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Religiosity vs Spirituality

Updated on September 16, 2017

Vapor in the Wind

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. _ Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. _ Ecclesiastes 3:11

A Skeptic! A Doubter!

Josh McDowell was a college student who thought Jesus was just another religious leader who set up impossible rules to live by. He thought Jesus was totally irrelevant to his life.

Then one day at a student union lunch table McDowell sat next to a vibrant young coed with a radiant smile. Intrigued, he asked her why she was so happy. Her immediate reply was, “Jesus Christ!”

Jesus Christ? McDowell bristled, firing back:

“Oh, for God’s sake, don’t give me that garbage. I’m fed up with religion; I’m fed up with the church; I’m fed up with the Bible. Don’t give me that garbage about religion.”

But the unfazed young coed calmly informed him,

“Mister, I didn’t say religion, I said Jesus Christ.”

McDowell was stunned. He had never considered Jesus more than a religious figure, and didn’t want any part of religious hypocrisy. Yet here was this joyful Christian woman talking about Jesus as someone who had brought meaning to her life.

This story intrigued me. If you knew who Josh Mcdowell is, you could be taken aback why he reacted that way.

In his youth Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. He was a skeptic, a doubter. Yet, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love.

Josh joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International in 1961 and after that remarkable conversion, trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, he started the Josh McDowell Ministry to reach young people worldwide with the truth and love of Jesus. Well known as an articulate speaker, Josh has addressed more than 25 million people, giving over 27,000 talks in 125 countries.

Religiosity

Religion is a system of beliefs and practices illustrating a code of morality and humanity's place in the world. It is basically good.

There are many other non-Christian religious faiths or beliefs, i.e., Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, New Age.. etc. however, third of the world’s population is Christianity. It is the largest religion.

I am not here to talk about each religions' diversity. I am here to explore more on the term Religiosity in Christianity.

Religiosity is the quality or state of being pious or devout. Don't get me wrong but what I am pointing out here is the kind of devotion or exaggerated embodiment of certain aspects of one's religious activity, being displayed sentimentally or excessively.

Whenever a Christian takes his/her eyes off of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, religiosity or religiousness could result. It is often easier to observe the rules, rituals, and motions of traditions in a religion, than to maintain a passionate relationship with the Lord.

While some optimistically view all the world’s religions and philosophies as valid and necessary expressions of spirituality, it also made them believe that there are many "roads" to God.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. _ Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. _ Psalm 23:4

Spirituality

People can be both religious and spiritual, but it is also possible to be religious without being spiritual, or to be spiritual without being religious.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." _ John 15:1-17

What are we to abide for?

To abide is to accept or obey. As Christians, we know that the spiritual mind is focused starting with obedience, pleasing God first. Jesus said about himself, "for I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." _ John 6:38

The mind of Christ is to do the will of the Father, and for us to be spiritual is to be like-minded.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit according to the Epistle to the Galatians: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."_ Galatians 5:22-23

Recognize that we all have the spark of love that is God within us. God is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God. because God is love._ 1 John 4:8

Spirituality is summed up in Jesus words: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” _ Matthew 22:34-40

To be spiritually minded is life and peace.
To be spiritually minded is life and peace.

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