I’m sure you’ve been told it. You may have told it to others:
“I’m a very spiritual person.”
Definition of Terms for New Agers
How the spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, manifests itself through my actions.
Using this definition, I should never describe myself as a “spiritual person” unless I wish to be considered an egotistical #sshole:
“I really demonstrate God’s love!”
spirituality (New Age redefinition)
New Age use strips the word of its original God-centered meaning.
It is used to mean so many different things to people of different beliefs as to render the word essentially meaningless. Wikipedia gives three:
- an alleged immaterial reality;
- an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being;
- the deepest values and meanings by which people live.
A page of explanation follows, needed because the word’s meaning is now so broad in scope and muddy. Modifying Wikipedia’s definition, I would suggest:
How all the reality of the physical world’s objects, and the bodies and minds we experience, are connected to something immaterial which has deep significance of some sort.
Further, how we can derive positive benefits such as peace or inspiration from learning to access this immaterial something.
Using this definition, I should also never describe myself as a “spiritual person” unless I wish to be considered an egotistical asshole:
“I’m very in touch with the Big Reality.”
What I believe about God. Carries the additional associations of why I believe this, and how it makes me feel, or how it helps me.
My own faith is that God loves us, and that he can and will, when asked, give us additional power to help us behave more thoughtfully and accomplish more in a productive manner. Just like a giant Battery for Good.
What I believe about God, in detail–and what I don’t believe.
My own theology is that God is God, that church/synogogue/mosque/temple affiliation is irrelevant, and that acts count up there right along with beliefs and intents. Oh, yeah, and that there is an afterlife, ’cause my dead Grandma said so. (Yes. For real.) I believe if we want God’s battery power, we have to ask for it, and it may take repeat requests. And if we talk with him and ask for his help to achieve our specific positive goals, positive steps toward them or equally beneficial goals will be more easily achieved.
I don’t believe in a Divine Plan. I reject entirely a cruel God that causes children to suffer abuse and cancer and hunger as part of some master plan. All I feel coming from God is love.
I don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God–but I’m willing to allow that he might have been.
How I choose to practice my faith, with or without others, or how I choose to label my faith to myself or others. For example: By choosing a recognized group of believers whose faith most closely approximates my own, or whose faith most closely approximates the one I used to follow as a child.
Or maybe I pick one just ’cause I like the music. Honestly, ole’ Martin (Luther) really could crank ’em out (not that those Baptists don’t have some hot little numbers, too!) as in this well-loved classic: