Apparently, the new mass religion is: ‘I am spiritual, but not religious’.
As regards the last half of this statement, I can safely affirm that as an Orthodox Christian priest, I too am of course not religious and indeed I am opposed to religion.
Perhaps I need to explain that, as some may misunderstand.
As far as I am concerned, religion is an invention of States, a power-grab made in order to manipulate, brainwash and exploit their subject peoples. Whether it is Roman Catholicism (invented by the new Vatican Church-State in Rome in the 11th century) or Protestantism (invented by various kings and princes in the 16th century in order to steal power and money from the Vatican Church-State, so making in turn their own State Churches) or any other ism, religions are manmade. Therefore they inevitably die out, just as these particular religions, now bankrupted because they have lost their roots in Orthodox Christianity from which they are distantly descended, are today dying out. This death is as a result of the new manmade religion of Secularism (see below).
Here is why I have always said that I am not religious.
However, I do have faith, in Orthodox Christianity – which is not an ism. I not only believe that God exists, but know that God exists, through personal experience. Faith is totally different from religion. Faith is natural and experiential, either you have that experience or else you do not and it is absent. In that case you must admit that you simply do not know if there is a God or not. On the other hand, religion is an artifice, an invention used for the manipulation and exploitation of the masses by the power-seeking, the greedy, the narrow-minded, and by censorious, self-justifying moralizers. In this sense, of course Marx was right: Religion is the opium provided to the people – just as Secularism is the opium provided to the intellectuals.Anything to make people and intellectuals into self-pleasing zombies.
Thus, I also reject the new manmade religion of Secularism – and make no mistake it is a religion, for there will always be a religion, since nature abhors a vacuum. Secularism is an especially absurd and illogical religion, as it does not believe in Almighty God, but in mere fallible man, whose blood-soaked failings and injustices have been so obvious throughout history! Secularism is the only religion that does not have a Perfect Being to worship but irrationally believes in His absence.
This concept of this man-worship or humanism defines Secularism. Its natural modern extension is political correctness or self-censorship: you must not tell any human-being the truth about themselves because that would be offensive to their fallible human nature. As Orthodox Christians, we know that the Truth sets us free, but Secularism with its self-made mythology and legends does not know this, preferring the enslavement of lies.
Secularism justifies itself on an incredible and laughable irrational superstition – that everything that exists in the whole Universe is the product of random chance. In reality, even the likelihood that a single rock could be produced at random must be about one quadrillion squared to one. Secularism, the offshoot of a heresy of a heresy of Orthodox Christianity, has its Scriptures: The Theory of Evolution. It also has the Antitrinity Dogma of liberty, equality and fraternity, the Antichrist Dogma that fallible man, not the sinless God-man, must be worshipped, its propaganda, called the media, its high priests, such as Dawkins and other atheist celebrities, and its prophets, doom-saying atheist scientists who would bring humanity into despair, if they were believed.
Of course, Secularism is all superstition. As Chesterton said a century ago: ‘When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything’. And this is the nature of the modern religion of Secularism, it is just anything. Today, people believe in anything: Money; New Age; environmentalism; tree-hugging; magic crystals; fengshui; ley lines;horoscopes; sport and physical health (‘wellness’, ‘fitness’, ‘my body is my temple’ – words which are a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit); and immoral and amoral celebrities, the ‘stars’ of screen, music and sport, who are the new saints.
The modern religion of Secularism says: ‘I am spiritual, but not religious’. However, ‘spiritual’ here does not mean the Orthodox Christian Faith, it means listening to the voices of those spiritual beings who are called demons. It means that you can do whatever you want, so guaranteeing your ‘human rights’ of enslavement personal laziness and immorality (which, ironically, it self-justifyingly calls ‘freedom’). Secularism is a completely effortless religion, it requires nothing except the practice of your sins. There is therefore nothing so regressive as this new (in fact very old) religion of Secularism. It is merely the idolatry of vulgar self-worship, for it bans the words sin and repentance, making all spiritual progress impossible and so spiritual regress inevitable.