Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out

Posted by   + Show Post

My Take: 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is a cop-out

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Alan Miller is Director of The New York Salon and Co-Founder of London's Old Truman Brewery. He is speaking at The Battle of Ideas at London's Barbican in October.

By Alan Miller, Special to CNN

The increasingly common refrain that "I'm spiritual, but not religious," represents some of the most retrogressive aspects of contemporary society. The spiritual but not religious "movement" - an inappropriate term as that would suggest some collective, organizational aspect - highlights the implosion of belief that has struck at the heart of Western society.

Spiritual but not religious people are especially prevalent in the younger population in the United States, although a recent study has argued that it is not so much that people have stopped believing in God, but rather have drifted from formal institutions.

It seems that just being a part of a religious institution is nowadays associated negatively, with everything from the Religious Right to child abuse, back to the Crusades and of course with terrorism today.

Those in the spiritual-but-not-religious camp are peddling the notion that by being independent - by choosing an "individual relationship" to some concept of "higher power", energy, oneness or something-or-other - they are in a deeper, more profound relationship than one that is coerced via a large institution like a church.

That attitude fits with the message we are receiving more and more that "feeling" something somehow is more pure and perhaps, more "true" than having to fit in with the doctrine, practices, rules and observations of a formal institution that are handed down to us.

The trouble is that "spiritual but not religious" offers no positive exposition or understanding or explanation of a body of belief or set of principles of any kind.

What is it, this "spiritual" identity as such? What is practiced? What is believed?

The accusation is often leveled that such questions betray a rigidity of outlook, all a tad doctrinaire and rather old-fashioned.

But when the contemporary fashion is for an abundance of relativist "truths" and what appears to be in the ascendancy is how one "feels" and even governments aim to have a "happiness agenda," desperate to fill a gap at the heart of civic society, then being old-fashioned may not be such a terrible accusation.

It is within the context of today's anti-big, anti-discipline, anti-challenging climate - in combination with a therapeutic turn in which everything can be resolved through addressing my inner existential being - that the spiritual but not religious outlook has flourished.

The boom in megachurches merely reflect this sidelining of serious religious study for networking, drop-in centers and positive feelings.

Those that identify themselves, in our multi-cultural, hyphenated-American world often go for a smorgasbord of pick-and-mix choices.

A bit of Yoga here, a Zen idea there, a quote from Taoism and a Kabbalah class, a bit of Sufism and maybe some Feing Shui but not generally a reading and appreciation of The Bhagavad Gita, the Karma Sutra or the Qur'an, let alone The Old or New Testament.

So what, one may ask?

Christianity has been interwoven and seminal in Western history and culture. As Harold Bloom pointed out in his book on the King James Bible, everything from the visual arts, to Bach and our canon of literature generally would not be possible without this enormously important work.

Indeed, it was through the desire to know and read the Bible that reading became a reality for the masses - an entirely radical moment that had enormous consequences for humanity.

Moreover, the spiritual but not religious reflect the "me" generation of self-obsessed, truth-is-whatever-you-feel-it-to-be thinking, where big, historic, demanding institutions that have expectations about behavior, attitudes and observance and rules are jettisoned yet nothing positive is put in replacement.

The idea of sin has always been accompanied by the sense of what one could do to improve oneself and impact the world.

Yet the spiritual-but-not-religious outlook sees the human as one that simply wants to experience "nice things" and "feel better." There is little of transformation here and nothing that points to any kind of project that can inspire or transform us.

At the heart of the spiritual but not religious attitude is an unwillingness to take a real position. Influenced by the contribution of modern science, there is a reluctance to advocate a literalist translation of the world.

But these people will not abandon their affiliation to the sense that there is "something out there," so they do not go along with a rationalist and materialistic explanation of the world, in which humans are responsible to themselves and one another for their actions - and for the future.

Theirs is a world of fence-sitting, not-knowingess, but not-trying-ness either. Take a stand, I say. Which one is it? A belief in God and Scripture or a commitment to the Enlightenment ideal of human-based knowledge, reason and action? Being spiritual but not religious avoids having to think too hard about having to decide.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Alan Miller.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/29/my-take-im-spiritual-not-religious-is-a-cop-out/?hpt=hp_c2

 

by on Oct. 1, 2012 at 7:59 AM
Replies (101-110):
LindaClement
by Linda on Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM

It's often my argument against 'omniscience' -- I know that if you point something out to a 3yo, tell them not to touch it, then leave the room you can count to 6 as fast as you'd like and they'll already be on top of it.

