SPIRITUAL OR RELIGIOUS
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
I often hear people say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious”. It is a popular and cloudy expression. Although the meaning is unclear, what is clear is that the speaker has in mind a clear distinction between being “spiritual” and being “religious”. To this person it is good to be spiritual and not so good to be religious. One is to be embraced and the other to be avoided. The distinction is quite prevalent today in our society.
What we do not hear from people are the words, “I’m religious, but not spiritual”. It is possible that a religious person does not see anything wrong with being spiritual. They may even see themselves as spiritual because they are religious.
The word ‘religious’ is from a Latin root word meaning “to bind”. Religious practices are what bind their beliefs to God and to others. The religious unite their spiritual quest with practices that together bind the heart, soul and body to God and others in love. To be “spiritual” without being “religious” does not tie you to anything. It leaves you flapping in the wind like an un-tethered flag on a pole. God intends that we be complete human beings grounded in Christ and sensitive to His work in us through the Holy Spirit. In love we are obedient (religious) and faithful (spiritual).
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, 2011.