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  1. #1
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    Spiritual But Not Religious, Just Inane

    I have attempted to have discussions with people who spout this balderdash.
    Amusing, but non productive discussions.
    SS

    'Spiritual But Not Religious, Just Inane

    by Joe Bob Briggs

    March 08, 2018

    NEW YORK—“I’m spiritual but not religious.”

    WTF.

    Why do people say this?

    Yes, we know you’re spiritual. Everybody is spiritual. Mafia hitmen are spiritual. We’re all made up of body, soul, and spirit. So why are you telling me about it?

    Or maybe you mean “spiritual” in the sense of the old “Negro spirituals,” meaning songs about Jesus—but no, we have to rule that one out because that would probably require a choir, which would require a church, which would require something religious.

    But wait! There’s actually a Wikipedia entry called “Spirituality,” so maybe some spiritual-but-not-religious Ph.D.s from Jonathan Livingston Seagull University have been posting there.

    Nope, not helpful. According to the article, spirituality can involve:

    (1) seeking the image of God.
    (2) seeking the image of God in man.
    (3) seeking the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”
    (4) belief in the supernatural.
    (5) belief in personal growth.
    (6) quest for ultimate meaning.
    (7) quest for sacred meaning.
    (8) religious experience. (How did this one get in there?)
    (9) encountering one’s own inner dimension. (No idea what that means, but you can encounter a lot of your inner dimension with a few Pabst Blue Ribbons.)

    There are, in fact, at least 27 definitions of “spirituality” in the academic literature, so if we were being scientific about it, we would conclude that the word itself is a meaningless basket term that can be manipulated to signify anything or nothing.
    “The word is ‘atheist.’ Please use it.”

    So let me go back to my original question:

    Why do people feel the need to say “I’m spiritual but not religious”?

    Maybe we’re focusing on the wrong word. Maybe it’s the “not religious” part they want us to hear.

    Except you could say you’re not religious without adding the “spiritual” thing and confusing the heck out of us. Not Religious is a good thing to be. It’s easy. It’s succinct. It’s the official doctrine of many political parties, including the Communists. It’s a way to say “I’m not concerned with God, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, monasteries, or Holy Writ. I’m going it alone.”

    So just leave “spiritual” out of it.

    But they won’t.

    We have to know how spiritual they are.

    Fortunately we have some guideposts provided by Tara Burton, a writer for Vox who recently reported the results of a study conducted by something called the Public Religion Research Institute, which, upon cursory examination, is a think-tanky D.C. polling organization founded in 2009 by an Emory University professor who believes that “white Christianity” is dead. The “nonpartisan” PRRI is dedicated, according to its website, to “illuminating America’s changing cultural, religious, and political landscape.” Apparently this includes a lot of spiritual non-religion.

    So their latest illumination is a poll showing that 20 percent of Americans are Spiritual But Not Religious.

    Yes, it’s no longer a bromide or something your eccentric aunt says, it’s an actual category in the poll.

    Since we can’t possibly know what that means (see above), Tara Burton has done us the favor of seeking out some representative Spiritual-But-Not-Religious worshippers:

    Ava Lee Scott, New York actress and “theater-maker,” studies ancient languages including Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic, reads Tarot cards, studies the cosmological principles in runes, uses cowrie shells for some kind of enlightenment that I don’t quite understand, and believes in “a higher power,” which is the old Alcoholics Anonymous term to avoid saying “God.” (I’m not sure what a theater-maker is, but I assume it does not involve construction on Broadway.) She also makes copious use of plants, Dead Sea salt baths, and herbs, which are “the magic healers of the earth connecting us to the spiritual.” (I’m going to assume she’s not talking about hemlock, nightshade, or snakeroot, although I guess you could say Socrates got majorly connected to the spiritual that way.)

    Dain Quentin Gore, an Arizona artist, finds religious meaning in “creating powerful art.” “Making art and puppetry are my transcendent moments,” he says.

    Megan Ribar, who works at a yoga studio where she finds “transcendence” through meditation and “personal ritualistic acts,” rejects the term “spiritual” (but somehow remains in the polling category) while keeping an altar of objects that are meaningful to her, sometimes performing rituals in which she calls on “deities” or “deity archetypes.”

    Trish Richards, a dog walker in New York, needed a “private and personal” form of religion after feeling uncomfortable in her Lutheran church because she’s gay. It’s not specified what form this religion takes.

