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Continuing from another thread (No Religion):

What is the difference between a religion, a philosophy, a practice and a church.

I think this could be an interesting conversation.

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To me, religion has connotations of deity.  Philosophy is an idealogical practice, and does not necessitate deity, although it does not exclude the possibility either.  A church is a little more complex, I suppose.  It could reference the building itself, or perhaps the congregation.  Or it could reference the governance behind the church, the people in power of that particular church.  Practice is something I hear referenced to Christians who don't.  I suppose it should be related to all philosophies and religions.  A person can have a good idea of what they think they should be doing, and then not do it anyway.  I could claim the title of stoic, and then focus on material possessions if I desired to.  On the same note, someone could say they are Christian.  Perhaps even in THEIR idea of what constitutes Christian they are.  But someone else might say they aren't practicing Christians because they don't follow such and such or so and so philosophy, which is CLEARLY outlined in the bible...isn't it funny how many can say that, but can't see anyone else's interpretation as being possible?  

Many religions like to emphasize charitable works, but the practitioners rarely actually practice charity, outside of the precincts of their church that is.  In philosophical terms, there are those who claim perhaps to be pacifists.  Maybe they've never been up against it, where they absolutely had to choose whether or not to stick to their guns.  

A lot of this relies upon judgment of course.  Something a lot of religion claims to be against.  How does a Christian reference what a REAL Christian is, without judging what a real Christian isn't?  How does someone determine whether they are really practicing or not?  Does the church determine what is and is not Evangelical Protestant?  Or is it a personal interpretation of the scripture that matches that description?

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Over the years, I keep blundering across religious people, who insist that they do not have religion.

Christians are not religious.  They have a special relationship with God.  Everybody else just has religion.  And they are going to Hell.

Muslims are not religious.  They submit to the will of Allah.  Of course, if you are in an Islam dominated country, It is best not to insult religion.  Or the Prophet.  Or the Koran.  Non-Muslims are going to Hell.  Strangely, Muslims have the only true religion, depending on who is doing the preaching.

Orthodox Jews are not religious.  They only follow God's Law.

Buddhists are not religious.  They only have a practice, which can help people of all religions.  Or a philosophy, which can help people of all religions.

I find myself wondering.  What is it about religion that even the religious flee from the word?

Of course, the Monotheists who are not religious, are certain that they have the right god.  All the others are false.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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18 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Continuing from another thread (No Religion):

What is the difference between a religion, a philosophy, a practice and a church.

I think this could be an interesting conversation.

 

Greetings to you my brother,

Interesting topic for conversation indeed.  

About 15 years ago in Wisconsin, a member of what was then called the "World Church of the Creator" (a white supremacist group that rejects the very idea of Gods, but holds the white race to be the pinnacle of creation, therefore something to be worshiped), was denied a promotion at his job because of his membership in this group.  The rationale being that as someone who could be considered racist, he could not objectively supervise people of other races.  He then sued his company claiming religious discrimination.  

The company he worked for argued that the World Church of the Creator could not be a religion in the accepted sense of the term because they expressly disavow belief in a deity or deities of any sort.  The judge who heard the case ruled that the WCOTC was indeed a religion, stating that a belief in God was not necessary, only that their faith system was one that brouight meaning to the lives of it's adherents and occupied the same place in their lives as a more traditional religion.  

Now I'm not sure I would agree completely with the learned Judge Adelman, but in general, I would say that the difference between a religion and a philosophy is indeed how it impacts the life of the individual.  For me, religious faith is a more personal, more powerful expression of what motivates my life than to say merely that I practice a philosophy of love and grace.  Though I often fail, I do try to live my life in the way I understand Jesus taught us to livdon't do it out of fear or terror of punishment, but out of love for him and our Creator.  So for me it's more than the intellectual acceptance of the philosophy of Peace and Love, but something I do out of love for him and my brothers and sisters.  Much like I do things for my wife and children and friends.  It's because I love and care for them.   It's this personal connection that I feel can define the difference.

A practice I would think could be defined as how we live out either the religion or the philosophy of life that we follow.  I don't think practice has to have any religious connotation at all.  

