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Is it possible to be an Agnostic christian?

Discussion in 'Liberal Christianity DIR' started by PassionFruit53, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. PassionFruit53

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    Hello

    As I have said before in this forum, I admire the teachings of Jesus Christ, and hope to incorporate them into my life, but I do not know about the existence of God. At the moment, I do not know if a person can even be positive about the existence of "God", but I also "God" exists, he certainly exceeded our expectations and imagination, so what we imagine to be "God" is not really a God at all but rather our own projection.

    Therefore I found that I doubt some more supernatural aspects of religion, such as the earth was created in Seven Days. But in the end I think it is less important than conduct in the current world, which is why I so want to uphold Jesus' philosophy.

    I also discovered that I would be suspicious of hierarchy in organized religion because I think people should learn and think on religion for themselves.

    Do you need to believe in God in order to be a Christian, or can I claim agnostic beliefs at the same time?
     
  2. Mr Spinkles

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    It is quintessentially American to admire and revere the philosophy of Jesus, while being skeptical of the supernatural and of organized religion, and believing in openness and free rational inquiry on questions such as God's nature and existence. This goes straight back to such important American revolutionaries as Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson (our third president).

    So yes, you certainly can do this. Tangentially, there is no need to embrace all the faults of religion in order to protest the faults of the Chinese government in repressing it. Indeed, my biggest objection to religion is that it restricts free, open rational discussion and inquiry. And that is exactly what the Chinese government does, hence, in rejecting religion the government has embraced the most problematic aspect of religion.
     
  3. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Personally, I think Jesus was more like you than the religious who adamantly claim the truth of God. I think he too not only doubted, but outright rejected God as the religious institution proclaimed and practiced God. I call that liberating God. Jesus rightly can be said to have "known God", which necessitated freeing God from religion. That God then could be translated down into religious experience and practice, thereby being more than just religion.

    I know that may rattle some ideas about Jesus, but that is how I see him. He was all about overturning the tables of the money-changers and the religious priesthood, not in some sort of "let's be fundamentalists!" approach, but a revolutionary approach, breaking the old and bringing in the new. "You cannot put new wine into old wineskin's lest they burst", said Jesus. It was not about conservatism, but progression forward.

    Doubt is the arm of God to serve God, to put it that way. I think I'd say it like this, God is dead, long live God. :)

    I think whatever you embrace with your heart in truth makes one on the path of God. Envision God how you need to to let that which speaks within you to move you forward, even if that means you reject any image of God others tell you; in fact that may be necessary for someone to move ahead. Labels are meaningless in the "Kingdom of God", to use that term.
     
    #3 Windwalker, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
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  4. Reverend Richard

    Reverend Richard New Thought Minister

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    I would say that it is entirely possible.

    I hope I don't come across as proselytizing here, but in my adopted denomination of New Thought, we sometimes call New Thought, "A Faith, a Philosophy, A Way of Life."

    New Thought does hold on to the divinity of Jesus, but also believes that we are all divine in nature - We are not "Gods", but we are still divine, and that Jesus was the "way-shower" of how to live our lives. That is, Jesus lived a life that is worthy of emulation. We don't believe in sin in the traditional sense, nor do we believe in a real "hell" as such. For us, hell, and even sin, is what we get when we stray from the brotherly (and sisterly) love and peace that Jesus Christ taught us. God is not to be feared. God is pure love and pure good. It was man that annointed God with the traits of jealousy, and vengence.

    Okay. Sorry for that if it came across as preachy. That was not my intention. But to finally get at your final question above. I would say that you could live Christianity as a "philosophy" without going all legalistic and without the burden of adhereing to a any particular denomination's strict code of orthodoxy or orthopraxy. And that would even include New Thought!
     
  5. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    I think it is possible to grapple with faith in God and to have doubts--even heavy doubts. This passage from the Gospel of Mark sums it up beautifully:

    23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
    24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

    You are right to not trust church hierarchy blindly; they are fallible human beings just like you and I, and they do make mistakes. This is not to say that their services aren't invaluable, nor is it to say that they don't get a lot of things right, however.

    Also, note that it is not necessary to believe that the Earth was created in six or seven days to be a Christian; many faithful and holy Christians, even Fathers of the Church, believed that the creation story in the Bible was allegorical and not literal :)
     
  6. Gaura Priya

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    Im an agnostic theist, so I wouldn't worry too much about that when it comes to personal religion and personal faith!

    Communally though, it depends on the congregation!
     
  7. Iti oj

    Iti oj Global warming is real and we need to act
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    i already gave you frubals but had to say again one of the best post i have ever read on rf
     
  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Wow, thank you.
     
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    All Christians are Agnostic
    They know it is impossible to prove the existence of God.
    However most of us do believe and have faith in God and the teachings of Jesus.
    what we seem to find is that not all the details we read are equally believable,
    Fortunately most, if not all, of these details were added after Jesus death and resurrection.
     
  10. Devananda

    Devananda Well-Known Member
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  11. Bunyip

    Bunyip pro scapegoat

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    I would think that most Christians are agnostic. For Catholics for example it is a faith based religion, there is no claim of knowledge implicit in Catholicism in the sense of knowing that the Trinity exists.

    Religions are beliefs, and belief determines whether or not we are theist.

    Knowledge of God is not something that humans possess, it is not knowable. Religions are founded on beliefs and gnosticism is about knowledge.
     
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