How do you explain your spiritual/religious beliefs to others?


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How do you explain your spiritual/religious beliefs to others?


I've recently moved where Christianity is a large part of a lot of peoples lives. Naturally, I get invited to join churches and then also asked about my religious beliefs. And I have the hardest time explaining it -- the best I've ever come up with was Spiritual but not religious. I don't know if there are others on here in the same boat, where their spirituality can't be described by one of the major religions. How do you explain your spirituality to others?
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Tricky one.

I'm Wiccan - and still bump into people here who've no idea what that is.
I describe it as a modern form of Paganism influenced by Shamanic and other spiritual practices. Polythestic in it's nature.
I give them more detail if they ask for it.

That's my penny's worth - though not what you're looking for - as my practice does fit into a recognizable 'box'.
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I usually just say that I don't discuss religion, that it's a private matter. I'm just waiting for the time someone says to me "Are you a man of faith?" so I can reply "No, I'm a man of certainty." That should get the ball rolling!
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I'd be shocked if someone asked me my religious affiliation.
Talking religion is a hopeless cause.

I see myself as an earth based spirit. Make of it what you will
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I'm sort of an esoteric Christian, so if anyone asks, I say that I am a "Christian." (The quote marks are silent, heh-heh.) If they ask for further elaboration, I say that I don't go to church regularly, but the last church I attended was a ______ church. If asked today, I would fill in the blank with "Moravian," since the last service I attended was a performance of the Requiem Mass by Gabriel Fauré at a Moravian church on Palm Sunday. (I don't bother to mention that I attended because I was hired to assist with the music, which is my usual reason for going to a church service.)
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When asked, I just tend to say that spirituality is a personal affair, and refrain from committing; and I don't go in to detail about my own preferences (they have no label - just nature-loving spirituality!)

If someone is *really* pressing me, I just say I was born a Roman-Catholic. It is my birthright, but I don't actually practice. However, it tends to assuage their need to label.
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I don't try to explain it either. I change the subject, or if they push, tell them it's not something I discuss.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobird55 View Post
I don't try to explain it either. I change the subject, or if they push, tell them it's not something I discuss.
This. Not least because - you cannot "explain" faith or belief - it just IS. And what it is is deeply personal and usually doesn't lend itself to conversation. If pressed, I say "eclectic - I pick the bits that fit" and leave it at that.
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I don't try to explain my beliefs and it's never come up in conversation.. I can't imagine ever asking anyone what religion they follow unless it was part of a questionnaire or survey.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
I don't try to explain my beliefs and it's never come up in conversation.. I can't imagine ever asking anyone what religion they follow unless it was part of a questionnaire or survey.
I've seldom encountered it (my wife's fundamentalist sisters go after her and know enough to leave me alone). But I understand there are places in the rural US "Bible Belt" where it's the first thing out of new neighbors' mouths when they come around to visit.
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