Faith a Symptom or a Treatment?

To the degree that our faith is an expression of our wholeness, then faith can help our health. But faith … Continued

To the degree that our faith is an expression of our wholeness, then faith can help our health. But faith for many is a neurotic attempt to hide from reality, or to lessen life’s fears and anxieties. Then it is a symptom of sickness not health and may well reveal itself somatically.

Faith is something one lives, not something one says or something one does. If that distinction is not grasped then much of it is nonsense.

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John Shelby Spong
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  • Betsy

    If we are trying to define faith, and in the defining trying to assess faith’s validity as a way and a means to healing and health, why not take a look at the Bible’s definition: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.Faith is the substance, the ground of being in which spiritual healing, and then physical healing may take place (if it is within the karma to be healed). “the evidence of things not seen” mightCan this faith be abused? Yes, it is all the time. Can the healing be manufactured? Yes, it is all the time. But the fact of the aspiration, the psychology, is, I think authentic.

  • Alan Meyer

    Bishop Spong is as usual right on the money. He is a national treasure. I applaud his on-going efforts to drag the Church screaming and kicking into the 21st century.

  • SPONGJOHN SQUAREPANTHEIST

    Mr. Meyer, stop pretending that you can extract so much as a milligram of meaning out of New Age drivel. What does it mean on the practical level, other than a swipe at orthodox Christians and an endorsement to perverts to continue to be ruled by their desires, lest they be not ‘whole’. He turns people into animals by encouraging them to equate their base impulses with ‘faith’.One more thing. He hasn’t ‘dragged the Church’ anywhere. He’s decimated it as far as was in his power.

  • robroy

    One has to feel sorry for the apostate former bishop. He preaches a cold, distant fuzzy object called “God”, impotent and almost irrelevant. Jesus taught us to call God, Abba, or daddy. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Mr Spong seemingly disdains this close, personal faith.But also one has to realize the incalculable harm that Mr Spong has done:Mr Spong calls for the church to completely capitulate to the morally “neutral” cultural whims. The result of his surrender in his former diocese led to catatostrophe:- Between 1978 and 1999, the number of baptized persons in the diocese fell from 64,323 to 36,340, a loss of 27,983 members in 21 years, a disastrous 43.5% decline.-In 1976 there were 10,186 children pupils in Sunday School. In 1999 there were only 4,833, a loss of 5,353, 52.6% decline.- The rate of decline under Spong – already fairly torrid—sharply accelerated after 1995. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was often a loss of 1,000 members a year. From 1995 to 1998, there was a stunning drop from 44, 246 to 36,597 in only three years, a drop of 7,649—or more than 2,500 a year.If you would like to kill Christianity in this country, by all means follow Spong’s advice.

  • robroy

    One has to feel sorry for the apostate former bishop. He preaches a cold, distant fuzzy object called “God”, impotent and almost irrelevant. Jesus taught us to call God, Abba, or daddy. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Mr Spong seemingly disdains this close, personal faith.But also one has to realize the incalculable harm that, Mr Meyer’s hero has done:Mr Spong calls for the church to completely capitulate to the morally “neutral” cultural whims. The result of his surrender in his former diocese led to catatostrophe:- Between 1978 and 1999, the number of baptized persons in the diocese fell from 64,323 to 36,340, a loss of 27,983 members in 21 years, a disastrous 43.5% decline.-In 1976 there were 10,186 children pupils in Sunday School. In 1999 there were only 4,833, a loss of 5,353, 52.6% decline.- The rate of decline under Spong – already fairly torrid—sharply accelerated after 1995. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was often a loss of 1,000 members a year. From 1995 to 1998, there was a stunning drop from 44, 246 to 36,597 in only three years, a drop of 7,649—or more than 2,500 a year.The legacy lives on. The diocese is bankrupt according to this year’s budget, living off the shrinking endowment given by past faithful Christians.