Is It Spirituality Vs Religion?

Articles on Spirituality Vs Religion - The Same or Different?:

1. Am I Spiritual And Religious?

2. Are Spiritual Groups Better Than Religious Ones?

3. The Church Makes Mistakes - That Can't Be Spiritual

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1. Am I Both Spiritual And Religious?

It really isn't spirituality vs religion for me.

Is it the same thing to be spiritual or religious?

No, it isn't. I talk about the differences between spirituality and religion in the next two pages of this article.

However, I do think that religion and spirituality are often, if not usually, found in the same places.

I found and developed my spirituality within religion.

I was then outside the church for some years, without a commitment to any spiritual practice.
I then rediscovered and nurtured my spirituality for a long time outside religion.
Now I joyfully do both.

I find spirituality in religion. I also find religion in both the good and the bad sense of the word in spiritual groups.

It might be hard for me to be deeply involved in the running of a church because sometimes my beliefs don't fit with those of traditional Christianity. But this makes me all the more grateful that others feel called to minister in this way.

2. Are Spiritual Groups Better Than Religious Ones?

When I join spiritual groups, I really don't see anything that sets them above the weaknesses potential in religion.

Imagine the following:

  • let these groups run for 2000 years

  • give them power, possibly mix them up with the State

  • ask them to work together on an ongoing basis to feed and educate huge swathes of the world

  • ask them to maintain a network of historic buildings

  • insist that they allow anyone to join without any kind of selection procedure, including the most depraved or the most conformist in society

  • expect them to be available at times of death to any member of their local community, whether or not that person has attended any of their events

  • ask them to work, often for no money. And give them not only no status, but possibly criticism and disrespect.

Do these things and I am convinced we would see

  • the same mistakes,
  • the same pettiness,
  • the same abuse of power...
... we have seen in 2000 years of the Christian Church and 4-5000 years of the Jewish people. We, as humans, are wonderfully flawed. We mess up.

Do these things and you might also see:

  • the same strengths
  • the same commitment to inspired living
  • the same continued willingness to pierce the veil and live the spiritual truths of the organisations they promote.

3. The Church Makes Mistakes - That Can't Be Spiritual

I am from the Catholic Christian tradition. The Catholic tradition has made mistakes! And yes, it is embarassing and upsetting when a church you are inspired by is in the media for abuse.

But embarrassment is not a reason to leave, as long as that abuse remains clearly prohibited by the organisation itself, and that is clearly the case. I have been in contact with hundreds of Catholics in the churches and school I have attended and I have not come across abuse. I have heard some sad stories though from those of an earlier generation about attending schools run by nuns who sounded very un-Christian.

It can be humbling to belong to a church that has made every mistake going! - and knows it.

A church is not about saying - we are different, we are special, we have finally got it right.

It is about working with humankind complete with all our frailties, recognising we will probably make all the same mistakes. Yet with a willingness to continually invite God in to work in us, and bring about a different outcome.

When we see ourselves as vulnerable to making a mistake, hopefully we have gained the humility to know that without God's help we will make it again. It therefore moves us towards the increasing dependence on God which characterizes the spiritual journey.

Other articles on Spirituality Vs Religion - What are the differences?

Click through for the following:

4. Spirituality Vs Religion In The Early Church

5. Celebrating The Spiritual Journey Within Religion

6. Choosing My Own Path

7. Listening To The Still Small Voice

8. Was Jesus Spiritual Or Religious?

Click through for the following:

9. Over-Forceful Religious Teachings Can Take Away From Spirituality

12. We Are One

Click through for the following:

A Poem on Spirituality Vs Religion - What are the differences?

My Spirituality Definition And Religion Definition

Click here for the home page - Practical Spirituality and Healing

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© Katherine T Owen

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