By: Paul Murano – Nov. 2021
A conversation between A and B:
a – I’m spiritual but not religious.
b – Really. What does that mean?
a – Primarily, I don’t believe in organized religion.
b – You believe in disorganized religion?
a – No silly. I believe there might be a higher power, but I meditate, do yoga, and eat vegan. I’m in touch with my inner self.
b – I hope you’re in touch with your outer self too.
a – Like I said, I’m spiritual but don’t like man-made religions.
b – Me neither. I’d never be part of a ‘man-made’ religion.
a – Good, than we can be spiritual together.
b – Not so fast. Let’s address your two points of: a) spiritual, and b) man-made religions.
All people are spiritual. But they’re also physical. We’re composed of both soul and body.
a – Don’t get all philosophical on me.
b – Secondly, being ‘spiritual’ is fine, but without the structure of a divinely Revealed religion,
this tends to become an exercise in self-centered pride, creating a morality that fits one’s desires rather than objective truth and goodness.
a – You want to follow rules made by men in funny hats? Not me!
b – No. I want to follow God, who at times uses men in funny hats to offer His truth and Life.
What I’m saying is my religion is God-made, not man-made.
a – All religions are man-made.
b – Not true. Judaism and Christianity are about God reaching down to us. Christianity holds
that God actually became one of us, to save us from our self-imposed condition of death. And He established a Church to offer eternal life. Choosing a sinful lifestyle, however, is one’s attempt at being ‘spiritual but not religious.’
a – Nonsense. I am liberated from oppressive traditions and male dominated institutions!
b – Do you really believe your “spirituality,” which changes with the wind, makes you truly happy?
a – I don’t think about it much. Sure, I’m happy….I guess. As long as I keep my mind on the passing things of this world and don’t offend anyone in the process.
b – Constant confusion and walking on eggshells is not freedom or happiness. In fact, it’s the opposite. God established a Church to offer divine Truth and divine Life to a world that so desperately needs clarity and liberation. It’s the ultimate medicine for the condition we all share all fallen human beings.
a – The Church is corrupt.
b – Sure, the human aspect of the Church is made up of sinners, but our hope is in the divine nature of the Church, which is its infallible essence, and the promise of the God-Man who established it. The bottom line is one cannot be spiritually ‘good’ without being religious. Let’s talk more about this later.
a – Okay, but don’t think you can convince me to give up my comfort zone.
b – I’ll come with no expectations; only an open heart and a love of truth.
a –Meet me at Starbucks tomorrow and we’ll share a latte and veggie burger.
b – I’ll order my own food, thanks. See you there.
Paul is producer and host of Beneath the Surface video and radio podcasts, taught college philosophy & theology and is a staff writer/producer for St. Michael’s Media. Check out his website at Paulmurano.com, and e-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com.