But if the limitless authority of the messenger and the lure of eternal life are removed from the equation, can the teachings still have merit? As long as the practices encourage one’s innate spirituality the answer is yes.
If we think of spirituality in these terms, then it becomes merely a tool for a healthier life. An apt comparison could be playing recreational sports or studying a musical instrument. A parent doesn’t need to be a soccer enthusiast to see the benefit of his child playing recreational soccer at an early age. However, if soccer became a religion and a parent felt that soccer was the only sport that his child was allowed to play and that it would guarantee eternal happiness in this life and the next, then he very well could feel outraged if his child became uninterested in the sport or wanted to play a different sport.
Unfortunately, the emphasis in society today is not on benefiting the growth of the child in this earthly life. It’s toward focusing on the afterlife. This can be incredibly destructive and absurd.