Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Emptiness Of Common Spirituality

And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? (John 9:2)
We are spiritual people because God created us spiritual people. It should be no surprise that, while interest in traditional religion has waned, interest in personal spirituality has continued and perhaps even increased in recent years. But, the spirituality that most seem to have, including many who claim faith in Christ, is nothing more than common spirituality. Common spirituality is based on commonly held beliefs, myths, and personal preferences. It is self-directed, self-defined faith, even when that definition is held by a large group of people.
This is nothing new. In His first advent, Jesus encountered the same kind of common spirituality in His own disciples. They first revealed it when they called Him, Rabbi, rather than Lord. Now, He was their teacher, but if Jesus were teaching a seminary class, I cannot imagine calling Him Doctor or Professor. He would be Lord. They then expressed the commonly held belief that anyone born with a disability was born so because of sin, either their own or their parents. Sickness equaled sin to them. How empty that belief is, even as it is expressed today in many churches and healing conferences.
With just a few words, Jesus revealed the emptiness of their spirituality by revealing the glory of His own, when He answered their question, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in Him.” (John 9:3)
Would you rather hold onto self-defined and common spirituality? If you do, if you define your own belief system, then you must also hold it up. If it fails, if you are sick, or if you encounter trouble and tragedy, then you must be the cause of it since your spirituality is defined by you.
Or, would you rather hold onto an uncommon spirituality defined by God Himself, through His Son, Jesus Christ? Since we are all born dead in our trespasses and sins, the only truly spiritual people are those born again by the Spirit of God into the spirituality of Christ. And, when that happens, no matter what we face, it is for the glory of God, not the condemnation of man . . . or of self. Christ takes common spirituality, buries it, and replaces it with the glory of God.