East Village Spirituality

If you want to know what’s going on in the world, just look at graffiti.

I swear, take a walk through the Lower East Side of New York, and you’ll get a better and more accurate depiction of the issues than even Buzzfeed will report.

And let’s be honest here: I love a good street art display. Banksy has taken the possibilities of a spray can from a crude gang tag, to a high concept art instillation. While all the while remaining anonymous…and dodging the law.

#goals…except the whole breaking the law part lol

But as I was heading out to meet up with my friends this past Friday night, I came across some graffiti that literally made me stop and take a picture.

Because it reflected, what I personally believe, is the most detrimental way of thinking, that frankly is F-ing a lot of things up.

And that, is spiritual relativism.

The graffiti read:

Peace is my religion. My god is love. Tolerance my shield. Acceptance my sword. Hate is my pain. Ignorance my enemy and forgiveness my salvation.

Now, let me just pause. Everything this is saying, is good. We should embrace peace. Love. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Those are good things. Things we should strive for.

But frankly, what makes this so damaging, is that it is taking all the things that Jesus came and died for, and just kind of putting those watered down themes under this blanket of vanilla “spirituality.”

Spirituality nonspecific.

Spiritual neutrality.

Spiritual realitivism.

What are we doing when we take God out of what we believe?

What happens when we accept and embrace some of the teachings, and tie it up in a bow, and forget to say that God was the one who bought the gift?

Because that’s what’s dangerous about this relative way of thinking.

That message this artist tagged, it sounds really good. Really right on. Like, of course. Who in their right mind would argue with that?

Who doesn’t want peace? Or love? Or forgiveness. – Only a bigot would be against that. Only a nincompoop. 

But by being “spiritual” and relative, leaving God out of the equation, what are you actually doing? Really?

Living that way because it makes you feel like a good person? Okay, sure. Yeah, I guess I could get on board with that whole, meditate-for-spirituality-and-center-my-mind thing. Relax for 5 minutes. Focus on being “zen” so that I don’t freak out when there’s a line out the door at Starbucks or I get behind a perpetual slow walker on the sidewalk. #MoveItOrLoseIt,Tourists

But frankly…those reasons, they just fall short.

Because when you take God out of spirituality…it becomes about the self.

It becomes about how it makes me feel. How it can improve my life. How I can grow. I’ll do this to see what I can get.

And that, is the wrong approach.

True spirituality is about God. And honoring what He did. It is a relationship. How I can serve Him? How I can live out His will and spread His love to others? How can I worship Him? Knowing the price He paid for my freedom, how will I respond?

That’s the difference.

That’s where this spiritual relativism does a face plant into a pile of poo.

Or gets hit by a bus, a la, Regina George.

Spiritual relativism, it allows what you feel to be true. This is my truth. This is my religion. My salvation. My truth.

It’s that precise thinking that leads to destruction.

I can vouch for that…having lived through a period of anorexia where my body image was my religion.

But hey, it was my truth right?




God reminded me that His truth leads to freedom. To life. To healing.

There was nothing relative about it..

It was absolute.

The East Village, with all its vegan restaurants and hidden alternative music venues, makes you believe you’re taking in air that is progressive. Innovative. On the cutting edge. And graffiti like this just adds to the confusion we’re facing, navigating this life.

It’s a slippery slope, relativism. Because when we take God out of right and wrong, out of our thinking, out of our world view, we’re setting ourselves up to fail. We’re inviting vulnerability. We’re opening morality up for interpretation.

So what are we going to do about it?

Maybe I don’t have a spray can, or the balls to break the law with my spectacular tagging skills, but I do have a voice. I do have the way I live my life. The words I speak. The way I treat other people.

And so do you.

Faith doesn’t have to be tagged on the side of an East Village bakery-by-day-speakeasy-by-night building. It’s tagged in our hearts. And maybe, just maybe, if we all let that show, we can stop the slippery slope. We can keep God from getting “relative-ized”out of the picture.

Because keeping God in spirituality doesn’t make us close-minded, backward thinking cotton headed ninny muggins.

It makes us children of God.

And that’s a tag I’m okay with.





