Spiritual vs. Religious

Photography by Peter Lippmann

Reading Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity After Religion, I am confused why people are so interested in the question of ‘Spiritual’ vs. ‘Religious’. Anyone with at least half an open eye can see that God comes to meet people in myriad ways, each one beautiful even if obscured by partial blindness. Why mask the uniqueness and the miracle of each by classifying it into one or the other category? To be concerned with this debate is to squander the fruit of the spirit and put the human realm above or before God’s. To think of a coin as one-sided is foolish and dangerous. To think Christ-consciousness speaks in you and in no one else, save for those in your own little enclave, will result in extremism and oppression. We need transcendence as we need to be humbled. We need both sides of depth of experience.

2013, Amaya Engleking



  1. cindy knoke · May 22, 2017

    Love your ideas!

    • Gospel Isosceles · May 22, 2017

      Thank you, Cindy (and for reading many of my posts.) This was a thought from four years ago but it has shaped my way of proceeding into Christianity with cautious persistence. I also have a heart for ecumenical reconciliation, as the constant fighting does a disservice to the one who already won it for us.

  2. domainofshane23 · May 22, 2017

    Very wise. I totally agree. Even the Word says “do not judge.” We will never have all the answers and we won’t even have all of God until the resurrection. Until then, only a limited idea of the Holy.

    • Gospel Isosceles · May 22, 2017

      Yes, Shane, until then I want to worship with all believers, regardless their practice.

  3. Raymond M. Burgard · May 22, 2017

    I very much share your thoughts on this, and it has always greatly saddened and frustrated me with the seemingly endless necessity for some to put labels on every single thing, especially God. I just starting posting on WP this month, and I am very glad to have found you. Thank You!

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 6, 2017

      I thought I had responded earlier, but thank you for your comment. Maybe it’s a way to get God laughing, all these descriptions and boxes. Well, all in good humor until we start killing each other over the ludicrous labels. Welcome to WP!

  4. LuAnne Holder · May 23, 2017

    I so agree!

  5. frankhubeny · May 23, 2017

    I liked this sentence: “We need transcendence as we need to be humbled.” I don’t see the point in differentiating between spiritual and religious either.

  6. Anonymous · August 9

    Thought-provoking indeed

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