Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

++

Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

+++

  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Often when people in a discussion come upon talking about the higher elements of life and speak about believes in God or in divine beings people in the previous years were curious to know if that person belonged to a certain church.  Today there might be not so much interest in talking about the spiritual. And when they encounter people more interested in spiritual matters we encounter a shift in questions.

Ryan Killough also noticed that and mentions in his blog:

Homo sapiens sapiens - Deliberate deformity of...

Homo sapiens sapiens – Deliberate deformity of the woman skull, “Toulouse deformity “. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The question I receive more frequently now is, “oh, what are you?” I always want to answer that question by saying: “I am a species of Homo sapiens from the kingdom of Animalia, pleased to meet you earthling” but it is clear what they mean. So instead I answer, “I am …” Wait, should I answer? I wonder if it’s worth it, because the second it is heard what, “I am” will the attitude and thought behind anyone reading this entire post now change? Not that this ever happens in politics, but why take the risk? There is nothing specifically wrong with the question, “what are you?” My concern is not the question itself, but the change in social norm causing the shift to this question. The question is often asked, not always to learn about someones relationship with Jesus, but to figure out what his or her beliefs are. That is the problem I am addressing. {Church/Denominations}

for him it seems to be a problem when people wonder what he believes. But is that not the first thing to come into a relationship with the person in whom you want to believe?

He should know that people are curious when they encounter somebody who dares to mention he believes in something. When it is Jesus or God that person believes in, he becomes a test person. Than that believer becomes the target to question to see if his beliefs are really well structured and sound. Most people do know that there are many churches and people with so many different believes but that they also often got against each other, even killing each other for their believes. For many the believes or connected with religion which was a ’cause’ (according to them) of many wars. they find it strange that those different churches often claim to be talking about the same God.
Ryan Killough also agrees and questions:

Even though we attend different denominations, we are all following the same God. We should be of the same mind and thought. So if God new all these religious sects would occur where differences and discord would take place, did He make a mistake with the idea of church? Absolutely not. {Church/Denominations}

The Seven Sacraments by Rogier van der Weyden, ca. 1448.

He finds Church is a necessity for teaching, admonishing, and worshipping but agrees that through weekly patterns in our forms of worship, we can deceive ourselves into believing in wrong philosophy.

Our church practices should not be our belief! We should not put tradition and spiritual rituals over what is right, good, and true. Traditions are for the purpose of acknowledging God and, again, are not to become our beliefs. Communion, baptism, confirmation, hand movements, church membership, fasting, or any other church sacraments will not give you salvation! They will not make you any more holy or deserving of Gods grace. These sacraments are simply to express our gratitude of God’s love for us, and allow us to become closer to Jesus in our personal relationship with Him. {Church/Denominations}

But it are just created sacraments and religious actions of those churches which are build on human traditions and not on biblical traditions of the Judean people of God. Many denominations created rules how to do things in the community which are not always totally Biblically funded. Through the years several theologians brought in different teachings and took followers or believers with them, often forming a new church-community  or worse, a new denomination.

Some might think the church does need its theologians to stay in existence, because without good doctrines, good theology, or wonderful expositions it would not be able to survive and be lost in the land of fables and cute stories. Without institutions, temples or churches there would be not much for religion to have a feeding ground. In Religion that church also needs life. In Christian religion this may be the resurrection life of Christ.

No doctrine, idea, theology, or exposition can replace the life of Christ. Only the life of Christ and that which issues from it will prevail against the gates of Hades.

writes Eric Adams in his writing on the British missionary in China, Margaret E. Barber. {My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics}

according to him

Heaven and God are far away, so we must find ways to ascend to heaven. Like the old African American spiritual says:

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

But we may know that God is not far away. He is every moment of the day very close to the world, everywhere and knows every person his or her heart. In their life every person is somewhere else on the Jacob’s Ladder. He can either look down and be afraid or look up and be of full hope.

The Christian Flag displayed next to the pulpi...

What some call “The Christian Flag” displayed next to the pulpit on the chancel of a church sanctuary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many religious people do want to grab themselves by the bootstraps, and try to work their way into God’s good graces, not by grasping or lathing themselves to the Bible, but preferring to  cling to theologian writings. Some may seek for God internally through emotional or mystical experiences and become preoccupied with their own spirituality. To come into a spiritual life which also can become a religious life the person has to be able to hear God’s voice, and to be willing to come to understand God’s Will. When not willing to understand and than to follow the Will of God his faith would not be of much value. Children also often do know what they should do but do something different. That will bring them in problems. The same for adults who have an inborn ethical feeling, which they can ignore or follow. Maturity also informs most of us which influence our feelings may have on others and vice versa. When grown up the person knows how sustained feelings can ‘strangle’ a person and how he can become enslaved by preventing emotional growth to progress beyond the sense of pain having been precipitated, in some way, by whom or what is not liked or hated (i.e., another person, group or class of persons).

As such every person in the world, all created in the image of God can come to hear the call of righteousness and have the feeling of good and bad in them. The difference for the Christian religious person is that he or she should hear that Voice of God and offers himself or herself to follow that Voice more than any other voice. This makes Jesus so special. He could do what he wanted to do and could strike all honour for the things he seemed to be doing; But he never claimed that he could do those things on his own. He recognised he could not do anything without his Father, to whom he prayed to have things done. Jesus was in the world to have his Father to be known better. He also lifted up his eyes to heaven asking his Father to accept and glorify him the only begotten son, in order that he, Jesus the Son of God, may glorify the Only One God who had given Christ authority over all flesh. The religious person who wants to call himself Christian should be a follower of Christ, Jesus the Messiah from whom he or she can get eternal life.  But to be able to get that eternal life those persons should come to the understanding Who is who and should come to know the Only True God, who is the Adonai Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and Jesus Christ, whom God had sent to the world.

Jesus never glorified himself, neither should we glorify ourselves. We should become like Christ, but by doing so we shall not become Christ himself like he did not become God himself. Jesus always had glorified his Father, the God of Abraham as the Only One True God. Jesus knew his lower position than the heavenly beings (angels), but also knew that God was the Most High and always should and shall be the Most High Elohim.  The son of Joseph and Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of King David only wanted to be the will of his Father and wanted to complete on earth the work that his Father, Allah the God of gods had given him to do.

It was this Nazarene man who has revealed God His name to the men whom God gave him out of the world. Jesus never claimed those to be his. He knew that those men who were willing to follow him, were given by his Father. They were God’s, and He have given them to Jesus, and they have kept God His Word.  Those disciples continued the work of Christ after he was killed and resurrected. By the sent Comforter, requested by Christ Jesus,  they lost their fear and went out into the world, understanding that all the things that God had given to their master teacher Jesus came not from their rabbi, but came from his Father, which they now also could call their Father, the Only One God, whose name Jehovah they knew already from Torah, but was now better known by the words and works of His son Jesus.

