Pope's niece is 'spiritual but not religious'

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Pope’s niece is ‘spiritual but not religious’

July 2, 2014 -

Cristina Bergoglio is an architect and painter.  She grew up in Argentina, but currently lives in Spain.  Her work is displayed in numerous museums and institutions.  She is also the niece of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis.

In a recent interview, Cristina was asked if she affiliates with any religion.  She said that she considers herself to be spiritual rather than religious.  She also called the Catholic Church “outdated” and hopes her uncle will “renew this certain system of thought that was getting stagnated.”

The pope’s niece is one of a growing number of “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) advocates around the world.  According to Gallup, one in three Americans identify with this group.  A recent survey of Western Europeans reported that large numbers, ranging from 27 percent in France to 47 percent in Denmark, do not believe in God but do believe in a “life force.”  In every country but England, they outnumber the percentage which believes that God exists.

Are we remaking religion into what we want it to be instead of what we need it to be?  We don’t want a deity who holds us accountable and calls us to sacrificial service.  But substitute medicine for religion: would we benefit from doctors who believed in “health” but never diagnosed our diseases?

Jesus did not die so we could be spiritual but so we could be forgiven and transformed.  He is calling his followers to repent of self-centered spirituality and turn to him as their Master and King.  That’s why our ministry is joining Anne Graham Lotz for “777 An Urgent Call to Prayer.”  From July 1 to 7, we are spending time before God in repentance and intercession for our nation.  I urge you to read Anne’s prayer for today, and make it your own.

C. S. Lewis characterized the “Life Force” religion of his day: “When you are feeling fit and the sun is shining and you do not want to believe that the whole universe is a mere mechanical dance of atoms, it is nice to be able to think of this great mysterious Force rolling on through the centuries and carrying you on its crest.  If, on the other hand, you want to do something rather shabby, the Life Force, being only a blind force, with no morals and no mind, will never interfere with you like that troublesome God we learned about when we were children.

“The Life Force is a sort of tame God.  You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you.  All the thrills of religion and none of the cost.  Is the Life Force the greatest achievement of wishful thinking the world has yet seen?”

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