Message Notes

Spiritual But Not Religious

Spiritual but not Religious

John 14:6 (NLT)

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Major Takeaway:

Jesus is the only way to true spirituality.

More than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) say they are spiritual but not religious, according to Pew Research. That’s up from 19 percent in 2012.



1: relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity

2: of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances

3: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful


1: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit

2: of or relating to sacred matters

b: ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal

3: concerned with religious values

4: related or joined in spirit

“Ava Lee Scott, an actress and theater-maker in New York, doesn’t practice an organized religion. Raised in both Catholic and Jewish traditions, Scott’s own spiritual life is far more eclectic. She studies ancient languages, from the Aramaic of Christ to Hebrew to Arabic. She reads Tarot cards, runes, and cowrie shells. She believes in a higher power — something some people might call God — but believes that such a power transcends individual traditions’ dogmas. “Whatever name you call your higher power,” she told Vox, “we are all connected.”

For Megan Ribar, who works at a yoga studio, meditation, yoga, and personal ritualistic acts provide her with a similar feeling of transcendence. She is wary of the term “spirituality,” instead seeing her practices and rituals as a form of self-care: “The practices I consider spiritual are the things I do to care for myself in a deep way, to calm myself when I'm distressed, to create meaning out of the experiences of my life.” Although she isn’t sure whether she believes in a higher power, she keeps an altar full of objects that are symbolically significant to her, and sometimes performs rituals in which she calls on “deities or deity archetypes.”

Likewise, Scott Stanger, a photographer in New York, said that although he was raised as a Conservative Jew — complete with a bar mitzvah and religious classes, “I think either I missed the point or they did not teach the point of spirituality.” Now, he said, he’s put off by the “politics” and “intrusion” of religion, seeing it as outmoded at best, and toxic at worst.

(CNN) -- "I'm spiritual but not religious."

It's a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don't need organized religion to live a life of faith.

But for Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else: egotism.

"Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," says Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York City. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?”

Genesis 3:6-7 (NLT)

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.

John 8:44 (NLT)

(The devil) has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 

John 14:6 (NLT)

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)

13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NLT)

3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.