    Scott Stanger, a New York photographer, was put off by his Jewish upbringing, which he considered outmoded. It’s not clear what he replaced it with.

    So now we know what “spiritual” means. It means:

    (1) Alone.
    (2) Me.
    (3) Making myself feel good.
    (4) Not bothering with the messy business of screwed-up disagreeable people who show up at church and make you listen to their problems and ignore your own.
    (5) Sociology class.

    There’s a word for this. It’s a perfectly good word, tested by centuries of use. The word is “atheist.” Please use it. Then we won’t think you’re so weird. We’ll even trade a few cowrie shells with you on our way to your puppet show.

    http://takimag.com/article/spiritual...#ixzz59BChZBLB
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  2. #2
    It is quite possible for someone to seek God without the environment of the church... and the trappings of current "religion". So I find it inaccurate (and a tad simplistic) to say that someone who avoids organized religion must therefore be an atheist.

    Why is it so hard to believe someone could read scripture and ponder it... and find meaning in it... without all the OTHER CRAP churches & religion want to layer on top of it?

  3. #3
    I always understand that to mean that they have some sort of spiritual beliefs, but don't do organized religion....ie, they don't go to church or church type events/gatherings/meetings.

  4. #4
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    Mind

    Body

    Spirit

    Soul

    Spiritual in current parlance seems to me to mean "I HAVE FEEEWIIINNNGSSS"
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  5. #5
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    I finally managed to get my items on the list of “there are just two kinds of people” down to :

    Saved by grace (belief in Jesus/Yeshuah) and the Unsaved.
    given that the Saved are guided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, this is why most Of the Saved “do Church”:

    Hebrews 10: 24-25

    “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and do good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all th more as you see the Day drawing near.”
    ” Watch ye therefore and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man”
    Luke 21:36

    COLLAPSE NOW: avoid the rush

  6. #6
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    In my experience - Spiritual not religious typically means they hate God and Christians....I see this in personal ads all the time.
    JOHN 3:16 / John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacajawea View Post
    It is quite possible for someone to seek God without the environment of the church... and the trappings of current "religion". So I find it inaccurate (and a tad simplistic) to say that someone who avoids organized religion must therefore be an atheist.

    Why is it so hard to believe someone could read scripture and ponder it... and find meaning in it... without all the OTHER CRAP churches & religion want to layer on top of it?
    Agreed.
    Facts?? We don't need no stinkin facts...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoPeep View Post
    I always understand that to mean that they have some sort of spiritual beliefs, but don't do organized religion....ie, they don't go to church or church type events/gatherings/meetings.
    I take it to mean they are new age. I'm a Christian but rarely attend church and have never belonged to any denomination, I don't tell people I'm spiritual, nor religious; I have faith in the Lord and read His Book, etc.

    New agers and satanist will usually admit to being spiritual, and having religion.
    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. II Cor. 3:17

  9. #9
    Nope; I don't hate God or Christians.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sacajawea View Post
    It is quite possible for someone to seek God without the environment of the church... and the trappings of current "religion". So I find it inaccurate (and a tad simplistic) to say that someone who avoids organized religion must therefore be an atheist.

    Why is it so hard to believe someone could read scripture and ponder it... and find meaning in it... without all the OTHER CRAP churches & religion want to layer on top of it?
    Well put.

  11. #11
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    that phrase is very popular in an almost smug way as if being religious was backwards, superstition, ignorant.
    but does anyone ever ask them WHAT spirit they follow?

    there are alot of spirits out there and not everything 'spiritual' is holy and good.

    when this is brought up i say i follow the God YHWH described in the bible and the Son Messiah Yeshua and all they teach. i folloew the spirit of YHWH.

    ask them what spirit they follow.
    i had one lib woman get stunned at that., she had no idea. then tried to pull out the native american belief system but when i asked her questions she had no idea about that either. she really had NO idea of anything spiritual but she had the buzz words down real good in her attempt to make me look ignorant and backwards because of who and what i choose to follow.

    sometimes you can get interesting discussions and sometimes they get pissed and flounce off thinking you are hateful for questioning them.
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    There is Only Jesus--no other worthy of honors or prayers or devotion. There is No Other.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JF&P View Post
    In my experience - Spiritual not religious typically means they hate God and Christians....I see this in personal ads all the time.


    Well, I certainly don't hate God or other christians, as I am a christian myself (and have been one since July 1988).

