The god a spiritual person talks about (if he or she can justify a god) doesn’t have any disqualifying prejudicial, limiting, or exclusionary qualities about it. The god a traditionally religious person talks about often does.
If we look at the types of people who followed Jesus, we see they were of the spiritual nature–that is, open-minded, living purely in “the now” and free of heart. They were common people: prostitutes, thieves, common fishermen, tax collectors, murderers, even (well, it seems murder was pretty common and justified in Biblical times)–quite different from those who merely tolerated or rejected Jesus, like members of the Roman government or the Pharisees. What is the significance of this realization, or can i call it an epiphany?
In my estimation, the Pharisees of today are the conservatives and fundamentalists–religious and rigid in their thinking–prejudiced and exclusionary in their actions. These people need to follow Jesus and the words of the Bible more or less to the letter, and are not flexible in their interpretation of the divine.
I have been gently admonished, sometimes criticized–and most egregiously–rejected in my life–for having adopted the Zen Buddhist practice, when really all I did was expand and purify my spiritual way.
The lessons I learned in knowing “God” and “Jesus”, the paternal figure and the man, as opposed to what I have done in incorporating the transcendental essence of what we might think or hope represents God and Jesus–their spirit, or message, if you will–into my heart and actions, is something the religious do not seem to understand–because they are not spiritual, in my view–otherwise they would know the difference between the superiority of the latter, and the limitations and violence of the former.
The point is, the rhetoric is for the closed-minded, “the scared,” the ones who would actually have been among the temple Pharisees condemning the man and essence of Jesus–out of mortal fear of the Roman government (of course, to be fair, they also rejected him because he was a textbook heretic according to the Hebrew law).
The freedom of transcendental understanding and divine transformation–in love and anything divine–is for the free, themselves… who do not get caught up in the rhetoric.
Be it through Al-la, Yahweh, Yeshua, Buddha… the transformation is inside you, not in a book or in a temple or church–not in following the words to the letter (which in the theisms can be quite limiting and dangerous, anyway).
The knowledge is joyous oneness. This is “God,” if there is one. The result is love. This is the Spirit.