Elements of Religious Traditions
January 11, 2010
Dr. Arnold Roth
“A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair” said by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Religion has been in this world for over 50,000 years. Wilhelm Schmidt, an Austrian ethnographer and philologist, believed that at one point, all humans believed in just one Higher God. Later, beliefs of fewer gods and spirits were established. Many traditions began to be recognized, and the study of religion initiated to have critical issues.
People began to start traditions in a way to get closer with a higher power. Relationships were created as being with the divine, sacred time, sacred space, and with each other. This is a way in which anybody can do in order to get closer with their God.
The first relationship is with the diving. The definition of divine is to originate from God, “divine judgments”, or guidance. There are two different relationships one may have with the divine- when one will rely on the divine in the hour of need and only when it is necessary. To get closer with the divine, “it is important to develop an intimate relationship and admit to live a life without sin. Realize that life is filled with sin and begin to acknowledge that one is a sinner.” To get a closer with the divine, reading the gospel can help one without living in denial. In Matthew 23:37-39 it is said “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and you with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The second relationship is with sacred time. “Sacred time does three things. Connects Christians as members of the Body of Christ, and draws the worshiping community into is broader union with Christ and with the world. Sacred time serves to focus Christians on the great feasts of life, death and the resurrection of God.” (2010) Sacred time can allow one to measure what is important to them and what is necessary in life. It permits one not to watch life go by, but build it the way one will contribute in it. The next relationship is with sacred space. “A sacred space is a space in which you feel most at peace and close to God.” In the book, Experiencing the World’s Religions, it states that sacred space it the ”doorway through which the “other world” of gods and ancestors can contact us and we can contact them.”(pg. 43) “In native religions, sacred space may encompass a great mountain, a volcano, a valley, a lake, a forest, a single large tree or some other striking natural site.” (pg 44) Different religions have a different point of view on sacred time. The last relationship is with each other. “I command you to love each other in the same you that I love you” John 15:12. It is important to respect and love each other as one loves thyself. Examples of these types of relationships consist of husband/wife relationships and in parent/children relationships. As it says in