Secular Christians, Jews, & Muslims

I’ve shared before that I have a friend who is a kosher-keeping Jew but she doesn’t believe in God.  She is lovely.  She is raising her children in the Jewish faith in terms of traditions and cultural identification, but they also know that Mom doesn’t believe.  This article by Mira Sucharov speaks to some of this.

Over the weekend, I was asked about the faith of my own young adult kids.  “Do they practice their faith?” I was asked, and my answer was “yes” although they are still navigating the institutional church part.  I returned the question to the young man who asked, and he shared that he wasn’t sure what he believed, but he wanted to raise his kids in the Jewish faith if he one day was married with children.

I know people who self-identify as Muslims but do not practice their faith even during Ramadan.  I have many, many friends who self-identify as Christian but they never gather for worship with other Christians, nor do they read their Bibles or talk openly about their faith.  What they love about the faith is more about sentimentalism and family traditions.  They fondly remember relationships with older couples who were like their grandparents.  They loved their family tradition of attending worship together on Christmas Eve.  They have warm memories of their own Vacation Bible School experiences. 

But they do not practice spiritual disciplines.

It’s almost easier to make the shift from non-believer with no religious upbringing to devout believer than to make the shift from cultural believer to devout believer.  So many of us self-identify as something, but it’s in name only.

Do you agree?

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2 responses to “Secular Christians, Jews, & Muslims

  1. I do agree, and have thought so for a long time. Stepping from being a non-believer into the full light of faith is such a dramatic change with everything brand new and unexplored. For those who self-identify without belief it’s probably quite a bit like getting that camel through the eye of the needle. However, the Spirit of God is strong and able to ignite that fire of faith in any who truly seek whether they are near or far away.

  2. While everyone loves a great 180 degree conversion story, I would bet that it is easier and more likely to go from cultural believer to true believer because the person already has the outward habit of devotion, which they can fill up with genuine belief. Would a person who exercises at the gym everyday have an easier time taking up a new sport as compared to someone who neither exercised nor played sports before?

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