It was from that Nazarene man the disciples got their words. They received them and knew truly that Jesus had come from God, and they have believed that God had sent him. They never believed that it was God Who had come down onto earth, because they also remembered the voice, at the baptism of their master, Who told the people present that it was “His beloved son” who stood there and did not tell them that it was God who had come down to earth. They also had heard enough from this man to know his relationship with his Father, whom Christ considered to be the Only One true God, to whom Jesus prayed and asked them also to pray to.

” It came to pass when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized, and while he prayed the heaven was opened,  (22)  And the Holy Spirit descended on him, like a dove, and a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22 Lamsa NT)

Jesus had always asked  the things to happen on behalf of the people around him, but they also remembered Jesus telling them that he did not ask God on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom God had given him, because they are God His,  and all Jesus his things are His. They also remembered that Jesus was pleased that His Father had given His world into the hands of him, and that he could been glorified in them. Jesus became no longer in the world, and they were in the world, Jesus went up to his Father in heaven to sit at His right hand. Though Jesus left not his disciples, nor us, on their own. He asked God to keep them, and those who were willing to follow him, in God His name. Being under the Guidance of Christ and his Father all followers of Christ should become like Christ, becoming one the same way like Jesus and God were one. This would not make us to be Christ, like it also did not make Christ to be God. Otherwise we being one with Christ, Christ being one with God, in case Jesus was God we also would become God.  But that is impossible. Like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood, a material being we also are of flesh and blood material beings. Even when we try to become so spiritual that we overcome the material site of ourselves, we shall never be able to become as immaterial or spiritual beings as angels or as the eternal Spirit God.

Jesus has given us his word that he kept us in God’s name and told us all those things in the world so that we may have his joy completed in ourselves. Jesus does not live any more in this world, but we who are living in this world, are still submitted to the Laws of God but subject to the laws of the country were we live in. The world may hate us because we have chosen to follow Christ Jesus and to believe in the One God Who is One. Not believing in the worldly gods we also do not want to be of the world just as Jesus was and is not of the world.  Jesus did not ask his Father that He would take us out of the world, but that He would protect us from the evil of that world.

“But Jesus said to them, My Father works even until now, so I also work.  (18)  And for this the Jews wanted the more to kill him, not only because he was weakening the sabbath, but also because he said concerning God that he is his Father, and was making himself equal with God.  (19)  Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, except what he sees the Father doing; for the things which the Father does, the same the Son does like him also.  (20)  For the Father loves his Son, and he shows him everything that he does; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.  (21)  For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to those whom he will.” (John 5:17-21 Lamsa NT)

“Jesus spoke these things, and then he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, O my Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you.  (2)  Since you have given him power over all flesh, so that to all whom you have given him, he may give life eternal.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know you, that you are the only true God, even the one who sent Jesus Christ.  (4)  I have already glorified you on the earth; for the work which you had given to me to do, I have finished it.  (5)  So now, O my Father, glorify me with you, with the same glory which I had with you before the world was made.  (6)  I have made your name known to the men whom you gave me out of the world; they were yours and you gave them to me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they know that whatever you have given me is from you.  (8)  For the words which you gave me I gave them; and they accepted them, and have known truly that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.  (9)  What I request is for them; I make no request for the world, but for those whom you have given to me; because they are yours.  (10)  And everything which is mine, is yours; and what is yours is mine; and I am glorified by them.  (11)  Hereafter I am not in the world, but these are in the world; and I am coming to you. O holy Father, protect them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.  (12)  While I was with them in the world, I protected them in your name; those you gave me I protected, and not one of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.  (13)  Now I am coming to you; and these things I speak while I am in the world, that my joy may be complete in them.  (14)  I have given them your word; and the world hated them, because they were not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  (15)  What I request is not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should protect them from evil.” (John 17:1-15 Lamsa NT)

The religious and spiritual person in the Christian faith should come to the essence of Christ Jesus his teaching. Like Jesus was not of this world they also should try to cleanse themselves, have their spirit clear, proper for God and not being tempted by the material world, loving the traditions of the world. As such they should try to dispose themselves of those celebrations which are kept in the world, but have elements not in accordance with God His commandments.  We should strip our world from all the heathen or pagan elements. The world were we do want to live in should be removed from all those things which are mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God, as things which are not right.  By avoiding all the things God does not want the world might not like us, because they will notice that we do not want to be “of the world”, even as Jesus was and is not of the world.

In history when churches went astray from the teachings of God, religious people wanted to bring them back on the good track. Their teachings being in conflict with the general or traditional church, made that new denominations were formed. Many allowed legalism, the theological doctrine that salvation is gained through good works, to take a higher stand than God and wanted certain actions to be part of the service a religious person ought to do. Instead of giving more attention at our personal daily walk with Christ and with his Father, which is more important than the sacraments we can burden ourselves with, they brought limitation to what people could do or gave specific strict rules to what people could not do. Sacraments became used as a tool to enter heaven, instead of looking at those sacraments as a symbol of our gratitude toward Gods unfailing grace.

Those ‘renewing teachers’ their followers created new churches and considered that only those people could be saved and go to heaven who became a member of their congregation. They had forgotten that Christ Jesus saved everybody and is the cornerstone of the Church. It is not by belonging to a church a person will secure his position in a place called heaven or in the Kingdom of God. Instead of so many different churches which exclude the other churches, all followers of Christ should be united in that Body of Christ. Those teachers claiming people could only be saved by being a member of their church, also had forgotten that יהוה , YHWH and Love are Four-letter words which are inextricable bound up with the Body of Jesus Christ and his Father, Jehovah God. There were two or more people are gathered in the name of Christ, Jesus is present and there should be peace and Christian brotherhood. The church should offer a place for Christian community, in order strengthen the members their faith, for the purpose of coming closer to God and of spreading God’s Word (by preaching) to the world and worshipping God in everything they do.

Going into ourselves, the spirituality should bring the person in a pure state of mind, clear to receive the entrance to the Supreme Being and becoming one with Him. It should be the aim of the spiritual minded and of the religious person to clear his or her mind of all the unnatural things. The Christian person aiming to get such an open mind to Jesus his Father, like he had, being sanctified in God His Truth, knowing that only God His Word is Truth.  Coming to the knowledge that it was God Who had sent Jesus into the world, and that it was not God Who came down Himself, the religious person should recognise that it was that man Jesus who also sent him or her into the world to become sanctified in Truth.

Jesus did pray to his Father concerning those who will believe in the Messiah Jesus through their word, that all may be one, as God is in Christ that they also may be one in Jesus and in Jehovah God so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus.

Jesus did give his disciples the glory which Jehovah God had given him, that they may be one, as God and Jesus are One. The real Christian his or her main aim should be that oneness with God, like Christ Jesus was one in his apostles we also should become one in Christ like Jesus had unity with his Father, that we may be perfected in one; and that the world may know that it was Jehovah God Who sent Jesus and loved them, even as God loved Jesus.