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BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

368 thoughts on “East Village Spirituality

  1. I’m not being critical, but I didn’t like this post.
    I’m not enamoured by the word God. That is because this rendering is a non-specific whitewashing of who one is referring to. God can be any god. It has no meaning beyond something worshipped outside of ourself.
    I much prefer the original El or Elohim, which means The Mighty Ones. The word is plural, not singular as are all the original Biblical Names for God. The reason why it is plural is because it is not exclusive to some thing or entity that rests outside of us, but is a spiritual quality that comes from Source/Yahweh that is also present in and through us. This is not something we look to the outside to worship, but a Spirit that is inside that we find activated within ourselves, inside our soul temple. Paganism has always been associated with worshipping idols outside ourselves. God just smacks of being another one of these deities. Besides, the word god is totally meaningless.
    Again, the quality that rests inside us when Elohim is there, is better quantified by the sign that leaves the name out, than the unreserved avowal of a name that does not specify any god at all.
    That is the bane of Christianity. They whitewashed all the names of God in the Bible to appease the Romans, and then they lost track of where god actually is. It’s tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your bold stance against moral and spiritual relativism
    Time doesn’t allow me to convey how deeply your post has impacted my life but suffice to say it was crater like.
    Keep pressing on with your fight of faith striving to attain that crown of eternal perfect life gained by everlasting union with Christ in His all encompassing presence

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for writing this! I get your posts by email, so I don’t usually comment, but I really appreciated this wake up call at my point in life.
    Keep fighting the good fight! Love and blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cannot not say anything and I hope I’m not alone when standing up to religious BULLYS. There are lines that can be drawn called boundries. If there are no ethics created, your site’s direction will be narrow and limited. There will be no open door policy. I’m sad to leave, but I can’t be apart of the ranting that will come.

    Please take care, your gift of writing and giving has barely been tapped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi friend, I truly hope you do not feel that I am a bully. I respect all beliefs and religions and people, and I do believe I have shown that time and again. I’m sorry that you’re upset and feel I was being disrespectful. That was not my intention at all. I do hope you stop by again soon! All are welcome! ❤️❤️Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry about a ‘no response’, but I didn’t receive a notice of your reply.
        You’re not a bully of any kind. Are you familiar with Advanced Research Technology? They insult what you bring to your blog. They bring borders to divide people. Your site, your choice.


  5. Excellent post. The world has turned to “me” and taken out God. Shame on us for allowing Christ to hang on a cross for our sins and not be truly humbled because of his love and sacrifice. May you continue to lean not unto your own understanding but to search the truth of the living God. There is only one God and until man can understand this and bring him back into his life we will not be blessed as God has intended for us to be. Amen, Sister put on the whole armour and shine.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have put down in words what I’ve felt uneasy about for a long time but couldn’t quite pinpoint. Perfect. Pay no attention to those who aren’t in agreement with you. It’s your blog and your opinion and God is important in your life. Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s enough division of people right now. Fear and hatred are created from division. And as we have seen recently, death. Why acknowledge it? Sometimes another view point is worth a look, instead of turning around.


  7. First of all, sorry I’m responding to this so late! I’m trying to catch up on your posts. I don’t know how long it will take, but I will eventually catch up.

    You are so right! These words do sound good and right, but where is God? If we leave Him out of the equation, then where is truth? The truth of those words and their real meaning can only come from a real relationship with Jesus Christ!! Seeking such words (I can’t figure out what to call them) outside of the Father’s plan is meaningless. True love and forgiveness is something we cannot achieve in our own strength. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in these truths.


  8. Thank you for liking one of my posts – it gave me the opportunity to wander over here and take in some good words and photos! This post was interesting to me, as I am actually of a different opinion. While I agree that we should give credit where it is due, I’m wary of placing the burden of our decisions on the shoulders of any spirit or deity. The problem I have with this is a human history full of atrocities committed in the name of one god or another. Many of these atrocities are taking place currently. If we would say that these atrocities were not divinely ordered or inspired, and that people should take personal responsibility for such actions rather than use deity to justify them; it would seem near to hypocrisy to suggest we not accept personal responsibility for our more noble actions as well.

    One point you made in your post that had me nodding vigorously in agreement, though, was regarding the need to spray paint our spirituality on someone’s wall. What is in our hearts and souls is reflected in our actions … and we can spray paint all we like, it doesn’t make us any more spiritual.


  9. Beautifully written! I almost got an impression as I walked with you in East Village, and stumbled across that poster. I hope more and more people in the world would really follow these universal truths..


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