What do you think when people say "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual"?
Because God did not intend for there to be so many denominations as far as Christianity. I do not consider myself denominational. I am a child of God saved by his grace through his son's sacrifice on Calvary. So, I do consider myself Spiritual.
It just means that they don't necessarily follow any particular religion. Some people do believe in a spiritual side of life without necessarily believing the doctrines of the main religions in the world. Being religious and being spiritual - in my own experience - are not always the same thing and in fact can be poles apart. There are people who believe in a higher being (god) but don't feel that any of the main religions are correct in their teachings.
For me personally, I do think that there might well be a higher form of consciousness and I definately believe in a spiritual dimension. However, I don't follow any religion. I respect them and their followers but I don't personally feel that they are right in their outlook.
I'm not sure what others mean, but I know what I mean when I say it. Religions are considered organized institutions, meaning they have a hierarchy and all kinds of inherent norms and expectations that are at the very least exclusive in the sense that if you do not follow them you are not accepted into the group. There are many people that do not need to belong to a group to worship or experience the divine. Indeed, I experience the presence of something much greater than me every day especially during meditation or when in Nature.
I say this and I know why I do. I was raised Catholic, when to a Catholic school from K- 12th grade. During my life I discovered Buddhism. I believe in aspects of both. Practicing Buddhism helped me more than just the religion I was raised in believing. I found myself, recently, being drawn to church and I went when it was empty. I sobbed and prayed like I did back in grade school.
I prayed for God to give me strength and to help guide me. A nice Father at the church saw how upset I was and sat and talked then he listened. Afterward he blessed me. That is one thing I admired, an act of kindness. I went back several times, every time waiting for church to be empty.
Then one day I knew it was time to go. I meditate and when church calls to me, so to speak, then I go. Because of the way I practice my religion and practice Buddhism I consider myself Spiritual. It is much easier than trying to explain why or how I could practice both.
But I do and it completes my life and is a beautiful compliment to each other. "My God", the one I believe in, understands everything about me, is forgiving and understanding. Almost an unfathomable being, that is the epitome of compassion and kindness. This higher being, may it be God, knows what I am doing is a good thing, I can feel it in my heart.
It may means different things to different people but for me, it means I do not believe in denominations or religions or churches or symbols of Gods. I believe there is only one, encompassing the universe and all that is in it, residing inside my spirit, not in any man-made piece of architecture or hiding in any man-written book.
Bingo! This suspiciously "coincidentally" patriarchal text, as man-written, is very flawed, biased, unreliable, inconsistent, dogmatic, disjointed, hypocritical, factually erroneous, maddeningly variable and contradictory, elitist, pompous and vane.
I think when people think of the word "religious" They think of of organized religion, something along the line of Catholicism, Judaism, Episcopalians, etc. So to be religious means that they are some one that participates or follows the ways of an organized religion.
To be spiritual means you believe in something, swirling around in the cosmos. You have faith in just something.
Every one that is religious is spiritual, but not every one who is spiritual is religious.
Me personally, I believe in energies, multiple deities, that there is something mystical and magickal that works through and around us that we just don't fully understand. I am spiritual. However, I don't belong to an organized religion, and I don't believe in any specific religions' aspect of God. I just believe in the Universe.
What I think is actually pretty much how i feel and believe. That is, that my relationship to God is not about religion, not about a prescribed set of beliefs, but is about the spiritual connection that I have with Him. It is my soul's connection to the Creator with no intervention from any humans.
I often describe myself as spiritual even though i do attend church. The church however is not my way to God. My spiritual connection is how I am able to reach beyond the seen to the unseen...I must be still and listen. My soul will be filled with spiritual strength and wisdom. Wisdom that i am unaware of until I am in situations that demand that knowledge be used. It is the voice that gives me words to say or the act to do that I may not have known otherwise.
Hmm... religion to me is a source of information where I get to learn more with other people. As for spiritual, it means that I believe in the higher self beyond flesh & blood. Being spiritual, I understand that my human body may die but in spirit, I am alive forever.
That is what I am seeking for enlightenment. It is through great understanding and learning to way of enlightenment then we do not need to reborn again. So, as long as I have not understand fully of enlightenment, I will return back as human to learn until I achieve my goal of being living in spirit form.
I think that they are closer to God than half the people in the pews!
I didn't truly understand why people said this until about a year ago when because of a few reasons I stopped going to church. But I never stopped believing in the spiritual being and the powers of God. I have stayed spiritual but not religious. I feel that we must all choose the path that is right for us and if that's being spiritual versus being religious than that's the right path for you.
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