'we're Post Church, Autonomous And Spiritual' Oh Yeah?


I heard four people in one week explain why they no longer ‘do church’. ‘I have to leave part of myself behind when I enter a church’ said one. A second said: ‘My church was Paulist, it was all about Jesus saving us by faith, but we have to be responsible for what we do. Now I am a Muslim I follow a way of life’. ‘My best friend is gay but the church would not embrace her, so I won’t embrace the church’ said a third. ‘I work with post modern people who want to be autonomous and spiritual; they don’t want to belong though they want a sense of belonging. So to travel with them I must become like them and not belong to an institution’ said a fourth.
To believe that we are autonomous is to live a lie. That lie was the original sin of the Garden of Eden. Our food shops, heat and light, roads and rail, health and education all depend upon people who provide concerted service. Some people (usually the comfortable ones) may live in separate houses and control their own pursuits and timetables, but once our society’s fragile superstructure comes crashing down that will cease.
From one earth we come
One air we breathe
To one Source we – one human family of one blood - return.
The Aidan and Hilda way is to develop discernment as we journey. To rebel against what is godless in church or society is good. To rebel against reality leads us to the scrap heap. Forget for a moment words like ‘church’ and ‘God’. Become who we are – real, vulnerable, undefended. When we cease to hide we become aware of our eternal hungers – and we feed together.
A fifth person comes - a Sri Lankan Franciscan brother. 'In our monastic tradition', he says, 'the church is of the people, not of an elite. We see God in every creature, every person, and we serve God and stay close to God in them'.
Posted at 23:18pm on 2nd November 2012
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