Thursday, February 24, 2005

Spiritual (de)formation

Spiritual formation happens in community. It is essential that Christians have some form of community in which their faith is continually forming.

At the same time, if spirituality forms in community, it also deforms in community.

Now, there is not going to ever be the perfect church or faith community in which to live and breathe. So, holding out for one is not a terrific option. However, there are churches so utterly toxic, legalistic, sickened, and rotted to the core that prolonged exposure to them makes spiritual deformation almost inevitable. Embedded within a sickened church means joining in on the sickness in order to be accepted or defying the sickness and be "corrected," punished, alienated etc. Then, a person's response to such treatment is generally not spiritually nourishing. It often leads either to a rebellion that matches the toxicity of the offenders, or to a wilting of the soul under the pain of the oppression.

May we all come to a place of community wherein we can form spiritually. May we not wait for perfection for that wait never ends. May we not join with toxic faith so as to sicken our souls. But let us come to a place of mutual nourishment, a place to give and recieve, to know and be known, to celebrate and suffer together, to question and answer without penalty or prejudice. Let us find a community of faith, not a community of rules and obligation. Let us be a generous fellowship.

1 comment:

MaryAnn M said...

yes..and amen!
how about we all try LOVE?