Are You Spiritual But Not Religious?

Posted on December 19, 2011

Are you spiritual but not religious? Many who would answer that question by saying "yes" are correct in stating that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God. However, so many people who do not really seem to have a relationship with God are calling themselves "spiritual but not religious", all while looking down on the ones who truly do have a relationship with God as the ones who are "religious". This is something that the new agers and postmodern "Christians" do very often. When they refer to "religion", they apparently mean doctrine - even though the Bible, which is not a religious book, has clearly stated that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Lets take a careful look at passage: First, if the God inspired Scriptures are "profitable for doctrine" (as the above passage plainly declares), than this is a clear indication that God Himself is in favor of doctrine. And the last part of that verse explains why: "That the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work".

Yet the main emphasis today (even among many who claim to have a relationship with God) is on good works above doctrine. For example, I have heard one contemporary Christian music artist who has a line in one of her songs that says, "put away the doctrine and love a little more, because everybody's broken".

Yet if God's purpose for doctrine is "that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work", then it is sound doctrine that equips us to do good works in the first place. So how can we "love a little more" (as the song says) if we put away doctrine, the very thing that equips us to love in the first place?? If doctrine equips us for every good work, then this would have to mean that it also equips us to love others the way we should. Otherwise it is a shallow, superficial love.

Furthermore, doctrine is just something that is taught. So the very teaching that we should love God and others is in fact doctrine. And since doctrine is something that is taught, this also indicates that someone who teaches that doctrine is not important is also teaching doctrine: A doctrine denying the importance of doctrine! Is this a contradictory way of thinking? From what I has written thus far, it should be clear that even those who teach that doctrine is not important are also teaching doctrine. The only difference is that they are teaching false doctrine.

I believe that the heart of the problem is that many are looking to mystical experiences as the basis for a relationship with God rather than Intimacy with God through His word, and this mindset can be found especially throughout the Emerging Church Movement. Some of the mystical experiences that I am thinking of include yoga, contemplative prayer, and experiences in the signs and wonders movement, just to name a few. Lets take a serious look contemplative prayer for a minute. This includes saying the same word or phrase over and over in prayer. Please think about this: If you are in serious relationship with anyone, do you repeat the same word or phrase to them over and over in a conversation? Would they not think that you are nuts if you called them up on the phone and said, "hey, how's it going, hey, how's it going, hey, how's it going, hey, how's it going, hey, how's it going..."?

Honestly, I am not trying to make fun of anyone here, and I am not even trying to be funny. But I simply don't know how else I can get the point across to people that this goes against what we naturally know about relationships with anyone. Not only that, but it is also what the Bible itself refers to as "vain repetitions" (See Matthew 6:7).

As my mom has explained in her devotional titled Intimacy With God's Word, God and His word go together. This is why Romans 10:17 says "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". You simply cannot know somebody without hearing from them. I realize that some people may not be convinced that the Bible is the word of God merely by the fact that it claims to be inspired by Him in (2 Timothy 3:16-17). However, anyone who is interested can find plenty of proof that confirms the Bible's divine inspiration from the following two pages: 101 Scientific Facts & Foreknowledge and 101 Last Days Prophecies.

I also hope it has become clear by now that biblical Christians are not referring to the same thing as postmodernists when they speak of a relationship with God. One is based on mystical experiences, and the other is based on truly knowing God by hearing from Him through His written word. It is important to make this distinction since Jesus Himself said that eternal life is to "know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3). Yet many who claim to have a relationship with God are clearly out of touch with His personality which He has revealed in His word.

If we truly do know God, then we will have His spirit indwelling us. Yet some of the "Christians" in our day who think they have a relationship with God are even more hostile toward biblical Christians than atheists! As one example of this, there is one Christian radio host who I have heard say that some people in support of the Word of Faith movement have written to him saying nasty things like, "I wish a fatal accident would happen to you". I have also had one professing Christian on a message board curse at me for pointing out that a certain rock band that worships a pagan god is not a Christian band as many believe that they are. And there are some letters that have been written to The Berean Call (which is a ministry that opened the eyes of my parents and helped lead them out of an extreme Charismatic church many years ago) that clearly verge on rage! Such hostility from those who seem to honestly believe that they know God is downright chilling, and it is clearly not the fruit of a relationship with the God of the Bible.... but I must say that the words of John 16:2 now make more sense to me than ever.

