Can you be a Christian without believing in the resurrection?


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #249

Strong accusations, but, as far as I know, Stalin was never suspected of burning people to death. God, again, according to the Christian tradition, will torture people forever in Hell. Without reprieve! I’m not making this up. I’d actually be curious to know how many biologis Christians believe in a literal and eternal Hell. I was brought up in a church that taught this.

Note, if you believe that God will burn people temporarily, before finally killing them off for all eternity, then your theology is kinder vs the mainstream view.


(George Brooks) #250

@Relates

Roger, Vlad’s only weakness on this planet is his admiration of Joseph V.
There’s no point in discussing it with him.


#251

I worship God. That is why I won’t get bent out of shape or call the YEC movement godless or say they distort the Bible or reject a book of the Bible.

I do have a personal belief of EC, but I could be wrong. I am not saying EC is proven, it just has the most evidence from what I can see to make the most logical sense and I can also see how it aligns with much of scripture.

If you think the same of YEC, that is fine. But to think you do know the correct thing, you aren’t wrong, and that anyone who disagrees with you is rejecting a book of the Bible or the truth of God. Putting emphasis on your life to discover how right you are and how everyone must see your truth before they see God and that your YEC truth is what leads people to God… I think is worshiping a YEC narrative and not the Living God.

What if your athiest friend whom you respected, saw a miraculous thing happen in the background of something he was filming with multiple cameras. That fact that it showed up on film would eliminate any psychological bias or hallucination. There were no funny angles or visual illusions that could have occurred. And he is an atheist and has no bias for a deity. He calls you up and tells you he is on his way to you. On his way to show you his tapes, he is killed in an accident and all the evidence is destroyed. Do you believe in his claim? Do you still think he needs to get evalutated by a competent medical professional?

I know, far fetched…Point being, if someone had proof (to themselves), and that proof is no longer accessible to you, and tells you of something, will you ever believe another person? In this case, you having lack of proof, would make you wrong.

This here is the point. They believed in a spiritual resurrection, kind of like a ghost. John, to come back as Jesus or in the form of. This is not new to Jews. What would be completely new to the Jews is a person physically becoming alive again. Jesus being Jesus, with holes in His hands. That was radical for all Jews of that age and time. They also thought their messiah would save them and bring back Jerusalem to it’s glory days in David’s time and make it the greatest kingdom on earth. So when Jesus died, they were pretty doubtful He was the messiah. Their messiah wouldn’t be conquered so easily. The resurrection of Jesus was quite radical to them, this is why Thomas didn’t believe it until he physically touched Him. He was plenty familiar with the Jewish beliefs of ghosts and spirits of that time.

Amen, God is amazing! My name… I began on this forum as a curious YEC, maybe and OEC, but macro evolution was crazy wrong. I have since changed my stance on many debatable topics. But I have never, nor will ever change my stance on the love of God. I am thankful for His foundation of who He is that cannot and will not ever be moved either. A secure foundation that allows me to not fear any alternate understanding.

I agree to that. I would say more than speculation…but yea, it is just a theory based on evidence. If there is a whale bones dates with feet to be older than some whale bones with smaller feet, with more bones dated more recent with remnants of feet, to no feet. One can use that evidence, to come up with a theory that the feet whale turned into the no feet whale over time.

The methods to date the bones are scientifically tested and repeated. Science is used to obtain facts, but a theory is used to come to a logical conclusion of what most likely happened.

Science can also rule out what most likely didn’t happen. When you measure light from a star and it is a few billion years old, we can rule out the fact that the universe is less than a billion years old. This light measurement is repeatable and testable.

So if the universe cannot be a less than a billion years old. That leads us with a few choices. God created the universe in 6 days as a literal interpretation says, and made the universe appear to be billions of years old. Or the interpretation of Genesis was never meant to be literal.

Either way, the message of who God is, and how much He loves us, and how amazing and loving He is, is still a truth, that can’t be taken away by science or anything.

You can’t throw out the baby with the bath water though. If a few individuals believed that proving evolution would turn people away from God and that is what they wanted and that caused them to make stuff up, it doens’t make the truth any different. If someone made up math numbers to show the sun is the center of our solar system, that were later debunked, would that make the sun not the center?

Maybe the theory of evolution is wrong, and will be changed? I don’t think the measurement of light will ever change. The universe will always be measured at billions of years old. That is why I am not saying that evolution is the truth and all must believe. If something else is discovered, I will probably go that that camp. Whatever people smarter than me says happened, I will generally go with what they say. Especially when there are multiple Christians in that field that agree with them. And especially when their theory could be aligned with many themes of the Bible.