The spiritual minded Christian should aim to come in such transcendent state that he reaches that goal to become like Christ united with his Father. The transcendence should bring the person wherever Jesus would be. His desire to be one of those whom Jehovah God has given Jesus, that where he is, they may be with him also, that they may behold his glory which God gave Jesus, because God loved Jesus already before the foundation of the world. Because God knows everything, He already knows us as well already from the beginning of the universe. We do not know anything from that period when everything came into being (because we did not exist yet, like Christ did not exist yet), but our spirit should be willing to be part of that foundation of the world, that does not want to know about their Creator, but Jesus knew God and made him known to the world. We also should now become part of that New Foundation, where Jesus as the second Adam opened the gates to the Kingdom of God.

“I with them and you with me, that they may become perfected in one; so that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them just as you loved me.  (24)  O Father, I wish that those whom you have given me, may also be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory which you have given me; for you have loved me before the foundation of the world.  (25)  O my righteous Father, the world did not know you, but I have known you; and these have known that you have sent me.  (26)  And I have made your name known to them, and I am still making it known; so that the love with which you loved me may be among them, and I be with them.” (John 17:23-26 Lamsa NT )

In the spiritual mood the person wants to become perfect like the Father of Jesus in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 )

“So he that descended is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, that he might fulfil all things.  (11)  And he has assigned some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors, and some, teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Until we all become one in faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become a perfect man according to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (14)  That we henceforth be not as children easily stirred and carried away by every wind of false doctrines of men who through their craftiness are artful in deceiving the people;  (15)  But that we be sincere in our love, so that in everything we may progress through Christ, who is the head.  (16)  It is through him that the whole body is closely and firmly united at all joints, according to the measure of the gift which is given to every member, for the guidance and control of the body, in order to complete the edifying of the body in love.” (Ephesians 4:10-16 Lamsa NT)

The person getting into spirituality wants to become one with his full being and with nature. That nature is part of the universe God created. The spiritual person tries to go deeper than the material site of the world, coming into the mystic site. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers may help the person to find subject matter and to get him or her on the way to do good research. Those surrounding the person who wants to be religious and spiritual should provide the right spiritual food so that this person can come to unity with himself and with the Christian Church community, being a good working element and ‘being one’ in, and of, the Body of Christ.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

++

Find also to read:

  1. A world in denial
  2. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  3. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  4. Being prudent – zorgvuldig zijn
  5. Choices
  6. Choosing your attitudes
  7. Not the circumstances in which we are placed constitutes our comfort
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Attitude to others important for reaching them
  13. We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace
  14. How us to behave
  15. Not liking your Christians
  16. Who are the honest ones?
  17. Greatest single cause of atheism
  18. What’s church for, anyway? (by Marcus Ampe)
  19. How we think shows through in how we act
  20. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  21. People should know what you stand for
  22. Remember that who you’re being is just as important as what you’re doing
  23. Followers with deepening
  24. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  25. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. True riches
  28. Doctrine and Conduct Cause and Effect
  29. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  30. Fixing our attention
  31. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  32. Faith
  33. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  34. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  35. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  36. Faith antithesis of rationality
  37. Faith is a pipeline
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  39. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  40. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  41. Two states of existence before God
  42. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  43. Grace is Gods acting love
  44. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  45. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  46. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  47. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  48. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us
  49. Self inflicted misery #8 Pruning to strengthen us
  50. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  51. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  52. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  53. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  54. Trinitarian philosophy
  55. God of gods
  56. Only One God
  57. Jesus Christ being dispatched as the Figurehead of a Religion
  58. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  59. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  60. Being one in Jesus, Jesus in us and God in Jesus
  61. Good or bad preacher
  62. Words to push and pull
  63. If you have integrity
  64. Set free from any form of mental torment or self-condemnation
  65. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  66. From pain to purpose
  67. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  68. Honour your own words as if they were an important contract
  69. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  70. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  71. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  72. Church sent into the world
  73. Communion and day of worship

+++

Additional reading:

  1. What is the difference between Philosophy and Spirituality
  2. Who is the Only “True God”? (John 17:3)
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. Following Jesus’ Footsteps
  5. Church/Denominations

+++

2013 St. Patrick's Day Races: 5k Participants,...

Are you running the right race, having the right goals? – 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Races (Photo credit: ianhun2009)

  • Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations. (cheapbestessaywriting.wordpress.com)
    While it is difficult to know precisely whether or not spiritual beliefs differ in relation to males and womanishs, it is evident that unearthly rule and participation does show relatively clear sexual urge differences. This is sure across all forms of religious organisation. Almost two-thirds of churchgoers are women. However, as with social factors worry class and age, it is clear that in that respect is no overall pattern of male / female religious attendance, since there are evident differences between denominations.
  • The Authority of the Catholic Church (zeal4thefaith.wordpress.com)
    I have heard the argument from Protestants that the Bible is the only authority. They do not believe that the Catholic Church has authority on earth at all. Well, the Bible says absolutely nothing about being the only authority.
    +
    Anglicans, Baptists, Born-again Christians, Brethren-in-Christ Churches, Calvary Churches, Episcopalians, Bible Fundamentalists, Non-denominational churches, Methodists, Presbyterians, start up churches too numerous to count and the list goes on and on. They all teach different theologies and they all have different pastors who went to different seminaries which teach different interpretations of Scripture. Which ‘church’ is correct? Which interpretation is correct?
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    “We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.
    +
    Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. If anything, claiming to be persecuted while expressing contempt for others’ beliefs appears on the rise.
    +
    Like Swift, Jefferson recognized the dangers of religious strife. That’s precisely why, he assured Connecticut Baptists in 1802, the First Amendment decreed “a wall of separation between church and State.”
  • Sunday Worship- Understanding and Teaching (eggflip.wordpress.com)
    Sunday Worship is a core practice of the followers of Christianity, but it’s meanings and it’s enactments represent a wide variety of different traditions and rituals loosely associated with different denominations of Christian Churches and sects that are associated the world religion of Christianity. As is precisely within the Roman Catholic Church, the Liturgical calendar is a key part of Sunday worship for Catholics, with liturgical cycles determining which scriptural passages are read out in sermons on each Sunday of the week. Anglican Churches and the Church of England are examples of other churches that retain their own liturgical calendar. Sunday worship is an important part of many different churches own liturgical calendars, and in part defines and how the Christian year is organized.
    +
    part of understanding the practice of Sunday worship as a religious commitment and a religious experience, and the impact it has on the followers of Christianity, or Catholicism
    +
    C Peck (2007) describes the Church’s rationale for Sunday worship “There are approximately two billion professing Christians on earth. They attend over 2,000 different church denominations and organizations in the United States alone. This number continually increases, bringing no end of confusion over beliefs and disagreement between them.
  • Spirit of Medjugorje Update: Patience (zenobiuszjuz.wordpress.com)
    a good Christian life cannot be pursued without a regular examination of conscience and a good grounding in the virtues…

    …virtues stem from the grace deposited in the ground of the soul by God..the root of all virtue is humility which is characterized by a patient and loving submission to authority…
  • Religulous Bastards (venitism.blogspot.com)
    In the Iran of the Mullahs, the Persian Gulf emirates and even in those countries where Orthodox Christian patriarchs still wield considerable influence, journalistsare branded as heretics as soon as they dare to describe the far-from-holy practices of the regime and its clergy. And if they dare to denounce the atrocities of an armed Islamist group in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria, theyare gunned down as infidels even when they are Muslims.

