Friday, July 6, 2012

Behaving ~ What do I do?

Diana Butler Bass talks of three intertwined strands of religion in her book Christianity After Religion.  I have written about Believing ~ What do I think? and Behaving:  How should I act? and have already mentioned that Jesus expected his followers to "do unto others" and "go and do likewise," but Bass says some people are combining religious practices.
"In the West, as religious institutions are struggling, people are ... 'doing it themselves,' as they pick up fragments of practice from various sources at hand and construct new sorts of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other religions" (p. 150).
Doing that can be problematical, however, and get pastors in trouble.
"A Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor was suspended for participating in a post-9/11 interfaith prayer service with 'pagan clerics.'  An Episcopal priest was prohibited from the priesthood for embracing Islamic spiritual practices.  And the consecration of an elected Episcopal bishop was disallowed (among other issues) because he engaged in Buddhist meditation" (p. 151).
So let me ask a few questions:  When was the last time you went to a service at a church or synagogue or mosque or temple?  Have you ever practiced a different religious tradition, maybe even combining it with your own?  Do you have a problem with interfaith prayer services, or do you "pray well with others"?

1 comment:

Beth said...

Well, it's been a while since we've actually gone to a church service, but we have been actively seeking a place where we feel we might belong (not an easy task). One of my friends commented once that we should start our own church and called ourselves the Seekers. I would enjoy interfaith prayer services very much. I think we fellow pilgrims can learn a lot from each other.