Religion vs Spirituality

Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell; spirituality is for those who’ve been there.

I happened to catch a guest on last night’s The Hour state the above.  I didn’t watch the rest of the show, nor did I catch who that particular guest was.  I can’t seem to get that information from the website, either (what a mess it is!)

The quote intrigued me and it’s been running around in my head all day.  I’m not sure what I think of it.  It all depends, of course, on what one means by “religion” and “spirituality”.  For the guest, “religion” meant Christianity.  George Stombolopoulous (the host) had just asked him if he was a Christian, and the guest responded with the above.  I didn’t listen to the rest of the interview, so I never found out if maybe he was, in fact, a Christian by traditional definitions of the term.

I guess it’s all in what you make it.  For some people Christianity is about not going to hell; for others it’s about recognizing that we live in a messed up world and God is doing something to fix it.  It could be religion or spirituality, depending on what it is for you, on what you do with it.

6 thoughts on “Religion vs Spirituality

  1. Andrew

    I’m wondering these days if Christianity is (or ought to be) the recognition of a messed up world and people doing something to fix it… I know this might be controversial but if we take Jesus’ comment that ‘wherever two or more are gathered in my name I am there’ literally then wherever those practicing Jesus’ way (i.e., practicing love of neighbour) are, God is working to fix the world. Tony Campolo once got in trouble for suggesting that Jesus is in every person (or something to that effect) but I wonder if he didn’t have a point… ramble ramble.

    Religion/spirituality – isn’t that a matter of trendiness? I see ‘spirituality’ tossed about as fashionable, and a way to ensure that I can do ‘my own thing’ rather than participate in a community.

  2. jim

    hmmm… that’s a thinker, that one. These kind of statements/discussions are more and more common in secular media it seems. And many times statements like these, and from people that might be considered outside the church, ring penetratingly true. I’ve noticed this a lot lately. What’s with that?

  3. jim

    Didn’t notice your comment before I posted Andrew. Perhaps you have in part answered my “What’s with that?”

  4. jim

    Wow, that makes sense, he can say that he’s been there (hell on earth). I watched the clip (thanks for the link)… he was quoting someone else he had heard say that and then went on to say, “I believe greatly in God, an all loving and all knowing and all powerful God that is way beyond any religion that I have experienced.” (including Christianity)

  5. Pingback: Coming Out of the Prayer Closet

Comments are closed.