What must a Christian believe?

I considered the creed, except the belief in one holy catholic and apostolic church. Why does it matter how many churches one believes in so long as they are members of it?
"Catholic" in this sense means the complete church - catholic with a small c. It doesn't refer to Roman Catholicism.
 
Agreed, so my thinking is that these essential doctrines are essential because they provide a facet for one to do good deeds and service to God.

Of course, IMO there is also the problem of not repenting sin and not emanating virtue. As I see it now, these are things God works with you on as long as one is humble to the Holy Spirit. I believe that is sort of the mysterious part of faith, the part we can't fully put into words.



I personally believe in The virgin birth, however I understand it as a sign of the Messiah and fulfillment of prophesy. I don't know if it would bar someone from communion to not believe it if they still knew He was the messiah.

What I would ask, though, is how much Christology must someone know? If they need not know it but just cannot contest it when they do know it, what about Unitarians, etc.

The reality of the Virgin Birth has been affirmed by the church at least as far back as when the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written. It is affirmed in the Church’s earliest creedal affirmation, The Old Roman Symbol (or the Roman Baptismal Creed), dating from no later than the second century (during which time it is cited by both Tertullian and Irenaeus).

The fact that Mary had not been defiled by man, means that Jesus the human being was incarnated and born from a womb that was without the nature of sin.
 
Is believing in the Trinity really required? The only reason I ask is because it seems some people get really confused about the Trinity. I'd say that you have to believe that Jesus was God in human form, He was sinless, and He was crucified for our sins. I don't know what else would really be required. I would like to think that salvation requires very little intelligence.





I don't consider any belief about the Bible to be required for salvation. I'd say that the Bible is a blessing, but the story could have been passed orally and Christianity would, hopefully, be similar.

Agreed.

Romans 10:9.......
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believ in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved".
 
What is the Church? I'm not asking "which one is it?" but what is it?

I tend to replace Church with Faith, in which case I agree. I'm on the ecumenist side of things so for me schisms don't destroy the faith but they hinder its effect on the world. Its hard to make disciples when Catholics and Protestants are tugging in different directions.

In that case the church is those people who carry on the apostolic faith. Whether someone believes that Islam is also an acceptable faith is not relevant IMO to whether they are Christian. That is why I question the Nicene Creed as a definitive statement about dogmatic principles.
 
The reality of the Virgin Birth has been affirmed by the church at least as far back as when the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written. It is affirmed in the Church’s earliest creedal affirmation, The Old Roman Symbol (or the Roman Baptismal Creed), dating from no later than the second century (during which time it is cited by both Tertullian and Irenaeus).

The fact that Mary had not been defiled by man, means that Jesus the human being was incarnated and born from a womb that was without the nature of sin.

I'm not really comfortable talking about this, especially since I don't agree with those who question the virgin birth.

However, several things bothered me about that statement.

1) it is not theologically accurate because the virgin birth has nothing to do with the transfer of original sin. If you are going to take that line Mary would needed to have lived a sinless life since Christ took His flesh from Mary.

Personally I do believe this from a theological perspective. But I don't believe it is an article of faith.

2) And this is the most bothersome. Martial relations do not defile a person.
 
Without belief the Bible is God's Word, everything falls apart and belief in Christ is silliness. If one believes just the basics, i.e.
1--God is One
2--God is the triunion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
3--The Son of God became man (Jesus Christ), lived perfectly, and conferred the faith of the New Covenant
4--Jesus Christ was crucified as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity for all time
5--God is love and we must love God and love others

then, how and where did they get this belief? Words and opinion of a flawed human? Jesus could do to them what He did to Saul of Tarsus, and they would have a foundation of belief, but that is not the norm. A lot of stories get passed down generation to generation, but why would anyone believe it without the witnesses own testimony? Where is the witnesses testimony but in the Bible? This is the craziness of the cafeteria Bible believers. They use their own perceptions of right and wrong to pick and choose what they definitely believe, and explain away all that they may be "uncomfortable" with. "My God is love and wouldn't do X, Y or Z." Mostly they can't come to terms nor comprehend why God did this or that, or why He created or allows such and such.
Jesus didn't say "follow me when it is convenient" or "when you can work me into your schedule". Why did He spend all that time teaching? There were other teachers. Why say "take up your cross and follow me" and "let the dead bury the dead" and "who is my mother and brother?"?
Jesus didn't say, "Believe anything about me, just so you don't get called a fundie." He didn't say, "Blessed are the politically correct". He said, "The world will hate you for My name's sake." If the world loves you, you are probably believing the wrong thing. If you agree with the world so as to not be labeled a "hater" or "phobic", you may be on the wrong path.
 
