Does the average human being really know the difference between religion and spirituality? Do you know the difference and are you the average person? We go through our daily walk through life thinking that we know everything, thinking that we are aware of everything and thinking that we are educated but when it comes to spirituality and religion, so many of us are totally missing the point.
We think of the major religions and cults and we think that these are the ways to be closer to God and we think that these are the ways to get to our Heaven and we think that these are simply the ways to live, yet we really never know the truth because we might be so busy trying to follow what we think are the rules that we miss the reality of true spirituality.
What becomes of the Catholics who dress up on Sunday and curse the world for the rest of the six days of the week? What becomes of the Catholics who walk the stations of the cross at night and by day never see that homosexuals are human beings created by the very God that they believe in? What happens to the born-again Christians who on one hand would hate abortion but would think that it is okay to murder an abortion doctor? Where are the christians who say they love the Lord but do severe damage to their own families? Where are the buddhists who think they believe in God but in their hearts believe in only themselves? What happens to the Catholics who believe that the Pope has some extra power, some extra authority over a whole religion yet do not realize that God made us all equals and made no man infallible on this earth. What happens to the Catholics who believed in the fifties and sixties that eating a hot dog on Friday would surely send you to hell, but who now are allowed and permitted to eat any meat on Fridays? Are there catholics in hell who ate hot dogs on Fridays in 1965 and catholics in Heaven who ate hot dogs on Fridays in 1998? These are just questions, not judgments, but honest, sincere questions for anyone that thinks they know the answers to them, then I challenge you for those answers oración de la mañana.
What happens to the Catholic priests who taught the eat meat on Fridays and go to hell doctrine, who at the same time might have been seducing young men in the church society? Before you balk at that and those questions or statements, go back and read all the news items and go back and remember the stories that leaked out into the front pages. Were these not religious men? What happens to all the women, dressed in their finest on Sundays, who smirk at those who walk into the church in blue jeans and t-shirts? Is it religion that demands that people put on a show and is it not spirituality that demands God accepts you as you are, accepts you as you come to Him?
What are you? Are you religious or are you spiritual? Are you one of those blessed to be able to be both in real life? Perhaps the biggest difference between those who are solely religious and those who are spiritual is that those religious persons usually focus and face rules and regulations putting true love, true respect and true acceptance on the back burner of life. You can be religious and hate humans but usually you cannot be spiritual and hate humans because that is a direct contradiction to the terms. Some religions demand that you hate certain acts and sometimes those religious people interpret that into meaning that you should hate those human beings and avoid those human beings. Yet, in the real world of actual religious and spiritual history, Jesus Christ never really avoided or hated anyone.
If you remember the stories of Christ, then you remember there was never anyone quite as perfect as He was and is. Therefore no one stood up to His standards, no one could and no one would and no one will ever stand up to Christ’s standards. Only as humans we can try, but the unfortunate problem with some of our tries is that we expect our fellow humans to be the perfect that we can never be. Isn’t that odd? We expect others to be perfect when we ourselves cannot be perfect.
And that perhaps is the biggest difference between attempting to be religious and attempting to be spiritual. The difference is that most religious people seek and are looking for perfection while most spiritual people have found peace and seek nothing but being closer to God. Yes, religious people can seek being closer to God, but their own nature prohibits that when they use their rules and regulations to push humans out of their circles because those humans are not perfect enough for them.
So, what do we do with our own spirituality or religions? How do you handle your real life and your religious life? Do you judge people all day and relax and worship God on Sunday? Do you hate homosexuals Monday through Saturday and then on Sunday pray to the God who made all human beings on earth? Do you propose that we have the death penalty for those humans who have murdered other human beings? What is your belief, your religion, your spirituality? What is your life like and does your life really fit your label? Have you labeled yourself as one thing but live your life as another? Are you a true christian who hates other human beings?
A true Christian can be against abortion but still never, ever want to harm an abortion doctor. A true Christian would never ever want to kill or harm another human being. A false christian hates abortion but advocates killing abortion doctors. What is wrong with that picture? Killing in some sense could be considered religious, and in no one’s spirituality is killing correct. Spirituality teaches that life is precious, all life is precious, not just those lives of the people that you agree with. A true Christian can be against the war and not want to have mass scale protests against the war, protests that obstruct traffic and put human lives in danger. See that is the difference between religion and spirituality.
While thousands might protest the war, perhaps breaking city ordinances and protesting without permits, those who are spiritual might have a peace walk in a locale where it is legal to walk. The peace walk is truly for peace, while the peace protest usually is more warlike than it is peaceful. So there lies the difference between religious attitudes and spiritual actions. You almost always cannot get arrested for a spiritual action while you might get arrested for religious protests.
Before anyone rises up and chooses to violently attack this article, I urge you to take a spiritual path and just post civil comments with your own opinions rather than with your own judgments. You might assume that I am anti-Catholic, though I am not. You might assume I am a Buddhist, though I am not. And you might make lots of assumptions which probably are not true, so pause. Stop and think. Really choose your words in response and make them non-judging words but words of honest opinion, words of possible open communication, words of connection rather than of separation.
Religion judges humans and those who are religious without any spirituality judge humans rigidly but forget that Jesus Christ accepts humans as they come to Him. And once religion begins accepting humans as they come to these religions then perhaps they might achieve real spirituality. And, yes, there are those who have learned the hardest lessons, those lessons that clearly state that truly, honest, religious and spiritual people should not use their religions as a means to separate human beings, as a means to discriminate against human beings or as a means to hate human beings, because Jesus Christ hates no human beings. True spirituality is accepting all human beings.
But wait, yes, that is true, but remembering another important thing is necessary too for true spirituality. We accept human beings but we are not obligated to accept all of their behaviors. So, when someone comes into your church smelling of wine, all drugged out on crack, cocaine or pot, then yes, we accept that person as a human being but we do not need to accept that kind of behavior.
There are so many differences between those who are religious and those who are spiritual, so many that there are probably too many to list or to discuss here. But perhaps we might all change the world one single step at a time, if we could just remember to be religious and spiritual at the same time and remember that in order to be truly religious as God would have wanted us to be, then we need to be truly spiritual first.
God did not invent or create the church, but God did create our souls, our spirits and our need to be spiritual. That is the difference between what is God-made and man-made. Though God wants a church He does not want one that humiliates, harms or discriminates against the human beings that He, Himself, created.