Spiritual Not Religious?
Are You Spiritual But Not Religious? by Peter Baska Author of ‘The Point of Power’
rebutted by C R Lord, Author and Christian Minister
NOTE: The article rebutted is from a Huffington Post Blog 2014. I pray in all sincerity that Mr. Baska has risen above this deceit from Satan and has put his faith in the one true and living God forever.
Point One - Defining religion might be the best way to start this part. Religion “is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols which relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.”
Rebuttal – Mr. Baska doesn't understand religion in its totality. He rightly identifies certain particulars about religion (ie; tenets, systems and even worldviews) but his analysis falls far short of the reality of religion because he misunderstands the primary point of religion which is the fruitless efforts of man to somehow be “good enough to earn favor with God thereby cementing an entrance into Heaven. In the other religious systems Nirvana, swallowed up into universal mind or having spiritual sexual ability for whatever purpose the religion intends, such as, to introduce more spiritual beings into the universe or satisfy the sexual cravings, of those who attain eternal life, to be satisfied to their hearts content. The motivation in all these cases is self-righteousness and self-satisfaction. Religion promises much and delivers nothing of eternal value. It's adherents are scammed and immediately after death they realize that they've been taken in by frauds and charlatans only to find that their position is irreversible.
Point Two - The religions of Abraham (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) all believe in one universal God, experienced as personal, who is the creator of the universe and the primary source of values, while the main Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism) grew out of local traditions and focus on insight.
Rebuttal – Mr. Baska makes the same mistake multitudes of media personnel make when he lumps Judaism, Islam and Christianity and identifies them as the religions of Abraham who all believe in one universal God. The first mistake he makes here is defining Christianity as a religion instead of being a personal relationship with God that far surpercedes religion. Perhaps I will more precisely define what I see as the difference later in this rebuttal. He also regards them all as monotheistic which is a total disregard for the Christian teaching of the Godhead (which some regard as the Trinity) even though the word Trinity doesn't exist in the Bible. Judaism and Islam both reject the concept of Trinity although Judaism does acknowledge a Godhead composed of more than one person. Only Islam fully rejects the possibility that God can be one and yet plural as his name Elohim implies. This implication is an acknowledged belief of the most eminent Jewish scholars. The third mistake made here is in the idea of Abrahamic succession. Islam teaches that succession comes through Abraham and Ishmael who was cast out of the camp of Abraham along with his mother as not worthy of succession. Christianity and Judaism teach succession goes through Isaac who is the legitimate heir to Abraham since the mother of Ishmael was not an Israelite. Therefore there has been enmity between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac since that time and that is why the Muslims despise the Jews – the longest grudge in the history of the world.
Point Three – Mr Baska writes; “A spiritual person is one who seeks to elevate himself, to connect with a higher power, or simply his higher self. He believes there is more to the world than what is easily seen, than what is merely physical. He will have certain guidelines of behavior and diet that he will go by, but all in the name of properly attuning with the infinite and entering some higher state of consciousness. Tibetan monks are the best example of the spiritual.”
Rebuttal - This quote begins with a horrendous assumption that man is seeking to elevate himself, at least according to the Bible which loudly declares that man at his very best is “altogether vanity.” We humans are at our best when congratulating ourselves and our peers while totally failing to acknowledge the higher power (God) as the source of our ability to attain to anything physical, spiritual or moral or in any way relevant to achieving whatever higher status we attain to. Higher states of consciousness are a fraudulent substitute for a right relationship with the one true and living God of scripture. Achieving these mystical peaks of life is nothing more than rejecting the rule of a Holy God in our lives. All such teachings are created in the minds of sinful beings who somehow believe they can attain the greatest state of life apart from the God who made them. It is the biggest lie perpetuated by Satan ever told and is as old as when Satan told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would be like God. Mankind has gone full circle and returned to the Garden of Eden in his heart and mind and has come to love the fruits of sin and rejection of the divine plan of God. The end of that life is a horrible tragedy that could have been avoided if the person living it out and dying in it would have thought it through to the end.
Point Four – Mr Baska writes; “ The core of most all religions are built on a spiritual foundation, but remember that Man invented religions and so it is subject to his flaws.”