    Although used for political ends, religion often carries real weight in societies where no boundary between the spiritual and secular is recognized. When an Omani publication quoted gays as saying they were better off in Oman than in neighbouring divine-right petro-monarchies, it was accused of promoting “moral depravity” and therefore “sacrilege.” Subjects such as the role of women, sexuality and reproduction – all markers of secularization – are surrounded by taboos.
  • Significance of followers of Islam beliefs (lovevisiblesim.wordpress.com)
    I met a man in my days with SAT-7 from Tunisia – an Anglican by denomination but a true follower of Jesus among the people of Islam – a friend to followers of Christ.He shared these thoughts –

    For one, it is a myth that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are unified in the embrace of classical Islam’s religious precepts.  On the contrary, man Muslim peoples have a poor understanding of what their religion is really all about.
    +

    But the followers of Islam are religious people and under the right conditions, open about sharing their beliefs.  The word of God, presented under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and watered by the intercessory prayers of God’s people, can do its work in their heart just as in the heart of any who seek truth.

    The follower of Christ’s responsibility is to share the same love and concern for the followers of Islam that God has, the truth as it is in Jesus Christ — the One who can make him free indeed.

  • When Do Christians Have Church Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Christianity is the most prominent religion in the United States, and most Christians regularly attend worship services. However, not all churches offer the same services on the same days. If you are interested in giving it a try, learn a little bit about when Christians hold their church services.
    +
    In most churches, holiday services revolve around the birth and death of Christ, or Christmas and Easter. On Christmas Eve, many churches hold traditional evening services that sometimes include candle light ceremonies and Christmas carols. Some churches also hold services on Christmas Day. The days leading up to Easter, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are usually celebrated with special services. Easter Sunday, of course, is celebrated by nearly every church with an upbeat service.
  • Spirituality and Your Health (evelynmmaxwell.com)
    Our spirituality and philosophy are the roots to our tree of life.  Whether or not our spiritual beliefs and philosophy of life provide us with psychological comfort and hope, rather than distress and discouragement, is very important.  Whether or not they provide us the wisdom and courage to act affects us for life as we branch out in our “decision tree” (a term used in the medical field for the decisions we make in relations to our perceptions of the situations, for example, if “this” is true, we do something for “this”; but if “this” is not true we do something different). And, the strengths and weaknesses of our spiritual lives contribute to our society’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Explaining Christmas to Children (joiedevivreheather.wordpress.com)

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious and the spiritual person may be looking for certain experiences which can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes, and transcendent. For the religious person there is the groups-feeling which shall be important to give him or her the appropriate feelings. The belonging to a community or parish shall fuse the personal feeling and the feeling of being part of something more than the self. The individual is not as such concerned about his individuality in the universe but more about his unit or union with others in the world. “Belonging to” is the feeding ground for the religious person.

The spiritual person is not so much connected to a reason to belong to a group or being part of a community or parish. The Self and especially the inner-self are the motives underlying his quest and behaviour. His or her search to the inner-self are the grounds for a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. for the individual it is not a groups matter but a personal and an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe. In Christianity and Ecclesiastical Terms the immanence came to be the relation to the pantheistic conception of God, as being present throughout the universe. A person could come to a state where he or she could make himself or herself free from the limitations inherent in matter, becoming Theol (of God) having continuous existence outside the created world in a well-built relationship with the Most High Creator God or with a godly being.

In the 19th century several people became convinced that society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties — ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual.

Among others New England congregationalists, rejected predestination, and they emphasized the unity instead of the trinity of God. The many people who had seen how in Europe the church had corrupted the real Truth of the Bible, the infallible Word of God, were also convinced the dogmatic teaching of a Tri-Une God, three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being or homoousia (consubstantialis), had brought man away form the commandments of God not to worship pictures or sculptures of any heavenly being nor of Him, the God of all things. The Gnostics were the first theologians to use the word “homoousios”, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence. Jesus, who was placed by God on this earth, was well aware of his position, being lower than the heavenly beings (the angels) and his Father, without Him he could do nothing and who is the Most High of all.

“You* heard how that I said to you*, I go away and I am coming to you*. If you* loved* me, you* would have rejoiced, because I said, I am going to the Father: because the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 MLV)

“But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now and I work. (18)  Because of this, then the Jews sought even more to kill him, because he did not only break the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
(19)  Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you*, The Son can do nothing from himself, unless he sees what the Father is doing: for* whatever things he does, the Son is also doing these things similarly. (20)  For* the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that himself does and greater works than these he will show him, that* you* may marvel. (21)  For* just-as the Father raises the dead and gives-life to them, even so the Son also gives-life to whom he wills. (22)  For* the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son; (23)  that* all may honor the Son, just-as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him. ” (John 5:17-23 MLV)

Already soon after the rabbi Jesus his death, his disciples were confronted with teachers who twisted Jesus his words and his teachings and mixed them with the Greek-Roman culture of that time. Lots of theories of the Greek philosophers did find their way in the faith of many early Christians, though the apostles kept warning for such false teachings. (See the Acts of the apostles and the many letters to the different communities.) Jesus of Nazareth never required his followers, many ordinary craftsman or fisherman, to follow theologian studies. But those who brought in all those studies of philosophers wanted their followers to learn them thoroughly. Therefore they created special institutions where this mix of teachings could be learned. by the years more time was spent on the teachings of the philosophers than on the Words of God. The early church theologians were probably made aware of the Gnostic concept, and thus of the doctrine of emanation, by them. {Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1, From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451) (London: Mowbrays, 1975), p. 109.}

It was what so many spiritual people kept busy, finding substance between generating and generated, getting to the identity of substance between things generated of the same substance that brought several people away from the Biblical Truth, finding the early Gnostic religious teacher Basilides in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117–138 CE.
Basilides believed faith was merely

“an assent of the soul to any of the things which do not excite sensation, because they are not present”.

