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Belief in God but not Jesus?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by cfer, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    250
    How would you classify a person who has a belief in God, but not necessarily in Jesus? Or, that there was a person named Jesus who taught about God, but not necessarily that Jesus was the savior?

    Would you classify that as Jewish?

    I ask because this is kind of where I feel I am leaning. I believe in a kind, gentle, and loving God. I believe there was a man named Jesus who was a great leader and teacher of peace and God, and that he was actually crucified. But I don't know if I believe in the Resurrection. I'm not saying it's not possible. I'm just saying I don't know.

    Forgive me if I'm wrong on this, but I know people of the Jewish faith believe Jesus was not the savior, also. But it is also my understanding that the Jewish God is the one of the Old Testament -- the vengeful, wrathful, jealous God. That's not how I picture Him.

    Which leads me to my problem. I don't know where/how to worship. I can't really go to any Christian church, because Christianity is based off the teachings of Jesus, and they believe Jesus was resurrected.

    I wouldn't consider myself Jewish because I don't believe that God is vengeful and that strict, either.

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    I'm sorry if I offended anyone with any incorrect knowledge on the subjects above.
     
  2. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia New Member

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    19,780
    Unitarian Universalist? :)
     
  3. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays New Member

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    It depends upon what you mean as "resurrection". I believe that the Spirit of Christ appeared to His followers in whatever body God pleased to make it manifest. As to the physical remains of Christ - what does it matter. There was another even MORE important resurrection that day. I'll let Abdu'l Baha explain it:
    "THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
    Question. -- What is the meaning of Christ's resurrection after three days?
    Answer. -- The resurrections of the Divine Manifestations are not of the body. All Their states, Their conditions, Their acts, the things They have established, Their teachings, Their expressions, Their parables and Their instructions have a spiritual and divine signification, and have no connection with material things. For example, there is the subject of Christ's coming from heaven: it is clearly stated in many places in the Gospel that the Son of man came from heaven, He is in heaven, and He will go to heaven. So in chapter 6, verse 38, of the Gospel of John it is written: "For I came down from heaven"; and also in verse 42 we find: "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" Also in John, chapter 3, verse 13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
    Observe that it is said, "The Son of man is in heaven," while at that time Christ was on earth. Notice also that it is said that Christ came from heaven, though He came from the womb of Mary, and His body was born of Mary. It is clear, then, that when it is said that the Son of man is come from heaven, this has not an outward but an inward signification; it is a spiritual, not a material, fact. The meaning is that though, apparently, Christ was born from 104 the womb of Mary, in reality He came from heaven, from the center of the Sun of Reality, from the Divine World, and the Spiritual Kingdom. And as it has become evident that Christ came from the spiritual heaven of the Divine Kingdom, therefore, His disappearance under the earth for three days has an inner signification and is not an outward fact. In the same way, His resurrection from the interior of the earth is also symbolical; it is a spiritual and divine fact, and not material; and likewise His ascension to heaven is a spiritual and not material ascension.
    Beside these explanations, it has been established and proved by science that the visible heaven is a limitless area, void and empty, where innumerable stars and planets revolve.
    Therefore, we say that the meaning of Christ's resurrection is as follows: the disciples were troubled and agitated after the martyrdom of Christ. The Reality of Christ, which signifies His teachings, His bounties, His perfections and His spiritual power, was hidden and concealed for two or three days after His martyrdom, and was not resplendent and manifest. No, rather it was lost, for the believers were few in number and were troubled and agitated. The Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body; and when after three days the disciples became assured and steadfast, and began to serve the Cause of Christ, and resolved to spread the divine teachings, putting His counsels into practice, and arising to serve Him, the Reality of Christ became resplendent and His bounty appeared; His religion found life; His teachings and His admonitions became evident and visible. In other words, the Cause of Christ was like a lifeless body until the life and the bounty of the Holy Spirit surrounded it.
    Such is the meaning of the resurrection of Christ, and this was a true resurrection. But as the clergy have neither understood the meaning of the Gospels nor comprehended 105 the symbols, therefore, it has been said that religion is in contradiction to science, and science in opposition to religion, as, for example, this subject of the ascension of Christ with an elemental body to the visible heaven is contrary to the science of mathematics. But when the truth of this subject becomes clear, and the symbol is explained, science in no way contradicts it; but, on the contrary, science and the intelligence affirm it"
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 104)

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  4. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    250
    But there aren't any UU churches around where I live.

    I like the idea of prayer beads for aiding a person's focus for prayer and meditation. But I don't want to be sacrilegious and step on someone else's beliefs.

    I like singing hymns and listening to church music, but not sitting through long sermons.

    I am a fan of ritual and believe a person's religion should incorporate it somehow. But everything I've ever learned is based on Christian (especially Lutheran) ritual.

    Argh...I'm just really confused about things right now.
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus Staff Member

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    28,683
    I may be comletely wrong, but I think you might be in the 'Islamic' camp (allah, or God).

    Don't let Maize bully you into UU; I thinks she gets paid comission on recruits.:biglaugh:
     
  6. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia New Member

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    19,780
    Shhh!
     
