As anyone who follows my blog must realize, I am not a big fan of organized religion. That has to sound strange coming from an ordained clergyperson of over 40 years, but it’s certainly not the strangest facet of my life.
The fact is that I am almost always disappointed by organized religion. And although I am much more conversant with Christianity, my disappointment with organized religion extends to all the major faith groups with which I have be associated across the years. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all equally fail to deliver what they promise.
Don’t get me wrong. I am a ardent follower of Christ, and firmly believe that an authentic spirituality is the only realistic foundation for a meaningful life. Yet for the most part, what I see in the organized church brings me to tears. Then it makes me angry. We have the power to heal our broken world yet we absolutely refuse to do it.
I was once privileged to hear Dr. Elton Trueblood speak. During his presentation Dr. Trueblood said that the world was equally shocked by two things. The first was to hear Christianity criticized. The second thing, even more shocking to the world, was to see Christianity practiced.
Our world continues to change. No longer is anyone especially shocked to hear the church or organized religion criticized, and rightfully so. No institution deserves respect for what it once stood for and what it once represented. But, what still shocks the world is to see Christianity actually practiced.
When that changes, and I pray that it does, maybe my opinion of organized religion will, as well.