The first paragraph is boring and not necessary but gives a little more information of my motivation for writing this. You can read it or skip over it, the overall point of this post will remain intact either way.
I recently read an article about spiritual but not religious people written from the point of view that you needed religion and it claimed that those who claimed to be spiritual but not religious were always rebellious, hard headed, or ignorant. The article labeled those who claimed to be spiritual but not religious as SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious), and highlighted two things. It highlighted that those who claimed to "SBNR" could not substantiate what it meant to be "SBNR" or what they meant by claiming to be "SBNR" . The assumption was that they were cut off or cut themselves off from the body and could not respect church authority. It also highlighted the need for church structure. The whole article had a lot of pretense and assumptions about the "SBNR" crowd. I disagreed with that because in my life, those who attacked a statement or strongly disagreed with it sometimes actually did agree with what I was saying, but because of the pretense and assumption because of what I may have sounded like, they spoke out. It's not that what I said was not worded right to the crowd that I was speaking to, but rather we have a tendency to relate and compare statements. I've had my statements related to and compared to things that I did not say at all, but I've done the same thing too.
I do strongly claim to be "SBNR". That does not mean that I am not plugged into a local church. That does not mean that I have any trouble respecting church authority. It means that my relationship with Christ is made by His efforts and not mine. Religion is a man based effort to reach God, or god's depending on the religion. Maybe it's Christianity or maybe Muslim, if it teaches you have to do something to receive the gift of grace, it's a works based path that I'm not on. I believe that God's grace is FREE and there is nothing that you can do to earn it or because it's already given to you and poured out on you. Now a lot of people will read that statement and assume that I am an univerlist. Nope. I never said everyone is going to get into Heaven. I said the grace was freely given, not received. It's a choice. You can choose to reject grace, but you can't choose to earn it. It's impossible to earn it. It's free, and you can't earn something that is free, otherwise there is a price. Being "SBNR" means that I have a relationship, not a system of rules that I have to follow or that I am disciplined enough to abstain from sin, and it also means I'm not trying to be. My ability to not "sin" does not come out of me from knowledge of evil or my discipline, but from my love for God. Jesus said "If you LOVE me, you will obey me." He did not highlight fear or discipline as ways to obtain perfection, He highlighted love. In 1 John, we read directly that His love does perfect us and cast out our fear!
Being "SBNR" means pursuing a relationship over knowledge. I don't have the answer!!! The answer has ME. That's enough for me. Out of the relationship I have with the answer, revelation overflows, but revelation is not what I'm after. I'm after time with Daddy.
Being "SBNR" does not mean I am not involved in church. It actually means I've awoken to my identity as the church. Not only do I go to church, I am the church! Wherever I go, church is! Now, I do understand the importance of being part of the body and fellowship. I do not neglect the fellowship of the saints by any means. Jesus said take my body and my blood. The blood is what He gives. The body is the church, and we must be in communion with both.
Being "SBNR" means I follow every word of the bible, because it's a God based order, which leads to life, but it means that I don't follow man made traditions that lead to the grave. The bible is sooo good, but our interpretation of it can be sooo wrong!
People ask me if I am a Christian or what I am, and the only titles that I really care for are mystic or lover. Mystic is easier to explain to people, but lover is more accurate. I'm a lover of God. I'm a lover of His bride, and His order, and I love seeing religion die. I believe what the bible teaches, and most Christians would really agree with me on a lot of what I believe, but I just don't work under the slavery of works based theology.
Being a mystic means I'm seeking truth at all cost and I'm inviting everyone to join in with me.