I'm not really comfortable talking about this, especially since I don't agree with those who question the virgin birth.

However, several things bothered me about that statement.

1) it is not theologically accurate because the virgin birth has nothing to do with the transfer of original sin. If you are going to take that line Mary would needed to have lived a sinless life since Christ took His flesh from Mary.

Personally I do believe this from a theological perspective. But I don't believe it is an article of faith.

2) And this is the most bothersome. Martial relations do not defile a person.
The scriptures disagree with both statements, but ok...
 
I'm not really comfortable talking about this, especially since I don't agree with those who question the virgin birth.

However, several things bothered me about that statement.

1) it is not theologically accurate because the virgin birth has nothing to do with the transfer of original sin. If you are going to take that line Mary would needed to have lived a sinless life since Christ took His flesh from Mary.

Personally I do believe this from a theological perspective. But I don't believe it is an article of faith.

2) And this is the most bothersome. Martial relations do not defile a person.

My apologizes brother. You said in your 1st post ..........
"I've been doing extensive research into ecumenism which I am fond of."
I would like to respond to your last comment and then if you so chose we can leave this alone so as to allow you to not feel uncomfortable about this.

I just assumed that you had thought about and considered how important the virgin birth of Jesus was when doing that research.

1).
Did Jesus need the virgin birth to be sinless? No, he was already sinless as the eternal Son of God before His birth. In Luke 1:32 he is called the Son of the most high. v.35 he is called "that Holy one", "the Son of God". He is also called in Mt.1:23 "Emmanuel", all these titles are of God himself who is without sin. Heb. 4:15 tells us "he was at all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." 2 Cor. 5:21, " For he made him who had no sin to be sin for us;" (also 1 Pt.2:22, and 1 Jn. 3:5.) This is the reason that God became man- to be a sacrifice for all mankind's sin.
This is why there was the necessity for a virgin birth. We find that the sin nature is passed on specifically through the male. Rom. 5:12 tells us sin entered the world through one man and that everyone is given a built in death warrant because of their sin nature.
What was necessary is that God enter the world like anyone else so that He could be a genuine human. If he was born of both a human Father and mother there could have been no authentic claim to be deity, he would be no different than any of us. On the other hand if he had come with no relation to human parentage then he could not claim to be a genuine human. The perfect solution worked out from before the foundation of the world and prophesied in Gen.3:15 the seed of the woman, a virgin birth.

2).
We are not talking about sexual relations defiling aperson. We are focused on the Son of God who came from a womb that had not experienced sex because It is the male seed where the sin nature is passed on. By having the virgin birth, this bypassed the natural process to insure no sin nature was transferred to the female chromosome.
 
Without belief the Bible is God's Word, everything falls apart and belief in Christ is silliness. If one believes just the basics, i.e.
1--God is One
2--God is the triunion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
3--The Son of God became man (Jesus Christ), lived perfectly, and conferred the faith of the New Covenant
4--Jesus Christ was crucified as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity for all time
5--God is love and we must love God and love others

then, how and where did they get this belief? Words and opinion of a flawed human? Jesus could do to them what He did to Saul of Tarsus, and they would have a foundation of belief, but that is not the norm. A lot of stories get passed down generation to generation, but why would anyone believe it without the witnesses own testimony? Where is the witnesses testimony but in the Bible? This is the craziness of the cafeteria Bible believers. They use their own perceptions of right and wrong to pick and choose what they definitely believe, and explain away all that they may be "uncomfortable" with. "My God is love and wouldn't do X, Y or Z." Mostly they can't come to terms nor comprehend why God did this or that, or why He created or allows such and such.
Jesus didn't say "follow me when it is convenient" or "when you can work me into your schedule". Why did He spend all that time teaching? There were other teachers. Why say "take up your cross and follow me" and "let the dead bury the dead" and "who is my mother and brother?"?
Jesus didn't say, "Believe anything about me, just so you don't get called a fundie." He didn't say, "Blessed are the politically correct". He said, "The world will hate you for My name's sake." If the world loves you, you are probably believing the wrong thing. If you agree with the world so as to not be labeled a "hater" or "phobic", you may be on the wrong path.

Let me pose it to you like this. If there is a written law, and someone says, "I don't believe that is a law," but follows the law nonetheless, are they guilty of breaking it?

Is believing the inspiration of scripture relevant to holding the Christian faith? I've been grappling with that one, because the inspiration of scripture is an integral part of Christian faith, certainly, but I don't know if that is a tenant.

