A Danger of Being A Not-Religious Christian

There is a well-meaning trend among some Christians these days who protest they are “not religious.” By this, I think, they mean to shake their fists at a rote faith that rewards following rules and makes no room for mystery or doubt or expression. The frustration is real for Christians who have spent time in any church tradition, for the streams of all traditions include mechanical, lifeless tributaries. Strangely enough, though, the result of abandoning religion in order to spiritualize faith is not freedom from lifeless ritual but rather a misuse of our bodies. Henri Nouwen said,

When spirituality becomes spiritualization, life in the body becomes carnality. When ministers and priests live their ministry mostly in their heads and relate to the Gospel as a set of valuable ideas to be announced, the body quickly takes revenge by screamingly loudly for affection and intimacy.