But I just see not logic for a micro evolution “stopping” before it could become macro. The cells are “stupid”, they do what they are told. A bone shrink or grow, skin shrinks or grows. It is the concert of all of those individual cells changing over a long time that make it “macro”. Like a book is the macro, and the words are the micro. One cannot know what the Bible is about if they just read “In”. It isn’t until many words have works in coordination and over time that you begin to see what it means. A journey took incremental steps to become something completely different than the original. I don’t believe there is a wall telling the cells to stop changing, you have changed enough.

Apparently @AMWolfe did a MUCH better job explaining this as He is way more educated than I am in this field.

You do have a point there, I have heard many Christians think this. That is why I don’t think that resurrection is important from that stance, that this was a supernatural thing that happened, proves He is the Son of God. It is kind of circular logic. Jesus’s the resurrection proved He is God, and because He is God, He was resurrected. SO any other claim of resurrection is false, because no one else is God.

This is why I try to stay away from that mentality. Jesus was resurrected for many reasons, and it is important, but more so “keep with the theme”. Jesus said He would, so He had to. And Jesus is life, so He had to. It also makes sense to celebrate a life over a death, though the death was the thing that brings us back to God, not the resurrection. Though it wasn’t the death, rather it was the perfect life of Jesus on earth that saved us, the death was just a thing that had to happen to make His life complete, to end the “perfect game”. So when we celebrate the resurrection, it is less morbid than celebrating a death, but His death was based on His life, so we celebrate His life, as death had to happen, but couldn’t hold Him, and that is also why we celebrate the resurrection.

I am fine if others claims were real, I know Satan has some crazy powers, it could be possible? But those original lives of those did nothing for me, and the resurrection was pointless as well. Did they just die again later? Did they live to serve me and all mankind and to be an example of how to live the most fulfilling life? I have to equity in wasting time arguing whether or not others did resurrect from the dead.

What are the other claims of resurrection for? They lived a life, death beat them, then some magical power raised them? Jesus lived as a servant to us, loved many during His life, and allowed death to hold Him down for a bit, then raised back to normal.

A different resurrection claim is like a brick being thrown in the water. Someone had to swim down and retrieve it, and take it out, and the brick hopes upon all hopes, that it doesn’t get thrown back in, because it will always sink.
Jesus is like trying to put a ball full of air or a life vest underwater. He required the heavens to align (because of the will of the Father allowing them to) and for the powers of darkness to use all it’s might to hold Him under for a few days, because that was the will of God, and then bloop, right back to the top. No fear of ever being drown ever again. God doesn’t need, nor will the heaven’s align, nor could the powers of darkness ever have it sink again. The ball rolls on land and over water, never the slightest fear or worry of being near water, it will never drown.
It is also salvation to anyone who clings on to this life vest, they will also never sink and don’t need to fear death. For they might get submerged for a few seconds, but bloop, right back to the top will they plop every time. Drowning/sin/death has been conquered, and there is no need to fear it, for those that believe, we can also hanging onto Jesus, never drown/die/be separated from God!

I see now that it wasn’t that Jesus HAD to be resurrected (because of prophesy or other reasons). I now see that prophesies were written because He WAS going to be resurrected. Death couldn’t hold Him, Jesus is the Way the Truth and the LIFE. Death wasn’t a obstacle that had to be overcome, it was a necessary even that He allowed to occur. The resurrection wasn’t a miracle, anymore than something floating is. The miracle was the fact that Jesus was allowed to die.

The first fruits of the spiritual resurrected. Sin separates us from God, all flesh has sinned, separation from God is spiritual death. Jesus’ flesh took on sin on the cross (the powers of darkness trying to drown Him), and sin/spiritual death kind of occurred…or tried to occur. But Jesus conquered sin and spiritual death, by rising form the dead, and being reunited with God. the first fruits of spiritual resurrection. Which we will all follow if we believe. Sin tried to drown Him, tried to separate Him from God, but failed. Jesus is the first fruit of resurrection!

I think that is what Paul was saying. Jesus had to resurrect, He is the Way the Truth and the LIFE. Just like a person trying to explain a heavy enough object placed on a life vest will yes, take it underwater a bit, but once removed, it has to float up, if it didn’t, then it is not a good life vest.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #252

Well, here is the rub. You admit your hypothetical example is far fetched. Btw, I know Christians who would not change their religion if the had a revelation from God who told them to follow Islam or perish in Hell. They would assume it was Satan trying to masquerade as God, and which proves religious faith is faith, at the end of the day.

