I ENDED THE LAST BLOG ON SPIRITUALITY WITH THIS STATEMENT FROM THE ARTICLE BY DR. RAY GUARENDI: “To paraphrase C.S.Lewis: A position seldom seems so unclear to me than after I’ve just successfully defended it. He goes on to say:
“Many define these two words quite narrowly. For example, “religious” may mean following the rules. Not only that but following rules made by people one considers hypocritical or judgmental. “Religious” also may imply rote, unthinking actions with little heart behind them.
“Spiritual” is to many the loftier word. It speaks of a connection, however loose, to another power, perhaps a higher one. What’s better, the power commands little obedience to traditional morals or worship. “Spiritual” is among the mushiest words in the lexicon. It can mean whatever one wishes it to mean. Someone who is “spiritual” defines his own terms; therefore, he follows them to the letter.”
Ray continues: “Suppose I announce to my wife. “Honey, from this point forward, I want to be more marriage-minded and less married. I think the expectations and structure of marriage are impediments to our true connection. Let’s not stifle our relationship with rules.” By saying this, I effectively declare myself free from the active love, responsibilities, and yes, sacrifice crucial to a good marriage. Somehow, though, I don’t think my wife would be enamored with my new philosophy. Essentially I would be saying, “As long as I think lovingly about you, I don’t have top do all the nitty-gritty of actual loving.” Come to think of it, more people do now seem to want the marriage-mind set without the marriage.
“I’m spiritual, not religious” is what logicians would call an “either/or” proposition. In the mind of the self-describer, one is either religious or spiritual, but not both. The traits are so dissimilar that they don’t overlap. TO A BELIEVER IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND HIS PLAN OF SALVATION, religious and spiritual represent a both/and proposition. They exist together, part of the same reality. RELIGION PUTS THE SUBSTANCE TO THE SPIRITUAL. It defines worship and morality. THE WORDS OVERLAP SO much they are nearly interchangeable.
Maybe the next time you hear someone say, “I’m not religious; I’m spiritual,” you can ask, “Can someone be both religious and spiritual?”
Of course you can also go back and ask the questions I listed before: “What do you mean by religious?” “”What is your image of someone who is religious?” “What makes a person “spiritual?” “Are their different kinds of spiritual?” “How does spiritual show itself?”
AND I ASK AGAIN; Christ came on this earth to build HIS CHURCH. How can HE HAVE A CHURCH if there are no people? Do Spiritual people go to church? He said “if two or more are gathered together…..” How do Spiritual people who do not go to church claim to be Christians, if they are not part of HIS CHURCH? HOW DOES THE CHRISTIAN FAITH SPREAD if Christians do not gather together to pray to the Father as Jesus said and did? If the Christian Faith does not spread further than it is now, what happens to the Church that Jesus died to began? Does being Spiritual get you to Heaven to be with Jesus and his Father? Or do you need to be part of HIS CHURCH????Just questions begging for answers……
My next blog will be about preparing for Lent.