Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where Are You on the Spectrum of "Faith"?

Human development seems to follow a certain path intellectually, morally, and as to faith. And I have come up with what I think are ways that I can easily grasp or categorize people as to their views and commitments about "faith".

The categories I have been considering are:

1) Secular Protestant Faith- This is a "secular faith", as faith is only a symbol of something else, that is important to the person themselves, but does not have to be. This kind of faith is an atheistic faith, but could choose to attend church as a social organization for community service and personal associations. Government is self government within any kind of government, though a Constitutional Republic would be considered the best environment to develop this faith intellectually, as it allows for free thought and free expression apart from "faith communities" and it allows for mutual contractual social arrangements.

2.) Secular Catholic Faith- This faith is a faith that believes in the institution of the Church as complimentary to the institution of Government. Church has a function within society, as to human development. Human Development grows best within communities and grows within broader and broader spectrum of the world (family, church, school, local community, state concerns).

3.) Natural Protestant Faith- A belief that the natural world grants inalienable rights to individuals via a benevolent "power". Men have the right and power to create society/government and investigate and create within the natural world. This is the faith of the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers. Agnosticism or Deism describes this faith.

4.) Natural Catholic Faith- A belief in a Benevolent God that has created a Moral Order that is established apart from human creation. Humans have a duty to establish the moral order of government so that man can develop in the right environment. Family is the epitome of the natural order, while government is "God's authority on earth".

5.) Supernatural Protestant Faith- Faith is individualized such that one can have personal faith/relationship with "a personal God" (the supernatural realm). God consciousness is sought through prayer, meditation and communion. Faith precedes and supersedes community, as proof of true and growing faith.

6.) Supernatural Catholic Faith- A belief that God inhabits the community of the Church, has established Church as the only one and true community and true faith will leave earthly communities as proof of "true faith". This is the faith of monks and nuns or priests and the consecrated (Ana baptists).

Each kind of "faith" is acceptable in our society, but unfortunately, such ways of understanding faith, "God", the Church and Government leads to conflict.

People that have the later 3 kinds of faith tend toward exclusivity because of their dependence on supernaturalism and community. Whereas, people that identify with one of the first 3 categories have an easier time finding their place, as they tend to choose their commitment to faith, more than the others.

(My thinking has been influenced by William Perry's Intellectual Development; James Fowler's Faith Development; and Thomas Kohlburg's Moral Development}

No comments: