The good thing about Doreen Virtue converting to Christianity is that it got people talking.
We’re now more openly talking about the different between religion and spirituality, and also about coming to trust our own wisdom rather than depend on other teachers for it.
It’s a well-known fact that I’ve been both a fan and student of Doreen Virtue. Her early work on angels and lightworkers was instrumental in shaping my work and helping me come to my own. Being brought up as an Orthodox Christian and then converting to spirituality, Doreen’s work liberated me in working with aspects of Christianity (e.g. angels) in a more accepting, less restrictive, non-denominational way.
Therefore, finding out about her baptism and commitment to the structure of an organised religion – which clearly contradicts her previous work – was shocking, to say the least.
Like many, I’ve had a lot of emotions come up before I finally made my peace with it, and you can hear all about it in the video below:
But, my biggest lesson out of this whole situation was that it got me thinking more intensely about the distinction between religion and spirituality, and where I stand in relation to it.
In asking the members of my private Facebook Group Your Spiritual Toolkit about their opinion of this distinction, I received the following answers:
- Religion is rigid, spirituality is fluid
- Religion is formal, spirituality is more personal
- Religion is based on fear, control, and restriction. Spirituality is a more open-minded expression of your own belief systems.
Given my own experience with Christianity, these statements made a lot of sense.
Yet, others raised valid questions/statements:
- Does this mean that religious people aren’t spiritual?
- Can’t I be both religious and spiritual?
- Religion shouldn’t be rigid. It’s our perspective of it that makes it so.
- Both religion and spirituality can be used in corrupt ways.
I’ve thought long and hard about this, and here’s where I’m at right now:
Religions (and spiritual paths) are maps to God, and God is love. There’s nothing wrong with following the set of rules and structure within religion, as these are your map to love. Things only go awry when you let the map be God, rather than your way to God.
My compass to telling whether someone’s made the map their God, is whether they claim that their way is the only way. I’m very absolute in this. There simply is no right way of honouring the presence of love, and anyone that tells you otherwise has lost their way.
God is love. Religion is your map to love. There are plenty of maps to follow, and they’re all valid. A certain map isn’t the only map. Period.
I’ve met many Christians, and people from other religions, too, that I was able to find common ground with. Why? Because they understood that the essence of God is love, and when you surrender to love you can’t feel judgement for other people’s paths. You simply can’t feel love and judgement* at the same time. You’re just vibing love, and the map you used to get there becomes irrelevant.
In this sense, there’s nothing wrong with being religious, spiritual, or neither, as long as your heart is in the right place.
What’s your take on Doreen Virtue’s conversion, and the difference between religion and spirituality? Let me know below.
* Note on judgement: Claiming you’re not judgemental while saying a certain path is the only path, is judgement towards other paths.