According to yet another religious friend of mine,
Legitimate religions have priests and alters and sacrifices.
Pseudo-religions have texts and debates about those texts.
It was this friend who first pointed out to me that,
are three distinctly different things.
Prayer is not worship. It simply means to talk or speak to, someone.
Praise is adulation. It is simply pointing out a person, place or thing’s positive attributes.
Worship is a specific act. An act that requires an altar and a sacrifice placed upon that altar.
Which is to say, if your religion has no altar and no “divinely anointed” priest offering up a sacrifice then yours is not a legitimate religion. It’s a pseudo-religion masquerading as a real religion. Kind of like Freemasonry or Judaism or Wicca.
Of course my friend is referring to the eucharist.
But it is a valid point, based on my own reading of religion and mythology.
Most Christians I know (Protestants) think prayer = worship. Or that praise = worship.
And the belief that studying a sacred text enlightens an individual spiritually, is occultism.
No sacrifice on an altar by an anointed priest = no act of worship.
Which, for a Christian, would mean the Catholic and Orthodox and Lutheran, etc understanding of the eucharist.
Evangelicals have no mechanism with which to worship God. Making it, too, a fake religion.