Spiritualism takes many different forms in our society. It ranges from eastern mysticism to mainline protestant religions to agnosticism. In my hospital I have seen many variations both in the staff and in the patient population. It is common for people to talk about “god” and the “force of life” and “energy flows”. It is less common for people to talk about God.
I have had patient family members want to burn incense and sprinkle herbs around their loved ones (both living and dead) similar to the experience of Shelly and Miller (Shelly & Miller, 1999, p. 111). I have opened religious conversation with staff members to determine their religious persuasion. They are usually quite excited to talk about their “spiritual journey” but when I try to hone in on exactly what that means they are vague. If I bring up God or church, some start to get uncomfortable while others freely talk about their church and church activities. I respect all these persons and their ideals but I have planted the seed and open the door to present Christ.
There is a particular chaplain that causes me great concern. He is as Anglican priest now. He has changed religion 3 times that I know of. He loves to wear the collar and be seen as a priest. He reminds me of the Pharisee’s. It becomes very clear after talking with him just a few minutes that he is in the modernist worldview camp (Shelly & Miller, 1999, p.65). His credentials have been challenged by the Episcopalian church and he has threaten a law suit saying “I will be set for life”. He talks like this present moment is all there is and Heaven and Hell are just concepts. To him the Bible is a philosophy book. Obviously he does not have the mind and heart of Christ. This is very disheartening and disturbing.
Shelly and Miller discuss only a few nursing theorist and their concept of God (Shelly & Miller, 1999, p.44- 51). At first I wanted to discount all the ones who do not have a...