Worship Blog: Spiritual But Not Religious: Tradition or Testimony?

Testimony / Tradition   As we head into this third and final message in our Spiritual But Not Religious series, this short excerpt from Lillian Daniel is apropos. She writes:

“We do this all the time, we mad people of faith. We interact with those who will not step foot in the institutions we love. We make friends with nonbelievers who claim that we are crazy. And then in these moments of utter crisis, we find ourselves called into the eye of the tornado. And suddenly we realize that we have become, for them, the church. And we are called to play a role greater than our role as friend, family member, or colleague.

“‘Do you believe in heaven?’ they may ask, as Pete had asked me many times over coffee, just checking to make sure I still thought it was true.

“‘Do you still believe in God as you watch him suffer?’ they may ask, as the wife of a dying man asked me, angrily challenging yet longing for some word of hope as her love slipped away. Forever?

“And suddenly, instead of thinking that a debate is about to ensue, you realize you have been called upon not for your answer, not for your argument, but for your testimony. Not just your testimony, but the testimony of the church that has stood in the midst of utter sadness and made claims that only the mad would make.”

Our topic under consideration for this week: Can a living and authentic testimony emerge out of an ancient, sometimes cumbersome tradition? Does our world want one more than the other? Can one truly exist without the other?

Scripture Readings:  Deuteronomy 6:1-2, 4-9, 20-21    Galatians 1:11-2:10       John 4:39-42

Message:  Spiritual But Not Religious: Tradition or Testimony?


“World War I, which began 100 years ago, has moved from memory to history.” (NY Times).  June 28, 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, by a young nationalist seeking a greater Serbia. The last two veterans of that war. Here are two articles that speak of “memory” as it becomes history upon the death of the last surviving veterans of that war.  The War to End All Wars? Hardly – NY Times. The Last Veterans of World War I – The Daily Beast.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.