Friday, March 12, 2010

The Friday Five

Today's Friday Five focuses on the differences and similarities between being religious and being spiritual. For a good chunk of my adult life, I've self identified more as spiritual than religious, even though I'm Christian. It seems there's always a hint that one is superior to the other, and that makes me very uncomfortable because there's so much overlap. But here goes...

To me, being religious means --

1. Following with discipline the teachings, dogma and hierarchy of a church.
2. Regular church attendance.
3. Regular participation in sanctioned rituals like communion, baptism, and approved schedules and methods of prayer.
4. Practices like only wearing approved clothing and hair styles or established diets.
5. Adherence to sacred texts.

Being spiritual is

1. Accepting and seeking that which is greater than what we can tangibly measure.
2. Accepting, seeking and respecting the ineffable connection to one's self, other people, animals, the physical world mentally, emotionally, and physically.
3. Aligning one's beliefs consciously and thoughtfully with one's actions. This could be just in the way that we treat people, or social, economic and political activism.
4. Practicing appreciation, empathy and self transcendence.
5. Finding these things in our daily lives.


Blogger Nelle said...

EXACTLY what I believe. Throughout my life religion was used as a sword against me. Now I attend church where and when I choose. Most of the pain in my life was caused by using religion as an excuse. Spirituality heals, religion as a form of behavior does not.

March 13, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

It has always been interesting to me that policitcal leaders feel the need to be outwardly "religious" (by your listed definition) and the voting public needs that perception to endorse them with a vote. Its as if from your list "religious" is giving outward appearance, whereas "spiritual" can be more private (and also in my opinion much more meaningful to create real change and real good).

Not sure if that makes sense. My head's fuzzy today.


March 13, 2010 4:30 PM  
Blogger Mompriest said...

Cynthia, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

March 13, 2010 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Dream Dictionary said...

i bealive that each one of us, has it's own way of being. That's life..

March 16, 2010 8:56 AM  
Blogger redsneakz said...

These are good definitions, Cyn. If I could chime in though, without boring everyone? What makes the practice of Judaism meaningful for me is that normative Judaism believes that the will of G-d is contained in the commandments.

What this means to me is much more involved than the comment space would allow. Maybe I'll write something tonight and link back to you. This is a very interesting and fruitful area to think about.

The short response though; you don't need to be religious to be a good person; not all religious people are good people; however, to be a good Jew, you have to be religious.

March 16, 2010 3:46 PM  
Blogger david a holgate said...

Thanks. I agree too. Whatever the labels (maybe the words religious and spiritual don't quite do it), I find myself deeply weary with the stuff in the religious list and drawn to practice the demanding things in the second.

March 16, 2010 5:47 PM  
Anonymous andrena said...

I'm back in town...hope you are well...will catch up lata...

March 17, 2010 11:51 PM  

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