    I'm one of those who now considers himself to be "spiritual but not religious" and my definition of that is that I love the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and I also love people. I do NOT, however, have much desire to continue expressing my faith in the modern day "churchianity"/organized "church system" movement. The reason for this is because most churches, in my opinion, are infected with what I refer to as "mixture problems" where law and grace are mixed together and they are mixed to the point that the positive effects of each are ruined by the mixture the other. It's the basic "new wine in old wine skins" issue.

    Another issue I have with the current "church system"----and that's exactly what I think it is---a system----is that it reduces christianity down to something that's so formulated and boring and lifeless that it takes away much of the power and positive impact that the faith should be having on society at large in our day-to-day lives.

    Don't you really think Jesus had more in mind than for us to show up to some building a few times a week just so we can sit down, hear a few announcements, sing a few songs, drop a little bit of money in an offering plate, sing a few more songs, pray a prayer or three, hear some sermon for an hour or so, then sing some more songs, say a few more prayers and then leave to go back out into the world only to come back a week later for the same old, same old? Is that what Jesus meant when He said "I have come so that you may have life and have it more abundantly"? What's abundant about the current church system?

    Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing is----and that's one of the reasons why this country is in the state that it's in. The modern day christian church----and it's damnable "church system"---has, quite frankly and bluntly, FAILED this nation and the people in it.

    Christianity hasn't failed. Jesus hasn't failed. God the Father has not failed and nor has the Holy Spirit, either. Grace is just as powerful today as it was when Jesus walked this earth 2000 years ago. So, if all of those things are still working then what's the problem?

    Religion.

    Good, ole fashion, "well mama and daddy did it this way so this is how we're gonna do it, too", Americanized, westernized, boring, lifeless, mixed up, church system, religion.

    If traditional, ole fashioned, religious practices are so good and effective then would somebody please explain to me why nothing ever changes? Why is this nation so divided right now? Why do we have so many school shootings? Why is, basically, one half of this nation trying to undo a duly elected President simply because they don't like him or agree with him politically? Why are there so many divorces in this nation? Why is it so many families in the church are just as messed up and dysfunctional as those outside of the church?

    Did the Holy Spirit go on a 2000 year holiday? Has Christ's blood somehow become of no effect?

    I think part of the problem is that many don't understand what "the church" actually is or what it's supposed to be. Here's a hint----it ain't a building that's located somewhere. It's not a denomination, either. The real church are the believer's themselves. The individual and corporate body of believers in Jesus. The "called out ones"-----THAT'S the real church.

    The real "church" isn't limited to, or tied to, some physical building somewhere or any programs or schedules that are associated with that same building. You can have church anywhere. You can have it at home, at work, in the shopping mall, the grocery store, the movie theater, the bank, the doctors office, the fishing boat, the gun range and the hunting stand. You can have it on a plane or while you're driving down the highway in your car. You can have it while politicians you agree with are in power and you can still have it when they aren't. You can have it with others and you can have it by yourself. The reason for this is because, when we accept Christ into our lives, Jesus makes His abode within our soul and spirit and He NEVER leaves us NOR forsakes us----even when, and, perhaps, ESPECIALLY when, we fail. Thus, no matter where we go or what we do, He goes with us and He doesn't run away and hide, no matter what we say, where we go or what we do.

    Now, knowing that, tell me, again, why I need to waste my time "going through the motions" for three hours each Sunday? If that's how you want to spend your day then, fine, go ahead, as I have no desire to stop you. However, don't assume I hate Jesus----or you, either, for that matter-----if I have no desire to spend my time that way, as well. With all due respect, I'll pass.
    Last edited by ElevenO; 03-08-2018 at 02:25 PM.

  13. #13
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    It is easy to build a Straw man(or Straw god) and then pummel it to rubbish.
    All churchgoing is not empty or virtue signaling. Consider the great, great Catholic and Jewish, and Mormon, and Evangelical, and Protestant((Baptist, 7th Day) universities and hospitals, and the manifest good they have done and continue to do. And the earnest work of Priests, pastors and Rabbis who dedicate their lives trying to make the world better, one drunken husband at a time. Consider the great Atheist universities and hospitals if you can find them(excepting the present day debauched US Universities).

