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Knee Jerk Spirituality November 18, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.
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Knee jerk: The reflex tested by tapping just below the knee causing the lower leg to suddenly jerk forward.  This is the definition from MedicineNet.com.  As a figure of speech “knee jerk” is often used to indicate an automatic predictable response to something.  The main thought being that there is no thought involved.  There is no reasoning just a mindless, automatic, “knee jerk” reaction to a situation.  This is how many of us are spiritually.  Our upbringing and culture have exposed us to certain spiritual concepts that we (without thought) come to accept as true.  If we are faced with an opposing idea we often react strongly despite the fact that we have never really given the matter any serious thought.  Is this how we should be functioning concerning such an important aspect of our lives?

The prophet Isaiah delivered this message from God to a people living in error, he said: “Come now, let us reason together“.  Isaiah also said “We all, like sheep , have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way“.  I have been told by people who know something about sheep that they need to be led and can be led even off the side of a cliff because they follow without thinking.  These two quotes come from passages where Isaiah is encouraging the people to reason with him, to think and stop this mindless “knee jerk” following of the corrupt and pointless traditions handed down to them.  We can see that just as it was in the days of Isaiah (yes I’ve said this before) it is the same today.  People are so confidently and sometimes even violently advocating spiritual positions and principles that they have never given any real thought to.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  But at the same time this is so widespread and common that this kind of mindless “knee jerk” spirituality is accepted as right.

This is most certainly not how God meant us to be.  God wants us to “reason together”.  God wants us to make a habit of sharing the words and concepts from him (look at Deuteronomy chapter six).  God very much does not want our religion to be a mindless knee jerk adherence to empty and meaningless traditions that do not make any sense.  To paraphrase Judge Judy: If it doesn’t make sense, it probably isn’t true.  We should all be, little by little, each day, step by step trying to reason through the confusion and conflict of today’s spiritual landscape.  We should all be making every effort to separate truth from fiction, the word of God from human tradition.  We should all be trying to make sense of religious teaching.  We should all be bringing our thinking into agreement with God and passing this understanding down to future generations.  We should all be reasoning thinking individuals and put a stop to all this knee jerk spirituality.

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