What is the minimum belief of your religion?

I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine who study "religious studies" at the university, about the minimum requirement to be a christian. I am an atheist myself, so I won't pretend to know what the minimum beliefs are. But my friend said that it was to believe - metaphorically - in the resurrection story. Nothing more.

So I would ask the Christians on this board is she correct?

And to believers of other religions what is the minimum of your religion?

Gorr:
I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine who study "religious studies" at the university, about the minimum requirement to be a christian. I am an atheist myself, so I won't pretend to know what the minimum beliefs are. But my friend said that it was to believe - metaphorically - in the resurrection story. Nothing more.

So I would ask the Christians on this board is she correct?

And to believers of other religions what is the minimum of your religion?

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

Kaulen Fuhs:

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

Gorr:
But my friend said that it was to believe - metaphorically - in the resurrection story. Nothing more.
So I would ask the Christians on this board is she correct?

I'm not Christian, but I'd caution that it's probably going to vary massively between different Christian sects.

For example, the Church of England is notoriously laid back about what you should believe in to be a member, whereas the Catholic Church and others aren't so much. I'd expect there to be even greater disparity elsewhere.

Gorr:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

That seems to me so utterly... bizarre.

If he didn't actually die... what's the point, I'd ask?

But thank you for humoring my question.

For Jews, I suppose the first and most important thing is to believe that there is one G-d, creator of the Universe. That isn't close to enough to be a good person though. I don't remember who said it, but it was something to the effect that there are a zillion souls in hell that believe that too. We don't want to join them.

EDIT: That's on theology. On conduct, the Golden Rule. Do until others as you'd have them do unto you.

I am an atheist, so my opinion on this is very likely wrong, but i was a christian when i was young.
There is really no limit for christianity here. some people consider going to church once a month a sign of Christianity, others believe that swearing make you a non-chistian, it really depends on a person as it is essentially a personal belief, for being a christian does no actual factual change.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Gorr:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

That seems to me so utterly... bizarre.

If he didn't actually die... what's the point, I'd ask?

But thank you for humoring my question.

No, it is more like he died and stayed dead, and his "rising up" was a metaphor of afterlife.

The "minimum requirements" to be a Christian, I think, have already been stated in the Nicene Creed.

Witty Name Here:
The "minimum requirements" to be a Christian, I think, have already been stated in the Nicene Creed.

Well, in theory, but didn't the Arrians have major power within Christianity for some time despite that?

Witty Name Here:
The "minimum requirements" to be a Christian, I think, have already been stated in the Nicene Creed.

This basically, but TL;DR of it, Jesus Christ is the son of God and died for our sins. At least for the CofE

Source: my father, former CofE Priest, current Prison chaplain.

Edit: obviously alittle more strict for other sects of Christianty/religions.

To be a christian (without defining specific subgroups)?

Belief that Jesus was Christ, son of God, and that he was killed for your sins on the cross and then resurrected.

That's it. Very simple. Everyone who accepts the above can truthfully claim to be a christian.

To be a christian of a specific sect might have more requirements, such as the catholics who must adhere to catholic dogma: consider the Pope to be a vicar of Christ, believe in the transsubstantiation in the Holy Communion (that is, that one is eating a piece of bread that literally transforms in substance to become the body of christ), and so on. Precise requirements vary from group to group.

To me the divinity of Jesus isn't a requirement for Christianity. Those that accept Jesus as the true messiah and the son of God, which is what he claimed to be, are Christian.

Buddhist here. Pretty much the minimum is the Four Noble Truths and the eightfold PAth: which are thus
1) There is suffering (dukkha, also craving)
2)Suffering arises from ignorance (namely of reality and the self as well as the nature of dukkha)
3)Suffering can be ended
4) That way is the Eight-fold Path (Usually represented as the eight-spoked Dharmachakra)

THe EIghtfold PAth is basically like commandments but less rigid. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

Gorr:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

Interesting. Christianity, as I see it, tells us that you must believe Jesus died on the cross, died for our sins, and was resurrected. That is what is required to be accepted into Heaven. However, there was an important distinction made regarding acting Christian and being Christian. Many people believed that to be accepted by God they must prove themselves holy enough, and this was one of the most common things Jesus had to clear up with those he taught. Many people believed that worship and acting holy will get you into Heaven, but what was specifically taught is that you must believe wholly that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross to save us from sin, because that alone will free us.

