In [thread=322252]this thread[/thread], I said
and Eureka replied
I’ve started this new thread so as to not hijack that one. (Mods, if it belongs in IMHO, I’m sure you’ll move it as appropriate) I don’t venture into Great Debates that often, this is my first posting here, but I’ve just finished a two hour debate with Mrs. Stone about this very issue and I’ve come to realise that I have very strong opinions on the subject and want to hear possible other sides to the subject.
I am not saying that I think churches (ministers, pastors, priests, insert your flavor here) are devoid of spirituality, nor am I saying that people who go to church are unable to think for themselves.
Spirituality is ones personal connection to the spiritual world, the world of the non-material, the soul, the universe, all life, all existance, god.
Religion happens when someone tries to take something unique and special for one person and mass produce it for everyone else.
The layperson goes to church from a young age, hears a bunch of stuff from the minister, and absorbs most of it by rote. I’m sure most of them have some small unique connection to their spiritual life, but religion covers most of it up. They absorb their thoughts about life, morality, their relation to the spiritual world, and many other things from their church (as they also do from their parents, their society, etc.) How often do people question the things they think, and why they think them?
It may very well be that the minister is a spiritual person trying their best to bring the followers to find their own unique connection, their own spirituality, but it’s all too easy for them to use the sayings and teachings of their church as just words. For the layperson to not even realise there is more to it than just those words. To use the religion as a crutch and never think for themself. To not even want other people to think for themself because it would rob them of power inside the church.
Thus Religion, by it’s very nature, puts rules on thoughts and behaviour and it limits independent thought.
The layperson may be spiritual. The minister may be spiritual. The church may strive for spirituality. But the Religion is not spiritual.