Sunday, July 6, 2008

Spiritual Sunday -- Organized religion versus Spirituality

  1. Love God with all my heart, body, and soul. Place no other person, place, and/or thing before Him.
  2. Treat and love my neighbor as I would want to be treated and/or love.
  3. Know that and truly believe that Jesus died for our sins.
  4. Abide by the law of the land provided by the local and federal government.
If I am doing all these things, aren’t I living a “saved Christian” life? Where does “organized religion” fit in? Am I more of a spiritual person rather than a religious person? In my opinion, SPIRITUALITY is born in a person and develops in the person (of course by God). We all have it, whether we know or practice it. It’s really simple: We want to be happy and live a "good" life, and we want to be "good" and do the right things. True spirituality is something that is found deep within oneself. It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and people around you. However this does not mean that it can not be found in church. I myself have join and became very active in a wonderful church. See I found spirituality by religion and by revelation. As Oprah says, I had my “AH HA moment” lately.

So how does organized religion come into play (especially for me personally)? Well in my opinion, we develop questions that we feel and learned that as humans we to turn to an authority to tell us answers. So this was supposed to be the purpose and origin of religion. Organized Religion (in my opinion) is a man made, culture based set of guidelines that guides its people in the practice of spirituality. Organized Religion is a good thing that in some cases has had bad consequences on some individual’s spirituality (especially me). Meaning I do not think religion is bad, but that it is being applied in a bad way. With organized religion, I often take from it at times judgment, fear, gossip, trying to see what individuals have on, who came to church with someone, and a bunch of rules and rituals. However with spirituality, I get love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, and this brings about happiness to me. It is basically specifically explaining number one and two above. Also this is mainly what “worldly people” come and try to seek at church.

I believe it is correct to say that what some organized religion teaches and practice today is not what God has instructed us to do. I feel this way because they have adopted their own beliefs to fit their own agenda. This had me confuse and I started to lack faith. I started to understand how some individuals lose faith and give up God, quitting Him because of hypocrisy and the sinful nature of man/church. This is why it’s so critical to have a personal relationship with Christ and not follow a religion. God will never let hold of you and He never quits on us. The choice is ours. He gives us free will. He created each one of us to worship Him, and Him alone.

For many of those brought up in traditional religions, we have walls around our true selves that need to be knocked down, sometimes brick by brick, before we can see that the bricks are only an illusion keeping us separate from each other and from Spirit. Most religions, while they contain many truths, are fear-based. By being this way, they limit the amount of love we can give to ourselves, and therefore naturally, the love that we can give each other. Instead, we judge, we fear, we hold back - and we don’t even recognize that we are doing so. Once we can realize with our logical mind that religions were originally created to help mankind deal with the great fear of death and dying. It will be easier to move on to a higher expression of love and divine connection.

There are still things that I need to pray about and get wisdom about. I am no longer completely and greatly frighten of death and the unknown. A lot of things I feared are no longer there. I am developing contentment in myself because I am learning my place and purpose here on earth. However I have learned that I can be a spiritual person and attend an organized religion establishment without being religious. It sounds strange, but this is my path. I truly believe and know that I am bless to have found a church that has a preacher that is divine and provides me with the spiritual nourishment and knowledge I need to have in order to continue to develop and strength my relationship with God. Do I feel that this is the path for everyone? No, but for me it is. I am on this quest to have a fulfilling intimate relationship with God and I have been blessed to find a man of God who provides me with the growth in establishing that relationship. As for the church as a whole, I do not get caught up in the whole politics of it. I attend Sunday service and Wednesday bible study to get the daily nourishment I need, I attend classes that are God-based and critical yet does not have an one sided view on things, and most importantly it helps me develop relationships with like minded individuals that God put on my heart to meet. Not because they are the most popular in church or because they can do something for me.


Smarty Jones said...

This is a very good post and this is a discussion that needs to happen among 'church' and 'churched' folks.
You're right, religion is a set of values and beliefs and rituals that don't always glorify Him. That is where man (and the enemy) creep into the midst. I have been in church my whole life and I enjoy the fellowship.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to lie and tell you that there's no crap going on within every church I've been to but that's not what you are there to participate in.
The whole idea behind organized religion, as I understand it, is to be around like-minded individuals who have but one thing on their minds and that is service to The Creator and in the case of Christians, worshipping the Lord.
I can understand being frustrated with it but like you said, you can't give up on it. Just my $.02.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Great post!! I feel the same way you do! I belong to a church in the H that has lots of stuff going on, but the number one thing I like there is it is scripturally based.

Anyway I am glad to see you are finding your center and what works best for you. I really think you have to KNOW who you are in order to know what makes you happy. The more comfortable you become with you the happier you will be, in my opinion.

You are right religion is supposed to be a cultivator of spirituality. Nothing should replace your PERSONAL relationship with God. So many people let church do that in their lives taking church rituals to be God’s word and not knowing what was inspired by the Holy Spirit and what wasn’t or making up their own rules to follow that have nothing to do with God’s rules.


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