    I know people who are very spiritual and religious but not church going.
    When I go to Church, part of the day is spent taking food to some families that need it(the kids are the ones in need).
    Peace,
    SS
    .
    “Then the creatures of the high air answered to the battle, .., and the woods trembled and the wind sobbed telling them, the earth shook,; the witches of the valley, and the wolves of the forests, howled from every quarter and on every side of the armies, urging them against one another.”
    ― Lady Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

  14. #14
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    I believe in Yahweh, I also have my spiritual moments with him. I do not believe in being religious and following the traditions of man, whether it be church, idol worship, jewish catholic and or christian. Although there are many in my situation they are farther from me and the ability to praise and worship Yahweh with others with the same beliefs is not available to us. So we worship praise as a family.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JF&P View Post
    In my experience - Spiritual not religious typically means they hate God and Christians....I see this in personal ads all the time.
    Well you got that wrong.

    While we're on the subject.
    Probably just as many people are religious without being spiritual.
    Churches are filled with such people.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence

  16. #16
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    I too find the characterizations in the article to have missed the mark. Of course it's possible to have a devout, deep, and defining passion for the creater, without feeling drawn to religious constructs. Very true that churches have done good works, and good people can be found there in. Equally true that religion has been used as a policing and controlling institution.

    Some of the most god fearing Christ like people I know are not religious. Some of the most amoral, immoral, and down right evil people I know can be found in the embrace of organized religion:. On both sides of the pulpit.

  17. #17
    VERY well said, ElevenO.

    I think the OP is making a whole lot of assumptions about people - that aren't even known to him or her - and just lumping them into the group of new agers, atheists, and progressives in general. That would be a huge mistake. Or should I say log in their own eye... pointing out the speck in someone else's?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzy View Post
    that phrase is very popular in an almost smug way as if being religious was backwards, superstition, ignorant.
    but does anyone ever ask them WHAT spirit they follow?

    there are alot of spirits out there and not everything 'spiritual' is holy and good.

    when this is brought up i say i follow the God YHWH described in the bible and the Son Messiah Yeshua and all they teach. i folloew the spirit of YHWH.

    ask them what spirit they follow.
    i had one lib woman get stunned at that., she had no idea. then tried to pull out the native american belief system but when i asked her questions she had no idea about that either. she really had NO idea of anything spiritual but she had the buzz words down real good in her attempt to make me look ignorant and backwards because of who and what i choose to follow.

    sometimes you can get interesting discussions and sometimes they get pissed and flounce off thinking you are hateful for questioning them.
    Sounds like proselytizing. Are you in a discussion, an exchange of ideas, or a debate about who is better? I enjoy discussions about religion - books, ideas, prophesy, where we are at currently, what we still can't figure out...

    Probing, however, is another story. I stay out of what isn't any of my business if someone is reluctant to share, and I'll walk away from anyone who feels the need to get on a soap box.

    If I end up in Hell for following reason and conscience to the best of my ability, so be it. I expect I'll be in better company.

  19. #19
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    Flame if you wish, but this is what I know and believe.

    There is one Creator. That Creator has gone by many names over the millenia. In human terms that creator is God. God did not abandon any creation. Not the Jews, nor the Christians, nor the Aborigines of Australia, nor the S. Americans, nor North American indigenous, nor the Asians, or any other iterations of humans. To say that God didn't care about any human by simple virtue of place of birth is to deny belief in God.

    God speaks to them all, attempting to guide them through life even though each of us carry a burden of evil in greater and lesser degrees. Christians call that evil sin, Buddhist would call it negative energy, but all variations come back to evil.

    Good and evil are in us all, God would have us lean toward the good, but in order to be Good 100% God gives us free will to Choose.

    The only 'religions' I would judge are those that espouse evil directly or indirectly. Islam being one of them that does so indirectly.

    How a person comes to align with good is secondary to the larger picture of good vs. evil. If a person needs Christianity and the belief Jesus Christ died on a Cross to wash away their evil/sin, then that is what they need. If they need regular interactions in a church setting to maintain that, then they need that also. God will and has shown people the path to Good that they can grasp and hold onto.

    What I believe is a terrible mistake is to attack anyone, be they Jew, Christian, etc that are walking their designated path towards Good for any reason.

    Now go ahead and flame. I am resolute in that knowledge and cannot be shaken from it.
    Facts?? We don't need no stinkin facts...

  20. #20
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    "Spiritual but not religious" means SELF-DIRECTED in morality, philosophy, and lifestyle.

    At first glance, it doesn't seem too bad. It allows for God, Jesus, and the Bible if one so desires. Again though, please note, it is self-directed. It is also inherently against authority, whether from God or from man.

    "Not religious" means "don't group me with those others."

