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  1. #11
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    @Jennifer I like your point about death and rebirth. In my new context of not being a literal Christian, it gives me more to ponder.

    I got an ouroboros tattoo when I became separated to signify the death/birth cycle. I am dualistic in some ways, but overall more trialistic, because I believe with the optimal dual, a pristine energy can be made, which is actually an Aristotelian notion, being called the entelechia.



    For now, I'm still calling myself a Christian because I can really think of no other monotheism that is an apt description of what I believe as much as Christianity. I just don't buy into the whole substitution, redemption, and salvation part of it. I think we are all going to 'heaven' and that we create our own hell on earth via our physical imperfections, in various forms. Only by focusing on, and feeding, our soul, which is what makes us, and all living things alive, do we stay close to God and his will.

    I further think prophets/messiahs must come from time to time throughout history to remind man that God is love, and the ultimate meaning of life.
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  2. #12
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    I don't think it is enough to believe in miracles.

    For the sake of argument though, let's presume this actually happened, that Jesus actually died and all the stuff in the bible is real.

    Let's also say that Satan is real, and that Satan, who even had contact with Jesus and persecuted him, must also know and believe that these miracles happened.

    Believing in the miracles doesn't save Satan, now does it?

  3. #13
    Senior Member EvidenceOfRedemption's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    ...
    I believe what you are saying is that you do not believe natural phenomena could be altered by Jesus and therefore can't believe the account about Jesus... I believe what you are asking is if someone can be a Christian without believing in the literal interpretation.

    To answer your question, no you cannot. The definition of Christian you're looking for is one who believes Jesus is God and creator, which is why He could create things quite literally when He took on flesh, and the permanence of death does not apply to Him since He is the only source of life.

    To say you are a born again Christian is to say that the Spirit of God has risen in you, is alive in you, and is the source of your eternal life by the faith God has given you.

  4. #14
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    I don't think it is enough to believe in miracles.

    For the sake of argument though, let's presume this actually happened, that Jesus actually died and all the stuff in the bible is real.

    Let's also say that Satan is real, and that Satan, who even had contact with Jesus and persecuted him, must also know and believe that these miracles happened.

    Believing in the miracles doesn't save Satan, now does it?
    If one accepts the Bible stories to generally be true, Satan understands God a lot better than we humans do, but hates him. He sure wouldn't want to go (or be accepted into) heaven in that state.

    It's not just belief in something's veracity, it's whether you have a heart that aligns with God's.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #15
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    If one accepts the Bible stories to generally be true, Satan understands God a lot better than we humans do, but hates him. He sure wouldn't want to go (or be accepted into) heaven in that state.

    It's not just belief in something's veracity, it's whether you have a heart that aligns with God's.
    Bingo.

    Also, James said:
    Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Interesting posts, its something I've thought about for some time, that belief in God means not simply suspecting or affirming the existence of a deity but "belief in" such as what people invest in anything which motivates particular choices and behaviour.

  7. #17
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Interesting posts, its something I've thought about for some time, that belief in God means not simply suspecting or affirming the existence of a deity but "belief in" such as what people invest in anything which motivates particular choices and behaviour.
    Exactly. And paradoxically, I think any God worth having will be able to tell the difference.

  8. #18
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I consider myself both agnostic and Christian. I don't think any of us can know for sure about the existence of God, etc. I believe in God and that as the creator of all things, natural laws do not bind him. I believe in Christianity for a few different reasons, not least of which is that it is the belief system in which I was raised. I love the Bible. I love Jesus. I love the story of redemption. I've internalized a lot of the teachings and worldview. If I'd been raised in another tradition, I would probably have internalized it. Who knows?

    I don't really have a problem with literalism, or sola scriptura. However, I qualify it with a lot of uncertainty about interpretation and context. Also, I recognize the apparent contradictions in scripture as more of a big tent thing: IOW, if one thing is said in one place and something else is said in another place, that means there is room for both things depending on the circumstance.

    I guess the one thing I have trouble really accepting is the Evangelical version of hell. I can't make myself believe that everybody who does not accept Jesus Christ as their 'personal Lord and Savior' burns for eternity. I recognize that I could be wrong, but I can't think that way.

    For myself, I mostly follow typical Evangelical lifestyle practices. Mostly. I read smutty novels and occasionally curse, which is considered bad. Oh, and I do not currently tithe. If, at some point do tithe, it will not be to my church, as is standard practice as I understand it. I would rather help the poor than feed a bloated bureaucracy and promote proselytization. Some of the way I live is habit. Some is conviction. Some is that I think it makes good sense, even if to only keep harmony in my family.

    My political beliefs are atypical for (Edit: White American) Evangelicals, but I do not believe they contradict my denomination's statement of faith. Most of the people in my denomination would disagree rather strongly.

    When it comes to things I'm not sure about, I believe in erring on the side of mercy and love. I try to show my love of God by my love of man. I fail with that a lot. As far as deciding what is right for other people, I go with more of the Wiccan philosophy: If nobody's being harmed, it's none of my beeswax. I only have to judge and rectify sin in my life, not anyone else's. Unless someone is being harmed without their consent. Then I need to try to do something about it when and where I can.

    So essentially, I do a lot of mental gymnastics and deal with a decent level of cognitive dissonance to hold to my faith. There are those who would, for that reason, not consider me a real Christian. My general attitude toward those people is screw 'em! Which goes to show that I'm not great with the love thing, but there you go. I think I'm a Christian, so I'm a Christian. If you think you're a Christian, then you're a Christian and if people don't like it.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #19
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Exactly. And paradoxically, I think any God worth having will be able to tell the difference.
    Hmm, do you mean that if one is an athiest or agnostic but avoids wrong doing you will find God's favour?

    Perhaps, although I dont think that faith in God is like that, I think faith in God or knowledge of God is more about relief of the sorts of feelings which accompany doubt or uncertainty.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I guess the one thing I have trouble really accepting is the Evangelical version of hell. I can't make myself believe that everybody who does not accept Jesus Christ as their 'personal Lord and Savior' burns for eternity. I recognize that I could be wrong, but I can't think that way.
    Rob Bell, who I consider an evangelical protestant, has proven that this is not biblically or scripturally based.

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