First quick point. Spiritual, religious or unaffiliated are already included by breathing air. Here we go!

I love some the cool pics that come across Facebook that normally give the glories of being spiritual and poke fun at being religious. Such as; Religion is for those afraid of Hell and Spirituality is for those who have already been there. Witty and rings true to me.How about you?

What does it mean to be spiritual?  What does it mean to be religious. It seems to be more a difference in perception and words than reality. What I think folks are saying when they say “spiritual” is that they long and communicate with God but want nothing to do with any belief system that excludes others. Today our understanding of religion seems more of a in/out mega clique. The Latin of the word speaks more to connecting with God which sounds very close to our modern concept of being spiritual.

These in/out mega clique have rules and expectations as well as exclusions. Do this, don’t do that. The spiritual life appears more of moving in the direction of your intuition and trusting how God is communicating with you.  There are few have-to things other than seeking. There is an understanding that all humanity and the very cosmos is connected. Being born is your initiation. This past Sunday we caught Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (pretty good show,BTW) and there were three panelists that were sharing about the spiritual hunger that is all around and how their various blogs and speaking schedules were being filled up.  I have been struck when I watch these programs that it appears as if there is an overwhelming acknowledgement that God is at work in the world.  Yet no one describes themselves as religious.

I believe this is because the religious framework has gotten so fixed there is no room for the Spirit to move freely in these institutions and the average seeker is able to see it fairly quickly. Some of us take a few years living spiritual in the religion box before seeing it for what it has become.

For what it is worth. Religion has had much spiritual movement as well and always will. Once you get down to relationships and away from the “rules” and the “clique” of it all. I identify myself  as a Christian and find what the religion has become most sad. The movement that saw the value of all people became a in/out mega clique.

Ultimately I want to suggest the spiritual movement IS the Gospel for those unable to hear it due to cultural trappings and our negative judgements on the history of religion. Let’s look at this and assume you (and everyone) is already in the club. I will be quoting some of the Bible to show what I believe was the original, holistic movement of God and how it compares with what I see as the spiritual movement today.

“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”  Acts 1:17 emphasis added

Pretty inclusive, right? Could this be when you are listening to your heart, that inner voice, your intuition. Could you be co-creating the life you want every step of the way with the Holy Spirit?

” He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” Col 1:15-20 emphasis added

Ever think everything is somehow connected?  Could it be that it is true? Everything is connected.

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

“It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings” Hebrews 2:10

This is so cool, amazing, and mind-blowing. God learned to identify with us through suffering. What?!?!?! God learned something? Say what now? Yes, God really gets YOU! This is what the spiritual get and the religious often miss.

Our Father” Matt 6:9 emphasis added

When Jesus starts out teaching how to pray these are his first two words.

Just think about that. Really think about it. Who is left out or excluded?

As much as it pains me to think about it. Maybe it is good for religion to be in decline? Maybe that is what is needed for folks to live and believe the Gospel without even identifying with the “official” Gospel? It pains me that the damage appears done and that anything tagged “Christian” will not be received as well as time moves on. But then again is this all about God connecting with His creation or protecting my understanding of how He does it?  I want to stop placing God in a box. The spiritual life recognizes this and I pray so does the religious.