Do you know any religious people?

If you do, which of the following statements best describes the religious people you know.

Is it,

a) Religious people have complete certainty about their own righteousness and thus have a great deal of time to spend concentrating upon the wrongs of others.

b) Religious people aren’t particularly interested in influencing others by example but they’re extremely interested in gaining power through the legislature and implementing their agenda by statute.

c) Religious people choose to believe that the misfortunes of others are always the result of poor choices and thus feel justified in condemning others rather than having compassion upon them.

d) Religious people are angry, proud, combative and cruel and probably account for much of the anti–God sentiment that is often heard.

e) Religious people habitually pass judgment upon their neighbors and thus the main reason that people steer clear of churches is because of the religious people.

f) Religious people keep a tight rein on their tongues and understand the religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Cordially,
Mick
:thumbsup:

Well Mick, this seems like an easy one. While many of my secular friends and colleagues meet elements of a through e, my truly religious friends (of just about any faith) do a better job at f and would not be described well by any of the others. In my experience, anyone who places God above themselves is generally abhorred behavior described in a through f. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t describe us, it does mean we abhor it and try to avoid repeating such sinful conduct.
God Bless
Prof K

I’m a religious person.

I guess I’d need to know how you define “religious people”. Most of those sentences didn’t fit the person who first came to mind when I read the title.

I would describe her as the most Christian person I know, the one who best follows the footsteps of Christ. And she’s Lutheran, not Catholic. She has the most generous spirit of anyone I’ve ever know, and is the most forgiving, especially of her parents who were dreadful. They both abandonded their 6 children when the oldest one was 17. The father was long gone, and the mother left one day while they were all at school…they came home to an empty house. My friend and her twin were 13 and the youngest was a mentally handicapped 6 year old. But when the father was dying of cancer, my friend was there for him. Now her mother (who is bipolar) needs her help and she is there. She’s the first one to offer help to anyone she knows, she’s always sharing what she has, and there’s not a lot of it. She’s just the one I think of when the word Christian comes to mind. I guess the last one would be part of her description, but there’s so much more to her than that.

The cynic’s definition is, “the sort of people who give religion a bad name,” but all definitions are welcome.

The last one is a paraphrase of the concluding verses of the first chapter of Saint James’ letter.

Would that all Christians, including myself, were as selfless as the lady you described. Thanks for making known a true Christian with a servant’s heart.

Appreciatively,
Mick
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When I saw the title I thought of my relatives who were religious. Sisters, Brothers, Priests. I find they have dedicated their entire lives to serving the community. Generous to all (Catholic - non-Catholic - non-Christian)

You make them sound like very diligent social workers. Surely it is to God, first and foremost, to whom they have dedicated their lives?

Respectfully,
Mick
:thumbsup:

Maybe you can define ‘religious’. Are these the ardent church goers, do the work of charity or have deep personal prayer life? Are they either one or both or all?

Hard to say who the truly religious are without doing a personal assessment and perhaps judgment before deriving one’s personal opinion on them. At best it’s mere personal opinion and at worst, personal judgment, for only God knows what is in a man’s heart and why he does the things he does.

Having said that, I know a few people whom I can put on the level of being religious but then again its’ just that – what I think of think of them and it may not be the most accurate description of them. If I am allowed to use this personal judgment, I would say quite a number would be qualified in my own parish and community. There are some I know in the international scene though we have good contact it’s difficult to really know them intimately especially their daily lives.

Let’s see the examples you’ve given.

I’ll just re-arrange them in a particular other; the first being the closest and as it goes down, the least or just anti-thesis to a religious person.

Characteristic of religious people:

f) Religious people keep a tight rein on their tongues and understand the religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Religious people don’t likely behave like this:

a) Religious people have complete certainty about their own righteousness and thus have a great deal of time to spend concentrating upon the wrongs of others.

c) Religious people choose to believe that the misfortunes of others are always the result of poor choices and thus feel justified in condemning others rather than having compassion upon them.

Uncharacteristic of religious people:

b) Religious people aren’t particularly interested in influencing others by example but they’re extremely interested in gaining power through the legislature and implementing their agenda by statute.

d) Religious people are angry, proud, combative and cruel and probably account for much of the anti–God sentiment that is often heard.

e) Religious people habitually pass judgment upon their neighbors and thus the main reason that people steer clear of churches is because of the religious people.

My personal opinion is that religious people should show the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If they do not show perhaps there is something wrong in the person’s practice in his being religious. The ultimate objective would be for every Christian to take after the image of Christ. We cannot do that unless we are crucified ourselves. Many times we are unable to stay crucified but being resurrected again and again and become our normal usual selves. It’s an ongoing thing to be holy and it’s only through the grace of God that we can achieve it with reasonable satisfaction.

God bless.

For example: the one who has died was a school teacher for 50 yrs, a school principal for 23 years, a sacrastan for 5 years and retired for 2 years. But began each day with Morning Prayer, the Office of Readings, followed by mass and a rosary. Yes, dedicated to God but saw God’s image in each person she met. She served God by serving man. She never gave up her habit, and she never stopped passing out rosaries to anyone she met.

Although she was a Franciscan, I think the Ignatian motto works for her: All for the greater glory of God.

Thank you.

Gratefully,
Mick
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I consider myself to be a religious person, I strive to adhere to “ f ”, however as a sinner I am fallible and may and do slip into any one of the examples you cite in “ a “ thru “ e ”. However, as a sinner who is trying to grow spiritually, I try to get back on, and stay on the right path. It is a constant struggle. One of the small Graces the God gives us is to lead us back home and to Him. Being the loving God that he is, He will leads back however many times it takes, if we are willing and obedient.

