Religious versus spiritual. This is a debate among clergy and church leadership, focusing on those folks who no longer come to church or have membership in a church. I think the majority of folks don’t really care, or if they do, they side with the spiritual and not religious. For many in church leadership, this is bad news.
If you want folks to become a follower of Christ, by being religious, this has some real problems. What I mean to say here is, that religiosity is not the same as a religious faith. But too often, we equate being religious and following Christ as the same thing or at least it is for Christians. This is not necessarily so. In fact, being faithful is more than being religious.
Most churches are hurting for active members, worship, and financial givers. We want people to come to us, to join us and be like us. This is primarily a secular religious viewpoint. I believe that we can join the two together, in other words, being both spiritual and religious
I do not want to be seen as just religious, but rather both, which is about faith. I am not a company man for the church (religious), but rather Christ’s man because of his love for me (spiritual and religious). I am a child of God, made so in the waters of baptism and with Words of God’s promise in Christ (spiritual and religious). I join with other sinners to receive God’s Grace in Christ in Communion, a family feast of forgiveness (religious and spiritual).
Lutherans have this thing, that is both/and: Sinner and Saint, Law and Gospel, Body and Blood, Son of God, and Son of Man. I am both religious and spiritual, being with others in unity with Christ, but not only in the uniformity of one denomination. I am a Christian of the Lutheran tradition, but more importantly, I am a follower of Christ. To be “Religious and Spiritual” at the same time is who we are in faith!
We should end the debate, whether it is to be better to be just religious or just spiritual. It really doesn’t help or welcome anyone. But rather we should focus on those traditions of our faith (religious) which helps bring folks closer to God in Christ (spiritual). Honestly, the church has a lot to offer that helps us in being closer to God and one another. I believe this to be true (faith)! Amen!