Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Switching Religions Without Giving Up Faith

Switching Religions Without Giving Up Faith

"A recent study by the PEW Research Center for the People and the Press found that about a third of all Americas have left the religion they grew up with. The study mistakenly uses the word faith, but in fact, few of these people have lost faith. What they've done instead is change the system for reinforcing that faith."

As spoken of in the post Faith Means The Opposite Of Reinforcing The Status Quo, religion works great when it amplifies faith. Religion is the system in which we practice our faiths. Our church services, organization, traditions, doctrines and beliefs are "forms" of religion not to be confused with faith itself, not even the faith of our fathers.
The word religion, as used by the PEW report refers to changes of denomination and affiliation within Christianity as well as a change from Christianity to a non-Christian belief system or from a non-Christian belief system to Christianity. For example, a change from an evangelical church to a liturgical church constitutes a change of the system for reinforcing faith. 

This change is not uncommon among young adults raised in an evangelical system of church (religion). Of course a change from a liturgical system of faith to an evangelical or charismatic system of faith also happens. Change from Christianity to eastern systems of religion occurs frequently in America. However, it is interesting to talk with individuals who have made a change - whether total or partial.  Often their core beliefs remain. Even those who change from western to eastern faith forms retain core beliefs that are much more western Christian than eastern. We humans are so complex it takes the Divine's eyes to really know what our faith status is.

The one third of all Americans referenced above represents a huge wave of change between faith systems . Like Seth Godin I also believe that the change of one's system of expressing and nurturing faith must not be confused with a change of faith itself. But there is a caution to be taken when we change the system for reinforcing our faith:

"When you fall in love with the system, you lose the ability to grow."

Title and quotes by Seth Godin
saber walking out of the church by Jamey Yvonne
Orthodox Church, Targoviste – Sep-Oct 2008 by village_fox
One last stop above Amicalola Falls by

No comments:

Post a Comment

Privacy Policy