This session aims to instill a practical understanding of both the nature of and comparisons between religions.
Difference between Folk Religion and Elite Religion, Orthodoxical Religion vs Orthopraxical Religion, Polytheism vs Monotheism vs Pantheism vs Atheism
Elite Religion has a defined Tradition, Scripture and Reason.
Part 1: Activity
To start, have everyone name 1 person they admire most and tell a short story of them demonstrating that good quality.
Then pair up in groups of 2 or 3, and combine their list of qualities, so now you have one list of 18 or 27 qualities for each group. Then as a group, discuss which of the qualities are most important and narrow it down to 3 again, they are allowed to come up with new qualities also, as long as they only have 3 qualities per group.
Then have each group present their 3 qualities, and afterwards everyone will combine their 3 qualities into one list, and narrow it down to 3 again.
Then, think of one person that exemplifies the 3 qualities, and rank the 3 qualities in order of importance.
Part 2: Discussion
How religions came about is with the process that you have just done, just that the group gets bigger and bigger until it involves everyone in the society, and when you bring in books, you also include the people of the past into the group, and as a group, or a society as we call it, each of these religious communities have agreed on a main teacher (the person) and a aim in life (the #1 quality). For Muslimin, their great teacher is Muhammad and their aim is quality cooperation. For the Buddhists, their great teacher is Siddhartha Gautama and their aim is quality enlightenment. For us Christians, it is Jesus, or rather God himself, and our aim is quality sacrifice. We judge any situation by how good the decision to sacrifice is, and to learn what the best sacrifice is like, we look at Jesus on his cross. As a global Christian community, we have agreed that we will judge every little interaction by the extent of sacrifice in each thought, word and deed, and that the best sacrifices are given ultimate value.
Whenever you talk to someone, whether you realise it or not, you have a common understanding of what is good and what is not good, and this depends on the quality that you both admire the most. So it is so important to come together in church, look at what people have said and are saying about quality sacrifice, and learn what that is and how to live it, so that we can make every little moment of this life as good as possible for everyone. Deep down, everyone wants a good life, so let’s work together to make that happen.
Shared stories are Scripture, unstated common values from those stories are Tradition, and the rating and systemisation of stated values are theology.
Part 3: Lecture
Taoic & Dharmic Religions:
Judaism: Mitzvah (Commandments) – Orthopraxical
Islam: Salaam (Peace) through Cooperation – Human Nature Inherently Good.
Christianity: Didomi (Give) through Sacrifice – Human Natre Inherently Evil.