I want to quote from Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs: “Religion ... has not tended to create seekers or searchers. [It] has tended to create people who think they have God in their pockets....That’s why so much of the West is understandably abandoning religion.”
What he goes on to point out, however, is how this might be a sign of awakening to the fact that the pat answers of religion are illusory and that the Great Mystery leads us into paradox and constant journeys. The hopeful prospects of a huge part of the world’s population approaching such a point of spiritual growth and maturity paints a wonderful new picture in our imaginations of whole new possibilities in the evolution of our relationship with God.
The idea that each of us must be a seeker or searcher tosses the static notions of pantomimed spirituality into the dust bin. There is, in Rohr, a tilt toward Bonheoffer’s “religionless” Christianity. At this stage of Christianity’s evolution we have come through the “Death of God” phase and decided that that didn’t matter if, as Malcolm Boyd said, God has become a captive of the churches’ status quo.
Maybe we have entered an era of new spirituality where we look more within ourselves than to institutions to discern the truths of our existence. The church’s role in this is to “up anchor” and encourage and support it, and to realize that it too is a searcher and a seeker with a centrality of educating and sharing. The “restlessness” so often spoken of in the spiritual life might be considered a hindrance by the “religious,” but to the spiritual it is a prerequisite for growth.