He also believed faith was a matter of “nature,” not of responsible choice, so that men would

“discover doctrines without demonstration by an intellective apprehension”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book ii. Chapter iii.}

Image of a fiery purgatory in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Because Basilides believed faith was a matter of nature, doubtlessly he pushed election so far as to sever a portion of mankind from the rest, as alone entitled by Divine decree to receive a higher enlightenment. In this sense it must have been that he called “the election a stranger to the world, as being by nature supermundane”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book iv. Chapter xxvi.} It was also this teacher who brought in that Jesus his death was not enough to get liberated of sin. According to such a teaching it denies the value of the sacrifice of Christ by who’s death we can be adopted as a child of God and be reconciled, having paid for our sins by our death. The idea was created that people only could receive ‘reconciliation’ when they belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and had received a sacrament in which repentant sinners are absolved and gained reconciliation with God and the Church. Basilides deprived men of a salutary fear by teaching that transmigrations are the only punishments after death. In later years many churches used purgatory and hell-fire to frighten the people and to get them in their system as angst-ridden followers. Many denomination used it as the big stick to keep people in their flock, also telling them they only could be saved and could come in heaven by being a member of their church. Today we still notice such a preventative measure against going astray or leaving that church still works. The fear of loosing their heavenly life makes that many people do not dare to question those theologian doom teachings. Because Basilides held to a fatalistic view of metempsychosis, he believed the Christian martyrs were being punished not for being Christians, but for sins they had committed in the past. This made that people became afraid to loose their life when they would keep on to the teachings of the apostles and early followers of Jesus, who took him as the son of God and not as god the son. Taking on the symbols and worship methods of the Greece-Roman culture made them one of them and would give them less reasons to be killed.

Lots of religious people took the sign of the god of evil Tamuz, the cross, as the sign of the death of their god. The Only One God can not die and never did have an end to His life which is eternal, meaning ‘with no beginning and no end’. Jesus had a beginning, his birth and an end, his death. The ones from the New World had seen how the European churches not only brought in false doctrines like the trinity, but resisted also many other Christian doctrines which had become considered conventional for the Christian Faith. Searchers for the truth like Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of the Unitarian movement, defined Unitarianism as the belief of primitive Christianity before later corruptions set in. Among these corruptions, lots of people had taken on several pagan rituals and had made them custom actions in their religious life.

Soho House in Handsworth, Birmingham, a regular venue for meetings of the Lunar Society

At Daventry, Priestley was sufficiently grounded in Latin and Greek to hold his own in subsequent disputes with university-trained scholars. He was more generally introduced to a range of subjects in natural philosophy, but more significantly, he was there formally instructed in logic and metaphysics. In Birmingham he became preacher at New Meeting House, one of the most liberal congregations in England, and was soon associated with the Lunar Society, an informal collection of provincial intellectuals, scientists, and industrialists. Taking the Bible as the main guide for his study about God to compare with the historical writings about Jesus and his followers, he became the chief propagandist and protagonist for Unitarian beliefs in England, writing annual defences against attack, and developing in various historical and polemical works (for example, An History of the Corruptions of Christianity [1782] and An History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ [1786]) a rationalist theology that suggests, in some measure, the ideas of textual and “higher criticism” of the New Testament. In the eyes of the church establishment, he came to represent the intolerable encroachments of dissent, and on him was focused their theological and political animus. {Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008} when he had to escape from conservative England he emigrated to the United States in 1794 where president John Adams and George Washington were welcoming his teachings and made him to feel at home.

Those people looking to save their life found in the religion preached by those theologians of the Old World could feel ways to feel at ease with the many traditional movements done by the people around them. Instead of abstaining them form those worldly actions they now could take part without hesitation and fear, being part of the world. For many it was quite easy now to be religious, because according to the teaching of the apostles and the non-trinitarians or unitarians, people themselves were responsible and had to make choices themselves to make sure they would be worthy salvation. In the gnostic and Roman Catholic Church and later in several protestant churches they could blame their faults to a devil, called Satan or Lucifer, and always could find penitence even when they kept doing the same bad things. In many cases churches were willing to accept money for pardoning.

+

Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

++

Read also:

  1. Idolatry or idol worship
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. God of gods
  4. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  5. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  8. Christ Versus the Trinity
  9. Altered to fit a Trinity
  10. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  12. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  13. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  14. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  15. Science and God’s existence
  16. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  17. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  18. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  22. Satan or the devil
  23. Satan the evil within

+++

Additional reading:

  1. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  2. Fear
  3. All trust, no fear
  4. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  5. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  6. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  7. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  8. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity

+++

  • A New Gnosticism (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Well, after several months of thought, and being a bit dense, I figured out that Christian Scientism was a new Gnosticism. I suppose other people have known this, but I have beenin discussion with a friend who is a Christian Scientist and it finally dawned on me. She thinks that all reason is empiricism, so that is a confusion immediately seen.To the Catholic, reason and faith are two pillars of our spiritual life.

    For the Gnostic, the material world is evil. God is not part of the material. What the CS does with Genesis, in which we read that God created the world and everything in it and saw that it was good.

    For the Catholic, creation was created good by a good God. For the Catholic, Christ was Incarnated, became Man, became material. The CS does not accept this. To them, God is a principle not a person.

