Posted by: Brooke | March 22, 2009

Stagnant Relationship

As Christians we have the responsibility to grow our relationship with God.  However, this task is a difficult one because often times our understanding and relationship with God becomes stagnant and lifeless. I think that this is a real problem that many Christians are currently facing.  Before coming to SLU I was facing this very problem of a static God.  I had gone to church every Sunday as a child and heard all the bible stories and sang all of the songs.  I even had a bible that was a comic book series of all the important bible stories that my Dad read to me every night.  To say the least I was pretty familiar with God.  However, as the years past and I grew older I yearned for something more, something new, a deeper understanding, a greater relationship with God.  I looked everywhere for it.  I went to High school sunday school, church camp, I even attended other churches but I could not find “new” information anywhere.  The concept of God became static and “dead” to me with out hope of revival.  When I had given up all hope I was required to take Theo 101 here at SLU, which gave me a taste of new information about the church history and doctrinal development.  From then on I was hooked and destined to be a Theology major.  

My point is, if I had not gone to a college that had a Theology department or required theology classes I would still be stuck with my static lifeless concept of God with out a ready source of revival.  How can the laity grow in their relationship with God when there are very few avenues available for gaining new information?  The Church is given the responsibility to grow the body of Christ and the laity have the responsibility to grow in their relationship to God.  This is a symbiotic relationship the Church feeds the people and the people grow in relationship to God thereby growing the body of Christ.  However, when one aspect of this relationship is not maintained then the entire relationship falls apart.  It seems to me that this is currently what is happening.  My question is; how do we satisfy the yearning for a deeper relationship with God, by obtaining new information, while maintaining a respect for the traditional teachings of the Church?  I understand that this is not an easy question however, I feel that it is an important one because it deals specifically with injecting new life into the faith so that God becomes pertinent, visible, and relatable for all members of the Church. 

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Hey Brooke! It is great to know who the mysterious author really is behind this post 🙂 I had a pretty similar experience to yours in my transition from high school to college. By the time I reached my sophomore year of high school, I was in charge of leading my Bible Study and I felt as though I had exhausted the available resources. No matter how much of the Bible I tried to read, and no matter which approach I tried, I felt as though I had reached a brick wall that could not be overcome without further knowledge. Then in college, I found my theology classes and my spiritual experiences on and off campus to open up a whole new realm of questions and insights concerning God, His creation, and His relationship with us. I feel as though I have come to better understand the Bible, different faith traditions, other faiths, and consequently, God. I agree that I do not know if I would be where I am at today in my faith if I had not been blessed with the opportunity to study theology, especially at SLU.

    In reflecting on this, however, I have often thought as a Christian, it is my responsibility to seek after God no matter my circumstances. Yes, I have been incredibly blessed to learn from intelligent professors who have recommended fruitful books and to have lived so closely with so many amazing Christians on this Catholic campus. But at the same time, I could have read some of those books that help explain parts of the Bible on my own, and had I put a little more energy into seeking out new experiences at home, perhaps I would have met new peoples who would have challenged and grown my faith as the Catholic and other communities have done at SLU. I oftentimes find myself praying for a burning desire to come to know God better. Perhaps if I had that extra motivation, it would inspire me to be more active in my own faith.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I think we oftentimes view the laity as less educated or perhaps even denser than theologians, church workers, or missionaries, and as a result, we let them off the hook from personal responsibility to seek out God. I attend the Journey right now, and our pastor constantly tells the congregation how we need to step up because the staff cannot do it all. I think that teaching needs to always occur from those who are more educated, and I understand that pastors may always “know more” than the laity, but at the same time, God works through experiences as well. And as a result, if the laity were to push themselves to learn and jump into missions, open-minded dialogue, and other opportunities to experience God in new ways, the church would be deeply enriched.

  2. Rae, I agree with you that learning is a two way street. It is up to the laity to as you say “step it up” and actively contribute to the growth of their spiritual life. Often times we become relaxed and lulled in to a stupor by the day to day activity and we need a jolt or a new opportunity to get us out and help us to grow. This jolt can come in many forms, missionary work, personal experience, testimonials of others, but for me it was my education here at SLU and for that I am very grateful. I hope that because I was given such an opportunity to formally learn about God and grow closer to him spiritually that I will be able to return the favor or pay it forward when the opportunity arises. Thanks for your insightful comments they inspired me to contemplate this subject in a deeper manner


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: