In several places I’ve read and heard Richard Rohr say something like:
Christianity has become a religion of membership rather than a religion of transformation.
Rohr opines that even though the U.S. continues to be one of the most religious countries on the planet, there’s very little evidence that participation in church is creating Christians who embody the simple values of the carpenter from Nazareth. Rather, church has become another place where people are encouraged to give intellectual assent to information about God rather than encouraged to simply encounter God.I’ve expressed my opinion that this precisely why many have turned away from organized religion. And worse, why many people decide they either have no faith, or have somehow “lost” that faith.
There certainly are those, as evidenced by comments to my last post, who argue that getting the information correct is critical. They may be right. I just don’t think so. I’ve suggested a few reasons why in previous posts, and I could lay out a few more reasons, but it seems to me that this is not time well spent. Intellectual arguments don’t transform people. I guess I agree with thinkers, like C.S. Lewis, who also says a focus on such arguments is exactly what distracts us from the real purpose of the spiritual journey.
If you’re confident in your theology, and it serves your journey toward living a life consistent with the challenges Jesus poses in the Gospels, then my little “project” here is really not that important to you.
However, if you are among those who find religion to be less and less relevant, then the question I’d ask is: Can you still trust love?