  • Embracing the Body as a Spiritual Path. (elephantjournal.com)
    The belief from many traditions is that we suffer precisely because we identify with our bodies, and that freedom is (somehow) somewhere beyond that mistake. But what I found over the years is that in fact the opposite might be true: we suffer when we do not embrace our bodies, and in fact it is our suffering in the first place that makes us reject, disconnect from and seek to be somewhere other than our bodies.chakrasHealing lies in coming home to the body. Whether it is recovery from trauma, abuse or addiction, learning to manage stress and be present with feelings, or releasing shame and media-conditioning to embrace our bodies as they are.
  • Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Skeletons in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 1) (kosmosys.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism is known to have correlations with Christianity based on its status of heresy with the Roman Catholic Church. Without going into specifics just yet, one can assume that “correlations”,”similarities” mean concepts, persons, principles, histories, what have you. Another interesting (or troubling?) thing about Gnosticism is that it actually Predates Christianity, meaning that it was in existence Long before Christianity. The understanding of the term “heresy” (and we will officially define it later) is that it is a corruption or perversion of scripture already in existence. How can Gnosticism corrupt or pervert Christianity IF Gnosticism was already in existence? So, if we are supposed to believe that Christianity is “self-existent” (meaning that the events in the Bible Actually happened and the people in the Bible were Real) how is it possible for it to be influenced by a School of Thought older than it? How can Jesus’ teachings exist Before He was supposedly born?
    +
    Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Bones in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 2)
    What doctrine was the Church trying to silence? So by using Gnosticism, we can then get a new perspective on Christianity. We can look at its behavior, if you will, and understand exactly what, if anything, it is hiding in its closet.
    +
    According to NewAdvent.org, certain aspects of Gnosticism was in existence before that of Christianity, although at the time it was not called Gnosticism, as you can imagine, because Gnosticism itself was/is a spin off of older doctrines. One of the parent faiths of Gnosticism was the Babylonian Mandean faith, which I won’t even get into here. It is also pretty obvious that Gnosticism was not called such until it reached Greece seeing as the root of Gnosticism is “gnosis” meaning knowledge and is a greek word. So, according to this particular source, NewAdvent.org, “it is beyond doubt that Gnosticism existed independent of and anterior to Christianity.” Which means that there is no way that Gnosticism could come as a perversion of Christianity because it was here first.
    +
    As Christians have we not been trained to not think? What about the questions wehave been asked thathave been answered with a “don’t test God” or “God’s mysterious ways.” How many times hasCreflo dollar told us “don’t think! Sow!” How many times have we wondered where all our tithes and offerings are going? Who is spending it and on what?It is clear what the Church thinks about people with knowledge, people who think. Was Jesus not the reason for the slaughter of dozens of innocent men, women, and children during the Salem Witch Trials? How many of you knew the TRUE meaning of the terms listed above?
    +
    All I’m saying is that we need to open our eyes more. Ask questions. Understand things. Obviously there is more to be see than just meets the eye. There is more that needs to be learned. Otherwise, why would the Church cause so much bloodshed to silence the knowledge?
  • My Experience In The Word Of Faith Pt. 7-Watchman Nee,Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis (christianreasons.com)
    Pay careful attention to the reference regarding a deeper spiritual life. That will become important when we discuss the Keswick movement. The main thing I want to demonstrate is the link to Roman Catholic mysticism.Although the “Cross” is emphasized with the Higher Life advocates, the Sanctifying effects of union with Christ is stressed almost to the exclusion of the Justifying effects and the forgiveness of sins. I have a real problem with that. It is also common among Classic Wesleyans and Pentecostals to over-emphasize the more subjective aspects of Sanctification than the objective work of Christ in Justification.
    +
    The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary). His claims that the conscience is based on one’s intuition opens wide the door for being directed by a supposed inner voice from God rather than taking God’s written Word as the true basis of conscience training. The conscience is only as accurate as the training upon which it is based. development of a rather complicated system, with its own specific terminology, which means that the uninitiated cannot really grasp the “deep teachings” of God. The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary).
    +My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics
    + Pt.1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5.
    It has been in my exposure to the Reformers that I learned the broken ladders that the little theologians of glory in us love to use to get to God.
    +
    In The Normal Christian Life, (probably one of his more popular titles), Nee writes: “Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them.” His whole exposition on the Blood of Christ in this book is very orthodox, and insightful. As far as it goes, it’s theologically sound.
  • Is It O.k. for Christians to Do Martial Arts? (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Many of the martial arts popular in the West have origins in parts of the world where Buddhist and other forms of religious philosophy are (or were) prevalent. Such philosophy is not essential to discipline and exercise, and indeed we can bring a Christian approach to bear, especially since we strive to focus not only on our own well-being but on selfless charity to others.
    +
    If it is simply a question of breathing exercises or seeking peace and harmony of soul, without the imposition of Pagan beliefs, then we can take part, though in our own practice we can bring to bear our Christian faith in which Christ is our peace, and the values of self-discipline and care of our physical health are seen in the context of a spiritual life in accord with the teaching of the Gospel.

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

According to a response on “Focus on outward appearances” some people might be confusing religiousness and spirituality with “having good faith in God“, with that God being the Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

spirituality shelf

spirituality shelf (Photo credit: professor megan)

Spirituality, which has not at all its origins in Christianity, is as old as the street, is a striking aspect of our contemporary times and stands in stark contrast to the decline in traditional religious belonging in the West.  Spirituality is about the quality of being spiritual and comes from the Old French “espiritualte, espirituaute”, variants of “spiritualite”, from Late Latin “spiritualitatem” (see spirituality). It was the church in the late 14th century  early 15th century made it to something which only could belong to “the clergy“. For the clergyman it was impossible that an other person than a qualified priest could know something about the spirit, the spiritual or spiritual life. for them spirituality became “ecclesiastical property; things pertaining to the Church“. The seldom-used sense of “fact or condition of being a spirit” is from 1680s.

The spirituality could mean or concern the immaterial, immaterialityincorporeality, otherworldliness, unearthliness. Spirituality can be the condition or quality of being spiritual but also the state or quality of being dedicated to a god or to the God, religion, or spiritual things or values, especially as contrasted with material or temporal ones. It is the involvement in an inner exploration of the meaning of the existence and the relation to the universe. To quote Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed., 1997), spiritualism is an

“attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action,”

Spiritualism in philosophy is a characteristic of any system of thought that affirms the existence of immaterial reality imperceptible to the senses.

English: University library of Nijmegen: Encyc...

At the University library of Nijmegen a world of knowledge is available to the visitors. With the Encyclopædia Britannica people can start their quest in Spirituality and mind awareness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

So defined, spiritualism embraces a vast array of highly diversified philosophical views. Most patently, it applies to any philosophy accepting the notion of an infinite, personal God, the immortality of the soul, or the immateriality of the intellect and will. Less obviously, it includes belief in such ideas as finite cosmic forces or a universal mind, provided that they transcend the limits of gross Materialistic interpretation. Spiritualism as such says nothing about matter, the nature of a supreme being or a universal force, or the precise nature of spiritual reality itself. {Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia  Vol IX, p429, 15th edition,1974, 1980}

We may accept that it is the willingness of a person to take the attitude in his or her mind to have a broad sweep in thought, feeling, and practice, all pointing to the inner, subjective world of the spiritual being, the essence of live and the relationship of the human being with its environment, cosmos, plants, animals and different organisms.

It would be totally wrong to base it on an a priori theological standpoint, because it is rooted in the human search, in experimentation, questioning and exploring which existed already long before the theologians where born.

In the very old religions there was already long before Christ interest in the “dharma” meaning the “cosmic law and order” our relation in nature and to each other. The word Dharm means the “path of righteousness”. It is a path many people in the world have sought for through the many ages and it is the path the Creator wants His creation to find. Millions of people wanted to get deeper into their mind and did a quest for finding their own spirit. Spiritualism may be all about that, finding your spirit.

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians wi...

Spiritualism was equated by some Christians with witchcraft. This United States 1865 broadsheet also blamed Spiritualism for causing the Civil War. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion Spiritualism, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living is something totally different. In the 19th century tension between the fanciful and the logical was made explicit, though journals denounced spiritualist beliefs in the supernatural, including “the whole business of mediums and seances”. People wanted to see how far they could go in the extremes of human folly, and if it would be possible to come in contact with people who lived previously. At the end of the previous century more Western people came in contact with Buddhism where there is the believe that we reincarnate after we die. such idea makes the people afraid of their present attitude because they know in case they are not behaving well they will reincarnate in a lower being to have a horrible life.