The word "Church" can be challenging to define, as depending on the context it can be used to describe a couple of different things.  Obviously it can define a building.  There are parts of Milwaukee where you can find a church building on almost any block.  Then of course, some people use the word church as a synonym for a Denomination.  I am inclined though to use the definition from the classic song "I Am the Church"

Refrain:
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!

1. The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.

(Refrain)

2. We're many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colours and all ages, too
from all times and places.

I would add to this though (and this is a heterodox view I will admit on my part) that all belong to the church who follow the teachings of Jesus, even if they reject the standard Christian view of the divinity of Christ, or even deny the historical existence of Jesus.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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22 minutes ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my brother,

Interesting topic for conversation indeed.  

About 15 years ago in Wisconsin, a member of what was then called the "World Church of the Creator" (a white supremacist group that rejects the very idea of Gods, but holds the white race to be the pinnacle of creation, therefore something to be worshiped), was denied a promotion at his job because of his membership in this group.  The rationale being that as someone who could be considered racist, he could not objectively supervise people of other races.  He then sued his company claiming religious discrimination.  

The company he worked for argued that the World Church of the Creator could not be a religion in the accepted sense of the term because they expressly disavow belief in a deity or deities of any sort.  The judge who heard the case ruled that the WCOTC was indeed a religion, stating that a belief in God was not necessary, only that their faith system was one that brouight meaning to the lives of it's adherents and occupied the same place in their lives as a more traditional religion.  

Now I'm not sure I would agree completely with the learned Judge Adelman, but in general, I would say that the difference between a religion and a philosophy is indeed how it impacts the life of the individual.  For me, religious faith is a more personal, more powerful expression of what motivates my life than to say merely that I practice a philosophy of love and grace.  Though I often fail, I do try to live my life in the way I understand Jesus taught us to livdon't do it out of fear or terror of punishment, but out of love for him and our Creator.  So for me it's more than the intellectual acceptance of the philosophy of Peace and Love, but something I do out of love for him and my brothers and sisters.  Much like I do things for my wife and children and friends.  It's because I love and care for them.   It's this personal connection that I feel can define the difference.

A practice I would think could be defined as how we live out either the religion or the philosophy of life that we follow.  I don't think practice has to have any religious connotation at all.  

The word "Church" can be challenging to define, as depending on the context it can be used to describe a couple of different things.  Obviously it can define a building.  There are parts of Milwaukee where you can find a church building on almost any block.  Then of course, some people use the word church as a synonym for a Denomination.  I am inclined though to use the definition from the classic song "I Am the Church"

Refrain:
I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!

1. The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.

(Refrain)

2. We're many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colours and all ages, too
from all times and places.

I would add to this though (and this is a heterodox view I will admit on my part) that all belong to the church who follow the teachings of Jesus, even if they reject the standard Christian view of the divinity of Christ, or even deny the historical existence of Jesus.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

I am not neutral in these matters, so I will declare my bias up front.

I am an ordained minister of the Apathetic Agnostic Church.  The church motto is -- "We don't know and we don't care.".  Obviously, I don't think a religion needs God.  In this case, a religious philosophy, as expressed in the motto.

Now that that's out of the way:

Thanks to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, No American judge is allowed to declare a church legal or illegal.  What they can do is prohibit or restrict a specific practice; as being against the public welfare.

For instance, only one Native American church is allowed the sacrament of Peyote.  

Old Kirby Hensley put a lot of effort into keeping government out of our churches.  We should remember him fondly.

When a government judge has the authority to decide what religions are lawful or unlawful -- or what churches -- we open the door to religious persecution.  This is one door that I want to see closed and sealed for all time.

 

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47 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I am not neutral in these matters, so I will declare my bias up front.

I am an ordained minister of the Apathetic Agnostic Church.  The church motto is -- "We don't know and we don't care.".  Obviously, I don't think a religion needs God.  In this case, a religious philosophy, as expressed in the motto.

Now that that's out of the way:

Thanks to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, No American judge is allowed to declare a church legal or illegal.  What they can do is prohibit or restrict a specific practice; as being against the public welfare.