If I know that, foolish and ignorant human I know I am... what possible argument for omniscience can any deity claim?

Quoting AdrianneHill:

I KNOW!! Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who sees it. It's nice to know that someone else thinks the whole thing was rigged and therefore suspect on all levels.

Quoting LindaClement:

Kinda makes you wonder why god created the damn fruit in the first place, if he didn't want anyone eating it... 

I mean, how much harder is it not to set people up to fail?

Quoting AdrianneHill:

Oh, satan, you're such a big meanie. Making everyone think for themselves and ask questions. Makes you wonder why god let him in the garden to offer them the fruit in the first place. It seems almost like a set up but god wouldn't set people up to fail so he could blame them for his own poor planning. That's what satan does.



TCgirlatheart
by TC on Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:38 PM
2 moms liked this

 I never said you were not entitled to your beliefs, I just pointed out how arrogant it is to assume you know enough about any one's personal relationship with their god, even "some people"'s, to make judgements on how devout they are. 

Why would a fellow believer feel comfortable enough to share their spiritual/religious journey with you, general, knowing what assumptions you make about people?  Why would they take your recommendation on a place of worship?  Why would they want to learn more about your organized religion?

Quoting little.worthen:

I didn't say I did. I just said some people, any time I said you I meant general you.. I don't care if you think it's arrogant. I'm entitled to my beliefs as much as the next person

Quoting TCgirlatheart:

 It's very arrogant to think you know how much time the average believer spends thinking about their god, or how repentant or contrite they are.  I can't imagine what might be driving people away from organized religion...


Quoting little.worthen:

No, the law of sacrifice is gone because Jesus's atonement replaced it. It doesn't mean you are automatically saved because Jesus died for you. Jesus made it so it was easier for sinners to repent but they are still responsible for any and all actions they make. You still have to follow Gods laws. Which a lot of them are common sense but not all of them. Keeping the sabbath day holy is a commandment, one of the most important but tons of people go to stores, or whatever and don't even spend 5 minutes thinking about God.. People who don't follow the commandments and don't repent with an honest and contrite (sp?) heart will be held responsible for their actions. The rules like the one I mentioned above may sound minuscule or small to you, but they are not to God, or he wouldn't have commanded it in the first place...


Quoting LindaClement:


Sooo... the OT 'laws' have been set aside because the rules are eternal?


Quoting little.worthen:

Which IMO is exactly what satan wants you to think.



God is strict. God is the same yesterday today and forever.



I care because I love all of Gods children and it literally gives me nightmares when I think of how many people are so far from the truth about God and his gospel and I pray that everyone will find their way. I'm just glad God is gracious enough to give people a kind of second chance on the other side.. I'd still like to see everyone safe and sound in this life though





Quoting SunshneDaydream:


Actually, it's more like we believe in God, but don't believe he or she is so strict and arrogant as to say "believe exactly this or you will be punished".  We believe God is more open-minded than that.  


And regardless, why do you even care what others believe?


Quoting little.worthen:

I think it's a cop out. It's like you want to have a relationship with GOd but you don't want to have to be required to follow any of the "rules" associated with religion, even if God is the one who made the rules.


To me, being spiritual but not religious is something Satan came up with. It sounds good now in this life, but this life is short and will screw with the rest of our eternity. Satan will literally do ANYTHING to steer the children of God away. Even by making it sound like they are doing something holy.. He has no limits





 

 

~"So if ever a man should ask you for your business or your name, Tell him to go and f*ck himself, tell his friends to do the same.
Because a man who'd trade his liberty for a safe and dreamless sleep, Doesn't deserve the both of them, and neither shall he keep." ~




 

LindaClement
by Linda on Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I have heard of saying sorry, and it makes me angry.

For this reason:

You're a perpetrator, and you've hurt someone else... so the reasonable and civilized response is supposed to be 'here's how I feel.' ('I feel so terrible, I'm SO sorry!')

So?

Seriously?

When someone does something that hurts me, what I do NOT give a shit about is their feelings, not in the moment and not later. Don't care. Don't want to know. Seriously: stop changing the subject.

Fix it. Stop it. Don't ever repeat it. But, really just stop talking about your feelings.

You really don't handle or have any coin currency?