Aside from those who erroneously believe that they have a relationship with God, there are also plenty of religious people who have simply never heard of a relationship with God, and that is understandable. However, since many of the postmodernists embrace all religions, and are like minded with them in emphasizing good works over is clear to me that this is all headed towards the one world religion which was foretold in the Bible. While biblical Christianity relies on God alone for salvation, the coming one world religion will be humanistic to the max, ignoring the fact that God's sound doctrine is what equips us "for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and relying on our own "righteousness" which Isaiah 64:6 describes as being "like filthy rags". And Titus 3:5 tells us that it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to [God's] mercy He saved us..." More info about this coming one world religion (and Bible prophecy in general) can be found on my page titled Megiddo 1 & 2: The March to Armageddon And The New Age.

While I am not opposed to good works, I am just pointing out that they are not what saves us, but they will be the result of our salvation. This is why the words "by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves" (Ephesians 2:8-9) are followed by the words "for we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). If we are truly saved by grace through faith, then we will be saved unto good works, meaning that good works will be the result of our salvation (As I explained in my article titled The Gift of God). However, many who emphasize good works over doctrine are clearly not showing the fruit of a true relationship with God, as I have tried my best to show here. If you are someone who has come to realize that you do not have that relationship, than I invite you to visit my salvation page for more info.

"They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him...But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine" (Titus 1:16 and 2:1)

"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:2-5).

Grace Is “In Spite,” Not “Because”, by Dave Hunt

The Works Salvation Delusion, by T.A. McMahon

Weaning Evangelicals Off The Word Part 1, by T.A. McMahon

Weaning Evangelicals Off The Word Part 2, by T.A. McMahon

Weaning Evangelicals Off The Word Part 3, by T.A. McMahon

Evangelical Mysticism? By T.A. McMahon

Ecumenism Gone Exponential! By Ray Yungen (Video)

Seduction: A Primer for Persecution? By T.A. McMahon

The Post-Truth Transformation of a Wordless “Faith”, by Tamara Hartzell

If everything is called Christianity

Yes, Jesus Did Care about Correct Doctrine, and So Should We

The Importance of Biblical Doctrine (Radio Interview With Gary Gilley)

How Important is Doctrine?

To Believe Right

Once in Cult, Student Sees Importance of Knowing Theology

I loved heresy, but the Holy Spirit found me

They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus, by the Lighthouse Trails editors

D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity, by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Biblical versus Cultural Christianity, by Berit Kjos

Biblical versus Postmodern Thinking, by Berit Kjos

What Does It Mean to Repent And Be Saved?

The Users Guide To Postmodern Christianity

The Meltdown of Christianity, by Roger Oakland

Fundamentalism & Postmodernism (One of my articles)

"Christianity" And Satanism: Which Is More Deceptive? (One of my articles)

Unwittingly Proving The Bible to Be True (One of my articles)

God's Word Is The Final Word! (One of my articles)

Personal Being or Silly Putty God? (One of my articles)

What About God's Truth? (One of my articles)

The Persecutors And The Persecuted (One of my articles)

Decieved By Higher, "Christ Consciousness" & New Age Influence (Radio Show)

An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, by Dave Hunt (Radio Series)

Seeking And Finding God, by Dave Hunt (Radio Series)

WIDE IS THE GATE - The Emerging New Christianity, Volume 1 (DVD)

WIDE IS THE GATE: The Emerging New Christianity, Volume 2 (DVD)

WIDE IS THE GATE: The Emerging New Christianity, Volume 3 (2 DVD's)

2013 Wide Is The Gate Conference (MP3's)

In Defense of The Faith, by Dave Hunt (Radio Series)