What exactly is religion?
For many people, this word may bring up a variety of feelings, and definitions. Wikipedia…more or less describes it as a belief system, that aims to answer questions about the ultimate questions in life, while also aiding in giving its adherents a sense of meaning in this life.
But what of those who spill out beyound these formal definitions, and define themselves, religious or not, in a variety of ways.
What of those who attend a church for the aspect of community, but actually appreciate what they may consider to be more peripheral, doctrinal differences? What if what unifies a group of people is more than an agreed upon set of doctrinal propositions?
And what of those who, based on unique experiences, feebly attempt to wrestle with a various definitions of God, the act of which, may often not be so readily entertained among ecclesiastical circles.
Religion For The Misfits
My quest to connect with others who are actively exploring these questions, has gradually led me to the realization that the internet can be just that place. That place of connection. That elastic space of exploration, that while allowing for a brutality spawned from anonymity, still in other ways, gives many the needed buffer to comfortably walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
The internet does not only connect you to information, but to others who are trudging along, on a similar pursuit.
Jim Gilliam, describes his take on this very subject, in a very personal way. The title of this blog, The Internet Is My Religion, was taken from a recent talk he gave at a Personal Democracy Forum. Much of what he has to say, really connected with aspects of my experience.
The video below, shows him giving an inspiring talk about his life, his battles with cancer, and how he found grace in the networks and connections that the Internet makes possible.
You can find out more at www.theinternetismyreligion.com
So…what did you think of his talk? How do you define church? How do you choose to experience community around your most deeply held beliefs? Does technology enhance your spirituality, impair it, both?