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You don‘t have to go to church to be a spiritual person

September 29, 2009 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

The Hartford Courant had an interesting article this morning on a fact that should not surprise many of us, which is that the number of Americans who affiliate themselves with no religion has increased significantly over the last two decades, from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2008. This group, called the “Nones” by the Trinity College researchers responsible for the study, is made up atheists, agnostics, as well as people who consider themselves spiritual but do not affiliate with any particular religious group. As one person interviewed in the article put it, “I do believe in something, but organized religion has no appeal.” All in all, this group numbers about 34 million strong.

I have a few thoughts on this trend, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts as well. My first thought is that, even though I am firmly part of the machine that is “organized religion,” I came close to saying hearty Amen to the man who said “organized religion has no appeal.” I think that I, along with many people, have an ideal of what Christian community can be like, only to find that the reality is that any community is made up of humans like ourselves: full of rough edges and immature areas and self-centered agendas. Many of us have certainly said at one time or another, “wouldn’t it be better just to worship God on our own?” You know – put on your favorite worship CD, listen to your favorite preacher on your iPod, and send off your tithe to a missions organization you would like to support? Wouldn’t we all be happier that way?

So what do you think? We’ve all heard it said: “You don’t have to go to church to be a spiritual person.” So, why not become one of the “Nones” (not to be confused with the “nuns”) and just be spiritual while keeping your distance from “organized religion”?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below if you have an opinion.

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