And for your last paragraph, I implore you to remain steadfast in your faith and believe in it with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. But never let that be an excuse to be arrogant or believe that there is nothing more you have to learn. Our Lord even chose in His divinely human nature to not know the time when God would bring the world to an end. If the wisest man who ever lived did not know everything, how much more can we learn?

The scriptures disagree with both statements, but ok...

Both points come largely from an Augustinian interpretation. It is also exclusive to the west. In eastern Christianity, where Maximos the confessor influenced theology more strongly, both the concepts of the guilt of original sin and the inherent immorality of sexual relations are largely absent. This is one reason why contraception is perfectly acceptable in Eastern Orthodox Churches, even though they are condemned by the Catholic Church.

Original sin as it pertains to a curse that brings death and more sin, that is Biblical, the concept that we are culpable for Adam's sin is a later interpretation. And martial relations are healthy and encouraged in the Bible in both testaments.
 
Let me pose it to you like this. If there is a written law, and someone says, "I don't believe that is a law," but follows the law nonetheless, are they guilty of breaking it?

Is believing the inspiration of scripture relevant to holding the Christian faith? I've been grappling with that one, because the inspiration of scripture is an integral part of Christian faith, certainly, but I don't know if that is a tenant.

And for your last paragraph, I implore you to remain steadfast in your faith and believe in it with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. But never let that be an excuse to be arrogant or believe that there is nothing more you have to learn. Our Lord even chose in His divinely human nature to not know the time when God would bring the world to an end. If the wisest man who ever lived did not know everything, how much more can we learn?



Both points come largely from an Augustinian interpretation. It is also exclusive to the west. In eastern Christianity, where Maximos the confessor influenced theology more strongly, both the concepts of the guilt of original sin and the inherent immorality of sexual relations are largely absent. This is one reason why contraception is perfectly acceptable in Eastern Orthodox Churches, even though they are condemned by the Catholic Church.

Original sin as it pertains to a curse that brings death and more sin, that is Biblical, the concept that we are culpable for Adam's sin is a later interpretation. And martial relations are healthy and encouraged in the Bible in both testaments.
I haven't a clue what you're talking about. You either believe the word of God in the plain text or you don't. Anything anyone, including me, says is useless if it's contrary to the word of God. That why we have 41,000 denominations in "Christianity" ...
 

Glomung

Account Closed
This is one reason why contraception is perfectly acceptable in Eastern Orthodox Churches, even though they are condemned by the Catholic Church.

I don't know where you are getting that. Contraception is NOT acceptable in the Orthodox Church.
Anything that interferes with the natural process of fertilization and birth is forbidden.
 
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Let me pose it to you like this. If there is a written law, and someone says, "I don't believe that is a law," but follows the law nonetheless, are they guilty of breaking it?

Is believing the inspiration of scripture relevant to holding the Christian faith? I've been grappling with that one, because the inspiration of scripture is an integral part of Christian faith, certainly, but I don't know if that is a tenant.

And for your last paragraph, I implore you to remain steadfast in your faith and believe in it with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. But never let that be an excuse to be arrogant or believe that there is nothing more you have to learn. Our Lord even chose in His divinely human nature to not know the time when God would bring the world to an end. If the wisest man who ever lived did not know everything, how much more can we learn?



Both points come largely from an Augustinian interpretation. It is also exclusive to the west. In eastern Christianity, where Maximos the confessor influenced theology more strongly, both the concepts of the guilt of original sin and the inherent immorality of sexual relations are largely absent. This is one reason why contraception is perfectly acceptable in Eastern Orthodox Churches, even though they are condemned by the Catholic Church.

Original sin as it pertains to a curse that brings death and more sin, that is Biblical, the concept that we are culpable for Adam's sin is a later interpretation. And martial relations are healthy and encouraged in the Bible in both testaments.

I'm trying to understand where you're coming from but having a tough time.
I understand your analogy with the law, but I'm still confused. Is it selective passages that Mr. Christian believes and chooses not to believe the rest are validly inspired by God, or is it that he believes the entire Bible is fallible but still thinks it's useful?

Also, Glomung is right. The Orthodox Church continues to reject contraception of all forms.
 
My apologizes brother. You said in your 1st post ..........
"I've been doing extensive research into ecumenism which I am fond of."
I would like to respond to your last comment and then if you so chose we can leave this alone so as to allow you to not feel uncomfortable about this.

I don't mind theological discussions, but I don't like discussing the personal life of St. Mary. Just when you posting think, "would I post this if I were talking about Godspell's mother." If it seems offensive then just tread carefully.

I just assumed that you had thought about and considered how important the virgin birth of Jesus was when doing that research.