Long story short, belief of his resurrection as real is necessary. Apologies for the bit of ramble.

Singularly Datarific:

Gorr:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Huh. I was a Christian for 18 years, but I never heard of believing in the "metaphorical" resurrection. Could you perhaps enlighten me on that subject, if your friend told you what it meant?

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

Interesting. Christianity, as I see it, tells us that you must believe Jesus died on the cross, died for our sins, and was resurrected. That is what is required to be accepted into Heaven. However, there was an important distinction made regarding acting Christian and being Christian. Many people believed that to be accepted by God they must prove themselves holy enough, and this was one of the most common things Jesus had to clear up with those he taught. Many people believed that worship and acting holy will get you into Heaven, but what was specifically taught is that you must believe wholly that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross to save us from sin, because that alone will free us.

Long story short, belief of his resurrection as real is necessary. Apologies for the bit of ramble.

Does this mean that you can ignore every other part of the bible?

Gorr:

Does this mean that you can ignore every other part of the bible?

It's questions like that, that lead to atheism... :P

Gorr:
[quote="Singularly Datarific" post="528.408159.17050459"]

Does this mean that you can ignore every other part of the bible?

Yup. Considering it's a mish-mash that various groups have squeezed together into one quite holy book that's pretty easy. (Not to mention the different translations, but everyone knows KJV is best.)

Hafrael:

Gorr:
[quote="Singularly Datarific" post="528.408159.17050459"]

Does this mean that you can ignore every other part of the bible?

Yup. Considering it's a mish-mash that various groups have squeezed together into one quite holy book that's pretty easy. (Not to mention the different translations, but everyone knows KJV is best.)

maybe but as a Scots Protestant by birth its always been made clear to me that book was written by fallible men and many of the KJ passages were manipulated to serve someone else's agenda.

the most infamous of which are the bits about "witches"...ye see King James himself was something of a cripple (not of anything they could pin down but he seemed to suffer from many constant ailments that weighed heavily on him) and the common street level opinion was that his mother had been cursed by witches...the outcome partly being the poor health of her child...as a result James (who also studied them and considered witchcraft a branch of theology...possibly it has been suggested in an attempt to find a "counter spell") had a bit of a hard on for their persecution and when the creation of the bible came along...well lets just say he made sure he had plenty of justification.

(his mother Mary Queen of Scots wasn't well liked to put it mildly..she was a Catholic queen who deliberately styled herself akin to "The Madonna" while ruling what was rapidly becoming a fervently Protestant nation...and she had a pretty "non pious" and "scandalous" royal sex life...)

that some people in the modern world see the KJ bible as "the literal word of God" is actually quite astounding given the culture that created it ie Scots Protestantism always believed it was no such thing and should be read "with a critical eye"...but still with the (personal) goal of finding the deeper religious truth within..."between the lines" so to speak.

unfortunately this personal interpretation business (and undertaking to teach us all to read in order to serve it) didn't serve the church well and resulted in numerous skisms and a growth in critical thought and reason bordering onto Atheism as the general population became more educated and widely read.

Gorr:

Singularly Datarific:

Gorr:

She meant that you don't have to believe that Jesus was actually crucified. It is the symbolism of it that is important.

Interesting. Christianity, as I see it, tells us that you must believe Jesus died on the cross, died for our sins, and was resurrected. That is what is required to be accepted into Heaven. However, there was an important distinction made regarding acting Christian and being Christian. Many people believed that to be accepted by God they must prove themselves holy enough, and this was one of the most common things Jesus had to clear up with those he taught. Many people believed that worship and acting holy will get you into Heaven, but what was specifically taught is that you must believe wholly that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross to save us from sin, because that alone will free us.

Long story short, belief of his resurrection as real is necessary. Apologies for the bit of ramble.

Does this mean that you can ignore every other part of the bible?

