I feel silly writing this, but God knows how it will turn out. Anyway, I had a little exchange of words on religion topic today, vague subject, and vague conversation. But from that little exchange, I figured out that my interlocutors have hazy idea about religion, both as a concept as well as a term. Nothing new, very common situation. I know that religion quite often gives us impression of something familiar, simple and well known. But knowledge of an ordinary man about religion does not exceed knowledge of a toddler about Newton's laws. Yes, when he stumbles, he falls down, not up, that is everything he knows. But what stands behind it can not be discovered by common sense and mere feeling. With religion is no difference.
In every science we must start from the alphabet. So, I will start with the shortest explanation of the crucial terms, without which we can not understand each other.
Religion - bond between man and God in the narrower sense of the term. It also implies bond between the believers, belonging to a community.
Faith - inner, spiritual part of that bond which includes feeling of God's presence in our life and our trust in him.
Revelation - the cornerstone the religion is built upon. Legacy came directly from God through the founder.
Tradition - chain of that legacy incorporated in a community, transmitted from generation to generation.
Traditions - our response to that legacy in terms of practice.
Confession - our response to that legacy in terms of understanding and interpreting. Often synonym for a creed or a community.
P.S. As you do not start a conversation about legislation without knowledge of terms as law, constitution and custom, you do not start conversation about religion without knowledge of these terms. Before you express your opinions and credences upon the subject, please ask. I am willing to give any explanation I can.
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