Tuesday, September 22, 2009
RELIGION OR FAITH
It might come as surprise to all, that well, there is a difference between these two concepts. Are people religious, or are they men/women of faith. At the end, I will go into more details because you find that by observing, you can note the difference between the two.
This post has the potential to be a long one, therefore, I am going to cliff note it as much as I can.
So here is an introduction course to religions. ( To clear up some misunderstandings)
There are, two frame works in religion:
1. Western thought (Islam, Judaism, Christianity). These are also termed as Abrahamic Religions.
2. Eastern thought (eg. Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism...). Also known as Dharmic Religions.
These two frameworks are coined, partially based on their point of origin, but mostly in their differences. Western religions are monotheistic, and Eastern religions are polytheistic. They consequently follow the differences between Eastern and Western philosophies...that is to say, what we all must know by now...the east and the west have different ways of life.
When I accepted to be a contributor, my main reason was to clear up some misunderstanding, on God/Gods. and how authors in this blog and those who made comments loosely used the word. Western religions believe in ONE God. Therefore, I do not understand why ignorance calls for people to say a Muslim God, a Jewish God, and a Christian God. That is wrong, because all three religions believe in the same God. Allah, is not another God. ( we can discuss this further if people wish) and Yahweh is not different from God...although it is deemed more respectable.
It is also wrong to say, Hindu or Buddhist God....because there are many Gods. For example, there are approximately 330 million gods in Hinduism. Some of them actually can be termed as henotheistic. I dont have to go through all these religions, and the breakdown of their gods because that requires a lifetime of dedication to the study of this. However, it must be noted that Eastern religions are much embedded in their philosophy, and the two are most of the time synonymous.
Now back to faith and religion. Religion exists to control faith, faith exists to keep religion in check. Religion is man's interpretation of God's will, faith is its acceptance. Or rather, Religion is man's attempt to reach God, and faith, is a lifestyle of total contentment in who you are as Created being, living and breathing in assurance that there is a higher power that is watching over you.
Faith is our fundamental understanding of reality. This is an expression of the way we understand the world, what values we believe are important not only to us, but to others as well, what ideals we hold sacred and what is not, what we believe is right and wrong, what we aspire for not only in this world, but beyond this world. Religion on the other hand, is an outward expression of that belief. This is why I will tell people that I am a woman of faith, but I am not religious. I go to Church when I want to, and I participate in organized religions, when and however I chose to, because my practicing religion does not affirm my faith.