Quoting little.worthen:

Well IMO we are going to sin no matter how hard we try not to because we are sinners. But that doesn't mean sin all you want. Have you ever heard the saying sorry only means sorry if you try not to do it again?

And no I don't own any sculptures or anything like that. i have a peice of wood on the wall that says "i believe in Christ." but thats all. i also dont go anywhere or do anything on Sunday except go to church. When we get home we have dinner which is a frozen crockpot meal, and once in a while we will play scripture memory (it's like regular memory where you match pictures but the pictures are stories from the bible and when you find a match you have to learn bout the story that goes with it)


Quoting LindaClement:

So, you believe this:

??

Do you own any engraved images? You know, like on quarters or sculpture or anything?

You do no work of any kind on Sundays?

(p.s. 'contrite' means 'repentant' so it's hard to imagine how to do one without the other...)

Quoting little.worthen:

No, the law of sacrifice is gone because Jesus's atonement replaced it. It doesn't mean you are automatically saved because Jesus died for you. Jesus made it so it was easier for sinners to repent but they are still responsible for any and all actions they make. You still have to follow Gods laws. Which a lot of them are common sense but not all of them. Keeping the sabbath day holy is a commandment, one of the most important but tons of people go to stores, or whatever and don't even spend 5 minutes thinking about God.. People who don't follow the commandments and don't repent with an honest and contrite (sp?) heart will be held responsible for their actions. The rules like the one I mentioned above may sound minuscule or small to you, but they are not to God, or he wouldn't have commanded it in the first place...



Quoting LindaClement:

Sooo... the OT 'laws' have been set aside because the rules are eternal?

Quoting little.worthen:

Which IMO is exactly what satan wants you to think.





God is strict. God is the same yesterday today and forever.





I care because I love all of Gods children and it literally gives me nightmares when I think of how many people are so far from the truth about God and his gospel and I pray that everyone will find their way. I'm just glad God is gracious enough to give people a kind of second chance on the other side.. I'd still like to see everyone safe and sound in this life though






Quoting SunshneDaydream:

Actually, it's more like we believe in God, but don't believe he or she is so strict and arrogant as to say "believe exactly this or you will be punished".  We believe God is more open-minded than that.  

And regardless, why do you even care what others believe?

Quoting little.worthen:

I think it's a cop out. It's like you want to have a relationship with GOd but you don't want to have to be required to follow any of the "rules" associated with religion, even if God is the one who made the rules.



To me, being spiritual but not religious is something Satan came up with. It sounds good now in this life, but this life is short and will screw with the rest of our eternity. Satan will literally do ANYTHING to steer the children of God away. Even by making it sound like they are doing something holy.. He has no limits





LindaClement
by Linda on Oct. 1, 2012 at 9:53 PM
1 mom liked this

Well said.

Quoting TCgirlatheart:

 I never said you were not entitled to your beliefs, I just pointed out how arrogant it is to assume you know enough about any one's personal relationship with their god, even "some people"'s, to make judgements on how devout they are. 

Why would a fellow believer feel comfortable enough to share their spiritual/religious journey with you, general, knowing what assumptions you make about people?  Why would they take your recommendation on a place of worship?  Why would they want to learn more about your organized religion?

Quoting little.worthen:

I didn't say I did. I just said some people, any time I said you I meant general you.. I don't care if you think it's arrogant. I'm entitled to my beliefs as much as the next person

Quoting TCgirlatheart:

 It's very arrogant to think you know how much time the average believer spends thinking about their god, or how repentant or contrite they are.  I can't imagine what might be driving people away from organized religion...


Quoting little.worthen:

No, the law of sacrifice is gone because Jesus's atonement replaced it. It doesn't mean you are automatically saved because Jesus died for you. Jesus made it so it was easier for sinners to repent but they are still responsible for any and all actions they make. You still have to follow Gods laws. Which a lot of them are common sense but not all of them. Keeping the sabbath day holy is a commandment, one of the most important but tons of people go to stores, or whatever and don't even spend 5 minutes thinking about God.. People who don't follow the commandments and don't repent with an honest and contrite (sp?) heart will be held responsible for their actions. The rules like the one I mentioned above may sound minuscule or small to you, but they are not to God, or he wouldn't have commanded it in the first place...


Quoting LindaClement:


Sooo... the OT 'laws' have been set aside because the rules are eternal?


