Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did you say: "Religion?"

I "shared" this on FB, and, as you can see, was even brave enough to add a status update with it.

Possibly people will  have a couple of reactions:
  1. What? She "likes" the Dalai Lama on Facebook?
  2. What? She "shared" that status update?
  3. I thought she was a Christian.
I call myself a follower of Christ. For me, being called a Christian has too much baggage. Arrogance, hyprocrisy and judgemental attitudes are attached to it. None of which reflect the person of Christ.

Friends who truly know me. Know me. That's all I will say about that.  :)

I am not sure exactly what I find interesting:
  • perhaps it's that he says all these faiths "promote inner values" - yet, he lists fruit of the spirit as a "tool" to further this. 
  • perhaps it's that he has realised that "grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate." Was it ever adequate?
  • The most interesting thing to me is his last sentence: "...I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether."

I have found myself mulling over this sentence all day. When I think of "religion" - immediately I think of rules of trying to do all the right things to be a good Christian. It's conjures up pictures of duty and obligation.

If we are to consider that religion (as he sees it) is no longer able to make people behave ethically or morally - I wonder when (or if) he will recognise that the Holy Spirit is the source of the qualities such as love, peace, compassion, forgiveness....  and when we are in Christ, there is no more "trying to be a good Christian" and trying to keep all the rules, because our position and relationship with God in Christ is certain through grace. As we journey in this walk of spirituality, we become more like him, reflecting these qualities so needed in the world today. 

It's a journey not of ethics through religion, but of love through grace.

I just love this picture.
It shows that people of different journeys can be friends without having to defend their faith.
Instead they enjoy one another's company and share their lives and spiritual walk together.

I realise that this sounds pretty jumbled and I reserve the right to alter my thinking at any time. I do however have immense respect for this man, his desire for peace and his search for truth.   


So, what do you think?