The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What would be different if you weren't Christian?

We are called to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. How does this calling affect your life? One way to answer this question is to approach it from other angles. The questions we can ask and which I encourage you to think about are:

  1. What would be substantively different in your life if you were not a Christian (other than basic things like not going to church and having fewer Christian friends)?
  2. How does being a Christian affect your interactions with other people compared with if you weren’t a Christian?

There’s really no incentive to live an ethical life and to help others - outside of Christianity. As these are commandments of God and directives of Christ. Sure, there are paths that help others. And I have friends, in those paths. Such as the Baha’i faith, Sikhism, and Buddhism. And elements from these traditions, to enrich my Christian faith (i.e. Contemplative traditions). But I find in Christ…the definitive example, of how to follow the commandments and live an ethical life. Which in the EO / EC (and even RC) traditions - is Theosis.

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Thanks! Speaking of EO/EC, you may be interested in this post on the subreddit I run: https://www.reddit.com/r/cruciformity/comments/c3s1sy/salvation_in_christ_the_orthodox_approach/

I think such a comparison would require sheer speculation on what I’d be instead. E.g. others traditions reinforce some of the values and senses of purpose I find Christianity supports. Some of these are even embraced in Western culture by those who do not identify as Christians. At another extreme might be the embrace of total hedonism or nihilism, which might produce a substantively different kind of life than I embrace.

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The questions are not meant to be about what you’d become instead of being Christian but specifics on what qualities you think you’d lose (or gain), what activities you think you’d stop (or start) etc. if you weren’t a Christian.

Can you think of anything specific to you that you think would change?

Yes, I wouldn’t be part of a sacramental system. Which would provide elements of grace, according to EO, EC and RC theology. However, I would still live an ethical life. According to the western philosophers…and traditions like Native American spirituality, Buddhism, the Bahia faith and other traditions. And I wouldn’t have, a sense of sin - as a ‘disease’. And ways to cure it, like the sacraments. And my perfect examples, of folks to follow (i.e. Mohammad, Buddha, etc.)…would nowhere near be, as ‘perfect’ as Christ, And i would miss out, on ‘gifts’ of the spirit…either as a recipient or hopefully - as having some bestowed on me.

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I realized that. That’s why I said changes, activities I’d start, etc., would depend entirely on what I replaced the Christian tradition with.

Here’s a Patheos Catholic article from today:

And another Patheos Catholic article…to show Christians can still embrace - the dark side!

And this is from the Patheos Evangelical newsletter from today - for all the NT Wright fans!

Even we are enabled to partake of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1.4:
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

So those concerned about my stubborn insistence on Christ being fully human, consider that please.

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Well, I have considered myself Christian in the past and don’t now. The ‘Christian mindset’ is unfortunately ultra dogmatic and lacking in understanding and forgiveness, especially with those who believe differently.

Christians are very sure they are the bearers of the real truth. Kind of funny really.

I believe in the Hebrew God and believe that Christ came and was the total propitiation for all sin for all of man kind, yet I have no illusion anyone needs to ‘believe’ in that God or Christ to have already received the loving gift.

God is an awesome creator God.

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quote=“maintenanceman, post:11, topic:14316”]
I have no illusion anyone needs to ‘believe’ in that God or Christ to have already received the loving gift.
[/quote]
Ok. It takes a real pair to call everyone else wrong and under an illusion, but good luck with that.

The MAIN thing that would be different is that I wouldn’t have the grace made available to me by Christ’s loving sacrifice to enable me to live righteously and to eschew evil.

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

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Another great pointer to the fact that our salvation is both now and not yet complete. Paul points to the training that is expecting a great hope yet to come.

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Well, i’m not sure if I have a real ‘PAIR’ but I was never saying anyone else is wrong.

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

Dave, as I understand it… that rewarded well pleasing faith is relative to the faithfulness of service those called follow; which is specific and to be treasured and beyond the loving reconciliation that has in finality in Christ graced humanity.

And that is the rub… Your Idea of faith in Christ is contingent on being saved from hell fire, and to be quite honest the whole idea of ‘evangelical universalism’ is a oxymoron.

But I have just slashed my throat so to speak.:grimacing:

But you can continue to go on believing the idea that somehow your faith in Christ will deliver you…

My point is that Christ’s faith delivered us all. HUGE FREAKING DIFFERENCE.
:wink:

Chad, Dave B was but quoting Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.(ESV)

Do you accept these words as true? Or do you think it is unnecessary to believe anything?

I don’t think it is necessary to intellectually believe anything about God. What matters is that you would respond to the truth as you understand it. I think most people do that.

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