Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Somebody sent me a link to a web page today that includes a snappy comeback to that comment we've all heard umpteen times: "I don't believe in organized religion." It's written from the Roman Catholic perspective, but it could easily be adapted to the Presbyterian Church:
"I'm very spiritual. But I'm not comfortable with 'organized' religion."
Ever heard this gem? I've been listening to it for decades. It's pretty incoherent, but—inexplicably—it sends religious people into a hasty, blushing retreat. That should never be the case.
Here's my smiling response: "Yes, well, I like organized religion. I'm a Catholic. And the Catholic church is so organized that we advocate for, educate, clothe, house, rescue, and heal more people worldwide than any other single organization on earth. You have to be organized to do that."
Ever take a look at some of the things Presbyterian Disaster Assistance does in tornado and flood relief? Or Church World Service, helping sustain the millions around the world who live in refugee camps?
Guess what, folks? That's ORGANIZED RELIGION that does that.
I suppose another way of putting it would be... "Oh, is that so? Do you think you'd still feel that way if you were a Haitian earthquake victim, waiting for a shipment of Church World Service food and medicine?"
Sometimes we Presbyterians sell ourselves short. The mission work we accomplish together, through organized religion, is pretty awesome.