A Spiritual Quest
I am hesitant in writing anything about spirituality for fear that my thoughts could get wrongfully conflated with reverence for organized religion.
Much about organized religion sends me running for cover even though I recognize it brings some peace into the lives of some people. Unfortunately, even the solace it brings to some can at times be draped in the type of detrimental dogma that ultimately provides a net loss for society as a whole.
All that being said, I am on a spiritual quest. Make no mistake about it.
Spirituality for me is about seeking a deeper and more meaningful life. It is about wanting more connectedness with my fellow human beings and the universe as a whole. It is about wanting to actively engage with a divine power.
My spiritual quest also has to leave room for moments of doubt and acknowledge that while I do have some ideas and thoughts about God, I nor anyone, especially big box religion, can truly hold the answers to life’s biggest mysteries.
Big Box Religion Failed Me
I was raised in the Catholic church and I have zero interest in what they are offering or what they have been about. I am horrified at the unthinkable crimes they have institutionalized and covered up.
So while organized religions fall well short of being any sort of platform for me to continue to seek and further clarify my belief systems, I am growing in thirst for avenues to explore my spiritual curiosity.
I meditate, joined a yoga studio, go for walks outside, and have read books like The Future Of God by Deepak Chopra and Awakening by Sam Harris. All of these things have been welcomed and helpful additions to my spiritual journey.
Who Is Rob Bell?
Since becoming aware of Rob, I have been consuming podcasts and interviews and just about anything to learn more about Rob’s principles and values in life.
Below I have noted some of the many ways in which I have connected and aligned with Rob's philosophies.
Please note I am interpreting and paraphrasing some of Rob’s commentary and I am not implying any sort of direct representation of his views. In fairness to Rob, I felt it was important to note this disclaimer.
Rob Bell provides real-world spirituality in a dogmatic world:
Rob does not attend Church.
He hilariously and wisely noted that Jesus would be horrified if he knew a religion was formed in his name. (Video clip below)
Rob feels questioning one’s faith and expressing doubts are all welcomed and necessary components of spirituality.
He is all about enhancing this current life we live as opposed to blindly submitting to doctrine for the promised glory of an enriched afterlife.
He makes common sense interpretations of the Bible that are applicable to modern day and require no suspension of belief in science nor a required belief in the supernatural.
Rob supports gay marriage and believes love is about companionship and enriching our current lives, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Rob prefers a more “punk rock” ethos of spirituality as opposed to the bloated and impractical wisdom being peddled in many religious institutions
Outdated Models Of Spirituality
After becoming more familiar with Rob Bell and some of his thoughts and views it is easy to see why devout organized religious types would be fearful of him.
Rob is about enriching the human experience and is not interested in submitting to the judgment of a religious institution in the hopes of securing some sort of fulfillment only in the afterlife.
He feels true spirituality is about dropping out of models wrapped up in judgment and living life in a different lane.
Organized religion may have its roots in trying to point people to this different way of life, a life of love and acceptance that we are good enough just as we are, but most of its message got harmfully co-opted along the way. Organized religion became the ultimate score keepers.
If people like Rob are able to more easily distribute their message to the masses in this digital age, without the baggage of archaic institutions, then those institutions truly should be fearful of being rendered relics of the past.
A True Source Of Comfort And Inspiration
Rob has a way of identifying and discussing issues that have persisted and swirled around in my head for years. Issues like insecurities, not feeling worthy enough, and wondering what our lives are all about.
He has a warm and casual way of taking all this internal chatter, laying it out on an examining table, and sharing bits of wisdom that allow for a whole new perspective to arise in relation to these common and shared struggles.
Rob serves as a constant source of lightheartedness in facing topics that can often feel weighty and even suffocating at times. I am so grateful to have been made aware of Rob Bell. He has become an integral character and force of good in my ongoing quest for defining my own spirituality.