Monday, January 24, 2011
The more the students talked, the more surprised I became. Student after student, regardless of their current faith commitment, was arguing for the importance of religion, the importance of religious leaders, and the importance of religious communities. They saw these as essential to a full life. As one non-religious student said, “I am not religious, but I benefit by the fact that so many people are.”That is both heartening and disheartening. Heartening to know that people want religion in our society - disheartening because one is forced to ask why, if people feel they benefit from religion in society, they would choose to opt out of religion personally.
My point is simple: The next time you are tempted to think your calling is in vain, your faith and efforts fruitless, remember my class of students. They need you.
I would suggest it is becasue they do not see the benefits of religion on a personal level. I think it's true, and I think it is startlingly odd in an age dominated b the highly individualistic Evangelicalism. Could it be that Evangelicalism does not provide the kind of individual "reward" we like to think it does?
See, here is what I am thinking - I am thinking Evangelicalism is noted for its lack of challenge - that people who are really looking for a religion to change their lives and themselves look elsewhere.