We have many different and varying Religions in the World, most of which are loosely based on the Bible. The opposite of what Religion teaches, (although the Bible is also referred to in some cases), is Spirituality.
So let’s take a logical (if possible) look at some of the differences between Religion and Spirituality. Not judging either.
Christians believe that if you ‘do not accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour’ then you won’t go to Heaven and will spend eternity burning in Hell.
Spiritual people do not believe in Hell, rather, that God is within and Heaven is on Earth (basically)…..
When asking a Religious person ‘where is Heaven?’ The answer is normally ‘up there’….OK, Where? Is it a ‘place’? a ‘Planet’? what? There is no explanation that makes sense as to ‘where Heaven is’. We could go on to ask ‘ok, where IS God’?….(but we won’t)..
Here’s the basic difference between Religion and Spirituality.
Christian Protestantism and spiritualism are different. Spiritualists do not believe that the works or faith of a mortal during a brief lifetime can serve as a basis for assigning a soul to an eternity of Heaven or Hell; they view the afterlife as containing hierarchical “spheres,” through which each spirit can progress. Spiritualists differ from Protestant Christians in that the Judeo-Christian Bible is not the primary source from which they derive knowledge of God and the afterlife: for them, their personal contacts with spirits provide that. – note: not altogether true, as ‘Spiritualists…are and have a different belief to those who are ‘Spiritual’.
Also, Christianity, following the Council of Nicaea and the teachings of Paul (“And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” – Job 19:26), has traditionally asserted that there will be a bodily resurrection of the dead, and a physical, not merely spiritual, afterlife. This view is self-evidently incompatible with spiritualism, where the merely spiritual existence is superior to the embodied one. (source; Wikipedia)
Is ‘God’ an Object or a Subject?
Catholicism believes in a place called ‘Purgatory’ as well as, like Christianity,‘Burning in Hell‘ if you don’t ‘repent’.
Then there is the Jewish, Mormon, and about 10.000 other religions that exist, all whose beliefs differ to one another, yet all seem to be loosely based on the Bible. (which also varies in interpretation, depending on what Religion you follow)
Some Churches, who believe in the same ‘God’, as their counterparts – (some One OUT there somewhere), would not exist if it weren’t for the thousands that their congregations pour into their coffers, coupled with the fear they instill in people, starting with Children, of an eternity of Burning in hell, IF….
It’s the sad old story, going back in History, of the really poor, giving to the already rich. Instilling the fear of burning in flames for eternity, will make ANYONE, who believes this, give their last dime, and do whatever else they can, including pray all day to an ‘outside’ God, as well as keep telling the God ‘out there’ they are sorry for being a disgusting, unclean, unworthy ‘sinner, and Preach to anyone and everyone who’ll listen, in order to dodge the flames.
E.G. The widow, who lives on bread and water, will give her last Penny to her Church (who’ll take it happily), believing that by doing this, she’s bought a ticket to Heaven. She’s SAFE, and will continue to suffer her bread and water.
Spirituality believes in God as ‘within’. The Supreme Lord of the Universe, who dwells within. Spirituality also respects all and every Religion or Belief anyone has, whereas, most Religions condemn Spirituality.
Even Jesus disagreed with people, but he still liked them.
There is a passage in the Bible, which goes something like this..(forgive me for not quoting verbatim). The Jews were stoning Christ . ‘For what do you stone me?’ Jesus asked ‘For Blasphemy, for saying that you are God’ they answered..To which Jesus replied ‘Have I not said that you ALL are Gods’?
Now if Religion believes that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, through which one has to be ‘saved’ or ‘born again’, and accept Christ as their personal Saviour, – clearly showing that they TRUST and BELIEVE everything Jesus ever said…How come, when Jesus said what he did to the Jews (written in the Bible), who were stoning him, is it not accepted?
Why is it so difficult for so many to just LIVE this beautiful Life that we have been given? This gorgeous Planet that we enjoy, without fear? Fear is an illusion. Just as the Past doesn’t exist, (you cannot borrow a single thing from the past and bring it into the Now), neither does the Future exist. It hasn’t happened yet. We only have today, NOW…
Spirituality believes in the ‘Self’. Spirituality teaches that God IS part of the Self, and he/it is within us, not ‘out there’. Spirituality does not preach ‘condemnation and Hellfire’ if you don’t repent of your ‘sins’. Spirituality does not Preach. Rather, if you live a life of ‘sin’ (as depicted in the Bible) i.e. Being a shitty person, stealing from others, lying, cheating murdering, raping, etc etc…it’s YOU who’ll suffer Hell whilst on this Earth.
According to Spirituality, you will ‘suffer your existence‘. Hell therefore would be right here on Earth, for you.
However, if you live a life of Love, from the Heart, not selfish or greedy, not harming anyone, and doing what you can to help your fellow man, being Grateful, trusting in Grace, and so on, but mostly ‘waking UP to who you really are‘ (Which, according to Spirituality, is a PURE BEING, not this ‘body/mind’) it’s YOU who creates your own Heaven here on Earth. These Truths are derived from many various teachings, not only the Bible, according to Spirituality.
If we look at the Native American Indians, as well as all other Indigenous people, they never knew of anyone or ‘thing’ called ‘God’. Instead, they lived with the Earth and they Respected it. They trusted in what we call ‘God’. By ‘we’ I refer to Westerners. To them however, the word ‘God’ was referred to as ‘Great Spirit’, always conscious of the fact, that there is something bigger than us. The Supreme, who created the Planet with everything and person on it. The Supreme Lord of the Universe of which we are part of.
They didn’t know or hear of a place called ‘hell’. And fear? They feared wild animals or their enemies. Saved by Jesus Christ and believing he is the only Son of God? No, they never heard of this. So could one, in all truth and honesty, say that due to these millions of people, who, having no idea of the Western Mans religious beliefs, all went to hell when they died and are now ‘burning’ in hell (wherever that is)…for eternity?
Who or What God, Great Spirit, The Universal Being is, I cannot know, neither can anyone else claim to know, because the Bible, which is the ‘go to’ for all Religions, was written years after said events. It’s also been changed, books removed, i.e. The book of Mary Magdalene, and re-written for various religious sects. For e.g. the Catholics have their version of the Bible, The Mormons have a different version of the Bible, The Christians have another version of the Bible and so on. All religions claim that theirs, and what they teach, is the only true one.
The Bible teaches us a lot about History, Morality, as well as attempting to teach people the best way to live, in order that they be happy and joyous, whilst here on Earth. Remember that way back then, when the Bible was written, man was totally out of control, (much as he is today). and yet still, War rages on in the name of RELIGION, now coupled with GREED.
I do not condemn anyone nor judge anyone, no matter what they believe in, simply because I (and you), have an intrinsic ‘knowing’ that we do not know. We can have faith of course, but how can an ‘unknown’ be claimed to be ‘known?’
I believe humanity should take care of, and love one another.
There are so many thousands of different Religions. When you actively look into them, it becomes such a confusing topic, that unless you’ve studied Theology (if that be your choice or interest), your hands are, in truth, tied behind your back….and then we could go on to ask ‘what truth lies in Theology?‘…which could then lead to the study of ‘Philosophy’, ‘Theory’..’Quantum Theory’, ‘Scientific Theory and/or Fact’….(sigh)…
(This is exhausting!)
Suffice to say
At the end of the day, ALL RIVERS LEAD TO THE SAME ONE OCEAN….
*Written by Deborah Mann*