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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bursting the Bubble

"God saw everything that God had made and indeed it was very good."
~ Genesis 1

A minister colleague and fellow blogger has a couple of recent pieces about the value of secular magazines to religious communities, and Christianity in particular.  She says it is important for religious folks to "get out of the Church bubble" occasionally to see and hear what the rest of the world is doing.  I totally agree!  

However I do have one question - what is "secular?"   Let's say you do read an article in "Fast Company" or "Scientific American" or even "People" and that article speaks to, informs, and nurtures your faith.  Is that article now "religious?"

Speaking from my own experiences, I must confess that some of the most profoundly spiritual moments in my life were not "in Church" or from a "faith community," but rather in theaters, movies, novels and the like.  And I'm not talking about simply informing my faith.  These were bonafide encounters with the Divine, the Holy.

Religion, and I speak especially from my Judeao/Christian perspective, has always emerged from human experience and cultures, been developed by those cultures, and evolved by assimilating the culture around it.   Even our holy scriptures are the result of these evolutionary processes of assimilating the once profane and morphing into something new and different.  The Bible is filled with stories of God working with outsiders and aliens in order to re-form the insiders.

Also in my particular brand of Reformed Christianity we have this essential assumption of God called sovereignty which by its very nature is an all or nothing category.  How can God be sovereign if there is a "secular" in which God is not present?

The "Church bubble" of which my colleague speaks as well as all of the bubbles of separation and compartmentalization in our lives are our own choosing and inflating.  So perhaps it's time, as she also suggests, to choose differently.   I would say not simply get out of our bubbles but to expand them to include more and more until they finally burst and everything is Holy - the way it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be.      

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