Thursday, May 01, 2008
What is left...
My colleague, Beryl, said something the other day that struck me very deeply. She said: "Religion is what is left when God has moved on."
This resonates with my spirit. I took this phrase to my Bible Study and we discussed it more. Rene, a good friend, responded by saying that it is very similar to the place which defines a building and a home. A building with all its structures is necessary, but without the people inside, it will never be a home. When families move from buildings, all that remains is a building.
Karl Barth endorsed this view. He described religion as "Religie als Unglaube" - "Religion as faithlessness/unbelief". Religion per se can do nothing more than be the "crutch" that Freud saw it to be, or the destructive cohesiveness that Dawkins describes.
I am challenged by this and I hope that our congregation is too. What is left when people leave the church building on a Sunday? Is there a difference? Does the building cry out for that time when the church will meet again? Does the community "outside" long for our being?
Just some thoughts.
Religion is what is left when God has moved on.