Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Churches recycle old spiritual cliches -- and drive away the seekers

Stephen Mattson writing on Sojourners' God's Politics blog had me at the first paragraph:
In a world where people are craving inspiration, growth, and information, many churches maintain a cyclical pattern based on redundancy, safety, and closed-mindedness. Unfortunately, many pastors and Christian leaders continue to recycle old spiritual clich├ęs — and sermons — communicating scripture as if it were propaganda instead of life-changing news, and driving away a growing segment of people who find churches ignorant, intolerant, absurd, and irrelevant.

Read the whole blessed thing at http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/10/29/do-churches-alienate-intellectuals

I grew up Catholic, received all the sacraments (except for holy orders and extreme unction -- you have to be Catholic or at least Latin-friendly to know what that means), attended parochial school, baptized my kids as Catholics, and so on.

My wife and I fought like heck to stay in the church. Alas, old cliches and right-wing propaganda drove us away. I'm no more an intellectual than the next day, if the next guy happens to be Elmer Fudd. I ask questions, and am among the curious. I am also a Liberal, which is more of a sin in the church than being an intellectual. Strange thing is, I was taught by well-educated nuns and priests that it was OK to ask questions. More than OK -- it was encouraged. I wonder what Sister Miriam Catherine would make of the church in the second decade of the 21st century?

Keep asking questions, she used to tell us.

So old school. 

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