Christianity. By doing so, they are in violation of Paul’s command (and thus sin): to not “pass judgment on disputable matters” (Romans 14:1). I will not attend a church that has disputable matters in their doctrinal statements for this reason.
However, there might be some argument as to if a “disputable matters”-focused church is good. Could there be a church of weaker believers who can keep each other accountable in a common area of weakness?