Is there a difference between religion and spirituality?
Religion and spirituality are two associated yet distinct terms connected with faith. Religion represents “a set of beliefs worrying the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, generally involving devotional and ritual observances and an ethical code.” In contrast, spirituality can be specified as “the quality of being spiritual” (both definitions adjusted from www.dictionary.com).
Based on these definitions, the significant difference between religion and spirituality is among thinking versus being. Religion’s focus is the material of one’s belief and the outworking of that belief; spirituality’s focus is the procedure of ending up being more attuned to unworldly affairs. It’s possible to be religious without being spiritual and spiritual without being religious.
A religious person accepts a specific set of beliefs as true and observes a particular set of routines. An individual of the Christian religion thinks Jesus is God’s Son and observes baptism and Communion. An individual of the Muslim religion believes Allah is God and observes Ramadan and salat.
In contrast, spirituality is the reality of being spiritual and is typically confirmed by the act of doing spiritual things. Hoping, practicing meditation, checking out the Bible, and offering assistance to a charity are all things that a “spiritual” individual might do.
Spirituality is more abstract than religion. Religion generally promotes a creed and has a specified code of principles; it is concrete. Spirituality exists in the nebulous world of the undefinable. Since of this, an enhancing number of people in postmodern Western culture view spirituality as great and religion as bad. Ambiguity is “in” today; dogmatism is “out.”.
Yet neither spirituality nor religion is inherently great or bad. The practice of religion may cause good things to be done (the founding of Christian health centers) or something terribly wicked (the mass suicide in Jonestown). Similarly, someone might assert that feeding the less fortunate is a spiritual act, while somebody else claims that murder is a spiritual act.
Biblically speaking, religion and spirituality should be united, and completion result need to be great works to the splendor of God (Matthew 5:16). James 1:27 teaches, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their condition, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Here religion is connected with the application of one’s belief in ways that assist the needy and cause a more spiritual way of life. The verse also brings an implicit caution against incorrect or empty religion. Considering that James specifies “pure” and “undefiled” religion, there should also exist “impure” and “defiled” religion. True religion is godly; empty religion only has “the appearance of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:5).
Spirituality is likewise specified more plainly in Scripture. There’s absolutely nothing unclear about Romans 12:1 -2: “I appeal to you for that reason, brothers, by the graces of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and appropriate to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be adhered to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (focus added). Real Christian spirituality is to commit ourselves to the worship and service of God and to be supernaturally changed.