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"Organized Religion"

“Social scientists have been telling us that people are more and more interested in being spiritual, and less and less interested in following organized religion. Many want to have a relationship with God, but on their own terms. They want lots of nice feelings, assurance of some kind of salvation and a comfort in an enlightenment that they can control. In such a system, every one chooses how to be spiritual and makes up the rules. Christian societies seem to have begun with a faith tradition based on Christ's Incarnation, which joined God and man, and developed into fractured and multiple churches with choices, and then to an individualized religion, in which everyone picks and chooses what to believe. At this stage, human beings attempt to dictate to God the "rules of engagement." How ironic it is that this development brought people back to what Christians call the original sin of Adam: that is, Adam choosing to be equal to God and needing no one greater than himself! From my vantage point, this is no development, but a great regression.” (Bishop John)

“How would you respond to some well-meaning Christians who said they did not want to lose their rational and logical minds by joining an “organized religion”? Over the years of being a prison chaplain, I encountered many, many men who had embraced that very thinking. They felt that submitting to the authority of the Church was something they could never do because it meant giving up their minds. They also believe that they only need their Bible and their rational, logical minds…that same thought has become so very popular in our society today….Where in the Bible do you find rational and logical thinking working out well?” (Fr. Stephen Powley)

“In this age of individualism, many think…they can be their own minister. These spiritual mavericks disdain organized religion…and insist on their own “spirituality”… Those who dismiss “organized religion” and those who claim no not realize what they lack. Claiming to be “spiritual” but not “religious,” they are liable to be spiritually lost and susceptible to religious charlatans who...prey on their ignorance of the things of the Spirit.” (Fr. Basil)

“…there are still many who are non-religious yet not hostile toward Christianity. Many non-religious are still seeking truth. They are searching for an “authentic experience” of God. Many of those who have left “organized religion” are not atheists; they may be confused about what they believe, or they might even consider themselves still Christian but done with churches…we often hear the statement: “I’m spiritual but not religious.”…These people are a part of the great harvest of which our Lord speaks. They have gone to church, been a part of “organized religion” and have found it wanting. They have been spiritually inoculated, meaning they have had just enough of partial truth, just enough of a bad witness of Christianity or “organized religion” to reject it…” (Rev. Fr. Theodore Dorrance)

“Is no wonder in a country that seems to be drifting away from God and rejecting “organized religion” that we are seeing in upward trend in anxiety and depression. While is always dangerous to be simplistic in cause and effect reasoning, I think the disordered personality that results in a tormented mind and a hardened heart, at least at the spiritual level, is linked to the rejection of God, either through outright rejection, ignorance, or apathy, and thus the rejection of the Holy Spirit within us. To not walk in the futility of our mind (Ephesians 4:17) and lack understanding due to hardened hearts (Mark 6:52), is to cultivate the Holy Spirit within, who unites us to Christ, the Logos, the ordering principle of reality, who then orders us from within, so we have receptive hearts and illumined minds and face pain, trials, and suffering as agents of our growth, not as things that destroy our mental health.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


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