    I submit that true Christianity will be marked by two polar opposite traits. Namely, followers of Christ will die to self-direction, and they will also be transformed into a humility toward others, even others who, in this case, are viewed as overly religious.
    (1 Cor. 8:1-2) : "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayku View Post
    Flame if you wish, but this is what I know and believe.

    There is one Creator. That Creator has gone by many names over the millenia. In human terms that creator is God. God did not abandon any creation. Not the Jews, nor the Christians, nor the Aborigines of Australia, nor the S. Americans, nor North American indigenous, nor the Asians, or any other iterations of humans. To say that God didn't care about any human by simple virtue of place of birth is to deny belief in God.

    God speaks to them all, attempting to guide them through life even though each of us carry a burden of evil in greater and lesser degrees. Christians call that evil sin, Buddhist would call it negative energy, but all variations come back to evil.

    Good and evil are in us all, God would have us lean toward the good, but in order to be Good 100% God gives us free will to Choose.

    The only 'religions' I would judge are those that espouse evil directly or indirectly. Islam being one of them that does so indirectly.

    How a person comes to align with good is secondary to the larger picture of good vs. evil. If a person needs Christianity and the belief Jesus Christ died on a Cross to wash away their evil/sin, then that is what they need. If they need regular interactions in a church setting to maintain that, then they need that also. God will and has shown people the path to Good that they can grasp and hold onto.

    What I believe is a terrible mistake is to attack anyone, be they Jew, Christian, etc that are walking their designated path towards Good for any reason.

    Now go ahead and flame. I am resolute in that knowledge and cannot be shaken from it.
    Hey you believe like George Bush Jr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9GzIx-qJ5U

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by medic38572 View Post
    Hey you believe like George Bush Jr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9GzIx-qJ5U
    Nothing like him. He viewed muslims and islam as overall good. I do not.
    Facts?? We don't need no stinkin facts...

  23. #23
    There are stacks of different faiths outside of Christianity and happy feeling stuff like Earth Worship....

    GAIA WORSHIP - THE NEW PAGAN RELIGION
    http://environment-ecology.com/relig...-religion.html
    Anyone who has studied the global environmental movement has no doubt heard the term "Gaia". Gaia is a revival of Paganism that rejects Christianity, considers Christianity its biggest enemy, and views the Christian faith as its only obstacle to a global religion centered on Gaia worship and the uniting of all life forms .
    .................................................. .................................................. ...............................................

    In gereral there are only a few percents that gather as Christian together to worship in society these days.

    Then there is stuff like Thai Buddhism that sells its self as a philosophy but where most of the population is scared of spirits.

    Then there is Sharmanism where one invites what Christian call a demonic spirit into themselves.

    Christianity is just one religion of many but as back in the time Jesus walked about on his ministry and performed his miracles not many decided to become his true followers.

    So most chose their own personnel spiritual belief system so where is anything different?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by coalcracker View Post
    "Spiritual but not religious" means SELF-DIRECTED in morality, philosophy, and lifestyle.

    At first glance, it doesn't seem too bad. It allows for God, Jesus, and the Bible if one so desires. Again though, please note, it is self-directed. It is also inherently against authority, whether from God or from man.

    "Not religious" means "don't group me with those others."

    I submit that true Christianity will be marked by two polar opposite traits. Namely, followers of Christ will die to self-direction, and they will also be transformed into a humility toward others, even others who, in this case, are viewed as overly religious.
    Great point. It echos satans first (and major) sin; "I will not serve."
    "Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we will all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy."
    Dumbledore to Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire.

    Luke 21:36

    A people who no longer recognize sin and evil, are not a people who will recognize tyranny and despotism either. Invar

  25. #25
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    A major roadblock is in the definition of terms. I don't consider myself religious at all anymore, I'm just a simple follower of Christ nothing more and nothing less. The definition of the word 'religion' may be entirely different to me than it is to you. Religion to me including Christian religion is primarily dogma, rules, regulations, format, etc. I no longer practice any of these things. Christ said his words are spirit and they are life. In the vast majority of institutional churches there is very little spirit or life. So unless one defines the terms of what the words mean so everyone is on the same sheet of paper discussions such as these are fruitless.
    What is the lake of fire? What is it's purpose? Is the lake of fire eternal hell? Is there any hope of escape for those cast into this lake?
    http://bible-truths.com/lake1.html

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    'Gaia' as its called viewing Christianity as its biggest enemy and obstacle to global prominence speaks for itself. It backs the likes of Al Gore and Ted Turner, as well as having no problem with muslims/islam. In fact islam being true to form backs it in one breath http://www.ifees.org.uk/ and damns it in another. Factions of gaia began twigging to this in 15, but they are silenced.

