The time for religion… ‘organised religion’ is over. There will never again be just one way to think or believe. Each of us will make up our minds individually. This might seem anarchic, disordered, chaotic… but it is the future… a future where there is more individual decision-making.
There will be a flowering of ideas about the meaning of life and how to live it. People will no longer be IN or OUT because their beliefs are not orthodox. It will be easier to share ideas about ‘belief’. Barriers will fall away, and many will become explorers seeking understanding and fulfilment.
Some won’t live much differently from the way they have in the past… but others will relish the opportunity, the freedom… to find a way to be truly who they were meant to be without the constraining effects of organised religion which is about having a common set of beliefs.
This is how the world will be. It won’t happen suddenly or overnight. Vestiges of organised religion will remain for a long time. Moreover, many of the ideas and beliefs will continue to flourish in the hearts and minds of individuals. All the wisdom of past ages will be available for anyone who seeks it.
But… society will never again be anything other than secular. We
now know that everything is sacred. Nature, humanity, the cosmos, family, friendships, politics. The sacredness of life will become apparent in the secular. There is but one world and we will be drawn together by our common purpose.
To realise this potential, we must stop looking backwards and concentrate our thoughts and efforts on preparing for the future.
thank you Bev very liberating. Mainstream religions are actually now corporations (welfare) with benefits (tax breaks) so they as a religious shell will be round for a few more decades i suspect. Re denominations i agree completely they are no longer fit for purpose ciao paul
Yes and Yes. Thanks Bev for those prophetic words. Everything is sacred and at long last we are starting to see it.
There is an inherent contradiction in saying “society will never again be anything other than secular. We now know that everything is sacred.” The secular (i.e. the modern scientific way of thinking about the world) will never have any conception of the sacred – the only place this can ever come from is outside ourselves (i.e. from outside the secular, outside society, outside culture, outside science, outside humanity).
Organized religion might seem to be on the way out on the liberal/progressive side of the Church, but elsewhere it is growing and flourishing (not just in Australia, but worldwide). And organization itself is the both the human and the universal thing. The human body (and all organic life) is profoundly organized, families and communities are organized, society is organized (e.g. in Australia we have a democratic polity), there is growing (but still contested) organization at the international level, and the planet itself is now considered to be a sort of organism (i.e. a profoundly interconnected eco-system). Organization is life; anarchy, by contrast, is just a recipe for death.
“To realise this potential, we must stop looking backwards and concentrate our thoughts and efforts on preparing for the future.” Humanity has never found, and will never find, the capacity for selfless love – that which is always needed to prevent us from being selfish, exploitative, destructive – within itself. So no amount of concentrating our thoughts and efforts on preparing for the future will do us any good – we’ll always have to keep going back to “the well”, to the divine source of love and grace outside ourselves, in order to have any chance.
Organized religion is an essential medium of this divine source. God speaks to us individually, but because we are necessarily organized creatures, God also speaks to us through the Church. Obviously the Church doesn’t always get it right – it has been guilty of some terrible sins – but that is cause for us to keep going back to the divine source, time and time again, to make sure we’re getting it right – not to give up and decide we have to do it all ourselves. So we’ll always need, and always have, the Church.
Grace and peace.
You have been gracious to share your ideas so fully. Some points…
Q. Where is ‘outside’?
Where-ever it is, ‘God’ has never been there. Life, love and truth are ‘inside’.
Q. Why do we say secular?
A. It is we…us…people of a ‘faith’ who have said the ‘secular’ world is without God. It is we who have put up barriers. ‘God’ didn’t… hasn’t. Wherever there is life there is the potential for goodness ‘Godliness’.
Q. Do I seem ‘against’ organised religion?
A. Not entirely. It has achieved a lot and will still be around for quite a while… but now there is a different work beginning.
Q. Have you read my book ‘A world without religion…or? It’s an e-book on Amazon.