Friday, July 23, 2010

materialism as spirituality

Spirituality is material (meaing of this world) and tries to connect the world of the divine with the world of the human. Religion, on the other hand, is external and generally focused on "otherworldly" experiences. It often has very little to say about the sacredness of all creation here and now.
Burke and Taylor, A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, p 60

There are certain things that people say that can only be taken seriously if we realize they have their tongue firmly planted in one of their cheeks. For example, something like "red is the new black" is a nonsense statement unless we realize the context, and realize that it's said with a touch of humor and what the speaker may consider wit.

So, when these two make the statement "spirituality is material", while we may assume they are trying for wit, we still have to assume that somehow they are being serious. Spirituality is the new materialism, up is the new down, opera is the new punk, and jars of urine is the new art.

And why do I think that, at the very least, they have things backwards? What does it even mean, really, to "connect the world of the divine with the world of the human"?

Finally, there is, of course, the stereotypical and baseless slam against the church. It is too "otherworldly", too focused on life after death. Never mind all the hospitals and charites the church has been a part of, all the centers of learning the church has helped to found, all the causes it has supported that have made societies better. Never mind, as Chesterton points out in "The Everlasting Man", that the one thing that kept Europe from becoming like Asia was the church.

Which, of course, also includes the immeasurable good of telling people their sins can be forgiven through repentence and faith in the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ.

Were Burke and Taylor to honestly look at history, they couldn't offer enough thanks to the church, or the God for the Church, for all the good Christians have done. But they won't, they have their own agenda to push, and the true church and the Gospel it preaches is simply in the way.

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