Quoting little.worthen:

Which IMO is exactly what satan wants you to think.



God is strict. God is the same yesterday today and forever.



I care because I love all of Gods children and it literally gives me nightmares when I think of how many people are so far from the truth about God and his gospel and I pray that everyone will find their way. I'm just glad God is gracious enough to give people a kind of second chance on the other side.. I'd still like to see everyone safe and sound in this life though





Quoting SunshneDaydream:


Actually, it's more like we believe in God, but don't believe he or she is so strict and arrogant as to say "believe exactly this or you will be punished".  We believe God is more open-minded than that.  


And regardless, why do you even care what others believe?


Quoting little.worthen:

I think it's a cop out. It's like you want to have a relationship with GOd but you don't want to have to be required to follow any of the "rules" associated with religion, even if God is the one who made the rules.


To me, being spiritual but not religious is something Satan came up with. It sounds good now in this life, but this life is short and will screw with the rest of our eternity. Satan will literally do ANYTHING to steer the children of God away. Even by making it sound like they are doing something holy.. He has no limits





 

 


jurnee14
by Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 10:03 PM
4 moms liked this

I prefer that idea than "religious people who are not spiritual", I know quite a few of those. And what an insult to humanity, thinking that people will only live positive lives because they are afraid of some punishment after death. I give people much more credit than that. Besides, some people believe that whatever you do, if you are truly sorry and ask for forgiveness"God", or whatever will forgive. To be honest, I am neither spirtitual or religious, I am not an atheist only because I will keep an open mind to some kind of higher power, creator of the universe possibly exitsting. That and I do like the idea of Hell for some people!

Chelsey191
by Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 10:04 PM
i dont believe in god, but i do believe in spirits
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
little.worthen
by Tess on Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Lol this is the only place I've stated my opinion. I'm no preacher... People open up to me all the time.

Quoting TCgirlatheart:

 I never said you were not entitled to your beliefs, I just pointed out how arrogant it is to assume you know enough about any one's personal relationship with their god, even "some people"'s, to make judgements on how devout they are. 


Why would a fellow believer feel comfortable enough to share their spiritual/religious journey with you, general, knowing what assumptions you make about people?  Why would they take your recommendation on a place of worship?  Why would they want to learn more about your organized religion?


Quoting little.worthen:

I didn't say I did. I just said some people, any time I said you I meant general you.. I don't care if you think it's arrogant. I'm entitled to my beliefs as much as the next person


Quoting TCgirlatheart:


 It's very arrogant to think you know how much time the average believer spends thinking about their god, or how repentant or contrite they are.  I can't imagine what might be driving people away from organized religion...



Quoting little.worthen:

No, the law of sacrifice is gone because Jesus's atonement replaced it. It doesn't mean you are automatically saved because Jesus died for you. Jesus made it so it was easier for sinners to repent but they are still responsible for any and all actions they make. You still have to follow Gods laws. Which a lot of them are common sense but not all of them. Keeping the sabbath day holy is a commandment, one of the most important but tons of people go to stores, or whatever and don't even spend 5 minutes thinking about God.. People who don't follow the commandments and don't repent with an honest and contrite (sp?) heart will be held responsible for their actions. The rules like the one I mentioned above may sound minuscule or small to you, but they are not to God, or he wouldn't have commanded it in the first place...



Quoting LindaClement:



Sooo... the OT 'laws' have been set aside because the rules are eternal?



Quoting little.worthen:

Which IMO is exactly what satan wants you to think.



God is strict. God is the same yesterday today and forever.



I care because I love all of Gods children and it literally gives me nightmares when I think of how many people are so far from the truth about God and his gospel and I pray that everyone will find their way. I'm just glad God is gracious enough to give people a kind of second chance on the other side.. I'd still like to see everyone safe and sound in this life though






Quoting SunshneDaydream:



Actually, it's more like we believe in God, but don't believe he or she is so strict and arrogant as to say "believe exactly this or you will be punished".  We believe God is more open-minded than that.  



And regardless, why do you even care what others believe?



Quoting little.worthen:

I think it's a cop out. It's like you want to have a relationship with GOd but you don't want to have to be required to follow any of the "rules" associated with religion, even if God is the one who made the rules.


