Monday, June 2, 2008

A Cultural Christian

Cafeteria Catholics - Free - All You Can Eat - The Grace of God

I have spent many, many years in the pursuit of what might be called spirituality.

Along the journey I have examined my religious upbringing among other things. In this corner of the universe I wish to share my thoughts about many things sacred and or profane, where I have been, am and possibly going to.

We are entering a new world. Technology and culture are merging and sometimes clashing on a global level. The adage that all politics is local seems more true than ever.

Some of us have our feet in the old world of paper, pencils, manual typewriters and traditional western logic. The younger generation is playing with virtual and abstract ways of seeing things.

Perception is in many ways reality now more than ever before. I try to sort out the things of everyday life, work, play, leisure and without knowing it I am being transported along with the rest of humanity to the future.

This new land, this new global culture, is a strange and perhaps for some a mysterious place. I think about the European discovery of America in 1492. Some of us are explorers and some of us are left behind to read about the accounts of exploration.

As a practicing but non-church going Christian, I could be labeled as a Cultural Christian. Rather than fight pundit style journalism and Madison Avenue labels, I do not resist the title.

I was taken aback by the use of a similar term "Cultural Catholic" in the New York Times in connection with the recent visit of the Bishop of Rome to that fair city.

These days, labels besides being labels, connote what the speaker of labels want them to do - to put you down somehow.

Having started my life journey with twelve years of Roman Catholic education, I was mildly insulted by the term "Cultural Catholic" having seen it in black and white for the first time. This put me on the Internet to do further research.

Other put down labels from the church hierarchy are terms like "recovering Catholic" or "cafeteria Catholic" to label people who dare to disagree with management or who have merely fallen away or been swept away in the new global culture.

I might have found these Catholic labels insulting if I was still a full or partial, "lapsed" member of that particular Christian sect.

Jesus said to turn the other cheek. This I do here. Always Jesus. Always.

Because so much of me is rooted in the R.C. tradition, my present Christianity has not label. Rather than put wasted effort into establishing a new sect, I accept what I am - a Cultural Christian.


Anonymous said...

theres a good book called Blue Like Jazz you might enjoy... google it

dgrove said...

what about the authority of the church? I grew up protestant and believing with all my heart in what my church stood for; unquestioning. Now that church can't agree on the bible and is splitting. I have a strong desire to run to the source to recover my sense of worship. The Catholic Church.

M.McShea said...

IMO the source of the Catholic Church is the Emperor Constantine.

Jesus and his teachings mattered a lot for three hundred years. Then got merged with a lot of ancient pagan ritual.

The Basic Jesus is contained in Luke Chapter Six.

Beyond that, a Christian embraces the Spirit in many ways. Authority for me comes from an informed conscience.

If the RCC is what you need, dgrove, enjoy your new Army Boots and Roman army basic training.

Anonymous said...

dgrove, never mind the authority of the church. How about the authority of God, and his word? I don't know how anyone like this blogger can call themselves a Christian when they decide to pick and choose the parts of scripture that they feel suit them. That is making self and personal feelings the authority, or in otherwords, god. On the same note, I don't know how Catholics can call themselves Christians when they likewise put other people and writings in the place of God and his word (i.e. the Pope, his decrees, and man-made traditions).

M.McShea said...

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Anonymous said...

then I would kindly suggest you call yourself a henleyist, and not a Christian

M.McShea said...

I am what I am. I am a Cultural Christian and God's grace in me has not been wasted.

Anonymous said...

Always Jesus, Always?

Dude, have you read your stuff lately? I can get bitter, but you can give me lessons in bitterness. Less writing, more prayer, I think.

M.McShea said...

Thank you Anonymous 8:17 PM for your anonymous opinion and or advice. Good to hear you are a reader of my writings. Many thx.