Spirituality Without Religion is Pointless

Spirituality without religion is like a vapor being carried about on the breeze until it disappears into nothing.
Spirituality without religion is like a vapor being carried about on the breeze until it disappears into nothing.
Spirituality without religion is like waves being tossed to and fro by the winds and currents.
Spirituality without religion is like waves being tossed to and fro by the winds and currents.

A friend of mine posted this statement on face book recently; every time I hear it, it runs cross grain with my better judgment.

Spiritual people inspire me,
Religious people frighten me.

Hmmm?

By religious, I suspect people automatically visualize an extreme person or persons. They imagine a group or an individual that adheres to strict sets of laws or moral codes, come Hell or high water, no matter what the consequence to themselves or others.Indeed these folks exist and are hateful people to be sure.They lack balance and relationship with God. Anytime we make laws and codes the primary focus of our religion, we will end up cranky and judgmental. The primary focus of Christianity is supposed to be regaining what we lost back in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). A intimate and personal relationship with God.

Inner peace, Master Shifu: Kung Fu Panda 2
Inner peace, Master Shifu: Kung Fu Panda 2
Tree Hugger
Tree Hugger

I find it difficult to conjure up a singular image of a spiritual person. In reality we are all spiritual beings and “spirituality” brings to my mind so many different images. If I had to guess, I suspect that many would imagine people who are in touch with their inner self, their emotions, perhaps they imagine Yoda or Master Shifu off of Kung Fu Panda, people who seem to have great insight, and inner peace. But these fictional characters follow a particular religion. Spirituality without religion has no goal and will lead you know where. It will have no ability to shape you.

Both images are extremes. When taken to an extreme, religion creates legalistic, judgmental, and cranky people because they are only focused on the letter of the law. Spirituality when taken to extreme produces people who are addicted to emotional highs and run around chasing butterflies and hugging trees.

The truth is; spirituality means nothing without religion. They go hand and hand. When balanced, religion brings order, purpose, direction, and identity to my spiritual life. Spirituality without religion is like a vapor being carried about on the breeze until it disappears into nothing. It is like a wave that is tossed to and fro by the currents. It is a rainbow that disappears when you move towards it. Spirituality is like a wild horse running where it will, darting here and there powerful and unruly, of no value to anyone until it is tamed.

Now I realize that spirituality and religion exist in many forms, but none of them are eternal unless they are rooted in God’s Word, Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that there will be a lot of Spiritual and religious people in Hell. Sadly, God is not an ice cream parlor; you do not get to choose your flavor. There is only one God and only one path that leads to Him.

Spiritual people who say they have no religion are the ones who scar me. I am inspired by those who submit their mind, will, and emotions to God and His Word because they love him and desire to please Him.

True Inner Peace

John 14:25-27
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Do you want to know true inner peace? Then come to Jesus. Do you want avoid becoming legalistic, judgmental and cranky? Do you want to discover what it means to be truly spiritual? Then come to Jesus, for He is the way the truth and the life. Everything you need to find God.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him(Thomas), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father(God) except through Me.

Come to Jesus

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Comments 13 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Interesting, yes, it does make you wonder exactly what do they mean. I am a Christian, and I do say a lot that I am not religious, as I formerly was a member of the "First United Methodist Church" but now I am a member of a non-denominational church. I guess I am not too much on all the traditions, but just worshiping the Lord and having that personal relationship with Christ. I love serving in ministries based on Matthew 25:31-41, to be more Christ-like. So, that is why is just say I am a Christian, as opposed to saying I am religious. In His Love, Faith Reaper


sradie profile image

sradie 4 years ago from Palm Coast FL

An insightful discourse on the link between religion and spirituality. I suspect it has always been as that 'religious' people and 'spiritual' people have classically been identified as breeds apart from one another. I think of the Pharisees and Scribes and the common Jews and Gentiles of the first century church. These two terms separately, are like the labels we use to day to facilitate discussions about such matters. We use terms like fundamentalist, orthodox and others in much the same way. In politics, Left Wing and Right Wing are also similarly applied. Once they have been on the table long enough, their original intent is replaced by meanings designed to discredit the person to which they are applied. You masterfully conjoin spirituality and religion once again in your writing. Well done kid!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

ABR,

Well said! I like this statement, "Now I realize that spirituality and religion exist in many forms, but none of them are eternal unless they are rooted in God’s Word, Jesus Christ." Absolutely true! I tell people I don't have a religion. I have a relationship. Thanks for your continued good work.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi Abrushing.

Very interesting.

To me, nurturung a relationship with Jesus is both religion and spiritual.

God bless you.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Faith Reaper

I can appreciate your desire to stay away from to many traditions, for they often become legalistic subtracting from the real purpose of our faith, which is, to gain a personal intimate relationship with God. I personally have no problems with traditions that have a biblical purpose. But let make sure they are recognized as a tool, not as our purpose. Amen?

It is always a pleasure having you stop by. I enjoy you comments and your insight. Thanks for adding to this hub.

Peace

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Sradie:

Excellent point, and even better insight. Words often polarize people from each other unnecessarily. I have noticed in my discussions with folks that when I go to great pains to write a balanced statement, no matter how hard I try, I will have readers that will take my teaching to its extreme boundaries. In so doing they loose context and balance. It is almost like my article get interpreted wrong. In reality the problem is that words mean different things to different folks. The word religious has definitely gotten a bad wrap.

I simply wanted to point out that by polarizing the words Religious and Spirituality, we develop extreme positions, and cause unnecessary confusion within the Church.

As always Scott your encouragement means an awful lot to me. Thanks for adding to my hub.

In Christ

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Lifegate:

I had a pastor tell me once that rules without relationship breed rebellion. Amen?

While I don't have a cleaver little proverb to express it, I suspect that relationships with out rules breed bad things as well. Both rules and relationship are needed for healthy human relationships. Both religion and spirituality are needed for a healthy relationship with God. Amen?

Thanks for stopping by. As always, I looked forward to and your visit and insight.

God Bless

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Hi Teacherjoe52,

I appreciate you insight as well. I agree with you. Thanks for reading my hub and taking the time to comment.

God Bless

ABR


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

ABR,

Amen!


Nikki Major profile image

Nikki Major 4 years ago

Beautiful ABR...I like the scripture that says...They that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth....as you've said, being spiritual requires that we submit to the power of God...doing what he wants us to do....not following all these religous practices....religon was a problem God had with the pharisees...It all boils down to God's way or man's way..God's way makes us spirital. Good Job....God Bless.


beverlyfaye profile image

beverlyfaye 4 years ago

Yes, our spirituality needs direction. I read of a missionary to people in the Himilayas. The beauty of the area caused the people to want to worship. They would build little tributes on various high points, but they didn't really know what/who they were worshipping. They just felt a need to worship. When they received the Bible, their worship turned to God.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Nikki thanks again for stopping by. Your insights are much appreciated.

I am learning how to worship in spirit and truth a little more everyday. may we strive to devote our mind, will and emotions; that is, our whole being to his truth, His Word, Jesus Christ.

Praise God. I always look forward to your visits and insights. thanks for adding to this Hub.

In Christ

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

beverlyfaye:

What an excellent illustration. That is exactly what I am trying to illustrate. I may have to go an add that to the writing....Hmmm? Nah, It is already to long. But Dang! that is just to perfect.

Thanks for stopping by and adding to this hub. I have really enjoyed your writings I look forward to reading more as time permits.

In Christ

ABR

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