April 7, 2006

Spiritual Tourism

It seems we are losing some of the world's most treasured destinations. The article below says that the Snow of Kilimanjaro will be melted away within 15 years due to global warming and deforestation.

Travel: The World’s Most Endangered Destinations - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com: "The number-one threat to tourist treasures, paradoxically, is tourism itself. The challenge is how to keep the world's most esteemed monuments from being loved to death."

I find that quote interesting on more than just a tourist level. We could almost say the same is true in the church. The number-one threat to the Christianity is the religion itself. We use religion to highlight the deep meaning and significance of somethine, and then that religion becomes a dead liturgy. We find that people move from loving Jesus to loving talking about Jesus.

In his new book The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian McLaren says, "What if many have sincerely valued some aspect of Jesus' message while missing or even suppressing other, more important dimensions? What if many have carried on a religion that faithfully celebrates Jesus in ritual and art, teaches about Jesus in sermons and books, sings about Jesus in songs and hymns, and theorizes about Jesus in seminaries and classrooms...but somewhere along the way missed th rich and radical treasures hidden in the essential message of Jesus?"

In one part of the book he states that people have shown Jesus great reverence, but have failed to hear His true message.

I think it is possible to love the idea of Jesus without ever having to accept or follow His message. And so we remain a spiritual tourist.

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