Does Religion Have Anything To Do With Spirituality?

Today is Sunday a day usually set aside for going to church by many people in this country and in other places around the world. Religion and going to church has been the part of many or our lives. Is going to church spiritual? Is spiritual religious? There seems to be a lot of people who go to church: is it because they are nurturing their spiritual nature or is it because they believe they are suppose to go? Is walking in nature mindfully as spiritual as going to church. Are religious institutions really spiritual or big business? Today’s blog is about exploring being spiritual, about going to church, and about the purpose of religions.

I must first admit to being a recovery Catholic. I am a grad of 12 years of Catholic schools and I have lived to tell about it. Never once was I smacked on the wrist by a ruler but I did live in fear of those people with bad habits (nuns) ☺. I think my years of therapy have finally rid me of my screaming nightmares. Just kidding. I like my schooling in those days because it was all I knew and I wanted to go to heaven.

Things have changed since those days of hot lunches and stern looks for the ladies in black. I must admit it took awhile to leave behind some of what I was taught about being a sinner, how to feel guilty, and destiny of either golf in heaven or burning in hell for eternity. As I went off to a Oregon State University, I found out people had different points of view. A religion class I took in my first year look at things from a very different point of view and I was fascinated.

That journey of new ideas has continue now for over 30 years and today I am very far away from where I started. My viewpoints have evolved and still I know there is further learning. In my present understanding I have major questions trying to understand why people believe what they believe. The following are a few of those questions.

How come religion has lost touch with finding one’s own truth and shy so sharply away from encouraging a personal experience of God and instead have focused and organize around group thinking? I use the word “God” here very reluctantly because it has been so misused by people who call themselves ministers, priests and servants of God. Also I shy away from this humanization of God that is way to encumbered by biases, dogma and faulty beliefs.

How come almost all religions are dominated by a older white male hierarchy that looks almost identical to the corporate world in makeup? Are churches and religions really more business organizations their spiritual sources?

There is a huge movement on the planet of people wanting to explore their spirituality and most can’t seem to meet this longing in traditional churches. Are most churches for the followers not the thinkers and explorers? Do people prefer the comfort of something familiar over the journey of self-exploration?

Aren’t religions really social control institutions whose real mission is to control their flock of sheeple? Yes many churches do good deeds but is it because of kindness or to direct the people away from questioning?

Having faith and being a true believer seems to mean you have checked your thinking mind at the door and instead given yourself over to the guidance of others who have little or no relationship with any higher power other that money and power. Is that nurturing your spirit or relieving your guilt?

How come so many born again people are on antidepressants if they have truly connected with the infinite joy of their spirit? Is it really healthy to give up your own search for the truth and instead believe the ideas of others? If you give your life up to God, how come it isn’t blissful?

How come in this country and all around the world fundamentalist are trying to make us believe like they do or they terrorize those who do not in various ways from unkindness, to excommunication, to bombs at clinics, in buses, in neighborhoods, hotels, businesses and planes into towers? Is this really acting like a religious person or a loss of an open mind and heart?

Would any God really support a war? Isn’t war about ego, greed and power and not about religious belief? Hasn’t religion been used for rationalizing the worst human behavior?

Sorry if any of this offends you
; it was only meant to invite you to examine your beliefs to see which ones are worth holding on to and which ones are meant to evolve. I have lots of question and in the new year I will publish a book that will offer a perspective on these questions and offer you an invitation to expand your mind and find your own truth.

Have a spiritual Sunday and an enlightening week.