You Are What You Believe
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal was titled “The Teenage Spiritual Crisis.” As a former parent of teenagers, it seemed to me that everything was a crisis. Nonetheless, this is true. As young people transition through their teenage years with cataclysmic changes occurring, often faith and religion is one of the victims. While there is the usual rebellion against doing what parents do, or want their children to do, faith takes a beating.
A story book style of Christian faith succumbs to questions that have complicated answers. Why does God permit evil? Why is there so much struggle? Where do my prayers go? Is death the finality of life? Why didn’t Jesus heal everyone? Where did he go after the Resurrection? Trust begins to fade and with peer pressure and many teens make two choices: they give up or they accept a rigid form of belief which eliminates questions and focuses on fortified fellowship.
Here’s the secret: it’s not just teens that have this challenge. All of us do once the protective cover is ripped off a childhood faith that can’t stand up to scrutiny. Aristotle apparently once said, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Apply that to the foregoing dilemma and it becomes this: “an unexamined faith is not worth having.”
I truly believe that we as Episcopalians cherish our Christian faith and find it worthy to be challenged knowing the response will strengthen our faith and trust in it. This summer check out the Richard Rohr daily meditations and his blog site. As a Franciscan monk, his insights are challenging but not alarming. Our Thursday morning group is reading them as part of our discipline. If you can make it, come and join us. It’s like going to the gym for your soul.