    Gaia sides with evil in my book.
    Facts?? We don't need no stinkin facts...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacajawea View Post
    It is quite possible for someone to seek God without the environment of the church... and the trappings of current "religion". So I find it inaccurate (and a tad simplistic) to say that someone who avoids organized religion must therefore be an atheist.

    Why is it so hard to believe someone could read scripture and ponder it... and find meaning in it... without all the OTHER CRAP churches & religion want to layer on top of it?
    I,m a believer in this

    organized religion has been on a fast track to hell

    let me believe

    MY WAY

  28. #28
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    Revelation 6:8
    I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

    http://www.mdsoptics.com

  29. #29
    The ideas expressed in the OP have been things I have also noticed. I have taken the spiritual not religious thing to mean the speaker did not have the courage of his convictions to take the logical next step into paganism. And also they are probably a squishy non confrontational type who does not want to be seen as non Christian in a nominally Christian society.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacajawea View Post
    It is quite possible for someone to seek God without the environment of the church... and the trappings of current "religion". So I find it inaccurate (and a tad simplistic) to say that someone who avoids organized religion must therefore be an atheist.

    Why is it so hard to believe someone could read scripture and ponder it... and find meaning in it... without all the OTHER CRAP churches & religion want to layer on top of it?
    agreed 1000 %
    Inner Connections
    God gets the
    Glory...He gave the Gift

  31. #31
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    Looks like there is a lot of disagreement here on this subject.
    I only attend organized services when I am able to attend a motorcycle rally. The Christian Motorcycle Association provides Sunday services at the rallies we attend. Other than that, I pray to the Lord daily on my own.
    My wife, on the other hand has found comfort in the church after not having attended since childhood.
    We do not judge each other for our chosen path to God.

    Chili

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by coalcracker View Post
    "Spiritual but not religious" means SELF-DIRECTED in morality, philosophy, and lifestyle.

    At first glance, it doesn't seem too bad. It allows for God, Jesus, and the Bible if one so desires. Again though, please note, it is self-directed. It is also inherently against authority, whether from God or from man.

    "Not religious" means "don't group me with those others."

    I submit that true Christianity will be marked by two polar opposite traits. Namely, followers of Christ will die to self-direction, and they will also be transformed into a humility toward others, even others who, in this case, are viewed as overly religious.
    I'm not sure that your points carry enough authority to rise from opinion to fact. We are all self directed, it's kind of part and parcel of the whole free will piece of our existence, no? I'm not understanding how one draws a conclusion that spiritual means inherently against authority. My experience is exactly opposed this supposition: spirituality being the focus of my life means that the constant guiding principal of my actions is: not my will, but yours. Granted, there might be a case for claiming it is against (recognizing) man's authority.

  33. #33
    I take "self-directed" to mean "ego-directed", as implied in that poster's comments. And if the case being discussed were mankind's free will vs God's will... then the poster would have a point.

    BUT: the case was the "church" vs free will's direct access to God... and I'd much rather a direct connection than a bureaucratic institutional mediary.

    If people think that makes me an atheist - because I claim "spiritual, not religious" - under those conditions....

    Bless your hearts.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacajawea View Post
    I take "self-directed" to mean "ego-directed", as implied in that poster's comments. And if the case being discussed were mankind's free will vs God's will... then the poster would have a point.

    BUT: the case was the "church" vs free will's direct access to God... and I'd much rather a direct connection than a bureaucratic institutional mediary.

    If people think that makes me an atheist - because I claim "spiritual, not religious" - under those conditions....

    Bless your hearts.
    Ayup. There is a purpose and place and value to institutions. But, when the day comes, we alone will be called to account, so too am comfortable with the direct connection.

  35. #35
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    God set up the earthly church in the Bible, you all just dismiss that out of hand.
    WHERE is your earthly Shepherd?? The one who will give an account to God for your walk, discipleship, service, education, and other aspect of Christian life?

