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Spiritual But Not Religious?

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2020 9:15 am

Spiritual But Not Religious?

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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March 23, 2020 9:15 am

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs talks to Father John Bartunek about his new book, Spiritual but not Religious: The Search for Meaning in a Material World. Bartunek discusses the disconnect we are seeing between “religious” and “spiritual,” and how we can bridge this divide to achieve a fully rounded faith that is both spiritual and religious

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Policy matters and engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Rustin, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for the speech program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation. Now here's our host family policy matters, tracing the veterans. Thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters.

You may have heard about the rise of so-called nuns and oh and ES people with no religious affiliation. Interestingly, many of these people consider themselves to be spiritual but not religious. What are the implications for our culture and how do we go about sharing our faith.

When this is the case, will John Barr tunic who recently released a book on this very topic is joining us today. The book is called spiritual but not religious. The search for meaning in a material world.

It looks at this growing trend and offers insight into how we can engage with the quote unquote spiritual but religious. Perhaps members of our own families and in our communities. One interesting factoid about our guest. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson's movie the passion of the Christ father John Barr tunic welcome to family policy matters, the suicide rate in the US has been rising rapidly in the past few years. The statistics are actually startling and the number of clinically depressed is very high, especially among women where it's hovering around 10%. So how do we explain today's lack of fulfillment and community. Despite living in a country of abundance and seemingly having everything at our fingertips at the grid? Probably many different causes which come together in different ways for different people, but of the conflict that I have with people in the confessional in various forms are conducted through the lack of a sense of meaning of transcendent purpose in life. Duckling one of those factors contributing to this that we have a lot of material abundance. We have a lot of possibilities for staying connected with people on a superficial level, but were actually made for more spiritual beings and God's vision of how he created us, so we actually yearning for some kind of goes be on the passing material things, but why is religious, less attractive, and how does this create problems for us. So the book the difference between spirituality and religion is really important thing shop for this book, spiritual about religion and what I got the idea for the book. It was after an extended period of time to hear people say I'm spiritual but not really even back in the 90s the last 10 years or so many more times more more frequently started asking people to talk to me, that I knew what that meant those conversations. It really brought up.

There's various reasons that people are not attracted to religion and that we can talk about those later. But what spirituality is one that when they say spiritual what they mean is what I've had some sort of transcendent experience some sort of experience that touched me more deeply than any real pleasures running material success and I like that it resonated deeply with me value that love to have more of that experience when they say spirituality to talking about my experience of transcendent strength and meaning true good beautiful all the know things that lead us to God right.

Unfortunately, because of various reasons, the history of our culture and people's lives. Many people think that religion is actually disassociated from that transcendent meaning so that when I think of religion. They don't think of someone whose children think of someone who also rules someone who very judge mental so they don't they don't associate the two things so there's this divorce.

I think that's one of the reasons why people continue say I'm spiritual but not religious. I wonder if many people make their judgment about religion, especially Christianity without ever having delved in or look deeply at beliefs. They are think it's a really good point and does happen. Still, people will pick up the Bible walk into a church and something strikes them something of the beauty something of the truth or still converting joining the church experience in God growing in holiness of this is still happening is not a complete wasteland, but I think there is there certain prejudices which are often subconscious the people have against their traditional religion usually happens to be some sort of Christianity think of this ties in with one of the reasons why the think religion doesn't have anything to do with spirituality. They have maybe had experiences of people who are very religious, but don't seem to be very spiritual. In other words they big people who are very faithful to the norms of the church to the teachings of whatever church they belong to in their daily lives. They don't seem to have that sense of joyful purpose. That sense of adventure on Monday seeking to discover more of the meaning of life and kind of spiritually dead or dormant. So that's how they think of religion have this type of a Bible to say all of the Bible. That's what made so-and-so the way they are. I don't like the way they are so one I don't read the Bible, so they can have is prejudice which will keep them from really opening themselves up to the spiritual dimension which is at the heart of religion and the sense of search right that even we who are believers we have the answers to life's deepest questions.

But even though we have the answers we can continue to discover all the richness of the truth and goodness and beauty of God. Those answers, you know, kind of the formula answers. The truth is expressed in the Scriptures does help us along our journey.

But the journey to holiness or communion with God is something that doesn't stop on this side of heaven and many times I think we forget that we think that what God have all the answers I'm supposed to be complete as a Christian we lose that sense of dynamism and our own spiritual growth and so that that's where I think we can sometimes without realizing it communicated a certain indebtedness to our religion a certain static like a static type of religion rather than a dynamic and people who have experienced some spirituality and felt moved by some experience a true goodness and beauty. They want more so that they have a sense I'm still searching for evidence that the spiritual life is dynamic, so we recognize that and kind of can dialogue about that that I think we can connect with these people and really does Just makes me sad for believers if that's the case there's a sense, perhaps in their lives that this searching and wrestling is not appropriate, but I think it's fair that I think some people sometimes actually even feel little bit guilty if they have some questions you want him actually believe by faith I pray I'm supposed to feel satisfied and joyful all the time so they might even have attempted to silence some of the questions. Some of the struggles and that's unfortunate.

