in reply to Re: Symantics, Shemantics
in thread Religion in the Monastery.
Sorry, I only noticed your post when reviewing this thread again just now. I'd like to present a somewhat different, quite opinionated and definitely rather non-standard set of definitions :)
- faith is what I have experienced and know to be true about Life, the Universe and Everything (that includes God). It obviously needs to transcend my own life and strength to be useful.
- religion is a codified set of expected moral behaviour and beliefs, usually strongly influenced by society and personal history.
- church is the set of people sharing a common faith in God, and sharing loving relationships with each other as outlined by the bible (e.g. mutual accountability, ministering to each other). Church is always defined by the centre (Christ), rather than at the fringe. Note the lack of buildings or institutions in this definition.
From these definitions it follows that I consider religion to be harmful: It gives you a standard to reach, yet fails to explain that you can't reach that standard.
People have fallen
into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy,
humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. -- Gilbert K. Chesterton
There is nothing more ugly than an orthodoxy without understanding or without compassion. -- Francis A. Schaeffer