Editor's note - I am not sure when I came across this article by Charles Hodge, nor when it was originally written. But he says a lot that I appreciate. I hope you appreciate it too.
Bruce's Beat 2-25-2018
By Charles Hodge
We can often learn what is genuine by an examination of the counterfeit. Notice how this applies in the discussion of spirituality. Here are some things spirituality is not:
- It is not the “stained glass look and the holy whine.” Many people wear special clothing, “talk religiously” and behave piously. Jesus condemned the play-acting of the Pharisees – Matt. 23.
- It is not “privatized religion.” In general, people today despise organized religion. Many think that the church hinders spirituality. Saved sinners are added to the body (church). No one has ever become a spiritual giant alone.
- It is not mysticism. Brethren have always fallen prey to the “mystical.” A smorgasbord of spiritual junk food cannot mature Christians. “A little of Jesus,” a dab of Eastern religions, a batch of “New Ageism,” some feminist ideas, crystals, mantras, séances. These approaches result in superstition, not spirituality. 20% of religious people surveyed claimed they had received a revelation from God in the past year. 33% claimed to have had mystical experiences. A man teaching Scripture is at a loss to communicate with a man who believes he has had an “experience.”
- It is not ignorance and superstition. People today hear with their eyes and think with their feelings. People say, “I feel, so I believe.” Spirituality must be rational to be emotional. You cannot “warm hearts” without feeding minds.
A daily walk with God and real spirituality are the same. Spirituality is not self-serving. True spirituality cannot make us think we are better than others (Luke 18:9-14).