Here are some of this blog’s version of various spiritual/religious terms that are used. They can mean different things to different people, depending on the perspective they are coming from.
Advent – A forty day period of repentance and fasting. It usually refers to the preparation for Christmas. It is also used by some denominations to denote the forty days before Pascha (Easter).
Born Again – A concept that a person must adhere to before entering the Kingdom Of God. It begins by receiving the Holy Spirit at Baptism and it is a dynamic process that occurs throughout a person’s life. Only God can be the final judge of whether this has occurred.
Catholic – All encompassing. It means everything that is needed for salvation is found anywhere Catholocism is practiced in the world. This is opposed to personal revelation, such as Gnosticism (described below).
Church – A gathering of a group of believers. Symbolically the Church is the Body Of Christ. It does not technically refer to a building.
Communion – Common Union with God and with each other. It is an intimate union and has specific requirements because it is intimate.
Covenant – An agreement between God and his people. It is implied that the person making the Covenant deeply cares about who the agreement is with. In this case it is not dependent on what the people do.
Devil – The personification of evil. Satan was a fallen angel because of pride. Christians think this entity is constantly tempting humans to turn away from God.
Episcopal – Pertaining to a Bishop.
Free Will – The freedom to choose between good and evil. Since God loves his creation he does not want to force or impose his will on anyone. His desire is for people to come to him genuinely.
Gentile – A non-Jew.
Gnosticism – “Knowing”, It is “experiencing” God through personal revelation, as opposed to general doctrine (such as Catholicism). Christianity views Gnosticism as a heresy.
Heresy – Following one’s own choice or opinion instead of Divine Truth.
Holy – Set apart for a specific purpose; e.g. worship to God. Holy means more than “good works”
Mystery – The notion that the ways of God can not be known with a rational, finite human mind.
Pentecost – In modern terms it is recognized as fifty days after Pascha (Easter). It represents the descent of the Holy Spirit on the faithful. Symbolically Pentecost represents the beginning of the Church.
Repentance – A change of mind or attitude that is reflected in a person’s daily life. It is more than sorrow from sinning. and represents a 180 degree change. The repentant person experiences life differently than someone that doesn’t.
Salvation – The fulfillment of humanity in Christ through deliverance from sin and death. It is a process of growth in the whole person. There is much debate over whether it consists of more than having faith.
Sin – Separation from God. It is not the same thing as breaking a law, even though it involves a choice.
Sources: The Orthodox Study Bible – New Testament and Psalms, Managing Editor – Mr. Alan Wallerstedt: Biblical scholars