Two ideas seem to constantly pop up when people know I am a Christian minister. One is that they are spiritual but not religious. The other is that they have problems with organized religion. It has made me look long and hard at the need for organized religion as we know it today.
One of our basic human needs is for community. We need connections with others. The church is one of those places where community can be found. However, just as in homes, the connections can be toxic.
A healthy community of home or church needs to provide the basic needs, full acceptance, the freedom to develop as a unique person and the chance to exercise one’s gifts. The list could go on, but this is a blog, not a book, so I will end it here.
It is a sad commentary on our modern life when “it’s good to go where everybody knows your name” references a bar, not a church. It is even worse when the very place people turn to be valued and assured of acceptance is the place that tells them they are not good enough, or worse, condemned for being true to who they are.
I have a vision of a place I am trying to make a reality. That is a place were people can belong knowing they are fully accepted and free to grow, change and be true to their own spirits. Maybe it can still be called organized religion. Maybe it can be called a church. But that is less important than whether or not it blesses people with a place where their hearts have a healthy home.