There is no reason to believe the Gospels are anything but stories.

2 Peter 1:16 ESV For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Apparently, this was the accusation back in the 1st or 2nd Century (depending on when 2nd Peter was written) also.

But, I think the “resurrection” was just seeing a vision of Jesus. I personally, think it’s highly unlikely that the religious Jews would believe in the re-incarnation of John the Baptist, so the whole thing is made up (a cleverly devised myth). Christianity was founded by people like Paul, who started having visions/hallucinations and the Gospelers euhemerized this Jesus into a historical person

Lets think about this. Paul who lived in the 1st Century received a personal revelation! He was much closer to the supposed events than you or I, so why does he get a revelation but we need to rely on faith?


(Mervin Bitikofer) #253

Well … are you prepared to give your life traveling the known world evangelizing the very thing you so oppose? Apparently Paul was (or God saw to it that he got that way). God had a specific plan for him, and wow … do we now see how that plan unfolded! Who knows? Maybe you’re next. Note: the beneficiaries of Paul’s vision were, in the end, not so much himself as it was all the people he reached. You seem to see Paul as privileged. I suppose he was. Privileged to be doing prison time, getting beatings, working to support himself while traveling (or more than likely fleeing) from place to place. I guess such a thing wouldn’t be for everybody.


#254

There are so many reasons to believe. The gospels are a narrative of the God who created us who we rejected, allows us to be reconciled back to Him. What is the meaning of life? I fail to see any purpose in life apart from God.


(Luca) #255

About WLC saying Jesus is the first fruit of the resurrected. I think it needs elaboration.
Is he the first person God brought back to life? No. Is he the first to get a new body after the resurrection, One unlike any we have seen? Yes Did he die again after the resurrection? No. Was his resurrection more important than all the others? Defenitly. So you could defenitly say he was the first fruit.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #256

What do you think the purpose of life was 2100 years ago?


#257

The same as it is now, always was, and will be. We were created to glorify God. We can only glorify God if we know and love Him, we can only know Him, if we know how holy He is, we can only know that, by having a law. God also blessed us with gifts that we can use to glorify Him and love others, which again, will glorify him.


#258

What do you mean by “faith”?


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #259

What was different about a Hebrew God at that time compared to other deities?


#260

Everything!
Other deities are just powerful being that required sacrifice and praise for acceptance or favor. I am not even certain that most of the deities of that time were the creators? I don’t know if they ever considered who created them?

But the Hebrew God (the God of love, that God that is love), although the large picture, we and everything were created for His glory, it was so much more about the process than the end state. And He is given even more glory by the process.

Though we were made to glorify God, we had the free will to do so or not. BUT God accepts and loves us regardless of our choice. And even when rejecting Him time after time and committing acts of disgrace to his creation and perverting it’s intended goodness and then having he audacity to claim we are better than Him and know better than Him and don’t need Him. He STILL loves is so much that he would have His only Son leave His side in a place of paradise, to come to this scum of an earth that we destroyed and perverted it to be, to be serve us, to be mocked, rejected, suffer, and then die, to glorify His Father and us, by allowing us to be with Him again.

Is there any other deity that loves their creation so much despite or in spite of the way they act?

What the purpose of life is for other religions? I think it is mostly to attain ultimate comfort for eternity? Perhaps to live a hard life here in servitude, and to be rewarded for eternity?

Where as with the Hebrew God, the purpose is to know Him, to love Him and to glorify Him on this earth, and to be allowed to do the same for eternity, because we recognize that is what we were created for. Sure that gives us great comfort for eternity, but that is a fruit or a result, not the main point or purpose. And when we live a life of servitude on this earth, it is out of love for a God who loves us, not out of hope for a reward. And in loving and obeying, He is glorified, which is why we were created.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #261

I think this is representative of all other deities. Why else would they reveal themselves if they didn’t care?

As far as loving the creation, in the Old Testament, everyone but Noah and his family were killed by a flood. In the New Testament, majority of people will end up either suffering for eternity or destroyed in fire. This is based on Jesus’ teaching that narrow is the path that leads to life and few find it and wide is the road that leads to destruction and many are walking on it.


#262

Revealing yourself is caring? So if they guy takes his mask off before he shoots you, he cares about you?

They reveal themselves so the people know who they are, so they can put the people to work and demand sacrifices and rituals and hardships in an attempt to maybe gain favor for eternity.

