Sharing an interesting article by Nick Broadhurst
The answer is easy. Religion can best be described as that which answers the aged old question of what are we, where am I going, is there more to me than my physical body? These questions are ancient.
There have been two major divisions of how these question have been answered. The first is that you are a spirit something possibly still to be defined, and the other is that you are just nothing more than the clay you were said to arise from. Both have passionate debaters, and I might even suggest that the most passionate religious haters, in answering this question, simply have another religious platform they are arguing from, atheism. Yes, I would argue that atheism is a religion, as it is an attempt to answer the question of what is the cosmos and what part we play in it. But that is not the point in this article.
Getting back to the spiritual world, we find that there are two further subcategories. The first is that man is a spirit, and that he is answerable to those who speak from God. These are revealed religions. The other subcategory is the natural religion. This is whereby a man or men have tried to fathom and get answers to what is the universal law that governs man as a spirit that is, what is man, what is this
So when people state Scientology is not a religion, they are usually westerners stating from their own cultural viewpoint that any spiritual philosophy cannot be a religion unless it has a God acknowledged spokesperson interpreting God’s message. Of course this removes over half the worlds religious and spiritual beliefs and their members, including Scientologists.
Hundreds of years ago in the West if you had a faith that was not Roman Catholic, you did not have a religion. You were a heretic, a pagan, a heathen, and even worse. During the inquisition time many Christians were killed, not just the Jews and Muslims. The Cathars, for example, a Christians religion from north Africa, to the Balkans, up to Holland, and who believed in living again in this world, were hunted down and murdered all over Europe.
But over the centuries, the definition of religion broadened to include all Christian groups, then Judaism, Islam and finally it has generally been accepted that the eastern religions are indeed great religions of this world too.
I recall fifteen years ago being at an international religious conference in Korea. After a couple of days an American religious dignitary made the comment that Buddhists attending should not really be there as Buddhism was not a religion. The Buddhists laughed and laughed.
Such comments are aimed at my religion. But they can also happen to the members of a religion that has over a billion members.
The Scientology belief is that you are indeed spiritual. You are life and that life is something separate and outside of the physical universe. Furthermore, there is such a thing as a creator, an infinite beingness behind all creation. Scientology is an attempt to understand what we are and how we came to be here. However it is a natural religion, not a revealed religion. That is the difference.