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Switch to Forum Live View Can I still be a Christian?
6 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2008 - 6:45PM #51
eklectic
Posts: 40
To Chris: Can I borrow your "A Liberal Christian's Open Letter to Jesus" for my forum? It's awesome and could probably start some good conversations.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 05, 2008 - 2:34PM #52
BethanieS
Posts: 3
Hey, you are what you call yourself! Don't let anyone categorize you! Why do you categorize yourself as Christian? Because you love and follow Chirst? If that's the case, I would call you a Christian.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2008 - 1:40AM #53
Pineblossom
Posts: 72
I find it interesting that some on the PC board questions another's claim to Christianity.  Somewhat contradictory I would have thought.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 05, 2008 - 1:37AM #54
Nevaeh1970
Posts: 2
Only one person knows your heart and that is you.  Only one person truly, truly knows your heart and that is Jesus Christ, himself?  If you are comfortable, and feel confident  knowing God knows what is in your heart, then believe as you do.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 1:40PM #55
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
[QUOTE=Starcomet;77471]Indeed, I know that the trinity was not officially created until the Nicean Council. Before that, I think a lot of Christian did not believe Jesus to be God.[/QUOTE]

There are many things, (the Trinity included) that were believed by the early Christians. The only reason that the council proclaimed the Trinity to be One God three divine persons was because groups came along to oppose the belief. So the council made sure that the correct teaching was made know. The Trinity  was always held as church dogma from day one . Most of these proclamations by the church were to  make known that any opposition was not what the church taught.
Check out the early writings of the church such as Ignatius of Antioch and see that he believed what is still believed today by the Catholic church
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 1:46PM #56
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
[QUOTE=CHARLY0;517480]What are the teachings of Jesus?  He didn't write anything out himself.  He left any writings to anonymous writers many years later (30 or so years) - were they led by magic information??[/QUOTE]

He also taught things that were orally transmitted. St. John says that all the books of the world could not hold his teaching. These oral teachings are what the Catholic church calls its tradition.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2008 - 2:45PM #57
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
[QUOTE=BetteTheRedde;191989]I understand the temptation, RE, but I feel very strongly that the very early Christians found something in Jesus that truly connected them to their divine selves. I would resent feeling forced to give up such a beautiful tradition as named because of the ugly cultural phenomenon that Corporate Christianity has become.[/QUOTE]

Bette;
I love the way you say it. Right on!
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 12, 2008 - 9:21PM #58
steve220
Posts: 33
[QUOTE=walkingeagles;607598]There are many things, (the Trinity included) that were believed by the early Christians. The only reason that the council proclaimed the Trinity to be One God three divine persons was because groups came along to oppose the belief. So the council made sure that the correct teaching was made know. The Trinity  was always held as church dogma from day one . Most of these proclamations by the church were to  make known that any opposition was not what the church taught.
Check out the early writings of the church such as Ignatius of Antioch and see that he believed what is still believed today by the Catholic church[/QUOTE]

While the New Testament itself can be used to support or deny Trinitarianism depending on how you read it, the idea of Jesus being God goes back to the 2nd century, if not earlier.  One of the earliest debates actually dealt with whether there was any humanity in Jesus, but his divinity was assumed.  The Docetists claimed that he was fully divine and only appeared to be human.  So the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds were designed to combat docetism and Arianism, the idea that Jesus was not God.  The Holy Spirit doesn't seem to cause as much fuss.

I can't imagine a bunch of Bishops arguing at the council and finally giving up and creating a new dogma that no one had ever heard of before, just so they could get on their camels/boats/deteriorating Roman roads and go home.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 10:44AM #59
bigbear6161
Posts: 3,796
Steve,
I agree that the belief about Jesus being God can be traced to fairly early in Church history and that hints of this can be seen in the Johanine gospel tradition and some of the later Pauline letters.  However, these hints are basically a transitory Christology at a given snapshot in time on the way toward more developed and explicit trinitarian formulae.  Obviously there is not only a dance between unitarianism and trinitarianism in our understanding of Jesus but also between a dual nature (fully God and fully man) and a gnostic or Docetist (only God or only spirit) tradition.  It would be interesting to find out how long (if for any length of time) these various traditions existed peacefully within the early Christian movement, a true heterodoxy (different teachings), and if people felt that one could dance different dances at different times (perhaps in different "musical" contexts).  Ultimately, the (sad) fact of history  is that people felt the need to drive toward an orthodoxy which was formalized at Nicea.  Now, I am a Catholic and say the Nicean Creed every Sunday at Mass so I don't feel that a trinitarian formula is a bad thing, only that it should be able to co-exist with a unitarian formula when that facet of understanding is called for (example - when trying to understand the historical Jesus as opposed to the mythological Christ).  At other times, seeing Jesus as of the same substance as God makes sense to me (example - when recognizing that he had connected so completely to his father, his source and ground of being, that he had realized an identity with the All, and that this realization is available to each and every one of us too).  I don't agree with Walking Eagles that the Church defines the one truth which was held from Jesus' time on through the late Classical days (and through to our era) and simply clarifies this for us to counter incorrect teachings that arise.  That belief to me seems unsupportable and certainly most would not see it as a "progressive Christian" belief.  It sounds to me as ultramontanist and is precisely what many of us progressive Christians (from both Catholic and Protestant traditions) would like the Church to move away from in its understanding of what the Church is and what it means.  The basic point of my overly long and pedantic response is that if one has a diamond of insurmountable beauty, but only looks at one of its facets, then one will not fully understand or appreciate the totality of the jewel.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 4:51AM #60
URK(S.B.)
Posts: 373
[QUOTE=Starcomet;76415]Many people do not call me a Christian because I do not believe in the trinity or many doctrines. Even  some atheist and agnostic say I do not sound like a Christian. But regardless of they think, I still hold that I am a Christian albeit free/progressive. What do you all think?[/QUOTE]
I have seen some of your posts & think that you are off on many layers of the word.I have even checked your profile to see if you did claim to be a Christian.I am a non denominational Christian and I think that it is good not to embrace all the common doctorines.The word tells us about traditions of man and many of the actions we see with in many churches.Denomination meaning seperation and Church meaning group of God's followers a denomination would be a seperation of THE Church!I would say that if you are interested in Christ and his teachings and trust in the word that you should not turn away from that .I would suggest study tools and time set aside to study away from Bnet.My favorite study group is listed on my profile and sources and tools are listed in my journal entry-Sources!
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