For instance, only one Native American church is allowed the sacrament of Peyote.  

Old Kirby Hensley put a lot of effort into keeping government out of our churches.  We should remember him fondly.Greetin

When a government judge has the authority to decide what religions are lawful or unlawful -- or what churches -- we open the door to religious persecution.  This is one door that I want to see closed and sealed for all time.

 

1

Greetings to you my brother,

Certainly, I would agree that the government has no business declaring a church to be legal or illegal, though in the case I cited above that wasn't the issue. What Judge Adelman did was help change the legal understanding of what actually constitutes a religion.  Because the COTC does not recognize a deity of any sort, did that mean it wasn't really a religion? Judge Adelman said yes it most certainly is.  His ruling broadened the scope of religious freedom in America.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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14 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Over the years, I keep blundering across religious people, who insist that they do not have religion.

Christians are not religious.  They have a special relationship with God.  Everybody else just has religion.  And they are going to Hell.

Muslims are not religious.  They submit to the will of Allah.  Of course, if you are in an Islam dominated country, It is best not to insult religion.  Or the Prophet.  Or the Koran.  Non-Muslims are going to Hell.  Strangely, Muslims have the only true religion, depending on who is doing the preaching.

Orthodox Jews are not religious.  They only follow God's Law.

Buddhists are not religious.  They only have a practice, which can help people of all religions.  Or a philosophy, which can help people of all religions.

I find myself wondering.  What is it about religion that even the religious flee from the word?

Of course, the Monotheists who are not religious, are certain that they have the right god.  All the others are false.

Perhaps they drank their own kool aid.  It has become a propaganda word, especially to those of faith.  It has been stigmatized to the point that those who follow religion would rather not call it that.  But ultimately, they are deluding themselves.  That's my assessment at the least.

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7 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Perhaps they drank their own kool aid.  It has become a propaganda word, especially to those of faith.  It has been stigmatized to the point that those who follow religion would rather not call it that.  But ultimately, they are deluding themselves.  That's my assessment at the least.

I think this is a simple enough impulse.  The followers of each path want to feel Special and Unique and part of the Elite.  Just like everybody else.  If the others are calling their path religion -- the special path needs to be understood differently.  As in, the chosen.  Of course, they choose themselves.

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On 3/25/2017 at 7:45 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I think this is a simple enough impulse.  The followers of each path want to feel Special and Unique and part of the Elite.  Just like everybody else.  If the others are calling their path religion -- the special path needs to be understood differently.  As in, the chosen.  Of course, they choose themselves.

 

 I think it is the wish of others to feel special, unique, or of the elite that causes about 96% of the world's problems (as relating to religious intolerance or disagreements)

 

If nobody cared what others believed, we'd have less cause to fight over it.

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36 minutes ago, scottedward said:

 

 I think it is the wish of others to feel special, unique, or of the elite that causes about 96% of the world's problems (as relating to religious intolerance or disagreements)

 

If nobody cared what others believed, we'd have less cause to fight over it.

 

 

Persuading people that religion is not important --  at least, not worth fighting over --  might be a hard sell.  People who have the one true God, and the one true path, and the one true Scripture, don't like to compromise.  

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On 3/24/2017 at 6:52 PM, cuchulain said:

To me, religion has connotations of deity.  Philosophy is an idealogical practice, and does not necessitate deity, although it does not exclude the possibility either.  A church is a little more complex, I suppose.  It could reference the building itself, or perhaps the congregation.  Or it could reference the governance behind the church, the people in power of that particular church.  Practice is something I hear referenced to Christians who don't.  I suppose it should be related to all philosophies and religions.  A person can have a good idea of what they think they should be doing, and then not do it anyway.  I could claim the title of stoic, and then focus on material possessions if I desired to.  On the same note, someone could say they are Christian.  Perhaps even in THEIR idea of what constitutes Christian they are.  But someone else might say they aren't practicing Christians because they don't follow such and such or so and so philosophy, which is CLEARLY outlined in the bible...isn't it funny how many can say that, but can't see anyone else's interpretation as being possible?  

