Oh-oh! Look what Jesus has to say about spiritual but not religious!

"Spiritual But Not Religious" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward It's been almost a year since I wrote my response to Lillian Daniel's book criticizing the "spiritual but not religious", and it is still circulating. I suppose it's because there's an growing concern for this growing demographic... from the church and its leaders. And the fact that Lillian Daniel wrote a post 3 years ago that has resurfaced titled, Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me! I'm not sure what her present attitude is, but my main critique of her argument is that it is presumptuous, judgmental, condescending and patronizing. The way she expressed her concern actually widens the divide. I hope that's changed. The Shambala Sun describes SBNR people in this way:
"Generally, they're educated, liberal, and open-minded, with a deep sense of connection to the Earth and a belief that there's more to life than what appears on the surface."
This is interesting to me because it is all a matter of perspective. The church may use roughly the same words to describe a SBNR, but in a less complimentary way:
  • educated means they lean too much on their own understanding, not wise, but foolish;
  • liberal means, well, liberal, and are basically permissive;
  • open-minded means open to any suggestion, gullible, and not faithful to the bible;
  • deep sense of connection to the Earth is worldly, New-Age, environmentalist, and maverick;
  • a belief that there's more to life than what appears on the surface means that if they don't know this¬†already from their Christian faith, then they are just guessing, superstitious, and flirting with error, heresy, evil and even demons.
One of my good friends, writer Deanna Ogle, has written an eloquent response to the SBNR criticism, I Am The Spiritual But Not Religious. It's a beautiful expression what many SBNR people know about themselves. Here's one line:
"I have experienced true communion, fire-like transformation, unbending faith, white-hot hope, and resurrection of the soul all outside of sterile church walls."
The Lasting Supper is made up mostly of SBNR type people. I invite you to join our growing community. Read about Sophia, definitely a SBNR! Her story is probably your story.
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