That isn’t love any more than an abusive dad letting you know that he is above you (revealing who he is) and that he brought you into this world and he can take you out. A dad who is perfect and demands perfection for you to be in his presence. Beating you in anger when you screw up. Putting you to work because they are lazy and want you to do chores for them and make money so they can live more comfortable and if you do this for a long time and suffer, they might give you all their possessions in their will. That child will possible be an abusive husband or father themselves (because they know no other way), they will be angry and hate their dad (which causes psychological problems) because they never really knew their dad and could not be near him. They will probably move out the second they can, and if they stay, it is only for a chance to obtain that inheritance.

Where the Hebrew God is like a God who also created you and can take you out and wants you to understand that and have a fearful respect of that fact. This Father is also perfect, and demands perfection for you to be in His presence. You were perfect until you rejected His ways and tried to go it on your own. Still spanking you, but in love and correction. Putting you to work still, but to grow you and train you to be a great man to do great things. The actions might be similar, but the motive is so much different. The child would grow up fair, but tough, merciful, and loving. They will likely stay in that household forever, and love their Father.

But when, you keep screwing up, He is aware of your weakness and dependence on Him to do right. He knows by yourself you can never live up to His perfect standards, and since you rejected Him and became imperfect, you can’t be near Him anymore. But He wants to be with you because He loves you greatly. So He has another Son, this One is perfect, never rejected His Father, always had His Father help Him, and one day, He would send His perfect Son to die, so they we could be reconciled back to Him. After the death of His Son, our perfect was lived out through the Son, we can now be back in the presence of the Father because of what the other Son did. We love being with our Father and recognize He loves us and wants what is best for us, and He is what is best for us.

Surely you can see a difference here. It is hard to stick every non-Hebrew diety into one analogy. But what do Muslims require, hours of prayer and strict adherence of rules in order to be rewarded? Mormons, the same. Multiple gods require sacrifices to make them happy so you can have food. The Hebrew God is so much more different.

I wouldn’t go as far to say to ignore the OT… But in the example above, ignore the OT, and you can see how in the NT all of that applies. The OT is complex. But the NT is basically the OT repeated and explained and fulfilled. You have to read the Bible as a whole to get the narrative that God is full of love, patience, mercy and compassion. We don’t know for certain those who died in the flood will go to hell or not. That could have been a merciful kill, to end their lives, before they screw them up even worse and end up gong to hell.

But we aren’t living in OT times, we are living in TN times, a post Jesus atonement times. So that paragraph above of the loving Father wanting to be with you applies.

I don’t think the OT is wrong, but pretend it doesn’t exist, it was more of a narrative to make sense of where we are now and why we need God, and who God is.

If there was no OT, and I told you of this God of the NT and how loving He is, want to know that God.

I am not saying there is a difference at all, but I know it can seem like a hang up for some who don’t understand who God is. Once you get to know God of the NT, you will see the God of the OT is the same God, and you will see Him through loving eyes.

It is true, that the majority of people will end up suffering greatly for eternity…at their own request. They will have what they wanted, a live apart from God where they can do what they want, when they want. They just don’t realize the gravity of what they are asking for, the glimpses of God and His love in this world are not recognized, but when void of them, their will be great sadness, anger, and fear and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Whether they will die again and be eternally separated from God that way, or whether they live in this horrendously sad place void of God for eternity as their bitterness still keeps them from turning to God is unknown.

The things is, the majority of people are suffering right now though. How many people do you know who are never satisfied? They need drugs or sex or money, power to fill that void that only god can fill (as He created us to be with Him, the only thing that satisfies). To those that chase those things, the waste their whole lives in misery thinking that only if I had X I would be satisfied. Then there are those who have those things, are not satisfied either. Many of the richest people are miserable, and even try to fill that void with family or friends or giving to the poor and helping others. It is not bad to give to the poor, but it will never fill that void, only God can. This is a travesty as much as hell is, both are places where people are separate from God.

I wonder if people will even know about their past life in hell or if they wake up there, kind of like we wake up here on earth with no knowledge of a a past life. It will be like earth 2.0, but instead of there being glimpses of God on this earth, and people trying to shine the light of God through the world, it will be void of God. The reason no one can escape hell, is because they don’t know why they are there, they don’t know of a God, there is no one to tell them about Him. They wanted a life without God, and they get one. Even with all of creation and all of the love in the world, people still reject God on this earth, how much more will they reject Him when all of those things are absent from their world? Most miserable place imaginable, and that is not even saying there is a fire there, that will be an afterthought.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #263

I am surprised you don’t see the irony of your statement. Do you know that ‘easy believism’ is a heresy in Christianity. There are preachers, like John MacArthur, who admit that only Christians who submit to the Lordship of Jesus will be in heaven.