Many religions like to emphasize charitable works, but the practitioners rarely actually practice charity, outside of the precincts of their church that is.  In philosophical terms, there are those who claim perhaps to be pacifists.  Maybe they've never been up against it, where they absolutely had to choose whether or not to stick to their guns.  

A lot of this relies upon judgment of course.  Something a lot of religion claims to be against.  How does a Christian reference what a REAL Christian is, without judging what a real Christian isn't?  How does someone determine whether they are really practicing or not?  Does the church determine what is and is not Evangelical Protestant?  Or is it a personal interpretation of the scripture that matches that description?

 

Are you sure of that?  I think the distinctions between Religion and Philosophy are more subtle and complex, than one has gods and the other does not.

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Are you sure of that?  I think the distinctions between Religion and Philosophy are more subtle and complex, than one has gods and the other does not.

I am not certain of anything, lol.  Fear those who are.

So I ask another question along the same thread as this one.  Does the differences between religion and philosophy and all that really amount to anything?  Or...do the differences actually make any practical difference?

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

I am not certain of anything, lol.  Fear those who are.

So I ask another question along the same thread as this one.  Does the differences between religion and philosophy and all that really amount to anything?  Or...do the differences actually make any practical difference?

 

 

I'm not sure of the distinction.  We all have philosophy.  We don't all have religion.  I think.  Maybe.  

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Key   

Hmm...I think that history shows us that philosophy can be theories that might be tested to discover if true, where as religion can't be tested to find if true and many folks prefer it not be tested.

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31 minutes ago, Key said:

Hmm...I think that history shows us that philosophy can be theories that might be tested to discover if true, where as religion can't be tested to find if true and many folks prefer it not be tested.

 

Maybe.  Would this apply to Vedic / Hindu religion?  Buddhism?  The old Norse or Greek goods?  Wicca?  I have doubts.

 

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mark 45   

maybe.of the philosophies/religions you listed,buddhism is the only one that does not teach a deity.and if i understand correctly,the norse and greek gods weren't worshiped as they were meant to be emulated.but i could be wrong.as far as wicca,i'm not 100%sure,but you can be wiccan and not worship the goddess/god.

 

i guess if one finds something that is true to them,then it really doesn't matter what others think.but if they find something else that changes what they think,then so be it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mark 45 said:

maybe.of the philosophies/religions you listed,buddhism is the only one that does not teach a deity.and if i understand correctly,the norse and greek gods weren't worshiped as they were meant to be emulated.but i could be wrong.as far as wicca,i'm not 100%sure,but you can be wiccan and not worship the goddess/god.

 

i guess if one finds something that is true to them,then it really doesn't matter what others think.but if they find something else that changes what they think,then so be it.

 

 

 

We have a few people here who follow the Greek gods.

Wicca comes in many flavors.

Buddhism is what ever the Buddhists say it is.  I've given up.

Atheists have nothing in common except for what they don't believe.

 

I have learned caution.  If we try talking about "religion" in too sweeping a way -- from a perspective of Jewish, Christian and Islamic  sources -- we are going to get something vague and meaningless.  

 

Even if we confine the conversation to Christianity alone -- look at the differences between Dan and Rev. Cali.  The Grand Canyon is a smaller space.  

 

When I started this thread, I should have given it a lot more thought.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Dan56   

I don't see much difference between religion and philosophy. Christianity is a religion, but most people philosophize about its fundamental soundness prior to becoming a Christian.. Perhaps the difference is that a philosophy is something that a person wonders and speculates about, while a religion is something a person dwells on and commits themselves to.

A church from a biblical perspective, is simply the many membered body of Christ, those who accept and follow Christ are his church. A practice is following an example or belief, Witchcraft is a practice, Hinduism is a practice, even Humanism is a practice, no god required.

I often think that following what Christ taught doesn't necessarily make you religious, no more than following the example of a good parent. Being religious is joining one of the various denominations of Christianity, this defines your allegiance to a group and makes you subordinate to their rules and cause... jmo 

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Dan56   

When you read what Christ taught and consider it in an idealistic way, that's a philosophy.
When you listen to what Christ taught and accept it as an absolute truth, its a religion.
Perhaps religion is just taking a philosophy to heart.

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