posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 12:44 PM
I know you said you began this thread for experts. While I am not an expert, I have never let that stop me before! Here goes:
While any dictionary can define the terms, the words also have connotative meanings which may not appear in print anywhere. It is concerning these
connotative meanings that I would like to speak.
For some, church, belief, and religion may be so closely entertwined that they cannot be clearly separated, while for others the terms may be entirely
distinct from one another. For me, they are really simple.
Belief - whatever one thinks is true. Some believe in Jesus, some believe in enlightenment, some believe that there is no god.
Religion - the formal or informal collection of beliefs.
Church - a place where religion and belief can be shared, refined, investigated, or practiced - an organization or group that assists those who are
refining, investigating, or practicing their beliefs or religion.
I like a nice, simple approach - so the above definitions suit me fine.