G) Most religious folks I know are very sweet, shy, kindly, gentle, hardworking giving types of men and women but do a really insufficient job of sharing their faith, standing up to social downward pressure, or saying what they need to say when someone demands approval of extremely bad behavior. This fearfulness of man and shyness and sometimes mere sloth causes us, myself included, to fail our moral duty to influence the world and even drags us down with the world an awful lot of the time. We need to stand up and wipe our faces off around here, and call right right and wrong wrong sometime before we forget the difference. I wish I were the brave one but I guess I’m not.:blush::frowning:

Maybe you can define ‘religious’. Are these the ardent church goers, do the work of charity or have deep personal prayer life? Are they either one or both or all?
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The idea I had mind was that posters would bring their own definitions. I outlined some different character traits and hoped that each poster would agree or disagree with each one depending upon what the term “religious” conveyed to each poster.

It is certainly hard to say if one supposes that the term “religious” describes those who are holy. There aren’t so many holy people around.

I’m beginning to see that for you the word, “religious,” denotes something positive. For some, though, it has negative connotations.

It’s a familiar description for those who regularly read their Bibles.

What about the Pharisees?

God bless you, too

Cordially,
Mick
:thumbsup:

Thanks for the clarification. I just want to get it right. :slight_smile:

That’s what I cautioned myself when responding to this thread. :o

I hope you see my inequity in my post – quite a lot of judgment may be involved there. Well, for the sake of discussion. You can consider some examples may just be hypothetical. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s should be positive (and yes it’s my personal opinion). Being religious should lead to holiness (if one’s a Christian). In other word, being religious should make/mould/shape/transform a person more to the likeness of one’s religion and its objective.

Since we’re talking about Christianity, a religious person should be more like Christ.
Like I said, if not then the teaching of his church/Gospel/Jesus is not with him or being misunderstood. Sure there are people being religious but for the wrong reason. I see quite many of that around – active church people with personal objective for their own end. It’s amazing but there people who want to make a name for themselves or using contacts found in the church for personal business. This type of religious would surely give Jesus a bad name.

That’s what I notice too. Living the Gospel life is important but as I said, it’s the grace of God that makes it happen. The sacraments, the prayers, the fellowship and good work are some of the graces that enhance that life.

How could we die to the self if God’s grace is not truly with us? How could we be like Christ if we don’t show anything for it?

Being religious for the wrong reason? Or are the fruit of their religion? Remember, the law was so much emphasized among them. So could they be the fruits of their own interpretation of their religion?

God bless you, Mick.

From my real life experience:

Most but not all of the religious people I know are bitter and twisted in one way or another.

Just about all, no, I’ll say all, the ‘‘holy’’ people I’ve met are perverse in one way or another.

I’m defininng religious people as those ‘‘of the cloth’’

I’m defining ‘‘holy’’ as those who think that following some religious observance festidiously somehow makes them more holy or better than those around them.

Who would I want to have my back - a lot of the ordinary joes Ive had the pleasure to serve with - people who would give you their last drop of water, would carry you across a minefield on their backs and give you the shirts off their back if you needed it.

The most kind, tough, caring, brotherly, loving, giving, genuine people I know have never set foot in a church of any kind.

Thanks for the clarification. I just want to get it right. :slight_smile:
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Get it right and you’re halfway to getting righteous. :slight_smile:

That’s what I cautioned myself when responding to this thread. :o

I hope you see my inequity in my post – quite a lot of judgment may be involved there. Well, for the sake of discussion. You can consider some examples may just be hypothetical. :stuck_out_tongue:
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Yes, of course.

It’s should be positive (and yes it’s my personal opinion). Being religious should lead to holiness (if one’s a Christian). In other word, being religious should make/mould/shape/transform a person more to the likeness of one’s religion and its objective.

Since we’re talking about Christianity, a religious person should be more like Christ.
Like I said, if not then the teaching of his church/Gospel/Jesus is not with him or being misunderstood. Sure there are people being religious but for the wrong reason. I see quite many of that around – active church people with personal objective for their own end. It’s amazing but there people who want to make a name for themselves or using contacts found in the church for personal business. This type of religious would surely give Jesus a bad name.
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I wholeheartedly agree.

That’s what I notice too. Living the Gospel life is important but as I said, it’s the grace of God that makes it happen. The sacraments, the prayers, the fellowship and good work are some of the graces that enhance that life.

How could we die to the self if God’s grace is not truly with us? How could we be like Christ if we don’t show anything for it?
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Good questions.

Being religious for the wrong reason? Or are the fruit of their religion? Remember, the law was so much emphasized among them. So could they be the fruits of their own interpretation of their religion?
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The law was indeed much emphasized among them (613 commandments, no less), but they fell into the trap of legalism.

God bless you, also, Reuben.

Sincerely,
Mick
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That’s my experience, also.

I’m not sure that I know any holy people.

I equate “religious people” with legalism. The legalist carefully builds his or her own pattern of living and then tries to make it normative for the rest of the human race.

I think of “holy” as being the characteristic unique to God. I believe it’s possible for human beings to achieve a state of holiness but I think very few attain it.

Understood.

Interesting. Would you care to say why they have never set foot in a church of any kind?

Curiously,
Mick
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A,B,C, and D apply to most atheists that I have found on the internet…

A,B,C, and D apply to most atheists that I have found on the internet…
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Do you think those atheists have a strong case?

Curiously,
Mick
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I can’t speak for every one, but the ones I do know about, grew up in a home/community/society where God did not feature in any way. Many believed in nothing outside of human kind.

But they would lay their life on the line for you, day in day out.

Many of them had far more christian values, than many so called christians.

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