reply to posts by windword and
Originally posted by windword
Christianity can't be defined simply by boxing people's experiences and convictions into 2 boxes, Catholic or Protestant.
Do you think that is my intention? No, I am simply trying to show what are the basic, irreducible articles of Christian belief. I have already
mentioned the Orthodox Communion more than once. Westerners tend to forget it exists, but it is the principal form of Christianity in Russia, Eastern
Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.
You say you're an atheist, yet you seem to promote the Catholic Church's viewpoint.
That would be very strange, considering that the church in which I was raised broke away from the Catholic Communion in 1534. I hold no brief for
In fact, I am arguing for community over doctrine and not the other way round as some of you seem to think. A minimum of mutually agreed belief is
necessary for a religious community to exist; otherwise, it breaks up into doctrinal factions. The Nicene Creed has been tremendously successful, in
that the factions which have emerged in the Christian communion since its adoption have generally been able to agree on its articles, even when they
could agree on nothing else. Of course, a person who belongs to no church may not appreciate the value of this fact.
Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
You do realize that the Council of Nicaea in itself is a religious fraud and conspiracy
Yes, right up there between chemtrails and Freemasons. How many of the preceding 23 'conspiracies' on that list do you, personally, believe in?
The Council of Nicaea was a political process that resulted in a political compromise. I have read Gibbon's Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire
in which all that is very clearly explained. Conspiracy or not, the Creed that emerged from it was a very good and successful compromise, precisely
because it defined the essentials of Christian faith so accurately. Despite what some of you are claiming, all
established Christian churches
today accept the Creed.
I am not at all surprised that Biblical literalists like you, as well as doctrinal deviationists like windword, disagree with me. What I say, however,
remains true. Luther certainly revived the concept of a personal relationship with God in Christ as the basis of salvation, which the Roman church had
suppressed, but he was no less convinced of the fundamental importance of the community of the faith than any cardinal of Rome.
Tthe Bible quotes Christ as saying 'whenever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' That's pretty
unambiguous, I think.
Windword, you would like to define Christianity as you wish. Well, so would every other Christian. It has always been thus, from quiet monkish
contemplatives in their cells to hair-shirted flagellants, from the Athanasians to the Gnostics, from the Rollers to the Shakers to the snake-handlers
to the believers in the Revelation of the Archangel Moroni. Sadly, all these self-defined 'Christians' have ended up believing different, often
contradictory things. So who, then, is right? What are the essentials of Christian belief?
Somebody has to draw the line somewhere. There's no use saying 'go to the Bible' as literalists do – because everyone who goes to the Bible comes
away with a different interpretation of it, and insists all the others are wrong! No, there has to be a definition all can agree on, a basic minimum
of belief that all Christians can share. You won't find that in the Bible. You will
find it in the Nicene Creed.
On a personal level, Christianity means nothing to me, so I am an unlikely defender of the faith. On a social level, however, I believe Christian
belief, however wishful and false it may be, has been an important factor in the development of our civilization, and particularly of the humane
liberalism which many right-wing Christians today loathe, but which is nevertheless the rock on which modern ideals of liberty and democracy are
edit on 23/5/12 by Astyanax because: of rudeness about the Archangel Moroni.