I think we need to create forms as believers or we can actually really be sincere and honest and even noticed. Sometimes people don't feel free to actually be completely honest in prayer.

Why can't complain to God because that would be a sin actually, not necessarily you look at the book of Psalms which is the prayer book of the Bible right you know, 1/3 of the Psalms are complaints that are just cries of the heart how long the Lord. Where are you, why have you abandoned me so so the whole drama of the human experience is still part of our lives as Christians.

The difference is that we know where were going and we don't travel we don't engage your kind of endure the drama all by ourselves.

We have God we have the saints we have each other in the sacraments of think the drama is important for us to give ourselves permission to experience ourselves and then we really can connect with those who are stressing the drama without knowing what the right topics. So when you talk about in your booklet. The temptation for believers to be religious and not spiritual. Is this what you're talking about. Yeah, that's the temptation to think that the essence of religion is complying with certain rules or laws or formulas and that's not the essence. The essence of true religion. Christian religion is a relationship with God and Jesus that I no longer call you slaves.

I call you my friend soaks the whole concept of grace is that we participate in God's own life, we enter into that joyful exchange of relationships, which is the Trinity show the essence of it is always a relationship when sometimes in different seasons of our life get busier. We lose sight of that or just because of the spiritual battle is going on. We lose sight of that and we just reduce our religion to certain practices and so then we can become a little bit like the Pharisees to number the first in the gospel who they were following all rules, but they had really lost their capacity to hear the voice of God speaking to them in a relational way so they didn't even recognize Jesus and that's that's always the danger for someone who's true committed believer that we can become more like the Pharisees and lose sight of that centrality of a relationship dynamic relationship right and you actually wonder, don't you ask believers who fall into that trap has stopped reading the word because those themes of grace and a relationship are all through the Bible that I think that Becky deftly departed. Although the Bible never exist in a vacuum, right, you don't have contact with the word of God and to be enriched by that and to be enlivened and continued to be guided takes a certain context of living life in the Holy Spirit, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So there's plenty of skeptical scholars who study the Bible all the time and they might not even the believer's right that they studied as the tax is kind of a literary work so it's possible of contact with the word without it actually nourishing our heart so that's why it's important to continue to cultivate all the different areas of our lives as Christians, which are important for us to keep growing personal prayer which you can combine with the Scriptures and then fellowship.

I mentioned that earlier intentional growth and virtue how I imitating Christ in my relationships in my daily life and then also being engaged in the mission. Responding to inspirations of God actually go out and help others find Christ the central element of being a Christian. So were not doing that were beginning to get a little arteriosclerosis in our spiritual arteries. We have to kind of be responsible and then keep active in different areas of our lives in order to truly live leaning on the Holy Spirit and that enables us to continue to receive from the word of God. All that God wants to get out you know that is a great checklist. I think to look at that in our lives and say personal prayer, fellowship, intentional growth and engaged on mission and so some others are lacking. I think that's a good practical list for us to do some self-assessment so for those of us who know people who have family members that use this term. They are spiritual without being religious. How can we reach out to them. What are some unique ways that we can do that so that's a great question for the reason that I wrote this book will not religious but bottom line, there's two things we can do.

One is there when you meet someone who would consider them so spiritual but not religious sincerely tell you about their spiritual experiences and then listen really sincerely and try to get to know that and try to enrich yourself and what they've experienced that they say that they had some sort of spiritual experience has been meaningful to that to just hear that and that in itself can begin to build a bridge because they might know that you religious then they they see you actually listening to them in valuing their own spiritual experience while maybe. You know that can help lower some of their prejudices. The second thing is, don't be afraid to share your own spiritual experiences so you just help by witnessing to your own spiritual experiences expression of transcendent meaning of truth and goodness of God's beauty and how that is moved you back and be a witness I can open them take down that wall of prejudice against religion by listening to them share their experiences something work close to the end of our time here. Fortunately, we can go get your book and it's called spiritual but not religious. The search for meaning in a material world. Can you tell us more about how we can find that yeah sure you can find information about that book in my other books at our website RC spirituality.board so RC spirituality.org is a great place to find this book I'm plenty of other stuff as well. Thank you so much John Barr tunic, author of spiritual but not religious. The search for meaning in a material world. Thank you so much for joining us on family policy matters listening to family house.

We hope you enjoyed the program to do it again next listen to the show online insulin more about NC families want to encourage and inspire families across the water in our website it NC families on its NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your friend


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