His resurrection is the key point, as it separates Christianity from other religions right then and there. It is better not to ignore the other parts of the bible, but those parts aren't what defines the faith as something distinct. I do believe you can ignore the other parts of the bible and still be saved, I just wouldn't recommend it, if you get what I mean. It's not that it's a penalty or that those who read the bible more are holier or something, but the faith is supposed to be a relationship with God, and simply using him as a means to an end is not what he intended and isn't best for us, either.

Singularly Datarific:
...
His resurrection is the key point, as it separates Christianity from other religions right then and there. It is better not to ignore the other parts of the bible, but those parts aren't what defines the faith as something distinct. I do believe you can ignore the other parts of the bible and still be saved, I just wouldn't recommend it, if you get what I mean. It's not that it's a penalty or that those who read the bible more are holier or something, but the faith is supposed to be a relationship with God, and simply using him as a means to an end is not what he intended and isn't best for us, either.

And if you believe in an almighty God then he would know your true intentions of believing in him and thus making a cynical calculation obsolete.

That's the Danish approach to religion. The one where "love thy neighbour" might very well mean with a dildo, in spite of that obviously having nothing to do with the original intention of the relevant authoritative text.

Danes suck at understanding the dogmatic nature of religion. For which they should overall be very thankful, and which overall speak positively about the economic and mental affluence of the nation. Doesn't change the fact that they fail to understand it.

Sleekit:
snip

I just like it because IMO it has by far the most beautiful prose.

Plus I have this massive 150+ year old bible that has the most beautiful illuminations and of course its a KJV.

Lunar Shadow:
Buddhist here. Pretty much the minimum is the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Didn't you forget the Five Precepts there?

Witty Name Here:
and is seated at the right hand of the Father

That's why they excommunicated me. But I stand by it, he sits left of god!
Damn you Vatican, I'll just make my own church! With blackjack. And hookers.

Gorr:
I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine who study "religious studies" at the university, about the minimum requirement to be a christian. I am an atheist myself, so I won't pretend to know what the minimum beliefs are. But my friend said that it was to believe - metaphorically - in the resurrection story. Nothing more.

So I would ask the Christians on this board is she correct?

And to believers of other religions what is the minimum of your religion?

No offense, but I think your friend has a lot to learn about Christianity before she fully understands this. In truth, it varies wildly from denomination to denomination. "Christianity" isn't one lump sum of similar people with similar beliefs. For example, her bare minimum would not fulfill the requirements of Mormonism, who also have a lot of stuff in the book of Mormon they have to accept. The book of Mormon is exclusive to Mormonism, so no other denomination has that requirement.

Baptists tend to have pretty strong requirements regarding baptism, though again that varies within the denomination and between different individual churches and congregations. And as for non-Protestant denominations, Catholicism also varies wildly on the "minimum" requirements, and I'm not exactly sure what those usually are, but I know they can sometimes be pretty strict about what you're supposed to contribute to the church.

So, first and foremost it depends on who you ask and which denomination's measuring stick they're using. If you want to go by the "Biblical minimal," as in what Jesus personally says he wants, then I'm tempted to say it's "Love your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength" line. However, during the last supper he does personally say his blood and body was given for forgiveness. I'm not sure what he specifically says about actively believing in that, I think it's perfectly possible to love God but not believe in that (I guess that would sort of make you a Jew). And then the question you have to ask is, is there just one path to heaven? Are we really expected to look at all these conflicting opinions and find the ONLY right way?

So, yeah. Complicated issue. I think in certain cases your friend might be right, but the situation is so more complex than that. Christianity isn't one, homogenous lump of beliefs you can just read off like a shopping list. It's a big ball of debate that's been going on for centuries, and will continue to go for centuries more.

Though I think it is interesting your friend mentioned metaphorically believing in the resurrection, not literally. If you want to read more on that, I recommend looking up some stuff by a guy named John Spong. There's some great videos of interviews and lectures with him on YouTube, and he's got quite a few books that are geared specifically toward explaining the Bible and Christianity to non-Christians. He is a devout Christian (an Episcopal priest, specifically) Christian, but he doesn't believe in the literal resurrection, he doesn't believe Mary was a virgin, and he has the most thoroughly academic approach to reading and understanding the Bible that I have ever seen, especially when it comes to religious Biblical scholars. If you're looking for a different introduction to Christian theology that isn't full of all that conversion crap that tends to come with typical Bible 101 lessons from Christians, he's your man.

