I know many spiritual people, most of you do. You know the ones, “spiritual…but not really religious”. Most of the ones I know were borne out of a feelings-oriented Christian church, the kind where how you feel is more valuable that if what you feel is true. I actually have the most difficult conversations with ‘spiritual but not religious’ people — they are the most resistant to having their views challenged, they take offense to even the suggestion because of the feelings-centeredness. This is because there is a real lack of foundation for their belief system. Their religio-spiritual beliefs are chosen buffet-style and amass a collage from different worldviews and mixed with a few of their own alterations. And this is the problem.
Whichever religious snippets they happen to cull, essentially it’s just a collection of desires — how they wish God to be. These desires they then foist upon the object of their worship giving no thought as to whether the their god is actually true in any real sense. I think this belies an underlying assumption that religion/God is not something which can be really true. Think of it this way, if you can pick and choose, affirm or deny at will what your ‘higher power’ is like and can do, it can’t exist outside your mind. Unless of course, you have the power to create God.
I’m sympathetic to this to a point. People have an innate desire to relate and be connect to God. However, when you create — rather than discover — your higher power, you end up determining how the spirit realm works. But if you can manipulate spirits and the spirit world through spells, chants, rituals, or a deck of cards, you’ve made yourself the ruler of the spirits. In worshiping their desires and ideas disguised as God, they worship themselves. They’ve made themselves God!