My spiritual journey may be as much about what I’ve discovered and cultivated as it is about what I’ve left behind.
I’m presently facilitating a Quaker discussion group for those in my congregation who are relatively new and are seeking a richer understanding of the Quaker tradition. We’ve begun by sharing our own stories: how we ended up at Camas Friends Church, including all the people, forces, and experiences that facilitated our spiritual journey to this point.
Two common themes in these stories were disillusionment and deconstruction: the experience of becoming increasingly troubled by elements of our religious pasts; and the dismantling of once-taken-for-granted truths that no longer seem to “work.”
And, at the risk of forcing a narrative on the participants, I feel like I observed a common movement toward Love in these stories. Like the discovery of a kernel beneath layers of religious baggage or a light at the end of a traumatic tunnel. A kernel worth retaining and a light worth magnifying, despite the reasonable option of leaving religion behind altogether.
Continue reading “Bygones”
I hold certain beliefs. I defend them. I am sometimes blinded by them. I modify them, if I can see that they need modified. I am guided by them. In some ways, I depend on them.
But why do I believe what I believe? Why do any of us believe what we believe? Why do we believe what we believe and not something else?
I don’t see things the same way I did five, ten, twenty years ago. It is likely that I’ll believe differently in a few years. Not because I’m dissatisfied with my present beliefs but because I anticipate that new discovery, new experience, and new voices will continue to shape my ideas, values, and vision.
Before expressing what we believe, I think it’s worth considering why we believe what we believe in the first place. What causes you to believe what you believe about God and all matters divine, eternal, spiritual, and sacred?How would you answer this?
I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but maybe you’d say something like one (or more) of the following…
Continue reading “Why You Believe What You Believe”
How do you know you’re a Christian?
Most obviously, you are probably a Christian if you say you are. Who am I to question your self-definition on something like this?
But many Christians do have some standards for what constitutes really being Christian. I have certainly been asked many “litmus test” questions over the years.
Continue reading “Why “Christian” Tells me Nothing About You”