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  1. #11
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Odd. I've never heard people say it's not a religion.
    (Although they usually also say it's just the truth as well.)

    However, in your favor: There's a growing movement of recasting believers as "disciples" rather than "Christians." I guess they feel it gives them more validity and makes them sound less "religious" and more "spiritual."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #12
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I'm going to play.

    The religion I am a student of is unconventional but has an objective common among most religions: to live a more purpose-driven life (thank you Rick Warren for that excellent phrase).

    For me, it is not for the sake of purpose, but because I believe in the purpose(s) of choice.

  3. #13
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Spirituality is found from within.

    Everything else (religious and the practice thereof) are other people's ideas that you either accept blindly (so they are not your true beliefs at all) or they are beliefs you've screened from INSIDE of you... meaning that you are still generating your personal beliefs from within.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    It's christians themselves that say it isn't a religion. My point is by definition according to webster's it is a religion:

    Religion: 2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

    My point is that the correct attitude of Christianity is not that it is not a religion, but that it is both a religion and more than a religion in that it is real and transformative on a metaphysical level... and because of this it doesn't lead to the hubris that Keller warns of, but that it leads to humility and servanthood amongst other virtuous attributes.

  4. #14
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    To me, religion is a system created by humans in observance of the spirituality/meta-physical cosmos. To a much lesser degree, it's like ants trying to systemize their understanding of humans in the context of only what ants know. Naturally, this creates gaping flaws and inconsistencies...

  5. #15
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Okay okay okay... what I meant to ask is something like

    Obviously religion is about more than spirituality. Yet people still find purpose in it. What meaning does it give to life beyond a spiritual purpose? I'm assuming it gives some other meaning, or else wouldn't people just seek for spirituality within themselves as Night/Jennifer suggest? People are still very active in faith communities, and I want to understand, from those people, why they are choosing to participate...

    Does that make more sense?
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  6. #16
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    Take the faith out of faith community and you'll have the answer to that one

  7. #17
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    For religiously-inclined people:

    What role does religion play in your life? What role would you say it plays in people's lives in general? Why are people religious? e.g. "gives me a sense of purpose," "gives me a sense of certainty," "inspires me to be a better person," "answers difficult questions," "gives me direction," etc.
    I participate in religion, because it allows me to share my faith with people who have similar beliefs. I can find people who have values similar to mine, and this makes it easier for us to bond. Because our values are what we believe to be most important, and therefore it is easier to have a close friendship with people who have similar values.
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  8. #18
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Okay okay okay... what I meant to ask is something like

    Obviously religion is about more than spirituality. Yet people still find purpose in it. What meaning does it give to life beyond a spiritual purpose? I'm assuming it gives some other meaning, or else wouldn't people just seek for spirituality within themselves as Night/Jennifer suggest? People are still very active in faith communities, and I want to understand, from those people, why they are choosing to participate...

    Does that make more sense?
    There are always plenty of people who seek spiritual answers within themselves: INxx types would seem to be particularly inclined to such endeavors if they were interested in spirituality at all.

    The external search for spirituality, however, is just as valid as the internal one. You learn as much by sharing faith with others as you do by trying to discover the answers to your questions on faith within yourself.

    In fact, one of the best ways to understand faith is to watch how those that believe behave. Yes, there are innumerable bad examples, some of them very prominent. But if you look at how such faith communities operate, you'll see how they interact, you'll see what's important, you'll see how they treat each other. You'll come to understand what is important to them.

    I find it interesting that you're asking about what meaning it gives to life. In the end, it isn't so much of a "meaning" as an "attitude." It's a way of becoming. Ideally, it is something that brings you wisdom without having to endure the trials and pain that most people require to learn wisdom. And when you have that wisdom, that attitude, that faith, that is what enables you to endure through the bad times, and rejoice more fully in the good times. ... and actually I'm misstating that a bit there: it enables you to rejoice even during the bad times.
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  9. #19
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    For religiously-inclined people:

    What role does religion play in your life? What role would you say it plays in people's lives in general? Why are people religious? e.g. "gives me a sense of purpose," "gives me a sense of certainty," "inspires me to be a better person," "answers difficult questions," "gives me direction," etc.
    Are you asking why people are religious or why religious people think they are religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Spirituality is found from within.

    Everything else (religious and the practice thereof) are other people's ideas that you either accept blindly (so they are not your true beliefs at all) or they are beliefs you've screened from INSIDE of you... meaning that you are still generating your personal beliefs from within.
    This is an interesting thought, but it sounds prettier than it is. How is what you are describing different from any other decision that is made by an individual?

    Religion is a rationalization of morality. It is preservation of the collective.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  10. #20
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Sometimes I can be slow on the uptake so could you do me the favor of explaining exactly what is your point.

    As a Christian I disagree with Jennifer's argument that spirituality is found from within. Well let me be more specific. While I might agree that spirituality is first noticed as an inward working I'm compelled to believe that its beginnings are found in the extrinsic force of God himself compelling me to believe certain things. That is if the presuppositions of Christianity are true. Otherwise, yes it's just a bunch of stuff I make up in my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit
    Okay okay okay... what I meant to ask is something like

    Obviously religion is about more than spirituality. Yet people still find purpose in it. What meaning does it give to life beyond a spiritual purpose? I'm assuming it gives some other meaning, or else wouldn't people just seek for spirituality within themselves as Night/Jennifer suggest? People are still very active in faith communities, and I want to understand, from those people, why they are choosing to participate...

    Does that make more sense?
    I'm not sure I think religion is about more than spirituality. Christianity spiritualizes everything... not in the gnostic sense that I ignore the material world, but in the sense that I can accomplish the lowliest of tasks, such as picking up dog poop, for the glory of God, the most holy and righteous being in the universe. If my heart is aligned correctly and I do all things for the glory of God than the other material benefits may come... community, love, self-fulfillment. But, in my religion if I chase after those things in and of themselves and apart from seeking after God than I'm chasing after idols.

    You might find John Piper's, not to mention Jonathan Edward's, views of these things interesting. He abhors kantian altruism and adheres to what he calls "Christian hedonism" that is he believes that seeking after God and seeking after happiness are not mutually exclusive endeavors. His premise is "we value most what we delight in most" and that if we desire to be happy we should seek after God and value him and delight and joy will necessarily follow. In other words there is nothing wrong with seeking after God for the sake of being happy.

    Amongst other reasons, I seek after God because I want to be happy.

    I don't seek spirituality merely within myself, because in my experience I am a poor source of truth. I want my spirituality to be based on facts and truth, so I look outside myself. My faith community provides me with answers as to how to seek after and value God both in action and in word.
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