Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell, spirituality is for people who have already been there.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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7 Responses to QOD

  1. Todd Beal says:

    What is religion? What is spirituality?

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    Which of the following would be truth: answering your question about definitions apart from the context of the post or answering your question by addressing the post rather than the literal definitions?

    • Todd Beal says:

      Lance, the reason for my question is that secular spiritualists often hijack the words religion and spirituality to support their cause, not Christ’s – no debate intended.

  3. Lance Ponder says:

    Todd, I understand. That’s why I responded as I did. The words religion and spirituality do not necessarily compel a “Christian” answer. I posted the quote to start conversation, and this is good conversation. I think there’s something to this quote, in or out of Christian context. Spirituality transcends Christianity. God is Spirit. Here’s a variation on the quote of my own making – I solicit your thoughts…

    Religion is about fear of the unknown. Spirituality is about fear of the known.

  4. Lance Ponder says:

    Religion is about fear of the unknown.

    Religion is behavior. It is the external activity associated with a belief system. It responds to perceived expectations. It may be done out of reverence, respect, love, or fear. Religion alone, which is to say apart from spirituality, has little motivation apart from fear. We fear what we do not know. We may know God and fear Him, but that fear remains a fear of unknown personal consequence, not unknown character or expectation. Religion (alone) attempts to satisfy and pacify this fear about an expected experience.

    Spirituality, in the context of this post, implies an intimacy with and knowledge of the expected experience. It transcends religion because it is no longer simply external. Like Neo after taking the red, went from acting out of fear of the unknown to acting based on experience. He knew what to fear and why. He lost his fear of the lie and became reverent to the truth. He saw hell for what it was. He became a spiritual being, so to speak. I use the Matrix allegory because I think its easy to follow, like a parable, and not because I take it literally. If you take it literally, you’re being religious. If you grasp what I’ve written, then you’re spiritual.

    To have victory is to taste blood. Blood is life, and life is spiritual. Religion is not victorious over hell. Blood is (or can be) victorious because it is spiritual, it has looked death and hell in the eye and defeated it (or succumbed to it). Does sin rule the blood, or is Jesus’ blood covering our own? Ah, this is where we move from secular to Christian spirituality, never mind religion.

    • Todd Beal says:

      I’m absolutely on board with that. However, I will say that religion, when approached rightly through Christ, is the doctrinal approach to one’s spiritual relationship with God. Otherwise, it remains in the realm of manmade idealistic zealous law.

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