Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spiritual Schizophrenia

In reading this, I start to wonder if we, as Quakers, suffer from the spiritual schizophrenia that is described. Do we ask questions without easy anwers and then "sit with" the uncertainty of not knowing? Or do we get into a self-righteous mode of seeing the world. A piety that leads us away from questions into easy "answers"? When we say "I'll hold you in the Light", do we really mean it or are we just saying it because it's easy to say. A way to avoid engaging with the person or his/her issues. I struggle with these questions. And I struggle with the answers that come to me, if that makes sense. I don't HAVE easy answers. It's easy to carry a banner. It's easy to say "I oppose war". Those are easy answers. But what are the real questions? What are the real, personal and difficult choices we must make to oppose war?

"It's hard to love the questions when you live in a society obsessed with answers. A believer takes a great risk in affirming the questions and doubts of others because to be a good Christian is to have all the answers and to never admit you have any questions. Consequently, we have a lot of people living out a spirituality they can hardly claim to be their own. On the surface they look good. They can sing all the right hymns and say all the right prayers. They quote all the right verses and support all the appropriate groups. They have even overcome great tragedy and despair and give claim to a testimony of great victory. But deep within their being, they are torn apart by this 'spiritual schizophrenia.' They have doubts....But the Christian culture 'code of silence' has forced them on a journey of 'Jesus is the answer' without ever having been allowed to ask the questions." Scott Waggoner, (1993).

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