I am in the middle of an article by Sandra Schneider, entitled Spirituality in the Academy, found in the book Exploring Christian Spirituality, edited by Kenneth Collins, and am completely blown away at the massive implications and conclusions that I’m coming to in response to what Schneiders is writing about.
She makes note that until about 20 years ago, spirituality as a term and specific form of study was not used at all outside of Catholicism… including other religions, but especially within Protestantism. Part of my own (and many that I know who are not in the church) frustration with the churches I have been a part of is that there is no real teaching on processing and/or growing in direct spiritual experience of God.
So if spirituality was not even an issue when most of all current and past leaders of our Protestant churches went through seminary, then it is no wonder that they do not know how to teach it in their churches. Schneiders mentions also that spirituality involves an approach that is cross-disciplined… including other religions, psychology, anthropology, history, experience… and the FEMININE and the BODY (I would add our mother earth as well). I would be suprised if any of us cannot think of at least one specific example of church leaders who have openly rejected or neglected the importance of these aspects of Christian experience. If Protestantism has grown more than Catholicism in the last 20 years, what does this say about the state of the church in the world?!?
So the gift that we are being given is absolutely critical to the future of Christian community and our global community. It is no wonder that people are leaving the church and joining the yoga studio. We don’t give them the tools. Kat said this morning that maybe it would be important for us to do a workshop on Christianity and yoga… I can’t think of a better idea. Maybe this could happen in the church, too!
Anyway, I will leave it at that… thoughts anyone?