Does Christianity help or hinder us realising our spirituality?
Spirituality is a deep appreciation of our non-physical essence coupled with an enriching process of personal growth and transformation.
In contrast, religion is a formalised set of beliefs and rituals presented within a formatted organisational structure. It’s an uncomfortable fact for those who like formality and ceremonials in religion that the Christian Prophet Yeshua (‘Jesus’) was not a huge fan of them.
Not long ago, a prominent former UK government minister presented a TV programme on the future of Christianity. During the programme, she debated with a Humanist. He argued, as a humanist would, that the whole basis of Christianity is fictitious. There are no gods, no angels, no devil and no miracles, and morality doesn’t depend on believing in these things.
‘Don’t you believe in love and forgiveness, and being kind to each other?’ she countered. He said of course he did, but that didn’t make him a Christian; all the great religions teach love, compassion, peaceful conduct and right living. Humanism does too. They’re largely common sense and do not need Christian theology to support them. And he’s right. Because it’s not these things that define Christianity. There’s a lot more to it than loving your neighbour and treating others as you would like to be treated.
Even following the gospel teachings of Yeshua is not enough. It’s not even the point. Far more important for Christians is to believe certain things about him – who he was, how he came to Earth, his place in the Holy Trinity and what became of him after he died. The religion’s greatest apostle, Paul of Tarsus made this very clear: he wrote that if we have absolute faith in Yeshua’s death and resurrection, we take our place in the Kingdom of G_d. This, not one’s good deeds, is what distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian.
© David Lawrence Preston, 25.8.2016
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Balboa Press, 2015