Understand, I personally think it is absolutely an important aspect of the faith. I'm trying to decide if someone could conceivably reject it, or at least not sincerely believe in it, and still be a Christian.

Did Jesus need the virgin birth to be sinless? No, he was already sinless as the eternal Son of God before His birth. In Luke 1:32 he is called the Son of the most high. v.35 he is called "that Holy one", "the Son of God". He is also called in Mt.1:23 "Emmanuel", all these titles are of God himself who is without sin. Heb. 4:15 tells us "he was at all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." 2 Cor. 5:21, " For he made him who had no sin to be sin for us;" (also 1 Pt.2:22, and 1 Jn. 3:5.) This is the reason that God became man- to be a sacrifice for all mankind's sin.
This is why there was the necessity for a virgin birth. We find that the sin nature is passed on specifically through the male. Rom. 5:12 tells us sin entered the world through one man and that everyone is given a built in death warrant because of their sin nature.

The reference to Christ being the new Adam, but, again, this is the point where I disagree with, the guilt of original sin is not passed on. Only the nature or inclination, and the curse which is death. Christ of course died, but being He was perfect man and perfect God He ultimately defeated sin.


What was necessary is that God enter the world like anyone else so that He could be a genuine human. If he was born of both a human Father and mother there could have been no authentic claim to be deity, he would be no different than any of us. On the other hand if he had come with no relation to human parentage then he could not claim to be a genuine human. The perfect solution worked out from before the foundation of the world and prophesied in Gen.3:15 the seed of the woman, a virgin birth.

This is a good point. Could someone believe in Christ's divinity without believing in the conception by the Holy Spirit.

I think it could be done, but it would be an obvious contradiction.

I suppose its perhaps a doctrine that you could conceivably doubt, but you can't reject it because that would quickly lead to other important theologies being mutilated.

2).
We are not talking about sexual relations defiling aperson. We are focused on the Son of God who came from a womb that had not experienced sex because It is the male seed where the sin nature is passed on. By having the virgin birth, this bypassed the natural process to insure no sin nature was transferred to the female chromosome.

This is very pseudo-scientific. For one, there is what I believe is the flawed theology that guilt is transferred. But, even if it was, scripture is far more indicative that sin is passed through the female flesh, not the male seed. And we know medically now, that both partners contribute equally to the genetic construct and flesh of the child, meaning that sin nature and tendency to death is equally from man and woman.
 
I'm trying to understand where you're coming from but having a tough time.
I understand your analogy with the law, but I'm still confused. Is it selective passages that Mr. Christian believes and chooses not to believe the rest are validly inspired by God, or is it that he believes the entire Bible is fallible but still thinks it's useful?

That is the tricky thing. But look at it this way, does a person need to believe what the Bible says, or believe that the Bible is infallible.

Could someone pick and choose scripture and happen to choose all the right scripture necessary for salvation? I think so.

IMO inspiration of scripture is a theological fact but not an article of faith.

Also, Glomung is right. The Orthodox Church continues to reject contraception of all forms.

I will defer to Glomung here, since I know he was Orthodox, (or is still), but from what I've heard from Orthodox clergy is that contraception is permissible provided it is not used to indefinitely prohibit procreation. That is a couple must be open to kids. And that the contraception is not an abortifacient.

From the GO Arch website:

"Because of the lack of a full understanding of the implications of the biology of reproduction, earlier writers tended to identify abortion with contraception. However, of late a new view has taken hold among Orthodox writers and thinkers on this topic, which permits the use of certain contraceptive practices within marriage for the purpose of spacing children, enhancing the expression of marital love, and protecting health."

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/controversialissues
 
Let me pose it to you like this. If there is a written law, and someone says, "I don't believe that is a law," but follows the law nonetheless, are they guilty of breaking it?

Is believing the inspiration of scripture relevant to holding the Christian faith? I've been grappling with that one, because the inspiration of scripture is an integral part of Christian faith, certainly, but I don't know if that is a tenant.

And for your last paragraph, I implore you to remain steadfast in your faith and believe in it with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. But never let that be an excuse to be arrogant or believe that there is nothing more you have to learn. Our Lord even chose in His divinely human nature to not know the time when God would bring the world to an end. If the wisest man who ever lived did not know everything, how much more can we learn?
I agree very much on your response to me. Not everything is specifically addressed in scripture and revelations can and are had, as long as they agree with scripture. He said we could do greater things than these.

As to the law, if you follow the law even though you don't agree with it, yes you are following the law. But law is not what we are talking about. If you want to call "show love" a law, I guess you could. That is more a general directive. The Law is dead to us now. The Holy Spirit directs us as to right and wrong using conviction and learning of His Word.

