We're studying Buddhism from 'The World's Religions' by Huston Smith (specifically pages 82-112). I have to answer a question and am completely lost. Can anyone help me out? The question is, 'How do we distinguish between a person who is religious and a person who isn't? Suppose a child or teenager goes to an exclusive boarding school. Does that experience have all of Smith's six characteristics of religion?'
A religious person has a weak mind, having been brainwashed from childhood, and unable to break free by thinking on their own. All religions are made up, to assuage our fears of the unknown, and to keep us in line. That doesn't mean there isn't a creator, but it isn't the anthropomorphized character of religious doctrines.
EVERYONE, when looking for a true Christian, expects to find a person of high moral qualities and good personality. And he is right. But there is more to a Christian than this.
You will find persons, even among those not professing to be Christians, who have fine moral qualities, also displaying likable personalities. What, then, is the difference?
The Christian must have, in addition to these things, a keen desire to promote true worship of the God of the Bible, as Jesus Christ did. He must have zeal and be active in that direction
Consequently, if you are confused in looking for true Christians in our day, it is important to keep in mind to look for a united BODY of them, all teaching the same things about God’s purposes. They must be living clean, moral, upright lives. Additionally, they must be zealously talking to others about the Bible, promoting true worship, helping new ones to become Christ’s disciples. Thereby they are increasing the King’s “belongings.” Do you find a people like that in your community?
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It is very easy to distinguish between a religious person and a non religious person. A religious person will appear religious, he will go to a temple, synagogue or church. He will sing and praise the name of God, he will try to talk about his being religious, his religion. He will show in his word and in his deed that he is religious. However, a person who is not will not do any of this. But it is very difficult to distinguish between a truly spiritual person and a religious person. Because the spiritual journey is not religious, it is beyond being religious. It is realizing God in the temple of your heart, it is an inward journey, a quest that goes in search of God, in search of the Truth and then one is enlightened. And this cannot be distinguished easily.