By the years people got convinced they could not escape the same inevitable destiny, of loosing our life. Death is something nobody can escape. We shall all die one day and many do want to know what happens when we die. They want to know if there is an afterlife and how it looks like.

By the end of the 20th Century, many had become dissatisfied with the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholics, and had found they had many dogmatic teachings which were not in accordance with what was written in their Holy books, the Bible. Because this life did not seem to be able to bring the reasonable answers for the future, and not making them to come to full happiness, the hope to have more opportunities to grow until full happiness could be reached, looked the solution.  Believing in an afterlife for many meant believing in something which makes our lives more meaningful. With the years more people started believing again, like the ancestors in the early times in life after death and renowned spiritual mediums also talk about reincarnation and the existence of spirit world.

Also the branch of Spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec Spiritism, today found mostly in continental Europe and Latin America, especially Brazil, emphasising reincarnation is something totally different than Spirituality where people search for “the sacred“. That special thing which is “set-apart”, “holy” or “sacred” can be broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration,

“a transcendent dimension within human experience…discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context.” {Saucier 2007.}

Religion may be considered as

“the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.”

like the American psychologist William James (1842–1910) distinguished this personal, experiential element ”spirituality” within religion from the

“theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations [that] may secondarily grow up” around the experience ([1902] 1985, p. 31).

Viewing religion broadly as a transcendent and often transforming experience, he left open the form of the experience itself and the devotional object at the centre of that experience. Being religious is being considered to adhere a form of religion. This is not only restricted to the Christian belief like so many think. Shamanists, Hindus, and Muslims may be even more religious than many Christians are. 20th  and 21st century surveys prove many Christians are less religious than people from other religions. Buddhists, Sophrologists, Confucians and other eastern philosophical religions are more religious and much more spiritual than the sec Christian counterparts. For many Christians there is not at all a reason to go deeper in the mind of the self For many Christians spirituality is certainly not the primary and motivating quality of their religion.

Whether the religion in question, is organized or of movement status or mostly individual; and whether it involves God, Allah, the Supreme High Being, the God of gods, Jehovah, Yahweh, other gods or other-than-human guides and spirits, or the centre of the Self, or an almighty Nature or the Almighty Most High, or an Ideal held to be worth living or dying for, it often concerns looking for a special situation of the self, a Nirvana, Cosmic Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, the Void and a spiritual inner, experiential aspect of being not bounded by a specific Christian religion. It is a general region of awareness within which people of all sorts of denominations or religion may experience, not just think about, a higher power, the absolute, with whatever title or name they may be willing to give to that higher substance, or whatever label is used for that which is not an object but which instead forms the undivided ground of all being (Huxley). Spirituality can also refer to actions arising from such spiritual experiences, the human being looking into the matter of the immaterial.

The spirituality is the willingness to come to think about the matters of the universe and to engage one self in practices that heighten the possibility of spiritual experiences. In addition, those who experience spiritual levels of consciousness often feel called to serve, and spiritually rooted service takes many forms.

Spiritual experience can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, and transcendent. Spirituality is a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. The essence of spirituality is an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe.

+

To be continued with: Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

++

Read also:

  1. Living in faith
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  3. Religion and spirituality
  4. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  5. Childish or reasonable ways
  6. Words to push and pull
  7. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  8. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  9. Making church
  10. Church sent into the world
  11. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  12. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  13. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  14. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  15. Happiness is like manna
  16. Happiness an inner state

++

Additional reading:

  1. Is spirituality a passing trend? by Philip Sheldrake
  2. Spiritualism in The Saturday Review and The Princess and The Goblin
  3. Dealing with the inevitable
  4. Possibility of reincarnation?

+++

  • Research For Spirituality (f1mediaconcepts.wordpress.com)
    We asked a range of students what spirituality meant to them. The most popular responses included these phrases: 

    • Rest for your mind
    • Time to think things through.
    • Values and morals.
    • Inner self
    • Mind and soul
    • Sense of freedom and expression.
    • Religious beliefs and having faith in something
    • Ghosts
    • Afterlife

    +
    Another character we look to include is a religious one. We aim to show the religious aspects of spirituality through the means of this character. There are many angles that can be taken on this, but we have chosen to focus on the Christian lifestyle. We feel that this will be the easiest to convey and understand due to the fact that the majority of people in Coventry are of Christian faith  (53.7%) http://www.facts-about-coventry.com/uploaded/documents/Census 2011 Briefing – Religion.pdf (2011 consensus). By applying core values and beliefs of Christian spirituality we will develop the character and a narrative about how they react to outside stimulus. This reaction will also contribute to how we create generic conventions of the Structured reality genre. This is due to the fact that these types of documentaries are structured around drama and conflict. These conflicts will exist between the outside stimulus, other’s values and this character’s values.

