Seth Godin, in his somewhat disappointing book tribes, (disappointing in that it hammers the one note of the wonders of the internet and social media, which everyone already knows, and in that it reads like a bunch of blog posts thrown together into a book.) brings up an interesting conversation about faith, that I’ve been thinking about for about 6 months now. We often seen setups where faith and science are made to be contra one another, but I found his setup very interesting, faith vs. religion.
‘Faith goes back a long way. Faith leads to hope, and it overcomes fear. Faith gives our ancestors the resilience they needed to deal with the mysteries of the (pre-science) world.Faith is the dividing line between humans and most other species.
Religion, on the other hand, represents a strict set of rules that our fellow humans have overlaid on top of our faith. Religion supports the status quo and encourages us to fit in, not to stand out.
Religion works great when it amplifies faith.
That’s why human beings invented religion. It’s why we have spiritual religions and cultural religions and corporate religions. Religion gives our faith a little support when it needs it, and it makes it easy for your peers to encourage you to embrace your faith.
Religion at its best is a sort of mantra, a subtle but consistent reminder that belief is okay, and that faith is the way to get where you are going.
The reason we need to talk about this, though, is that often religion does just the opposite. Religion at its worst reinforces the status quo, often at the expense of our faith.’
I am pretty conflicted in terms of this statement because I totally agree with it, and also totally disagree. But rather than share my views, I want to hear from you.
What do you think?
How good is our church at boosting faith?