Rebuttal – The core of most all religions are built on a spiritual foundation is correct. The issue here is that he doesn't identify the foundation. He is deceived when he says that “man invented religions” in that he includes Christianity in with the religions of the world. Apart from Christianity I would have to agree with his statement. However, Christianity is an absolute rebuttal to all religion because it is not based on man's goodness but strictly on God's mercy. Religion was invented by people out of either ignorance or lack of education coupled with a charismatic figure who knew how to take advantage of those deficits in certain people or people groups. In that regard he is absolutely correct about religion. Christianity teaches that all mankind is born in sin of sinful parents and that mankind's nature to begin with, is evil. It goes on to teach that there is no hope of recovery for mankind outside of the mercy of God shown through the sacrifice of God's Son, Jesus Christ. This is where relatiionship becomes the essential thing as mankind kneels in the presence of God as a penitent sinner begging forgiveness for their sin and receive it by faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary and the atoning blood he shed for the lost who would repent and believe. At that point in the person's life God forgives them and he assures them of being adopted as sons and the relationship is restored to that of Adam and Eve prior to their sin in departing from God and serving the deceiver Satan.
Mr. Baska is correct when he says that religion is subject to the flaws of mankind because imperfect beings cannot help but be flawed and so they produced flawed ideas and results from those ideas. In Christianity that issue is resolved because God reveals himself supernaturally to his children and he passes down his thoughts through flawed individuals who are led by His Spirit eliminating the flawed ideas of mankind while using their intellect and personality and other human traits to advantage while keeping his thoughts toward mankind intact and without error. The issue that many have with this idea is that if the Bible is the Word of God then all other religious writings are the work of mere man and in serious error because the source is flawed through sinful thinking. This sinful thinking then produces perverted religious ideas that contradict the mind of God and espouse the teachings of another god or gods formed in the evil minds of its teachers and handed down to its adherents. Of course, the end result of this is a conflict (sometimes intense) between those who serve God and everyone else who believes or assumes a different god to be real and trust other flawed men to reason for them. Those who follow the man made gods often resort to violence while Christians are commanded by Jesus Christ to abstain from violence and even to love their enemies.
Point Five - According to Mr. Baska; “ Religions attempt to gain access to a higher power in the hope of improving your life’s condition. This usually means sending out your prayers to the deity of your choice, hope that you’re heard, then have the firm belief that something will happen. Spirituality involves the attempt to focus your mind to gain access to the higher power within yourself in the hope of improving your life’s condition. This usually means meditating to send your thoughts to the Universe in general, hope that it hears you, then have the firm belief that something will happen.”
Rebuttal – Religions hope for an improvement in “life's conditions.” His use of deity of choice is humorous to me. Almost hilarious as I envision a marketplace for deities where one goes and looks over the goods (gods) and makes a decision on which one he or she will purchase. However, there is nothing funny about where the buyers will end up if the Bible holds the truth that leads to the best outcome and they make a wrong decision and get the wrong product. It is deadly serious in more ways than we can comprehend with our finite minds because we are dealing with supernatural choices leading to supernatural events that span time without end. Our wrong choice leads to horrendous consequences.
Hoping that you are heard is scary if your choice of gods doesn't come through. For all who embrace Christianity hope is assured – not a nebulous thing to wish for. When Christians go to God in prayer they expect results – not vain hopes. Those who put their faith in God apart from dependence on feelings and circumstances are rewarded with answers that are specific and personal just as one would expect from a loving heavenly father. Mr. Baska would have us wait and see and wait without the genuine hope that comes from the God of the scriptures. The idea of sending our thoughts to the universe in general and believing that “it” hears you is patently absurd. Firm belief doesn't come from an object that cannot answer. The universe in and of itself offers no answer to our prayers. It is the architect of the universe we send our thoughts to and that artictect answers our prayers as he has promised in the Bible. I would heartily recommend God to Mr. Baska as I would to those who follow astrology. Instead of putting trust in the stars Mr. Baska should put his hope and trust in the one who made them.
Point Six - Mr. Baska makes a ridiculous statement that would make any intelligent person pale with anxiety if they had any sense at all. He says; “That deity that everyone’s always trying to pray to in order to make their lives better? It is, and always has been within yourself.”
As I said before; “Back to the Garden of Eden.” Ahhhhhh! Mankind, who is inherently evil is capable of discovering deity within himself. The ultimate deception has been swallowed by this man and now he wishes to propagate this lie to his readers. Rather than be humbled to admit his sin and accountability to a Holy God, he now fully rejects God and puts himself on the throne as the final authority on matters of life, death and human knowledge and behavior. This is the height and depth of arrogance and pride.
