NH Baritone wrote:So how much of the Nicene Creed can you discard before you stop being a Christian?
The Nicene Creed has been modified in later centuries and the one you have pointed to is NOT one that was agreed to by a truly eccumenical council. It cuts off the Eastern Orthodox with the filoque heresy (as they call it). So I say that if you want to stick with the largest consensus agreed to by the most eccumenical council then you have to stick with ALL of the first creed as it was first agreed to and not as it was later altered by churches to suit themselves. I think you also have to accept the Biblical canon as it was agreed to a short time later in the inclusive sense.
NH Baritone wrote:Do you need to believe in anything supernatural at all?
Supernatural no, spiritual yes. You have to believe in the Trinitarian God, for that belief does define Christianity from that first eccumenical agreement.
NH Baritone wrote:Supercedes natural selection via intelligent design?
? huh? ? The majority of Christianity does not believe in ID.
NH Baritone wrote:Answers prayers?
It is not in the creed, but I don't see how you can justify this considering the words of Jesus on this matter.
But all of this is simply the definition of a human word, "Christianity" (and associated words like "Christian"). They do not bind God in any way.
NH Baritone wrote:StillSearching wrote:NH Baritone wrote:So how much of the Nicene Creed can you discard before you stop being a Christian? Do you need to believe in anything supernatural at all? How about belief that a supernatural God intervenes in the natural world? Supercedes natural selection via intelligent design? Answers prayers?
If two people are working side-by-side in a soup kitchen, doing the same work, but one is motivated by their Christian beliefs and the other harbors no such beliefs (perhaps is an atheist) but instead is there simply because he wants to give a bit of aid to the poor, are they both equally "Christian"?
That makes no sense, and besides weakening the English language, is frankly insulting! Service & charity are also hallmarks of Islam. If you, as a Christian, are charitable, are you also being a good Muslim? When you eat a vegetarian meal, are you being a good Jain or being a good Seventh-Day Adventist? Can you be neither and yet enjoy tofu burgers?
It is the height of arrogance to claim all altruism as Christian. You are discounting the fact that someone can vehemently oppose Christianity and simultaneously be intensely charitable. I honestly think of instances when opposing Christianity is itself among the great services an individual can offer humanity. Christianity contains a history of belief, a mythic system involving sin and redemption, that I frankly do not want to sully my charity.
I quite agree with you NHB and Brad. For words to have meaning we must stick to the largest consensus on what they mean and clarify if we use the word in some more special sense. The problem is that too many Christians equate being Christian with being saved and I do not. It confuses words with reality and I think that is very foolish. In order for the word "Christian" to have any real meaning it has to be about belief. But there is no reason why the Christian has to believe that God is confined to the limits of that belief.