Agreed. There seems to be a problem understanding what 'spiritual' actually means. A few here believe that spiritual means abstract idealism or philosophy and yet others here believe that spiritual means 'emotional' and on top of this a few here believe it means both those things.
So what is your definition of spiritual and spiritualization?
I don't want anything that I ever say to seem like I'd demean applying the Word to our own lives. I wholeheartedly agree with that and teach that everywhere that I go. But I do think that some people take their allegorizations a little too far, particularly when their "types and shadows" lack consistency throughout the Scriptures. When the Word only means something about ourselves and we leave out the nations of the world and God's specific dealings with locations and people in locations (Acts 17) then we've taken a flying leap into the absurd. To me, the Bible is everything that it always was: it addresses the individual; the couple; the family; the city; the region, state, or province; the nation; the nations; and all of Creation.
To me, spirituality would be having all of that balanced in one's understanding, and behaving in God's faith, hope, and love accordingly. To me, an unhealthy spiritualization is looking for allegory when there's clear commandment, statement, intent, and details. Some try to say that the book of Revelation, for example, is nothing but symbolism. Anybody that says that, sincerely hasn't read it very many times and very likely hasn't read all 22 chapters in a really long time. It's a mixture of symbolism with statements, encouragements, pronouncements, and details that if you try to get too weird with them, then you're not spiritual, you're just weird.
I have zero dispute with anyone that believes that Armageddon takes place in the spiritual realm, and a few other actual interpretations work for me as well, until the Holy Spirit clarifies it to me with His understanding of it. But I've seen too many Christians make vague generalizations about different things and then try to say that it's their spiritual interpretation, when it doesn't exhort, edify, encourage, warn, prepare, rebuke, or any of the other things that St. Paul said that the Scriptures were profitable for. It breaks down into the very disputing over words that he forbade! It's just their wittiness at drawing an irrelevant meaning out of the passage that suits them, but wouldn't stand up in a court of law with very many theologians and prophets. I'm not talking about anyone in particular. And I don't have anything specifically in mind as I'm saying this. To me, spirituality is simply walking in the Covenant with Christ, doing what He says to do, and keeping every care cast upon God, according to 1Peter 5:6-7.
We're exhorted to be sober and vigilant in keeping the devil out of our lives, but that's accomplished through what I've just said with doing all that He says and keeping every care cast upon Him. That's the Christian walk to me: doing everything that He says and keeping every care cast upon Him. There is no Christianity without both sides of that equation. Since the New Testament is filled with spiritualizations and allegorizations of the Old Testament, then there's not as much room for doing that with the New Testament as a lot of people imagine. That predominantly belongs with reading the Old Testament and filtering our understanding of the Old Testament through the doctrines of the New Testament.
An insight -- any insight might be true, but does it do the work of an evangelist, a prophet, a teacher, and a pastor when you share it with others? Are others pushed just a little further into being conformed with the image of Jesus Christ by being made aware of that? Insights are wonderful. They're often very helpful with one's own personal walk with the Lord, and they'll often have a direct context for something that you're dealing with. But when it's not an actual life-changing revelation that has clear application to the growth of others, is it really worth sharing, until it's own inherent leavening has matured and seasoned it with practical applications and an actual flow of understanding of the Scriptures, of the Christian walk, and of overcoming every adversary??
Now, if someone were to come and say, "I personally believe that such and such consistently means such and such throughout this particular book of the Bible, these particular books of the Bible, or throughout the whole Bible," then there's more of a basis for judging the revelation, as it says to in the Corinthians letters, and there's more of a chance for the edification, challenging, and Scriptural motivation of every believer when something looks like it's going to have some consistency. But when it's a form of Bible trivia that doesn't really take us anywhere, but is presented and even defended as though it were sacred doctrine when there's no sense of actual doctrine, application, and transformation to it, but is merely someone's favorite thing to read into a Scripture, then that's when I start having some issues with it being dogmatized about when something else was being said or inquired about.
Probably all of us have insights that we've received from the Holy Spirit that we're sitting on until we see where the Lord wants to take that, what relevance it has to the Scriptures and to our lives, and how we can help to set Creation free with it. But real maturity knows the difference between something that can be said that's a genuine baptism with the Holy Spirit to someone else; what'll destroy yokes and remove burdens, and what just contributes to what St. Paul would call the itchy ear syndrome. I've seen far too many things on these boards that are just partial insights that the Holy Spirit hadn't finished fully explaining and giving perspective on that have been used by spiritual babies to take dogmatic stands against areas of sound Christian doctrine.
And when people do that, they're not only thumbing their nose in the face of historic Christian doctrines, but they're aborting the revelation that God was going to give them because they prematurely made a judgment call and wound up getting judged with the same judgment they dished out. So they wind up neither understanding the Christian doctrine in question or where the Holy Spirit was really trying to take them with a particular partial insight because they got into strife and as Mark 4 says, the Word was choked in them and brought no fruit to maturity.
And I know from experience what it's like to have to sit on some insights for years that the Holy Spirit never would take me any further with until more mature seasons of my life when I'd learned sooo much more, and then He'd remind me of what He told me 15 years ago and say "oh and by the way......" and I'd be sooo thankful that that hadn't been my tape of the month those years ago! Because back then I was looking at a sihlouette and not anywhere near as much detail as I thought that I was seeing with such and such a controversial or novel thought. But when other things came into perspective, "BANG!" this other insight finally had a face, supporting doctrine, and the accompanying signs, wonders, miracles, and the richest Presence of God that I'd ever experienced up until then. And those many years ago, I'd written out pages and pages and pages of journaling about such and such that I thought meant something entirely different and reforming to the present face of Christendom.
When all it wound up being was a fresh perspective and a back door way to get me into an area of Biblical doctrine already believed in by tens of millions that I wouldn't have been able to have seen and understood without that oddball insight that was one of the Lord's steps in bridging the gap between my understanding and my ability to accept His Word on something that's still controversial with a lot of people. Real oddball revelations that are from Him have a way of ultimately pulling you in tighter with the rest of the Body of Christ rather than fragmenting you away from them. If every revelation a person is supposedly getting is distancing them further and further from the Body of Christ, then there's reason to question which spirit they're listening to. Doctrinal differences are one thing, but a spirit of suspicion, accusation, and conspiracy against the Body of Christ where the Lord has said that there is no conspiracy (Isaiah 8:12) is of the evil one.