1) Answer these questions: According to the article, why is community essential to Christianity? Do you agree? Why or why not?

2) A lot of people today describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” This can mean several things, of course, but for some people it means that you can piece together your own spiritual program from a variety of religious traditions, like the woman in a newspaper article who described herself as “a nice Jewish, Southern Baptist, Buddhist girl.” Whatever you call it—“do-it-yourself religion,” “mix-and-match spirituality,” “cutting and pasting,” the “smorgasbord approach,” or a “customized spiritual arrangement”—as some people see it, this is a good way to be religious.
Answer this question. Do you think this is a good way to be religious? Why or why not? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages?

Readings: The Challenge of Spiritual Individualism (And How to Meet It)

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The article analyses a relatively recent issue of indifference or neglect of church community in Adventism within the broader context of rising spiritual individualism and convenient “do-it-yourself” spirituality in the developed world. The author notes that the interest for religion is, generally speaking, on the rise, but frequently it is channelled through new trendy forms of spirituality which invariably view religion as a deeply private matter. This new spirituality inevitably leads to the erosion of the Christian community, because it believes that all spiritual needs of a person may be fulfilled outside a church.

This general trend contains “parallels to these general developments within American Adventism,” especially in the USA and elsewhere in the developed world. The author defines those developments as “the challenge of spiritual individualism.” In his article he suggests a few ways to withstand that tendency....
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