    You are fooling your own selves.
    You don't really want Christianity, you want what YOU want, you want to "do what is right in your own eyes" like the Pagans, the atheists, the idol worshippers, and all the man made religions. You just want to whitewash it and CALL IT Christianity, call Jesus your "Lord and Savior" without submitting to anything that bores you or "wastes your Sunday morning" or takes "your" money. If you are such better, more spiritual, & "real" Christians WHY are you not in the Churches you disparage, making them better for having more such "real" Christians doing the Lord's work there? You don't need communion? You don't need to join with other's in worship? You don't need spiritual guidance and fellowship? You supposedly DIED with Christ and accepted that death to self for the much greater gift of forgiveness, eternal life NOW, with Christ at the helm, and His Holy Spirit indwelling you.

    Taking the scripture that says Christ is our "mediator" between God and Man and twisting it in an abuse of the Word of God to say that it means you "don't need church, don't have to gather for worship, don't have to be subject to a "shepherd" charged with the responsibility to guide your Christian walk, don't have to support any "organized religion" with your time and finances, CONTRARY to scriptural guidelines for the Christian community of believers is probably why Jesus said,"21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

    "Organized Religion" was ordained by God for Christianity, because God is a God of ORDER. If you think you are practicing a "better" Christianity, then get thee to a Church and lend your more spiritual walk to that congregation, to improve it, not confrontationally, but humbly.
    You who SEEK revenge,or JUSTICE for the wrongs, crimes and sins done to you, will find it in the same place that God is freely handing out Mercy, At the Cross, where Christ died taking the punishment not only for your sins, but also for the sins committed against you by others!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ainitfunny View Post
    God set up the earthly church in the Bible, you all just dismiss that out of hand.
    WHERE is your earthly Shepherd?? The one who will give an account to God for your walk, discipleship, service, education, and other aspect of Christian life?

    You are fooling your own selves.
    You don't really want Christianity, you want what YOU want, you want to "do what is right in your own eyes" like the Pagans, the atheists, the idol worshippers, and all the man made religions. You just want to whitewash it and CALL IT Christianity, call Jesus your "Lord and Savior" without submitting to anything that bores you or "wastes your Sunday morning" or takes "your" money. If you are such better, more spiritual, & "real" Christians WHY are you not in the Churches you disparage, making them better for having more such "real" Christians doing the Lord's work there? You don't need communion? You don't need to join with other's in worship? You don't need spiritual guidance and fellowship? You supposedly DIED with Christ and accepted that death to self for the much greater gift of forgiveness, eternal life NOW, with Christ at the helm, and His Holy Spirit indwelling you.

    Taking the scripture that says Christ is our "mediator" between God and Man and twisting it in an abuse of the Word of God to say that it means you "don't need church, don't have to gather for worship, don't have to be subject to a "shepherd" charged with the responsibility to guide your Christian walk, don't have to support any "organized religion" with your time and finances, CONTRARY to scriptural guidelines for the Christian community of believers is probably why Jesus said,"21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

    "Organized Religion" was ordained by God for Christianity, because God is a God of ORDER. If you think you are practicing a "better" Christianity, then get thee to a Church and lend your more spiritual walk to that congregation, to improve it, not confrontationally, but humbly.
    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for caring enough about others to challenge the complacency that may be harming their souls. I was especially struck by the needs you mentioned that are being overlooked by the "not religious" advocates. How can anyone deny the basic Christian teachings on corporate worship and communion? And can anyone deny the Bible passages concerning overseers (shepherds) for the Body of Christ? Yet, many do.
    (1 Cor. 8:1-2) : "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know."

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmomaha View Post
    Very well put.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence

  38. #38
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    All religions have done both good and evil.
    Most have done good over all, but in a few the balance is tipped way too far in the wrong direction.

    As far as spirituality, it can be either religious in nature or not.

    spir·it·u·al·i·ty
    ˌspiriCHo͞oˈalədē/
    noun
    noun: spirituality; plural noun: spiritualities
    the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

    A beautiful quote from one of the gnostic gospel scrolls from the very earliest Christians was discovered in Nag Hamadi
    supposedly said by Jesus, it kind of brings the spiritual and physical together, and also supports those who believe the core of their faith lies in their heart and not in their church:
    :
    The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you
    Not in a mansion of wood and stone
    Split a piece of wood and I am there
    Lift a stone and you will find me.


    Would that the Vatican and certain rich televangelists lived by this.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by coalcracker View Post
    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for caring enough about others to challenge the complacency that may be harming their souls. I was especially struck by the needs you mentioned that are being overlooked by the "not religious" advocates. How can anyone deny the basic Christian teachings on corporate worship and communion? And can anyone deny the Bible passages concerning overseers (shepherds) for the Body of Christ? Yet, many do.
    Question.

