Perspectives on Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral Issues: Host – Lowell Qualls

Lowell @ Keyboard img_0525.jpg     In a section of the book, The Spirituality of Imperfection, the authors explain that spirituality is NOT religion.  Kurtz and Ketcham acknowledge that “… some people equate the two, assuming that only religious people can lay claim to the title ‘spiritual.’”

Here are a few of my observations with regard to spiritual and religious people. 

I’ve noticed that religious people tend to lead ordered lives (the order coming either from within – intrinsic, or from without – extrinsic), and are comfortable with boundaries, doctrine, dogma and precision. 

On the other hand, I’ve seen that “spiritual” people tend to be flexible and accepting, … and … prideful because they are so accepting (with tolerance being a sacred word).  (Hmmm.  Unfortunately, their tolerance doesn’t extend to the religious because spiritual people consider themselves to be “believers,” and they are comfortable with the idea that it’s not important what you believe as long as you believe something.  To them, religious people are narrow and judgmental.  Yuck.)

In my opinion, both groups are “imperfect.” 

I think the biggest weakness of the religious crowd is a certain severity (that can become meanness) that comes from their felt-obligation to “guard the truth.” 

I believe the biggest weakness of the spiritual is gullibility, and a predisposition to deception.

Jesus says to the religious man or woman, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21).”  To this day, hypocrites and legalists drive Him up the wall!

But Jesus would say to the “spiritual” person, “… many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,” “… and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people,” … and false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible (Matthew 24:5, 11, and 24).”

Jesus was as concerned about deception as He was hypocrisy.

And so I beg the question, “Does a deceived person know they are deceived?” 

The Apostle Paul wrote, “ Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient (Ephesians 5:6), and “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments (Colossians 2:14).”

Anyone care to comment on which group – the religious or the spiritual – are the most in danger, and/or in the most danger?

Think about it.  With love.

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