Religion and spirituality are two related yet distinct terms associated with faith. Religion denotes "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances and a moral code." In contrast, Spirituality can be defined as "the quality of being spiritual" (both definitions adapted from www.dictionary.com).
Based on these definitions, the major difference between religion and spirituality is one of believing versus being. Religion's focus is the content of one's belief and the outworking of that belief; spirituality's focus is the process of becoming more attuned to unworldly affairs. It's possible to be religious without being spiritual and spiritual without being religious.
A religious person accepts a certain set of beliefs as true and observes a certain set of rituals. A person of the Christian religion believes Jesus is God's Son and observes baptism and Communion. A person of the Muslim religion believes Allah is God and observes Ramadan and salat.
In contrast, spirituality is the fact of being spiritual and is usually evidenced by the act of doing spiritual things. Praying, meditating, reading Scripture, and giving to a charity are all things that a "spiritual" person might do.
Spirituality is more abstract than religion. Religion usually promotes a creed and has a defined code of ethics; it is tangible. Spirituality exists in the worldly realm of the undefinable. Because of this, an increasing number of people in postmodern Western culture view spirituality as good and religion as bad. Ambiguity is "in" today (information that is unclear or vague) and dogmatism is "out." (The tendency to lay down principles as being undeniably true, without consideration for evidence or the opinions of others)
Yet neither spirituality nor religion is inherently good or bad. The practice of religion may lead to good (the founding of Christian hospitals) or to evil (the mass suicide in Jonestown). Likewise, one person may claim that feeding the poor is a spiritual act, while someone else claims that murder is a spiritual act.
Biblically speaking, religion and spirituality should be united, and the end result should be good works to the glory of God (Matthew 5:16). James 1:27 teaches, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." Here religion is associated with the application of one's belief in ways that help the needy and lead to a more spiritual lifestyle. The verse also carries an implicit warning against false or empty religion. Since James specifies "pure" and "undefiled" religion, there must also exist "impure" and "defiled" religion. True religion is godly; empty religion only has "the appearance of godliness" (2 Timothy 3:5).
Spirituality is also defined more clearly in Scripture. There's nothing vague about (Romans 12:1-2): "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" True Christian spirituality is to dedicate ourselves to the worship and service of God and to be supernaturally transformed.
"Love God with all your heart," and "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt. 22)
Wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, here at Tuff Services Ministries, you will find a supportive community with a wealth of opportunities for personal guidance. We are committed to strengthen confidence in every part of your life and to encourage personal and spiritual growth, through many resources that are biblically rooted, culturally relevant and highly practical.
You are invited to become a part of our organization. "We embrace all people in all walks of life and we acknowledge religious freedom for all of God's children." We are here to provide you with guidance, comfort and support!
- Our Mission and Our Belief:
- Provide guidance to all people for the Kingdom of God
- Provide education to all believers that "The Grace of God is the ONLY basis for our salvation"
- Provide understanding to all believers, that real repentance involves renouncing a former way of life, in favor of a new way of life.
About God: God is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and whose love is from everlasting to everlasting. Everything was created on purpose, by God's purpose, and for God's purpose.
About Jesus: Jesus is the unique Son of God, the highest expression of God's love for the world, who humbled himself to be born into human flesh, lived among us as the Living Word of God, was crucified, died, buried, and raised back to life by God. His sacrificial death freed us from both the guilt and bondage of sin. He initiated the rule of God on earth, and is the way to, the truth about, and the life-model of The Kingdom of God.
About The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is active in the world to empower to witness to Jesus Christ, convict people of sin, draw people to God, reveal and implement God's Will, and re-produce the character of Christ in believers.
About Human Beings: Human beings are the crown of God's creation, made in God's image and likeness, and are the primary target of God's work of redemption and salvation. We are assigned by God to cultivate creation, maximize it's potential, and exercise dominion over it. Because of sin, demonstrated as pride, selfishness, and fear, human beings live in alienation from God, each other, themselves, and all of creation until we experience the justifying, regenerating, and sanctifying grace of God. The healing of creation depends on our surrender to God's grace.
About The Bible: The Bible is the written expression of God's Word, and it is the primary authority by which we measure and determine the validity of Christian life and witness.
About Evil: Evil is a reality in the universe that is in opposition to the Will of God and the well-being of God's creation. Evil results from human sin and disobedience and the activity of the agents of the kingdom of darkness. Evil is defeated by obedience to God's Word and Will, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and the power of God. Not all evil is moral in nature, and some evil happens because of inexplicable occurrences in the universe.
About Salvation: We can be saved from the guilt, shame, and consequences of missing God's mark for us by surrendering to the grace of God that reaches for us, convicts us, calls us, cleanses us, and makes us right before God. Our salvation is made possible because of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. The authenticity of salvation is measured by how much we reflect the life and person of Jesus Christ. Salvation is God adopting us into His Family and gifting us with a quality of life that is eternal.
About Living as God's People: Once we are justified (accepted by God), the process of being made into the perfect image of Jesus Christ (regeneration and sanctification) begins. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit who re-produces the person and character of Christ through our lives. This new life implanted within us, is experienced inward and personally, but also manifests outward and socially. We begin to grow into being courageous, loving, forgiving, patient, generous, obedient, humble, joyful, peaceful, kind, creative, risk-taking, and God-loving people. We will be known by our love for God and others, and the signs of the Kingdom of God will accompany our service to others.
About Baptism: Baptism is the outward and visible celebration of God's adoption of a new person into God's Family. The efficacy of baptism is totally dependent on God's grace, which is why we baptize infants as well as adults. Baptism is also the public expression of our willingness to surrender to the mission and person of Jesus Christ.
About Holy Communion: Holy Communion is a celebration and remembering of God's acts of salvation for us through Jesus Christ, and through the elements Holy Communion (bread and juice), we encounter and receive the grace of God necessary for our salvation and continued growth as disciples of Jesus Christ. The early Church deemed Holy Communion as the most important activity in their gatherings, so in continuity with the apostolic Church, the United Fellowship Of Faith serves Holy Communion as often as is deemed necessary or appropriate.
About Death: We believe that those who die in Christ will be raised to everlasting life and will reign with Christ in God's Kingdom, forever.
"If you sincerely seek truth with an open heart, and while acting with peace and love toward others, you will be guided along the path that is right for you through the Holy Spirit"