Monday, May 10, 2004

divine divorce... part 2

Why is it in vogue to be distant from God these days? We postmodern types use a lot of "journey" language in describing our relationship with Christ. And our "authentic" obsessed culture demands a "dark night of the soul" before your spirituality is accepted. If you never doubt God's existance or His validity, then you just aren't "cool" enough or "deep" enough to be a real seeker.

Its like before I become a "real" person I have to go through Postmodern, Early-Twenties, Spiritual Boot Camp. Or PETSBC for short. If you haven't gone on this wonderful "journey" let me tell you the stages.

1. Become extremely proud of your individualism. You are like no one else and no one else has ever gone through what you have.
2. Question whether prayer is valid. Since you just don't feel like praying, maybe you should just stop.
3. Doubt the importance of scripture. After all the classes you have taken, you finally realize its just a book written by a bunch of sexist, egocentric Jewish men.
4. Dismiss "formal religion." You don't need the stuffy confines of your mama's religion. You just need "spirituality."
5. Believe in nothing AND everything. You are rapidly approaching "cool" status. You can accept everyone not so much because you love them but more because you have found a way to accept every belief that is out there, while not really believing anything at all.
6. Question the existence of God. Hey, Freud was probably right. God is just a projection after all.
7. Find meaning only in pleasure. Since all ideas of the transcendent are utterly pointless now, might as well indulge.
8. Find "god" again. This is the final stage where you realize that no god at all means no spirituality. And since it's trendy to have a "spirituality," you become a deist who prides yourself on your openness and your authenticity.

Does this ring a bell to anyone? If it does, welcome to PETSBC. Why do we celebrate the struggle but not the absence of it? Even if you have been on a "journey," if it isn't filled with skepticism and doubt then it isn't valid. This sounds like Enlightenment thinking (Decarte) if there ever was any.

Moving beyond the "struggle" is like moving beyond your twenties. You are seen as over the hill in our culture which celebrates the "confused youth" period of life. Culture tells us, "Deconstruct your faith incessantly but don't even think about reconstructing it into something vibrant and life-giving. No, if reconstruction does occur, be sure that it just meanders around in an impotent pseudo-deism."

If you do finish PETSBC, allow me to be the first to wish you luck on your life that is now full of transitory meaning and vague happiness. Give me a call sometime if you ever snap out of it and realize the emptiness of your life without calling or purpose.


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