Reading up on religion.jpg

Reading up on religion

By: MARGARET BROWN

Margaret Brown is one of The Resident’s longest standing contributors and has lived in the Algarve for more than 20 years. As well as Point of View, she also writes Country Matters twice a month.

Having attended Bible classes, York courses and read Living Prayer by Anthony Bloom as well as some of Café Theology by Michael Lloyd in an effort to understand and honour my chosen religion, my budding faith begins to feel like a punch ball.

In his excellent paperback, metropolitan Anthony states that: “To find God we must dig in search of the inner chamber (of our soul)”, whereas Michael Lloyd suggests that because we are dependent on God for our meaning, we cannot find him within ourselves.

Both authors write with great authority and there lies the confusion. What insight I have gained over the past 20 years into the deeper meaning of the Bible is being lost under a weight of other people’s wisdom.

Occasionally the mysteries of the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ take second place to the pleasures of philosophical argument.

The passion that is needed to make the impossible seem possible in the cold light of the 21st Century is sometimes missing, yet this was what inspired earlier generations and helped them find an inner strength to face life’s ups and downs.

The modern trend to analyse, refurbish and offer several meanings of biblical verse confuses and excites the intellect without stirring the soul.

As many as there are different Christian denominations, there will be argument and disagreement on minor points of procedure, liturgy and how the Bible is interpreted.

But if the Church fails to honour its roots, the present falling away of congregations will continue.

With so many ‘life enhancing’ cults now on offer, it will be an uphill battle to reverse the present trend especially among the rich countries of the western world.