Religious vs. Spiritual

From Restoration Living:

In chapter three you exhort readers to resist making all things ‘religious’. At Restoration Living we exhort readers to see all things as spiritual. The difference between these two is important. How do we help move Christians from ‘making everything religious’ to ‘seeing everything as spiritual’?

Frank Viola: It depends on how one defines these terms. In Revise Us Again, “religious” means being pretentious and/or legalistic.

In the NT, the word “spiritual” has to do with that which is governed by the life of Christ, i.e., the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere, I’ve spoken a great deal about living by the indwelling life of Christ. This reality is central to Christianity.

A spiritual person, according to Paul, is a person whose soul and body is governed by the Holy Spirit through their regenerated spirits. We’re not talking about perfection here. But the overall pattern of one’s life.

Being “religious” is the fallen soul’s way of trying to duplicate the job of the Holy Spirit.


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