To me, being spiritual but not religious is something Satan came up with. It sounds good now in this life, but this life is short and will screw with the rest of our eternity. Satan will literally do ANYTHING to steer the children of God away. Even by making it sound like they are doing something holy.. He has no limits








 


 

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
little.worthen
by Tess on Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:37 PM
The entire first part of everything you said.... I have no clue what your talking about.. In sorry that sorry doesn't mean anything to you. Thank goodness God is a lot more forgiving than you..

And yeah I have money. I don't worship money.. Unfortunately you have to have money in the world to buy things so... What does that have to do with anything?


Quoting LindaClement:

I have heard of saying sorry, and it makes me angry.

For this reason:

You're a perpetrator, and you've hurt someone else... so the reasonable and civilized response is supposed to be 'here's how I feel.' ('I feel so terrible, I'm SO sorry!')

So?

Seriously?

When someone does something that hurts me, what I do NOT give a shit about is their feelings, not in the moment and not later. Don't care. Don't want to know. Seriously: stop changing the subject.

Fix it. Stop it. Don't ever repeat it. But, really just stop talking about your feelings.

You really don't handle or have any coin currency?

Quoting little.worthen:

Well IMO we are going to sin no matter how hard we try not to because we are sinners. But that doesn't mean sin all you want. Have you ever heard the saying sorry only means sorry if you try not to do it again?



And no I don't own any sculptures or anything like that. i have a peice of wood on the wall that says "i believe in Christ." but thats all. i also dont go anywhere or do anything on Sunday except go to church. When we get home we have dinner which is a frozen crockpot meal, and once in a while we will play scripture memory (it's like regular memory where you match pictures but the pictures are stories from the bible and when you find a match you have to learn bout the story that goes with it)




Quoting LindaClement:

So, you believe this:

??

Do you own any engraved images? You know, like on quarters or sculpture or anything?

You do no work of any kind on Sundays?

(p.s. 'contrite' means 'repentant' so it's hard to imagine how to do one without the other...)

Quoting little.worthen:

No, the law of sacrifice is gone because Jesus's atonement replaced it. It doesn't mean you are automatically saved because Jesus died for you. Jesus made it so it was easier for sinners to repent but they are still responsible for any and all actions they make. You still have to follow Gods laws. Which a lot of them are common sense but not all of them. Keeping the sabbath day holy is a commandment, one of the most important but tons of people go to stores, or whatever and don't even spend 5 minutes thinking about God.. People who don't follow the commandments and don't repent with an honest and contrite (sp?) heart will be held responsible for their actions. The rules like the one I mentioned above may sound minuscule or small to you, but they are not to God, or he wouldn't have commanded it in the first place...





Quoting LindaClement:

Sooo... the OT 'laws' have been set aside because the rules are eternal?

Quoting little.worthen:

Which IMO is exactly what satan wants you to think.







God is strict. God is the same yesterday today and forever.







I care because I love all of Gods children and it literally gives me nightmares when I think of how many people are so far from the truth about God and his gospel and I pray that everyone will find their way. I'm just glad God is gracious enough to give people a kind of second chance on the other side.. I'd still like to see everyone safe and sound in this life though








Quoting SunshneDaydream:

Actually, it's more like we believe in God, but don't believe he or she is so strict and arrogant as to say "believe exactly this or you will be punished".  We believe God is more open-minded than that.  

And regardless, why do you even care what others believe?

Quoting little.worthen:

I think it's a cop out. It's like you want to have a relationship with GOd but you don't want to have to be required to follow any of the "rules" associated with religion, even if God is the one who made the rules.




To me, being spiritual but not religious is something Satan came up with. It sounds good now in this life, but this life is short and will screw with the rest of our eternity. Satan will literally do ANYTHING to steer the children of God away. Even by making it sound like they are doing something holy.. He has no limits





Posted on CafeMom Mobile
MyJaidonreturns
by Bronze Member on Oct. 1, 2012 at 11:54 PM
1 mom liked this
Im not religious, but I'm spiritual. I do yoga dammit!!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Oct. 2, 2012 at 12:06 AM
2 moms liked this

 So if he's a kind and forgiving God, wouldn't he be ok with people who come to him, purely by choice and have a personal relationship with him because they want to know him and love him?

Quoting little.worthen:

The entire first part of everything you said.... I have no clue what your talking about.. In sorry that sorry doesn't mean anything to you. Thank goodness God is a lot more forgiving than you..

And yeah I have money. I don't worship money.. Unfortunately you have to have money in the world to buy things so... What does that have to do with anything?


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured