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How Little Does One Need to Believe to be a Believer?

Unlike most Christians, I have actually read the Bible… all of it. While there are a few positive things in the Bible, most of it is very poorly thought out and very immoral. In fact, you would not be able to find a single person who believes in everything the Bible says and yet you have a whole lot of people who swear they are Christians. So I have to ask, how little does one need to believe to be considered a believer?

Yesterday, every atheist in the country wrote about the new Pew Research survey that showed that atheists know more about religion than the religious. I commented on it on my Examiner page. After taking the 32 question quiz, I got 29 correct (9 above the atheist average and 12 above the average fundamentalist Christian). I often ask professed Christians why don’t give away all their money like Jesus told them to do. Why don’t they stone adulterers, disobedient children, gays, and atheists?

Some Christians tell me that I am taking the Bible too literally while others try to find Bible based loopholes to get around they lack of faith. Ultimately, I don’t have a problem with Christians not following the Bible, but I just want to know how little does one need to follow in order to call themselves a Christian.

Some Christians have told me that the only thing that is required is to believe that Jesus Christ is their lord and savior and I have even meet some Christians who don’t even believe that. In other words, one could ignore all of the Bible and still be considered a Christian. So it seems that one doesn’t have to believe any of the Bible and still consider themselves a Christian.

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  • kirk holden

    I am back in AA after starting to drink again. Although in a very literal sense the literature strongly suggests that I have a spiritual life and a higher power. Most AA’s accept atheist who follow the program. My higher power is the people in AA who need me to stay sober and not take a drink no matter what.

    So here is an exchange wherein I honestly provide one answer to your question.

    Mr. X – I trust god. God will not reveal my secrets to anyone.
    Me – Has anyone experienced the reverse? Does god tell you about other people when you talk to him?
    - stunned silence -
    Mr. Y, Ms. Z etc. – You did not understand Mr. X he said [multiple yammered nonsense about what Mr. X 'meant']
    Me – Mr. X, you trust god NOT to reveal your secrets.
    Mr. X – that is correct, I trust god to keep my secrets safe.
    Me – [to the room] Any definitive statement about god will always confuse another christian – NONE of whom share ANY particular belief.

    As long as they stick to “god is love” and “jesus loves me” the room will be happy. If someone makes a definitive statement “god hates fags” half the room will understand and half of those people will disagree. But no one in the room will admit that god is a neural correlate of subjective consciousness.


  • http://thebrunettesblog.wordpress.com Ginny

    In fairness, some of the context-based arguments are reasonable. “Sell all you have and give the money to the poor,” for example, was a commandment to one specific character and not necessarily meant as an instruction for all Christians. But there are others that are deeply problematic: although I have a number of gay Christian friends, I cannot find any Biblical reason to accept homosexuality. People who do so are clearly retro-fitting the scripture to accord with what they know is right, rather than going to the Bible to obtain their moral code.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Not to get technical, but Jesus actually says to give away all your money multiple times in the Bible. God Is Imaginary has a great video on this.

  • Issa

    Great article, Staks, and thanks for posting the link. I found the research to be an interesting read. I couldn’t find a link to the full 32 question quiz, but I got 14 out of 15 on the short quiz.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    It’s a pdf file and a pain in the ass to navigate through with lots of demographic questions mixed in. I put a link to it on the Examiner article.

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  • http://www.politicalopinionarticles.blogspot.com david

    Marching to a drummer.

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