Whenever people say, “I’m spiritual but not religious” this is usually another way of saying, “I’ve outgrown my God box and am currently looking for a bigger one.” They’re telling you that the place they once called home, the geography of their former faith – they’ve either willingly left or been evicted from. They are wandering prodigals either by choice or by necessity. They may have discovered an irreconcilable difference with a theological position in their faith tradition or grown exhausted from a silent response to injustice from the pews, or they simply woke up one day and realized they can’t pray the prayers they used to – and something had to give. I think most honest people of faith, every sincere sojourner, and lots of introspective human beings who are pressed up against the profound mysteries of this life (and whatever might happen beyond its conclusion) are looking for a bigger God and for a tangible expression of goodness that feels proportional to that God.
From “If God Is Love, Don’t Be A Jerk: Finding a Faith That Makes Us Better Humans” by John Pavlovitz – Westminster John Knox Press