Fruits and nuts are an essential part of a balanced diet because of their high nutrient profiles. When packaged and sold together, they serve as a healthy alternative to the most common junk-food snacks. As comical as it may sound, it is unfortunate that the universal church (body of Christ) is also packed with fruits and nuts. Allow me to explain.
If we used a biblical litmus test to identify Christians (devote followers of Jesus Christ) among the 2 billion+ people who identify as such, the results would reveal that there are at least two types. Those who live as ever-growing disciples…
“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”Colossians 1:10 ABPB
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”Galatians 5:22-23 NEV
and those who live religiously camouflaged.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”Matthew 6:1 NIV
“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!”2 Timothy 3:5 NLT
The world uses the term spiritual and religious interchangeably. But most of the time when they say “spiritual,” they refer to those who have some form of connection with the divine or supernatural without any particular religious affiliation. Whereas “religious,” are those who engage in dogmatic practices which include attending a house of worship and/or adhering to a prescribed set of moral principles.
Biblically speaking, spiritual and religious also have different meanings. Biblical spirituality is evident in the lives of those who are led by the Spirit of God. They can be easily identified because they bear fruit of repentance, their works testify of their faith, and they exhibit a well-rounded knowledge of Scriptures [Read, “Unstable and Fruitless”].
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.Galatians 5:25 NLT
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.Matthew 3:8 NLT
Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.2 Timothy 2:16 GNT
Similarly, religiosity is evident in those who appear to be spiritual but who have actually replaced their devotion to God and Scriptures with devotion to their religion and its rituals. They are easily identified because of their “lip service” and the lack of biblical knowledge that causes them to frequently interpret and use Scriptures out of context.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:8 ESV
“These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.”Matthew 15:8-9 BSV
“…Some parts of his [Paul’s] letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”2 Peter 3:16b
Unfortunately, when it comes to Christians who genuinely live by and defend sound biblical doctrines, especially those that are contrary to the liberal agenda, they too are regarded as religious, religious nuts that is.
Maybe you have been called spiritual or religious, or even a religious nut by others. In either case, my prayer is that they are right. Spiritual, because you do have a personal connection/relationship with the Creator of the universe and the Savior of this world. Religious, because you faithfully attend Christian gatherings and live by God’s standards not men’s. And a religious nut, because you wholeheartedly believe in, practice, and promote biblical morality and proclaim that there is NO OTHER way to salvation but through faith in Jesus Christ.
However, if you are called a religious nut because of your hyper-spiritualization of everything, legalistic exposition of God’s word, and graceless approach to witnessing, then my prayer is that you sincerely surrender your will and zeal to the Spirit of God. That you ask Him to give you HIS heart for people, especially the lost, commit to studying God’s word in depth, and start producing the fruits of the Spirit, which include kindness and gentleness [Read, “Speak Kindly or Remain Silent“]. The world has enough nutty spiritualists. The last thing it needs is literal religious nuts.