Monday, October 1, 2012

Customized Religion


Today there was an interesting opinion piece on CNN about being spiritual but not religious.  My post today will be along the same lines as that piece, but from a more solid Christian point of view.  There is a trend, and it is something that has been going on for quite some time, of people who kind of make up their own religion.  They say they are spiritual but not religious.  They may think that are on the right path, but unless their desired destination is Hell, they are woefully wrong.  The Bible makes this abundantly clear.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6 NKJV
Outside of Jesus, there is no way to eternal life.  Outside of Jesus, all roads lead to Hell, no matter how "spiritual" someone may think that they are.  That is a reality that will hit them very hard when they stand before the God that they have rejected. 

The very idea of being spiritual without being religious is a fallacy.  You see, these people do have a religion, it is one they custom made for themselves.  They take those things they like about other religions and add in a few ideas of their own to create a god and theology custom-fitted to their lifestyle.  It is not that they do not believe in any religion, it is just that they believe in their own.  They may act like they are humble souls just seeking for truth when the fact is that they display the epitome of pride and make up their very own truth. 

They claim they are not religious, but they are more religious than just about any Christian.  In fact, they probably adhere to their religion better than any Christian because they can constantly adjust their religion to suit their lifestyle.  If they see something they like, they add it.  If something does not work, they remove it.  If their sense of morality changes, the measure of morality in their religion changes to fit.  They are perfect adherents to a custom made religion.  They claim no real absolute truth yet they claim absolutely that so-called "organized" religion does not represent truth, at least not for them.  You see, for them, even the idea of truth changes to suit their needs. 

Not only are they more religious, but they also follow their own god better than any Christian follows the true God.  That is because they are their own god.  Sure they say they believe in some "higher power," but that higher power answers to the whims of their beliefs and desires.  Who can create and control god other than an even higher god?  Yes, they are their own god and their entire belief-system is meant to please that self-god they serve.  If Yoga makes them feel good, they do it.  If listening to New Age music makes they feel "spiritual" they feel they are worshiping this higher power.  If their is a part of their life that Christianity may say its wrong, their "god" will say it is just fine with him (or her or it or whatever else they claim to worship).  Their spirituality is about what makes them feel good and what affirms their life style choices.  It is not spirit at all that they serve, it is self.  Whatever makes self feel better about self, they do.  It is all about feelings and experience and nothing about real solid truth. 

And that is the greatest failure of what they claim to be a search for truth.  The thing about truth is that truth does not care about feelings.  Truth is truth and does not change based on how we feel.  I am overweight.  It does not matter whether it makes me feel good nor does it matter if I choose not to believe it or even claim it is not true.  It is truth, I am overweight.  A search for truth based on feelings is a failure from the start.  Truth can make you feel good or it can make you feel terrible.  When we disagree with truth, it is not for us to seek a new truth that makes us feel better but to adjust ourselves to truth.  For my weight, the solution is to acknowledge it and do something about it because another undeniable truth is that too much weight is bad for health.  I may want to believe that eating cheese steaks and french fries is good for me because quite honestly they do make me happy, but the truth is they are not good for me.  Eating them, no matter how happy they may make me, will only hurt me.  The point I am making is that truth simply is.  It does not change for us, but we must change for it. 

In a spiritual sense, that truth is Jesus Christ.  That truth is the Word of God we call the Bible.  Truth is that we are all sinners bound for Hell unless we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Truth is that sin is very real and very prevalent in our lives.  Truth is that just because we want something to not be sin does not make it not sin.  God determines what sin is, not us.  Truth is not a democracy nor can it be overruled by a majority of the people.  The truth is that all those people who seek their own way are hopelessly lost until and unless they come to Jesus.  Only He is the way. Only He is the truth. Only He is the light.   

So those who are spiritual and not religious are not people seeking after truth at all, they are people running from a truth they reject.  They are are not seeking after salvation, unless it is on their terms.  They are their own god and unless they repent they will meet their own god's fate, that being death.  They can not save themselves from death and they certainly can not save themselves from the judgement of God.  Life is not about bending truth to your will, but submitting your will to truth.  If you are in that camp, what you call spirituality is anything but.  You have just created a religion that elevates your own flesh.  Stop seeking after another truth, there is only one, and there is only One who can save you.  I urge you, turn back to the truth you are running from, turn back to Jesus. 
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 NKJV

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