Scores of Christians doubt their salvation. Sinners at the hands of an angry God is a good illustration of that.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #264

No, I don’t want to suffer in Hell anymore than you don’t want to suffer in the Greek Hell or a Muslim one. This is just a game of words. Not believing in Gods does not equal wanting or requesting to suffer in Hell.


(Luca) #265

I agree. People can be atheist for many reasons. And you can call that rejecting God to some extent but you cannot call that requesting hell. Sure i hear some people say “I will party in hell with the demons” But i hardly think they are serious. And if they are, They have a huge misconception of that hell.


#266

I think you completely misunderstood my statement. I didn’t say anything about easy believism. And I agree with those preachers your quoted that only Christians who submit to the Lordship of Jesus will be in heaven. But I think it is more accurate to say that "only people who submit to the Lordship of Jesus will be in heaven. But by that statement there (and others), it shows me you are completely missing the point I am trying to make. And it is probably my fault, and I apologize for that.

You can only be a Christian (a Christ follower) if you submit to the Lordship of Jesus/God. That is what a Christian is, one who recognizes we need God, we are apart from him (spiritual death, one stop away from hell, but God is still reaching for us and giving us a chance here).

It is true that many Christians have doubts of their salvation at times. Good thing our salvation isn’t based on the strength faith (or lack there of) or our deeds. Our salvation is based on what Jesus did for us.

I have used the analogy about a diet before. There are some who want to go on a diet, and fail miserable time and time again, but they really do want to lose weight and despite their constant failures, they are trying (in their hearts). Only the one person and God knows who is or isn’t earnestly trying. Some do just like the ideal of weighing less, but don’t really want to go on a diet.

This can be much like the non-Hebrew religions I spoke of, who go through sacrifices/hardships (diet) to end up with what they think is a reward (weight loss). What Jesus came to show us, was that the lifestyle on a diet is SO much better, and the weight loss is a fruit, it happens as result, it is not the goal.

But some people (again, only God knows your heart) really do want to live that diet lifestyle, but fail time and time again. Those people will go to heaven. They want Jesus to be Lord, they know who He is (their loving Creator) and know what He did for them, they just struggle. This is why God gives us people to fellowship with and His Spirit to guide us and the Bible to help.

But yes, only people who submit (in their hearts) to the Lordship of Jesus will be in heaven…a place to live in eternity with the Jesus as Lord, and a life lived as God intended for us to do, with Him as Lord and will forever glorify Him!

Forget the fire and stuff. You are already suffering. You have this empty feeling, this void that cannot be filled with any thing you say or do. The only way to fill that void is by the God who created us, who we rejected (but still loves us) who filled that void before we rejected Him.

If you have not been reconciled back to God through Jesus,you are already in dead. Hell is just eternal death. All have died and fall short of the glory of God. the death I am speaking of is spiritual death, separation from God.

The only difference is you can be reconciled to God now. In actual hell, you cannot be reconciled back to God. Again, I don’t know if that is something that can’t happen because God won’t allow it, or people in hell will have such hardened hearts that they won’t want to be with God.

Though I agree no one wants to be separated from God or in hell separated forever, that is why Satan is the great liar. Not one single human was designed by the Designer to want to be separate from Him. But when we believe in lies, we get distracted from the truth. People seem to think that if they can only (fill in the blank) they will be fulfilled, so they waste this life chasing the wind, only to never catch it, because you can’t. And people forget they don’t want to be separate, because they life is filled with lies, and some so great, they think there is no Creator who loves them. If you believe in that lie, then of course you see no need to be reconciled to a Being that doesn’t exist. But then why can nothing else you strive for satisfy you?

If you are searching for your Creator, I pray you find Him, and I believe if you are earnestly seeking Him, He will reveal Himself to you. But it is the Spirit that will lead you, not my words. The Spirit can use me and my words to direct you, but no clever or intelligent crafting or words will lead you to God if you don’t want to be lead. Jesus did way more than I can ever do, and that didn’t lead a stubborn people back to God. But if He is able to use me to lead you or anyone to Him, then may He be forever glorified!


#267

Recommendation: look into some of the pagan religions. I think you’ll find that this really isn’t the case.


(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #268

I think we are all suffering, in different ways. If God was real, I’d believe him, but I have no reason to believe in God.

It appears to me, that you believe in a works/effort based salvation. Correct me if I am wrong on this point, but this is how I read your diet analogy, with the constant struggle to lose weight, failing and getting back on the diet. At what point do you think a person is ‘saved’? Are they saved in an instant or is this a lifelong process?