Have you heard? People are leaving institutionalized religion by the droves in order to seek spiritual autonomy. Why? Because the general public is sick—to the point of nausea—of the idea of religious superiority. Like kindergarten kids, fighting over toys in a sandbox, too many adults actually believe their religion is better than their neighbor’s religion. God is on their side in every argument, and God’s enemies are strangely the same enemies they have encountered.
People have created a slew of excuses for leaving the church. But it’s not really the music, the pastor, the priest, the sermons, the disingenuous love, the endless committee meetings, personal burn-out, or any of the other more obvious reasons people cite, for walking away from the building. Underneath all of these superficial justifications, is the desire to discover true spiritual freedom, spiritual space, spiritual intuitiveness, spiritual independence, and spiritual maturity without the “my religion is better than your religion” packaging. The church, in her present state, is unable to meet these particular spiritual needs, because the institution can’t rid herself of her packaging.
If we could hear a recorded playback of the conversations taking place, across all social media platforms, we would recognize a huge divide between spiritually mature folks—who have no desire to claim religious superiority—and spiritually immature folks, who fiercely defend the ‘my way or the highway’ perspective.
Sadly, the playback of human dialogue isn’t receiving much attention these days—but it should! I’m listening intently and, in respectful language, this is what the playback sounds like to me. Feel free to add your own expletives if you wish!
“My God is better than your God.”
“My beliefs are better than your beliefs.”
“My customs, rituals, traditions, and practices are better than your customs, rituals, traditions, and practices.”
Well, my Mom is better than your Mom”
“My dog is better than your dog.”
And, btw, my religion really IS better than your religion. So there!”
Life in the sandbox is a kindergarten phenomenon. We simply must grow up!
Humans are designed to mature beyond playground arguments. We simply must stop erecting mental towers of better-ness, which someone else will inevitably knock down. So, the question becomes, “Are we maturing as a species possessing spiritual cognition?” I don’t see the evidence, but I trust the process. Is it humanly possible to mature beyond kindergarten behavior? I don’t know, but I have faith that we can!
In the meantime:
How many sand boxes are needed to secure peace on earth?
How many fences?
How many boundary lines?
How many bombs must explode?
How many senseless beheadings?
How many drones?
How many, Lord? How many?
Is religion our problem? Or is spiritual immaturity our problem?
To declare religion as the enemy, prevents deeper exploration into the problem of spiritual immaturity. Religion can’t solve immaturity, because religion preys on the immature soul. We certainly don’t need more religion, but less religion won’t solve immaturity either. The human race needs in-depth lessons in maturity. Who will teach those lessons? What constitutes a mature and healthy soul?
THIS must become the future focus of the church of tomorrow. Does the church have a plan for teaching maturity, that does not involve teaching religious superiority? If not, why not? Jesus went to the cross defending the idea that Judaism was not to be practiced in a superior, or exclusive way. So, why is Christianity practiced as a superior, exclusive religion?
Think on these things.