Religious or Spiritual; Who Cares?

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – 1 John 3:1

Many people think they are smart by defining themselves as spiritual and not religious. I literally don’t know what that even means. I am sure they don’t either. ‘Spiritual’ seems to be a pompous and sophomoric code word for, “I just make stuff up as I like and don’t want to be tied down to anything.” We do hate commitment and we are always looking for loopholes.

“Religious” has become a slanderous accusation to avoid. However, everyone is religious, extremely religious at that. Everyone believes in something and acts it out whether consciously or not. Everyone practices habits and routines. Everyone has some sort of morality. It is actually impossible to not be religious. Anyone who says they are not is betraying they are actually buffoons and should be avoided.

Yet, John isn’t concerned about being religious or spiritual in his letter and the quote above. He isn’t trying to pass on some system of thought or morality. He just tells us what happened! He touched and heard God in the flesh. It happened at a particular place and time. His faith is not centered on religious teaching or spiritual (whatever that is) behavior. It is centered on a person and what that person did for him. Jesus died and rose for sinners. He witnessed it. It was an event that can be tested by the senses. You experience it too through John’s witness of it! It happened to you too.

Christmas wasn’t a spiritual or religious event. It just happened. God became flesh and made Himself approachable, touchable, smellable, audible to broken fools like us. God came to us and He continues to come to us through His Church according to John.

John’s hope and salvation isn’t in his religious behavior or spiritual high. His hope is connected to Jesus and what Jesus did. Your hope isn’t in religion or spirituality either. It’s in Jesus Christ and what He has done for you. You too have heard Christ through the preacher’s voice. Tasted Him in the bread and wine. Seen Him in the love of your friend in Christ. No different than John.

Are you religious or spiritual? Who cares.