|The Mystery within...|
If you were in the wrong would you rather be admonished or invited to change? If good religion is sourced in love, compassion and tolerance wouldn't it also be inviting? If all is sacred, why exclude? If non-violence creates spiritual healing, wouldn't we all want to become more inclusive and peaceful? Could the exclusionary hierarchy of patriarchy find peace and healing in promoting diversity among its ranks? I'm not at all sure.
Barbara Brown Taylor, a former Episcopal pastor who left her position to teach theology, summarized so beautifully in her book "Leaving Church" what religion needs today: "We needed a different way of being together before God, shaped more like a circle than pyramid. We needed to ditch the sheep paradigm. We needed to take turns filling in for Jesus, understanding that none of us was equal to the task to which all of us had been called. We needed to share the power." And she asks this great question, "…might it be time for people of good faith to allow that God's map is vast, with room on it for both a center and an edge? While the center may be the place where the stories are preserved, the edge is the place where the best of them happen."
Nathan Schneider—The Wisdom of Millennials was a Krista Tippet's On Being guest. He remarked institutions will always fail us but are necessary and important only if they are willing to change and grow. He saw the prospect of positive change in the Nones, those claiming no religious affiliation yet many striving to lead a good life. Though I am considerably older than the Millennials Schneider was talking about, my leaving church has infused me with a blessed freedom. I have broadened my spirituality through exploring a variety of spiritual practices that have helped me grow. Will today's Nones be a force for future positive change in religion? Only time will tell.
What if we trusted God will eventually draw positive growth from the changes happening today?