Religion vs. Spirituality
On a recent post, Shawna from The Homeschooling Experiment left a comment about the term religion that gave me pause for reflection.
As for science and religion (the word altogether bothers me, I prefer faith or spirituality, myself) can co-exist and does.
I have similar feelings about the word "religion" but seeing it pitted so directly against the term "spirituality" made me ask why for the first time. I believe that we are all spiritual. It is how we were created.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7
Spirit, even in Hebrew, means breath. And in this verse, the word used also means soul. We cannot escape being spiritual, and even some noted atheists will talk about a certain spiritual aspect of the human existence. Clearly, however, we are not all religious. And even many within Christianity strive against the term. "Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship," I am told. And until I read Shawna's comment, I would have said the same. The Sawmill Baptist Church puts it clearly on their website.
Religion is man's attempt to reach God. Christianity is God reaching down to man to restore a relationship that we severed through our sin. In religion, people attempt to "balance that scales" of their "rights and wrongs" in order to please an unknowable god. In Christianity, God has revealed Himself to us through Jesus and provided a way for us to re-enter a relationship with Him (John 3:16.)
But is religion man-made? Or has the church once again adopted the culture's view of our religion? According to Cicero, the word religion is derived from the Latin relegare, "go through again, read again." In this sense, I am very religious. "Spiritual" hardly describes my view of my faith. For me, faith is not about a feeling or a general sense that there is a higher power. It is about a walk and about a search. It is about study to "put on the mind of Christ."

Looking up the word in Webster's 1828 gives an entirely different view of religion than that contained in the sentiment as well. The entire definition is quite interesting to read, but the second definition summarizes it well.
Religion, as distinct from theology, is godliness or real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men, in obedience to divine command, or from love to God and his law. James 1. Webster's 1828
Religion, therefore, is not man's attempt to reach God. It is the physical outworking of our faith. And if there is no physical outworking, there is no faith (James 2:18).