The other day something reminded me of the popular 1993 book, “The Celestine Prophecy” (anyone remember that?). “The Celestine Prophecy” is a fiction book that discusses ideas rooted in New Age spirituality. The book sold 20 million copies and practically spawned its own cult-like religion, with groups popping up all over the country to study the insights and apply them to life.
I discovered this book when I was fresh out of high school and was enamored by it. The insights were exciting (“there’s a reason for every apparent coincidence!”) and it proposed interesting ideas about spiritually that seemed totally plausible to my young mind. I couldn’t stop talking about it. I told all my friends about it. I started paying attention to how the nine insights in the book applied to my life. I suddenly felt life was more meaningful.
The problem? I was a “Christian” but it never even occurred to me that these New Age ideas should have been immediately rendered false by the beliefs I claimed to have. My faith was so shallow that the first exciting philosophy I encountered after high school swept me off my feet – without so much as an inkling that it was in conflict with everything I had been taught.
When I randomly remembered this book last week, I marveled at how I had developed such a shallow faith, despite the fact I had gone to church for 18 years and grew up surrounded by family members who deeply loved the Lord.
A Borrowed Faith
In my family, faith looked like spiritual “parallel play.” Parallel play is the stage young toddlers go through where they enjoy being near other kids, but don’t actually interact with each other yet. They’ll play blocks side by side, but they won’t find ways to play blocks together.
My family members would individually read their Bibles, go to church every week, participate in prayer chains, and humbly remind each other that plans would only happen “Lord willing.” Those were the spiritual blocks they played with next to me.
Meanwhile, I went to church, was at least mildly interested in what I heard, felt confident that if I died I would be saved, prayed occasionally on my own, went to church camps, attended youth nights, and freely told anyone who asked that I was a Christian. Those were the spiritual blocks I played with next to them.
But we never spiritually played together. Without that deeper engagement, my faith simply remained shallow and was based on living out a copy of what those around me were doing.
I left home with a completely borrowed faith…
Read it all at the link. BTW, the #1 sign is " that they rarely, if ever, ask questions."