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Spirituality And Religion November 16, 2006

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.
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I went looking for a succinct definition of the word “religion” to kick off this post.  I usually find good succinct definitions in Wikipedia but in this case their definition was a little wordy.  One of the definitions in my pocket Webster’s is “system of worship” which is pretty good.  The important element about religion that this definition does not sufficiently bring out though is that religion is usually an organized social construction or, more colloquially, an organized group activity.  Some say: “I am spiritual but not religious” to indicate that they do not participate in any organized religious group.  These people are often disillusioned by the confusion and disagreement in the religious world today (who can blame them) or they don’t think it is necessary.  Can we shed some light on this question?

The division and disagreement in the religious world today cannot be overlooked or accepted as typical (despite the fact that it is).  In the book of Acts we notice an important characteristic of the early church under the Guidance of the Spirit of God is that: “All the believers were one in heart and mind.”  The apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth against divisions but at the same time noted  “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.”  This is the very point of the disagreement in the religious world today, who is and who is not in agreement with God.  In other words if everyone was in perfect agreement with God we would all be in perfect agreement with each other.  The division is not to be accepted as par for the course.  The division should cause us to make every effort to determine who is in agreement with God and who is not.

Spirituality is thinking on eternity.  God has made a promise to us concerning eternity.  Religion is defined as “system of worship”.  Our worship then should be toward God.  Our thinking on eternity should be in agreement with God in order to obtain the eternity with him he has promised.  Our reaction to all the division in the religious world should be to set our minds on discovering the truth rather than to give up and say “I am spiritual but not religious”.  God has told us that our religion must be shared and carefully passed on to future generations so that they also can know about the promise of eternal life and be able to obtain it.  So one cannot say religion is not important.  Jesus said: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  God has made clear the connection between spirituality and religion.  Let us all make every effort to be in agreement with him. 

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1. dragonmommie - November 16, 2006

You are absolutely right. I used to say that same thing, “I am spiritual but not religious”. It was a cop out because I didn’t want to go to church, because I was disillusioned by church leaders; but then I lost sight of God.

I think people feel they must make that statement because even though they disconnect themselves from religion, they still feel God in some way and must account for it. Another place is made for Him, but on their terms; which of course, can never work because we replace God’s will with our own.

People say that they can have a “one on one” relationship with God; and while I do believe that, I believe that we need our religion for some kind of structure. Otherwise, we’d be all over the place, getting more lost.

We also need our faith communities, which is usually found at, well, physical places of worship. We also find our spiritual support system there. Where else can we stretch our spiritual muscles and freely share our faith with others; first within, then outside our communities of faith?

People make the mistake of not getting involved socially or with various means of stewardship. We must serve in order to move closer towards God and (I believe) Jesus. Otherwise, we stagnate and feel empty or that something is missing. If we don’t get involved, we feel isolated, left out and wonder why.

It would be great if we all could be in perfect agreement with God, and each other through God. But again, we put our will above God’s; or we twist it around so that we convince ourselves that our will IS God’s will.

I think I’ve said enough!

2. rattazzimedia - November 16, 2006

Thanks for your comments and support Dragonmommie.


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