I overheard a co-worker tell another that the problem with the younger generation is that they don’t have faith. They don’t go to church. The two of them have an easy relationship and the younger one just rolled her eyes and moved away while the original speaker joked that this illustrated the problem. As is my habit, I started thinking about this interchange and tossing around a question. Why do faith and religion have to go hand in hand?
A little background… Over the last decade, I have been increasingly disturbed by organized religion. I am far more exposed to the various Christian churches (Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc…), but my concern is still centered around organized religion in general. Here are groups run by people. People, as we know, are not perfect and often make decisions based on pure emotion (joy, fear, hate…) and not for the greater good. Yet, the followers hold these people up as perfect and make it traitorous if their leaders’ dictate is questioned.
If I am asked, I will tell you that I am a person of faith, but not religious. For those who can’t separate the two, I know it sounds odd. I can believe in miracles, but also question the validity of treating the Bible as (ha ha) gospel. I believe that there are events in our universe that cannot be explained by science, but I embrace science because ultimately most religious doctrine was written or interpreted by the before mentioned flawed people.
So, simply, I do not believe that a persons lack of presence inside a building is the problem with the world today. I think that each person needs to find their own faith, recognize the validity of their right to find their own faith and worry a lot less about being in a building. It’s about how we live our lives and the impacts that we make.