Is the divine inspiration of scripture a tenant? I suppose you could say no, but what, then, holds you fast to your faith? The winds of many well spoken people will blow your faith in many directions without a source to check them by. We saw that throughout history with ecclesiastical authorities leading the masses astray. The Bible was not available to them at the time and they had no way to confirm or disprove any teaching, except for whatever tradition was taught to them. Then when the Bible was made available, we saw people be able to discern the wolf in sheep's clothing. This caused all the denominational divides, but we are closer to knowing the Truth than we were before.
 
I don't mind theological discussions, but I don't like discussing the personal life of St. Mary. Just when you posting think, "would I post this if I were talking about Godspell's mother." If it seems offensive then just tread carefully.



Understand, I personally think it is absolutely an important aspect of the faith. I'm trying to decide if someone could conceivably reject it, or at least not sincerely believe in it, and still be a Christian.



The reference to Christ being the new Adam, but, again, this is the point where I disagree with, the guilt of original sin is not passed on. Only the nature or inclination, and the curse which is death. Christ of course died, but being He was perfect man and perfect God He ultimately defeated sin.




This is a good point. Could someone believe in Christ's divinity without believing in the conception by the Holy Spirit.

I think it could be done, but it would be an obvious contradiction.

I suppose its perhaps a doctrine that you could conceivably doubt, but you can't reject it because that would quickly lead to other important theologies being mutilated.



This is very pseudo-scientific. For one, there is what I believe is the flawed theology that guilt is transferred. But, even if it was, scripture is far more indicative that sin is passed through the female flesh, not the male seed. And we know medically now, that both partners contribute equally to the genetic construct and flesh of the child, meaning that sin nature and tendency to death is equally from man and woman.

I am reluctant to continue this conversation with you. It seems to me that several people are telling you that they do not understand what you are trying to say and you can add me to that group. You seem to be a wonderful person but I do not like the idea of anyone suggesting what can and can not be considered as an accetable topic of conversation especially when it is phrased in the form of a "warning" and not a polite suggestion.

Maybe I understod you wrong but Your coment was.......
"but I don't like discussing the personal life of St. Mary. Just when you posting think, "would I post this if I were talking about Godspell's mother." If it seems offensive then just tread carefully."

No one consideres Mary with more respect than do I. You have never heard or read any thing from me to the contrary and I do not find it necessay to be warned about such things.

So then......I will leave you with your extensive studies and withdraw and allow the others here to speak with you.

God bless you .
 
I agree very much on your response to me. Not everything is specifically addressed in scripture and revelations can and are had, as long as they agree with scripture. He said we could do greater things than these.

As to the law, if you follow the law even though you don't agree with it, yes you are following the law. But law is not what we are talking about. If you want to call "show love" a law, I guess you could. That is more a general directive. The Law is dead to us now. The Holy Spirit directs us as to right and wrong using conviction and learning of His Word.

Is the divine inspiration of scripture a tenant? I suppose you could say no, but what, then, holds you fast to your faith? The winds of many well spoken people will blow your faith in many directions without a source to check them by. We saw that throughout history with ecclesiastical authorities leading the masses astray. The Bible was not available to them at the time and they had no way to confirm or disprove any teaching, except for whatever tradition was taught to them. Then when the Bible was made available, we saw people be able to discern the wolf in sheep's clothing. This caused all the denominational divides, but we are closer to knowing the Truth than we were before.

I agree!
 
I agree very much on your response to me. Not everything is specifically addressed in scripture and revelations can and are had, as long as they agree with scripture. He said we could do greater things than these.

As to the law, if you follow the law even though you don't agree with it, yes you are following the law. But law is not what we are talking about. If you want to call "show love" a law, I guess you could. That is more a general directive. The Law is dead to us now. The Holy Spirit directs us as to right and wrong using conviction and learning of His Word.

Is the divine inspiration of scripture a tenant? I suppose you could say no, but what, then, holds you fast to your faith? The winds of many well spoken people will blow your faith in many directions without a source to check them by. We saw that throughout history with ecclesiastical authorities leading the masses astray. The Bible was not available to them at the time and they had no way to confirm or disprove any teaching, except for whatever tradition was taught to them. Then when the Bible was made available, we saw people be able to discern the wolf in sheep's clothing. This caused all the denominational divides, but we are closer to knowing the Truth than we were before.

I understand you, but you're moving into the sea of how to preserve the faith rather than what is the faith. I agree, the Bible is absolutely integral to protect and defend the faith, but the faith predates the Bible, (at least the written Gospel, the Gospel actually IS the faith).
 
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