It is not difficult to explain my relationship with God to the general public; however, it is quite difficult to explain my relationship with God to a biblically driven thinker. To me, religion and spirituality are two VERY separate notions. I am well aware that for some, this is a difficult idea to embrace, so I will do my best to express myself as plainly and non-offensively as possible.
Firstly, I would like to explain my take on religion. Simply put, religion is a tool. To me, religion is a tool in which we humans use to develop our spirituality. There are many religions, and many different divine creeds/sacred texts: such as The Christian/Catholic Bible, The Jewish Tanakh, The Muslim Quran, The Buddhist Theravada, The Hindu Śruti, The Chinese Tao Te Ching, The Wicca Book of Shadows, and many, many more. Rephrased, religion is the system in which one is guided into any type of spiritual development.
To explain my views simply, as the average American understands it, the purpose of the religion is to teach the individuals of a society how to live “righteously (or God-like),” through the means of divine creeds/sacred texts. Religion offers us spiritual guidance by helping us understand a “righteousness/divinity” that has come before us → (thus) understand a “righteous” lifestyle → (thus) allow us to apply said understanding to our own lifestyle. As I see it, I do not acknowledge any religion to be the only religion that is viable. As already stated, there are many different religions in the world, and they all serve their purpose, to develop our spirituality. Now of course, the principles of no one religion are going to fully agree with the principles of any other religion, so there will be differences in perceptions of spirituality and morality, but for the sake of this article, the only point I would like to make is this: religion is a tool that humans use to develop their spirituality. Now, Secondly, to explain the word “God.” As it is in common American culture, when one speaks the word “God,” there is a social assumption. Every single time you have read the word “God,” I bet you inadvertently read another word right before it: “biblical.” The word “God” in popular culture has been adjusted into the connotation of the phrase “Biblical God.” When in fact, the notion of “God” was around far, far before the notion of “biblical.”