    Did Christ come to set up a earthly and carnal organization or a heavenly and spiritual one? Where is the 'church' today....is it a building on every street corner or is there something more to it? The scriptures always have the answer;


    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church

    The body of Jesus Christ on the earth is the church. And these are the elect who are both jew and gentile, the called and the chosen. The church is wherever the body of Christ meets and not a building.

    Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Did the disciples meet in the huge synagogues for their worship? Did the early church meet in big edifices? No, not at all. If we want to get back to what Jesus instituted then do it the way the early church did.

    Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

    1 Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

    [see also Col 4:15, 1 Tim 3:15, Phm 1:2, ect]


    The spiritual church of Christ is not in the big edifices of organized religion with it's self appoint hierarchy but in small groups at times no more than two or three and sometimes with a hundred or so. They met house to house and all the giftings of the Spirt such as pastor's, teacher's ect are for today but few of them have graduated from seminaries and hold ecclesiastical office.

    1Co 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

    Most of the apostles [and almost all the disciples btw] save Matthew and Judas and Saul/Paul were educated at all and of course we know what happened to Judas in the end. God doesn't need highly educated theologians for his Church he is perfectly able to call teach and train whom he will. The highly educated religious ones were known as Sadducees and Pharisees and they were the ones that ruled the Synagogues and religious institutions back in the day and nothing has changed in the last 2000 years as men still want to rule over other men especially in government and religion.

    Why don't we need these edifices?

    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    The question for all is are we hearing his voice or do we need another man or woman to tell us what God is saying? If you personally are not hearing his voice you are not yet one of his sheep even if you go to church every time the door opens.

    God be with you.
    What is the lake of fire? What is it's purpose? Is the lake of fire eternal hell? Is there any hope of escape for those cast into this lake?
    http://bible-truths.com/lake1.html

  40. #40
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    Hfcomms- You do err.

    While all the scriptures you cite are true and valid in assuring His Church was to be filled with believers empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit, they are NOT intended to justify any Christian separating from his ties and duty to a local congregation with the self-sufficient arrogance that says “I don’t need you!” in his heart! Do THEY NEED YOU? Where is your humility and Servant’s heart?

    You have attempted to use scripture to contradict scripture and propagate a PREPOSTEROUS notion that somehow those who Do NOT assemble in organized congregations, with Pastors and elders and ORDERLY worship services (as scripture itself directs) are really the only ones practicing the Christianity Jesus intended for his Church!

    GOD does not change! The same God the God of Order, who PRECISELY ORGANIZED and commanded every detail of how His chosen Jewish people were expected to worship did NOT give us Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit and then abandon us to “whatever” we thought was right as far as our Christian walk and worship. That the early Christians met in houses was because of the Persecutions of the times, NOT that meeting as organized congregations in a home was any more “scriptural” or holy. YOU CLAIM to worship INSTEAD of with an organized, church building based, congregation you worship in your home, with others Christians. That you not be accused of separating yourself from His church and further undermining Jesus’ church by saying congregate worship is unnecessary, HOW MANY FORMALLY WORSHIP WITH YOU IN YOUR HOME CHURCH? Who is your Pastor? Do you conduct regular, formal worship, communion and Bible study? Are the children schooled in the Word and faith? Are you comitted and engaged in Evangelism, and Service to the poor, needy, imprisoned as a church??

    Somehow, I don’t think so. Just getting together from time to time with others who self-identify as Christians and praying for someone, or discussing some Bible passages with a “what do you think it means” does not conform to what God describes as the way his church should be assembled, conduct worship, serve or otherwise represent Jesus Christ. Christians, from the earliest times that they could, built places to assemble and worship, teach and serve.

    God condemns those that separate themselves from his congregations, and encourage others to do so, and who disparage the greater body of Christ from which they separate. If God could kick ETERNAL beings (angels) out of Heaven for their rebelliousness, I wouldn’t lean on my presumed salvation to protect me from the consequences of rebelling against the clear Word of God regarding how his congregations are to conduct, organize, serve and worship.
    Turning from God, even in Heaven, has consequences.

    I did not, but CAN provide scripture to back what I said.
    You who SEEK revenge,or JUSTICE for the wrongs, crimes and sins done to you, will find it in the same place that God is freely handing out Mercy, At the Cross, where Christ died taking the punishment not only for your sins, but also for the sins committed against you by others!

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