I confess I do not understand the statement, “I am spiritual, but not religious.” I confess this even when about twenty years ago, I saw an add for a church claiming that they were a church for the “spiritual, but not religious.” I thought surely that must be a church for me.
It was a fine church, with some very nice people. They contemplated scripture. They cared for one another. They had potlucks, prayer time, funerals, and baptisms. They tithed so they could pay their pastor and their secretary, and could keep up on their rent and make needed repairs on their building. They did everything except teach me the difference between being spiritual and religious. That is because I believe there is no such distinction to teach.
There are certainly some differences of belief between faith traditions and denominations. Some differences are minor; some are more serious. It often takes some searching to find a community that is a good fit. What that good fit means is that we as individuals feel comfortable enough attending so that we will actually attend, but not so comfortable that our faith does not deepen. It means that our relationships with our fellow human beings strengthen, but do not grow exclusive. It means that we learn we do not have all the answers, but it also means that we learn that we do not have to. It means that we learn to question, but not grow cynical or arrogant if we think we actually find an answer. It means that we accept the mystery without becoming complacent. It means we learn to accept one another as we learn to accept ourselves.
One thing we learn is that we are all children of God. We are related. That is true if we claim ourselves as religious, spiritual, confused, feeling good, or feeling rather poorly. The good news is that all are loved, and that we are called to love. Not a bad place to be headed. The weird thing is, that ultimately, it does not matter how we get there. Whether we go through the front door of love, or the back alley of rebellion and hatred, ultimately, there is only love.
Come join us when you can. Maybe together we can figure a few things out and maybe do a bit of good together. Jesus tells us we don’t need much – just a tiny bit of faith, and a little bit of sowing should do it.
Rev. Sue Ann
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16