What is the point of religion? So much seems to ride on belief- the Great Schism over the filioque clause, or the precise meaning of being “born again”. If you find yourself unable to believe in a teapot orbiting Jupiter, or a God who created the World, should you really leave the Church? If your answer is yes, then the Church is not doing its job.
All those who are “Spiritual, but not religious” have something valuable. They have feelings telling truth which they cannot quite put into words. They have experiences of Oneness with Reality, Awareness and Presence, or whatever- each is a lovely experience, you will know when you have it. It helps to have these with other people, and that is where Religion comes in.
Religion is what we do together: we go to church, we have coffee after, we have discussion groups and committee meetings. Religion is not dogma, but practice. Religion builds community. I have met my best friends in churches.
Then there is Dogma. Do not reject it, just because you do not believe it. You might not believe in a Virgin Birth, but think for a moment on
In the dark street shineth
The everlasting Light
The unexplained and beautiful is my experience. If you would not call it a miracle, call it a Synchronicity. Yes, I know, human beings look for patterns where none is, undeserved Bad as well as Good happens, and miracles are a thing. Myths would not exist if they were not true.
Spirituality, Religion, Dogma, these three- link human beings together in awe of something greater than ourselves. They are vitiated by human striving for power. They can make us equal adults working together as in the Religious Society of Friends, or they can be exploited to give one person power over another. The priest can be servant of the congregation, or its ruler. Jesus said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
Then, Jesus told us to call no person father, rabbi or instructor, for God is that for us. The Kingdom of God is within us. We are right to reject power, but wrong to reject community and truth in religion, spirituality and dogma.