  7. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia New Member

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    19,780
    IF Unitarian Universalism is something you are wanting to look into, let me suggest the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which is for those UUs and people interested in being UUs who cannot attend a UU church.
    That sounds like a wonderful way to focus prayer and meditation, and I would think that anyone who knew you did it for that reason would not be offended no matter what religion you are.
    Me too.
    Ritual is important to humans, be it religious ritual or just things we do in everyday life. I think you should find something that has meaning to you and what is important to you. I grew up on Christian ritual too. So the fact that most UU churches have the same ritualistic structure of a Christian service is comforting to me. But being a UU, I also like incorporating rituals from other religions that have meaning to me, and even making my own rituals, and all of that is OK.
    I think we've all been at that point, at least once. Hang in there and be true to your beliefs, even if you're not quite sure what those are yet.
     
  8. standing_on_one_foot

    standing_on_one_foot New Member

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    1,380
    Judaism is a great deal more than Christianity without Jesus, I'd just like to point out. So, no, by the sound of it you're more good ol' plain theistic. Being a Jew isn't something you default back to, it's something you are. Now, I rather like Judaism as a religion, and people would be happy to talk to you about it at a local synagogue, I'm sure. Sounds like you might like UU. Try doing some research while you think about things and see what you like best.

    So, just to point out, not all Jews believe G-d is the way He's depicted in the OT. Some do, some don't. Some, in fact, believe Him to be a kind, gentle, and loving G-d. Judaism now has changed a bit since the Judaism of several thousand years ago.
     
  9. cfer

    cfer Active Member

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    250
    That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure, because I haven't done much research on it. I'm sorry if I offended you. I should have done a little more research before I spoke. I'm sorry.

    Maize, thank you for the link. I'm going to check into UU some more.
     
  10. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber New Member

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    5,175
    This could be a member of virtually any religion other than Christianity, Islam, or Baha'i!

    MANY groups qualify: Jewish, Sabaeans, Hindus, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists to name just a few.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  11. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus Staff Member

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    28,683
    Just out of interest, is this a 'gut' instinct that makes you feel this way ? - or is there something deeper ? (just out of interest)
     
  12. JesusIsTheWay

    JesusIsTheWay New Member

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    Would you like some evidence to support the resurrection?
    How can you believe Jesus was simply a "great teacher"?
     
  13. maggie2

    maggie2 Active Member

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    966
    Cfer,

    Why not go to http://www.beliefnet.com and take their test to see which group you best fit with? Up at the top left of the page you'll see a link for 'Belief-o-matic'. That's the one. It will give you some idea of where you might fit. If you do take it, let us know how you made out.
     
    greatcalgarian likes this.
  14. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    19,902
    That depends on the person, doesn't it?

    I believe in Jesus, but I believe what Jesus taught is more important than what others teach about Jesus. At present, I'm not very open to anything with "Church" in the name of it. I find the Quakers (liberal Quakers, not Evangelical Quakers) and Unitarian-Universalists are both non-dogmatic and open to people with varying beliefs.

    Right now I'm still working out what it means -- for me -- to believe in Jesus but not in Christianity. Sounds like you're in a similar situation.
     
  15. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

    Messages:
    19,902
    You can just use worry beads as prayer beads, or string together a chaplet of your own design. You don't have to use prayer beads associated with any particular tradition unless you're comfortable.

    I think the ideal sermon length is five minutes, and anything over 15 minutes is beginning to border on obnoxious. :)

    How would you feel about trying out different rituals? Attend a Jewish synagogue, a Muslim masjid, a Hindu temple, a Buddhist center, or whatever traditions are available in your area. See what seems meaningful to you. You might find it best to attend each one several times so you can get a better feel for it.
     
  16. Buttons*

    Buttons* Glass half Panda'd

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    I'd look into Islam if i were you...
     
  17. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian New Member

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    Do not let anyone in this RF sway your belief. Carry on and do what you feel is most comfortable. Attend the hym section, and try to sleep with your eyes open during the long boring sermon, I have managed to be able to do that:biglaugh: .

    You should seek what is most comfortable to you. You may not like to dive into the ever non-stop debating of which faith is the right one. So stay away from that.

    However, having said all the above, you may be happier to find and join the UU:D
    If you check out your religious inclination following Maggie2 link, I think you will end up classifying yourself as UU as suggested by Maize.
     
  18. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian New Member

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    4,618
    Is Islam the same as Gnostic? Why do you recommend Islam, just curious. The hym of Islam is completely different from Christian hyme, so there may be cultural incomtibility issue there.
     
  19. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 New Member

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    I suggest you take Maize's option of OO or UU, Judaism isn't a default, it's a way of life. One would ask you, Why would you want to be a Jew? Why would you want to keep kosher? put tefillin on daily? Tzitits? Observe Shabbas? ect... You can be a perfectly good gentile, just follow the Noahide laws, but from what you say, Judaism isn't for you from what I read.
     
  20. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    19,902
    I absolutely agree with that. But there's nothing wrong with cfer doing a little exploring to find which religion or religious practices might be the right one(s) ... for cfer ... at least for now. :)
     
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