The following post was written by Olga and appeared on her excellent blog: Act 3. I encourage my readers to get to know Olga, who has a refreshing, open minded, and logical take on spirituality.
I am interested in religion. Maybe curious about religion is a better characterization.
I have always said that I am spiritual because I fully believe that there is purpose to life (to love and care for each other), that good is meant to triumph over evil, that there is something so big and so glorious that it is not yet within my grasp or comprehension but that we will be joined in that gloriousness eventually.
Well, isn’t that special, as the Church Lady from SNL would say.
Even though I go to church, there are those who have felt free to, maybe even the need to, tell me that I am without religion and that spirituality without religion is the work of the devil.
I don’t mean to be rude right back, but this meme seems to cover it for me:
okay, maybe I mean to be a little rude…
I understand wanting to be certain; it’s actual being certain that I don’t get.
Coming across this Bulldog Catholic (!) essay is what has me thinking about this today: Being “Spiritual But Not Religious” Carries Consequences.
*Claiming a spiritual aspect is equivalent to adolescent rebellion.
Can I understand that Mom’s and Dad’s teaching might be true even when they don’t always live it out? Can I grasp the reality that a person can truly believe in Jesus and still struggle to follow him completely?
But, Father Mike, don’t you grasp the reality that many nonChristian, nonCatholic individuals truly believe in loving, caring and kindness and still struggle to live out those qualities?
*Then there is that adolescent lack of mature thinking.
But I think there is another adolescent thing going on in this claim. There is the desire of “I want to do what I want to do.” If I have religion, then I am obligated to obey someone else’s will. But if I am merely spiritual, there are no demands upon me other than to follow my own sense of “this is what I currently prefer.”
Certainly that can be the case for some, but to attribute this view to everyone who feels the call of spirituality without the practice of an established religion is an egregious flaw of logic and good faith. Jesus taught “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” That’s not a unique precept. It is found in major world religions and even the godless can live this.
*Spiritual without religion is idolatry.
In this case, my “god” is me. I become the one who decides “this is what God would want,” rather than asking, “God, what do you want?”
Another statement that, when applied across the board, is a failure of logic and good faith.
*And this old saw:
On a semi-light/semi-serious note, there is a being in this universe who is spiritual but not religious. Satan, being a fallen angel, is a pure spirit. There are no creatures more spiritual than Satan. So being spiritual doesn’t necessarily put us on the team we want to be on.
Wow. If you see the face of evil here:
may God help you.