Mr. Baska goes on to say; “Religions revolve around loving God (by whichever name you give him), knowing that He loves you in return. But why not simply love yourself directly? Because most people cannot; they see only their faults and cannot love themselves, and as such they do not believe that they deserve any improvement at all in their lives. They believe that they must deserve whatever punishment their lives seem to be.” In his disassociation with God he walks down a path of death and damnation.
Love yourself directly? Reject consequences to come for your sinful actions? Deny that we will receive the punishment we deserve? This man descends into a darkness he is totally ignorant of and would lead others to go there as well. The mind of this man has been purged of spiritual truth, and when a mind is empty enough of truth, Satan gladly fills it up with his anti-Christ ideas and perverts the mind extensively. Mr. Baska is like a man standing on a high cliff and waiting for a wind to come along and blow him over to his destruction.
Mr. Baska goes on; “Spirituality is all about knowing and loving yourself directly, believing that you do deserve forgiveness and better things in Life.” According to scripture we all deserve eternal damnation and need to be satisfied with God's provision for our lives. This statement of his is a rebuttal of God's assessment and there is no excuse that can be offered other than ignorance. God can forgive ignorant men but only those who are willing to repent of it.
Point Seven – Mr. Baska writes; “Religion gives you this confidence by knowing that some higher power supports you, spirituality gives you this confidence by knowing that you are a conduit for the power that you need.”
Rebuttal - If the above were true, mankind would have figured out how to solve all the ills of mankind since centuries of time have passed. Instead we find the truth of the Bible's words; “There is nothing new under the sun.” Things continue to go on as they have always gone on and there is more and more deterioration as men turn from God to their own devices. There is an idea that man is the center of the universe and can gradually become invincible. We are led to believe that we are in control of our lives when in truth something as simple as a very small virus can end our lives quickly and without warning. A vehicle careening down a street or highway can take out various numbers of people or a single person instantly. Multitudes of people have died in wars and some have been killed by religious ideologues. Minds snap in homes around the world and lives are snuffed out by madmen or women who don't have the capacity to handle the difficulties that confront them. There are so many ways that we can die suddenly and without warning that to say we are in control is ludicrous.
Religion is not the answer anymore than man made ideologies are. It is the confidence that a loving God brings to the table that gives strength to the weak and power to the powerless. It's the God of scripture who answers prayers to those of faith who sustains them through this life and gives them immortality in a world without evil of any kind. Hoping in man is suicide.
Final Point – Mr. Baska's Conclusions; “But from another point of view, it is simply yourself helping you, using a power you dared not suspect that you possessed. Be it prayers or meditation, religion or self awareness, it is all different faces of the same beast.
But it’s time for us to take off the masks and look directly at the face of the Infinite. We just might see our own reflection. So you see, there is quite a bit of common ground between the religious and the spiritual. A spiritual person is merely a religious person who dispensed with some of the trappings and seeks to find the change and power within himself, where it has been all along.
Rebuttal - My conclusions should be obvious to those who have followed this through from beginning to end. Mr. Baska ends where he begins; in serious error of the worst kind. His claims above show his ignorance of spiritual truth because he insists that we humans use powers that we didn't know we possess. As I said previously, we are weak and sinful and fallible and finite and possess no powers in and of ourselves that we can call up to overcome the adverse realities of life. To continue to insist that we do is spiritual suicide and the greatest deception ever offered by Satan. In addition to that those who espouse Mr. Baska's view will be damned forever with no hope of recovery as this life is the only time given to prepare for eternity. Therefore the lies espoused by Mr. Baska are tragedy without end to everyone who reads, accepts and lives them out and dies believing them. His statement that in looking at the face of the infinite and finding our reflection, as though we were infinite rather than finite is out of touch with spiritual reality and so it is out of touch with all reality. In spite of his insistence to the contrary there is no common ground between religion and spirituality but finite minds can conjure one up anyway if they so choose. His closing statement is a disaster and it takes God out of the picture and puts man in the place meant for God alone. Eternity is ahead for all of us. I submit that Mr. Baska's theory be rejected and God's Word be adhered to for our own sakes.
Copyright © 9/11/2017 by C R Lord