I recently came across a blog post by Richard Beck that echos some of the same warnings we heard from Scot McKnight last week,
” … I was trying to push back on a strain of Christianity I see in both my students and the larger Christian culture. Specifically, when the student said ‘I need to work on my relationship with God’ I knew exactly what she meant. It meant praying more, getting up early to study the bible, to start going back to church. Things along those lines. The goal of these activities is to get ‘closer’ to God. To ‘waste time with Jesus.’ Of course, please hear me on this point, nothing is wrong with those activities. Personal acts of piety and devotion are vital to a vibrant spiritual life and continued spiritual formation. But all too often ‘working on my relationship with God’ has almost nothing to do with trying to become a more decent human being. The trouble with contemporary Christianity is that a massive bait and switch is going on. ‘Christianity’ has essentially become a mechanism for allowing millions of people to replace being a decent human being with something else, an endorsed ‘spiritual’ substitute…. The point is that one can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. Much of this activity can actually distract one from becoming a more decent human being. In fact, some of these activities make you worse, interpersonally speaking.”
Do you think spiritual disciplines/practices ever get in the way of being a more decent human being?
ps – you can read the entire post at http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2009/08/bait-and-switch-of-contemporary.html .