Belief in God. Seems like a rather simple answer.

Gorr:
I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine who study "religious studies" at the university, about the minimum requirement to be a christian. I am an atheist myself, so I won't pretend to know what the minimum beliefs are. But my friend said that it was to believe - metaphorically - in the resurrection story. Nothing more.

So I would ask the Christians on this board is she correct?

And to believers of other religions what is the minimum of your religion?

Speaking from experiences, it depends.

Some Christians might think you only need to believe that Jesus died for your sins. You can reject the OT, bieve in evolution and all that and be okay. While others believe that you must believe in everything. The OT and NT, creationism ect.

Really, it can widely differ person to person and sect to sect.

hmm, in Sweden I would say that many Christians would see Christianity as a combination of a cultural heritage and some common values. The belief in the divine(be it Jesus or God) is in it self not necessary.

So basically the minimum belief according to some is pretty much zero(other who call themselves Christians would demand more of course)

Although I'm agnostic now, I was brought up to believe that all Christians believe that Jesus is God made man to die for us on the cross and save our sins. Everything else is up for debate, but most Christians essentially believe in one or another interpretation of the Bible in as it is in the most commonly accepted canon.

Anyone not accepting these basic beliefs isn't considered a true Christian in the denomination I was brought up in.

Big_Willie_Styles:
Belief in God. Seems like a rather simple answer.

That's probably the fuzziest definition possible. Does "belief in god" make me a Jew? Christian? Muslim? At that, does "belief in a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god" make me Sikh? Bahá'í?
"Belief in God" is only a useful description if the question is "what is the minimum belief to not be an atheist?", for everything else it's pretty much useless since this is about specific belief requirements for a religious denomination. Belief in a god can mean Judaism or Christianity, belief that Jesus was the messiah narrows it down to all the branches of Christianity, belief that you can become more holy through the imitation of Christ and unceasing prayer narrows it to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Think of it as a decision tree. At the moment you're standing all the way at the top saying "yup, got it covered" while the actual goal is to find the fastest way down to a denomination at the bottom.

... well that turned out longer and ranty-er than I thought. Apologies.

Because there isn't just one Christian denomination, the minimum requirement for "being Christian" is pretty much just saying "I'm a Christian."

On the other hand, I'd say the minimum requirement for salvation in Christianity is accepting Jesus (not just believing, but more as a role model, because as Gorfias pointed out, "the devils also believe, and tremble")(James 2:19)

In other words, accepting Jesus's resurrection academically as fact is enough to label you a Christian, but not enough to make you a "good" Christian. You also have to demonstrate that you want to be saved. By loving your neighbor... and saying "please" when you get to the pearly gates... and... stuff. <.<

Quaxar:

Big_Willie_Styles:
Belief in God. Seems like a rather simple answer.

That's probably the fuzziest definition possible. Does "belief in god" make me a Jew? Christian? Muslim? At that, does "belief in a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent god" make me Sikh? Bahá'í?
"Belief in God" is only a useful description if the question is "what is the minimum belief to not be an atheist?", for everything else it's pretty much useless since this is about specific belief requirements for a religious denomination. Belief in a god can mean Judaism or Christianity, belief that Jesus was the messiah narrows it down to all the branches of Christianity, belief that you can become more holy through the imitation of Christ and unceasing prayer narrows it to Eastern Orthodoxy.

Think of it as a decision tree. At the moment you're standing all the way at the top saying "yup, got it covered" while the actual goal is to find the fastest way down to a denomination at the bottom.

... well that turned out longer and ranty-er than I thought. Apologies.

Belief in God and Jesus Christ as my Savior. There we go.

Quaxar:

Lunar Shadow:
Buddhist here. Pretty much the minimum is the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path

Didn't you forget the Five Precepts there?

Witty Name Here:
and is seated at the right hand of the Father

That's why they excommunicated me. But I stand by it, he sits left of god!
Damn you Vatican, I'll just make my own church! With blackjack. And hookers.

Nope, was talking about he barest of minimums. Though I do follow (most, i like my booze) the Precepts.

 

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