“Spiritual but not religious” has become a lame new way for hipsters to express their disdain for “organized religion.” But this sentiment is terribly off-base because it would limit salvation to only those capable of great reasoning powers.
If a man does not have religion, he must reason his way to divine truths. This meticulous reasoning process is beyond the capabilities of the young, the senile, the mentally disabled, and the intellectually inept. If the “spiritual but not religious” sentiment was true, only the intellectually gifted would even be capable of salvation.
And even a large number of the intellectually gifted would fail to achieve salvation due to the tedious complexity of reasoning out divine truths. The process takes an enormous amount of time, and the road is often riddled with logical fallacies. What of those who perish before working out the truths necessary for salvation? What of those who fall into logical fallacies and do not have sufficient time to work through their mistakes?
Clearly, Divine Revelation is an absolute necessity. Through this wonderful gift, man is able to know God and His truths more quickly, more fully, and more clearly. Without Divine Revelation, salvation is restricted to the extreme few.
But even with Divine Revelation, problems still arise. Man may have a most wonderful compilation of divine truths at his disposal, but who will teach them to him? Who will interpret them for him? Who will explain their meaning for him? Who will answer his questions? Who will tackle his doubts? Who will strike down his objections? With Divine Revelation alone, mankind encounters the same problem–salvation is restricted to only those select few intellectually-gifted individuals who happen to discover the correct interpretation of Divine Revelation.
The answer to our problem can only be religion. Spirituality on its own is like an oar-less rowboat upon a vast sea with no hope of reaching shore. Divine Revelation alone places the boat much closer to shore, but leaves him no oars. Only when Divine Revelation is paired with religion–man’s teacher, interpreter, and mentor–does he gain all of the tools necessary for reaching the shores of his eternal destination.