Spirituality vs Religion Part I can be found here.
There are three distinct aspects to ‘God’ in the Christian religion. They are often referred to as ‘the holy trinity’, but I believe the holy trinity is misrepresented.
The ‘religious’ trinity is as follows;
- God the Father
- God the Son (Jesus), and
- God the Holy Spirit
The spiritual trinity appears very similar on paper, but it is worlds apart in practice, for me, anyway;
- The Divine
- The Human Experience
- The Divine Within
For years, I have been seeking a way to fit my faith into my religion. I simply couldn’t. But Atheism, in the traditional sense of the word (belief that there is no god at all) didn’t feel like truth to me, either.
Those of us who experience fear of abandoning our religions are experiencing a spiritual crisis. The Divine Within can sense the tidbits of truth within the religious texts, but at the same time, it can sense the falsehoods and misrepresentations they contain as well. The root of the problem is because we have no way of knowing which parts are truth and which are a lie, and the fear of getting it wrong and ending up in hell paralyzes us, or sends us into a panic.
Feeling dissatisfaction with one’s religion is a sign that the Divine Within is sensing either an inconsistency with spiritual truth, or a complete lack of some spiritual component. It means that you are outgrowing the religion. You have reached a place in your spiritual growth that cannot be fed from where you currently are. Ministers often give sermons on the ‘milk and meat’ of religious teaching, not realizing that organized religion itself is the ‘milk’ of which Paul spoke, even though, once you have “eyes with which to see, and ears with which to hear”, it is as clear as the nose upon one’s face.
1 Corinthians 3:2
I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
With the understanding I have attained through my personal spiritual growth, the entire third chapter of Corinthians is a clear admonishment for becoming ensnared in the tenets of religion vs spirituality.
Organized religion is the ‘milk’ of the spiritual nourishment we consume for spiritual growth. When we reach a level of spiritual maturity wherein the ‘milk’ of organized religion no longer sustains us, if we have yet to grasp some basic spiritual concepts, we either abandon our ‘faith’ completely, or trudge on… miserable, unfulfilled, and not understanding why. I tried both ways, neither made me feel any closer to the ‘God’ I’d been taught about in Sunday school.
It is the ones who seek the way to retain their faith, yet cast off the bondage of religion, who find the spiritual nourishment they seek. They are the ones who develop the ‘fruit of the spirit’ in abundance. They are the miracle workers of which Jesus spoke; the ones that will work miracles even greater than his own.
They are the children of the Creator, made in its divine image, therefore, they are creators themselves.
They are one with God.
As I re-read it, I realize that the entire post sounds a little preachy, and I apologize for that. It’s not meant to be. I think I find it easier to slip into the third person ‘authoritative’ when I feel like there might be some backlash for what I’ve written. Whatever the reason for why I chose to write that way, please don’t take it as me saying that this is THE WAY IT IS. It’s MY way, MY understanding at this point in time.
I’ve always felt a kinship with Jesus. His way always seemed more ‘heaven-like’ than the ‘God the Father’ aspect I’d heard about all my life, full of jealousy, vengeance, and wrath. I already have one father like that, I certainly don’t need a second!
As I thought about it, I realized, Jesus wasn’t a ‘Christian’, either. He was a guy who loved, who didn’t judge, who healed, who was kind… he showed us what we could all be, even told us we could do bigger and better things, if we simply embraced the Divine Within. ‘Christianity’ was the post-Jesus creation of man.