  • Spirituality is a way of life (aaaglass.wordpress.com)
    Spirituality is not about a religion. Neither is it about gods and rituals. Spirituality is the ability to see  the spirit of the creator in everything around us , be it a flower or a stone. And then to act and behave accordingly. We come to this earth to live our lives, fulfill the purpose of life as we evolve, learn and teach others through our existence and then move on to another from of life as we go back to our creator. May I am not spiritual as I would like to be. But one thing is certain – I am not a religious. For me Spirituality is a principled way of life; it’s an attitude. There are a dozen attributes to life, to building a positive attitude, embedded in the very word ‘Spirituality’. Let me walk you through each letter of the word ‘spirituality’ (As mentioned in one of  the article of Rajashree Birla published in TOI).
  • Immaterial (lifeontheapex.wordpress.com)
    Just as theism contains a huge number of organized belief systems (and a potentially infinite number of unorganized belief systems), atheism, while not a belief system in itself, includes in its definition a wide variety of beliefs systems as well. A simple lack of belief does not define a philosophy, but once one has rejected theistic systems many secular options become available, including, but not limited to Rationalism, Materialism, Nihilism, Existentialism, Humanism, and secular varieties of Eastern religion such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism.
    +
    Some argue that ‘atheism’ shouldn’t just indicate disbelief in gods and other spiritual entities, but a complete rejection of all things immaterial.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “By this age, the ego strength necessary for self-examination may have reached a level where it can reflect upon itself, critique itself, and risk altering choices, and thereby values as well.”
    +
    “Only what is experientally true is worthy of a mature spirituality… A mature spirituality will seldom provide us with answers,  and necessarily so, but will instead ask ever-larger questions of us. Larger questions will lead to larger life.”
  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Wealth and Spiritual / Religious paths rarely mixes due to the fact wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path.
    +
    the choice is yours alone so I can not tell you which to follow nor fault you on which you choose. It is a God given gift of freewill that gives you the ability and right to choose your own path.
  • Consumerism vs Spirituality (theiamvibration.wordpress.com)
    Consumerism is a general term with different contexts and therefore slightly different meanings. In this context however, it refers to the materialistic lifestyle, concerned with the acquisition of material things through the process purchasing. In other words it is the culture of buying goods and services.
    Spirituality, likewise does not have a single set definition, because it is a culture so universal that it has a translation in every prominent lifestyle. It is the search of a greater purpose, better and healthier living, in faith of ascension to divinity. The pursuits of spirituality are immaterial in objective.
    The two are based essentially on two opposite premise, one material and one immaterial.
  • Spirituality and the Rat Race: can you maintain a spiritual focus in the 9-to-5 world? (findingtheinnerway.com)
    Can a working professional in a high-stress job maintain a consistent spiritual focus—or are the stresses of work incompatible with the contemplative life?
    +
    Everything in modern city life is calculated to keep man from entering into himself and thinking about spiritual things. Even with the best of intentions a spiritual man finds himself exhausted and deadened and debased by the constant noise of machines and loudspeakers, the dead air and the glaring lights of offices and shops.
    +
    There are some people who are perfectly capable of tasting true spiritual peace in an active life but who would go crazy if they had to keep themselves still in absolute solitude and silence for any length of time…what a hopeless thing the spiritual life would be if it could only be lived under ideal conditions.
    +
    Like all things in life, I suppose it’s about balance, about finding the happy medium between the working life and the contemplative life. It’s a fluid situation, with the demands of work ebbing and flowing—but then isn’t finding and defining our purpose in life fluid as well, a constantly moving target?
  • Paul Lenda ~ 9 Ways To Spot A Fake Guru Or Spiritual Teacher (shiftfrequency.com)
    The old paradigm of life-controlling and mind-manipulating belief systems has left many to finally realize they have been living in an artificial reality created by egotistical people on power trips. This has led to a situation where many are wandering, trying to find their own way in a world without many true leaders, and as a result of this, a new market has developed which attempts to showcase answers to those people who have become disillusioned with the old dogmatic systems.
    +
    There’s an influx of ‘enlightened masters of the universe’ pervading the spiritual sphere these days. Gurus and spiritual teachers are popping up left and right. Many of them seem to provide an easy way out of the voids many people feel they have within their lives, and as a result these gurus and teachers make a ridiculously massive amount of money… even earning social ranks akin to being glamorous superstars.
    +
    genuine spiritual teachers and self-growth coaches are often disregarded as being ‘false gurus’ giving out spiritual-sounding nonsense that lacks substance and is unhelpful for a person’s spiritual growth.
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    Our greatest joys and deepest sorrows are most often experienced within the context of family.
    +
    It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
    +
    Lack of spirituality in the home contributes in a different way, but nonetheless contributes, to children’s spiritual development. For many, they believe or don’t because their parents did or didn’t. Yet for others, as they mature they begin to recognize the spiritual void felt in their home and they seek out answers. Many children or young adults are introduced to religious matters through school, media, or friends. The lack of spirituality in their home perhaps causes them to desire it more.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    For many there is an additional more personal piece. You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In my opinion, Christianity is the only tradition that openly celebrates both spiritual paths. I can agree that there is no secret teaching, because both spiritual paths are out in the open for everyone to see. However, by definition, the esoteric teaching is the second leg of the spiritual journey. The esoteric teaching does not have to be “secret” in order to maintain its mystery. The mystery of the esoteric path can only be revealed when the exoteric path or first leg of the spiritual journey is fully completed.
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
    for me it has been and is the walking that is important, not any place that I might arrive at or achievement I might accomplish.  I think that I have discovered  a lot since I started, but do not consider myself “enlightened”,  just aware of who  I am.  For me this primary truth, a recognition that there was/is something  more to me (my soul)  than my physical body, is what allowed me and still allows me, to find meaning and purpose in life.
    +
    there is nothing you need outside of yourself.  Everything you need to know about yourself you already know.  Pursuing or walking a spiritual path is the way in which you will re-discover or access the truth about yourself.
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    “The Art of Conscious Living,” challenges the traditional view of spiritual enlightenment through abstract paintings each coupled with poetic verse.
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
    +
    The Same Thought …
    no saint can say anything different from other saints, because the God all saints revere is the same, except that Prophets down the ages have said things in different ways according to the social circumstances of the times.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com) + But is it my religion?
    I’ve heard it said that religion is having someone else’s spiritual experience and spirituality is having your own. It’s certainly true that some Buddhists venerate the Buddha or other teachers to such a high degree that they are just having the Buddha’s experience and not their own. I don’t do that. The Buddha warned us against doing that. He said, “Don’t worship me,” and right after his death, people started doing it.

    I really don’t think the Dharma of the Buddha is a religion—at least not as I practice it.
    +
    we’ve all heard people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” I’ve always thought that was a little weird, but it’s probably relatively accurate.
    +
    I believe in spiritual awakening. If I have a religion, maybe spiritual awakening is what it should be called.
    +

    So I’m Told God Isn’t a Buddhist!
    In the East, there was a more pragmatic approach in dealing with reality as it presented itself. Taoism and Buddhism in particular face the real illusions of the mind with philosophies rooted in the nature of man—always geared towards finding harmony.
    +

    To define Buddhahood or Buddha as God is an impossibility as Buddhism teaches self-reliance and that every being is given the opportunity to awaken. Yet, since Buddhahood exists in all things, it really depends on how you define God. God has so many definitions, understandings and misunderstandings. And, tellingly, the gods of Buddhism must ultimately die.

    The core of religious belief is the understanding of a spiritual way to inhabit the world. Whether one uses terms such as God, Buddha, Jesus Christ or Krishna, does not change the intent. The tree is still the tree. The bird is still the bird. If you jump into a lake, you will still get wet!

  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Thankfulness is a practice that acknowledges that we really cannot possibly control everything that happens to us. It is therefore an expression of humility, one of the most important spiritual virtues.
    +
    Daily Teaching for Wednesday, December 4th
    Every generation believes that their children’s generation is something of a lost cause. The difference is that this time my generation just might be right.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    Renunciation of unskilful attitudes and behaviours is therefore a prerequisite for entry onto the spiritual path. Many people believe that spiritual renunciation means forgetting about the world and everything we know. However, this represents a mistaken understanding because rather than forgetting about or turning one’s back on the world, true spiritual renunciation means completely surrendering oneself to, and becoming fully immersed in, the world. In order to surrender ourselves to the world we have to let go of all our attachments and all our aversions. We have to let go of hope and fear. If we harbour hopes then we leave ourselves exposed to suffering. Hope means that we are not content with the present moment and that we wish to try and change it. However, the only way to really change the present moment is to immerse ourselves fully in it – hope stops us from doing this. If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    We all spend a great deal of time learning techniques.
    +
    Our techniques are a utility to learning how to interact with the current situation with unified body, speech and mind. Without a deep exploration beyond the shapes, the forms and techniques are fundamentally worthless for the purpose of the art – realization and manifestation of truth.