What is the Difference between Spiritual and Religious?

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By: Rev. Rebecca Lynn, Spiritual Advisor.

Religion: A) An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. B) A cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. C) A means to define & separate a group of people based on a documented set of rules. Usually involves a Hierarchy. Rules help define what a moral life is, so that you can make it to the desired afterlife.

Religious: Believing in a god or a group of gods and following the rules of a religion. Often one religion dismisses the beliefs of other Religions as untrue.

Archaeological evidence suggests that religious beliefs have existed since the first human communities. They express the communal culture and values through myth, doctrine, and ritual. Worship is the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions are also part of the religious life. Religions attempt to answer basic human questions. (Why do we suffer? Why is there evil in the world? What happens to us when we die?) It is also well documented that Government Systems throughout history have used Religion as a basis for population control through Fear and Manipulation of Texts.

Spirit: A) The force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power. B) The inner quality or nature of a person. C) The Essence of Life.

Spiritual/Spirituality: Lacks a firm definition, however, has many different meanings. There aren’t many rules. In essence, Spirit, is “undefined.” It is thought to be the Essence of Life, Enlightenment, Faith in a Higher Power, The Universe, and Karma. Being authentic without judgment, acknowledging universal connectedness for all living beings. It also encourages people to “go within” to tap into guidance, gaining perspective through Meditation/Prayer, various texts & Nature. Spirituality is based on Gratitude, trusting your own innate wisdom and instincts.

Derived from the Latin word “Spiritus”, meaning “Breath.”

I took a poll from my clients asking them what their opinion was on this topic, Read with an open mind and have a Great Day!

* “My opinion is that spirituality is our own personal connection to God or the universe. I believe religion is one of the paths to that connection.”

* “Spiritual = Freedom to believe, love, worship whatever you feel is your higher power. Open minded to all ideas of positive spiritual energies. Religion= rules, judgment, shame, conformity, comradery, structure.”

* “Religion is for people that are afraid to go to hell, and spirituality is for people who have already been there.”

* “To me spirituality is believing in something bigger than myself. There is more out there that I cannot see. Religion is how some practice their beliefs in spirituality.”

* “I think spirituality is being open to a lot of different beliefs. Religious is strictly following one religion’s views and ideas.”

* “I think spirituality doesn’t see a difference between different religions, one believes in a higher power! Religions believe their way is the only way!!!”

* “I consider myself spiritual because I accept that there is something out there that is bigger than us. I also believe in principles of not doing harm and leading a positive life. I am not religious because I do not enjoy going to church and all rules and procedures. It is not a good fit for me.”

* “Religious ideals are set standards on which an individual is dedicated to live by however spirituality is an openness of the mind to the astral and spiritual world.”

* “Religion external, spiritual internal.”

* “One word…rules”


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