Spiritual but not Religious–A 2nd Danger to Consider
In my previous post I highlighted a strength and weakness of the Spiritual but not Religious position. While the stance rightly understands that we are spiritual beings, its vague–anything goes–approach to understanding who God is overlooks the vital question of truth (How do I know what I’m doing is actually in line with reality? and, How do I know I’m worshipping the God who is there?)
Now we consider a second major danger for the spiritual but not religious approach: knowing whether or not my worship is pure or pleasing to God. Isn’t it naive and arrogant to assume that God–the one who created everything, rules everything, defines reality, and is absolutely pure–would be pleased with me and my approach Him no matter what? Isn’t it quite presumptuous to assume that God will be happy with me if I make up my own rules for how to live my life and my own approach to drawing near to Him–all the while not being sure if these things are correct? Never in our everyday lives would we approach a person of power this way, so why would we think this would work with God? We would not dream of taking a caviler attitude to approaching the CEO of a company we worked for (or the president of a nation or someone else in power) without knowing what is respectful and acceptable. The same is true with God; we can’t just make up our own rules and expect everything will turn out ok. More important than the question of, ‘What spirituality works me?’ is the question, ‘Is God pleased with my worship?’
What the truly spiritual person needs is something better to place their confidence in than mere personal preferences and perceptions. We need something more solid and reliable. We need someone to reveal to us what is pleasing to the God who is there. We need a certain and unbreakable assurance that God accepts us. We need a deep and secure foundation to rest our lives upon and overwhelm our wandering hearts that God loves us and is pleased with us.
Jesus alone gives this. He told us that he is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father (God) except through him (John 14:6). He is our secure path to God. He is our unshakable truth about how to approach God. He posses the incomparable life of God–proving this through his death and resurrection–that we all need, giving eternal life as a gift to all who come to Him (John 3:16).
Jesus gives the solution to our dilemma: we can have an approach God that is pleasing and pure through Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.