Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Minor debate with my wife: Are Unitarians/Universalists Christian?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Religion/Theology Donate to DU
 
wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:35 PM
Original message
Minor debate with my wife: Are Unitarians/Universalists Christian?
I say yes - just not in the dogmatic/conservative sense.

She says no - Christians must believe that Jesus was the son of God and must believe in the New Testament.

What say so?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. My Unitarian friend says she prays...
"To whom it may concern". I think of her as a Christian, though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. My mother attends a Unitarian church, and recently served
as its president. She is most definitely not a Christian. She considers herself to be an "agnostic deist". A Unitarian can believe pretty much anything. Many of them are out and out atheists or agnostics, many of them are lapsed members of other religions. Some of them do have Christian beliefs, but that is incidental. Many of them are Jewish.

No, the present day Unitarian/Universalist church is definitely not Christian.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pocoloco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's a great quote from a post this morning.......just had to repeat it!
"Don't tell me you are a Christian, let me figure it out on my own" Eleanor Roosevelt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
clydefrand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Amen! to that.
I get very suspicious when someone tells me they are a Christian. Do as a Christian is supposed to do and one will know it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
azureblue Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Define Christian
Her definition of a Christian is not an literal definition of Christian- one who believes in the teachings of Christ & applies those teachings to their daily lives. But that is not the common definition of Christian today. Her description s closer to "Biblican"
If a person uses the literal definition of Christan, then one will find that the teachings of Christ are very similar to other religious / spiritual philosophic teachings. And this set of common core beliefs is what forms the basis of the UU sect.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
29. No, the definition of a Christian is a believer in Christ.

One could live ones life precisely in accordance with Jesus's teachings, but unless you believe (roughly) that Jesus was the son of God and "died for our sins" and was resurrected (I think that's the key points, I may be wrong but I think it's essentially correct) then - by definition - you're not a Christian. If you *do* believe those things then no matter how you live your life, then you are.

Her definition is the correct one, the one you advance is not - there are people who fit it who aren't Christians, and people who don't who are.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
redphish Donating Member (296 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. They welcome people of all faiths or even atheists.
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 07:48 PM by redphish
They stress good deeds over dogma. They sometimes use the readings from the Bible, Koran or other religious texts during services or none at all. As I understand it, each pastor and congregation are free to run their services as they please. If I felt the need to publicly celebrate by beliefs I'd probably choose them. They don't force people to profess to any particular faith.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
liberalhistorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. As a liberal Christian, I believe your wife's
definition of what constitutes Christians is correct. Every religion has a basic and core set of beliefs, and it stands to reason that those who claim to be adherents of a particular religion must share at least those core and basic beliefs, regardless of the "sect" or "branch" of the religion.

The Unitarian church itself does not consider itself to be "Christian", although it incorporates some basic Christian teachings concerning the treatment of fellow human beings and the like. They think of themselves as all-inclusive, a kind of "church" for everyone. They're very good people, but are not "Christian" in the strictly religious definition of the word.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. Some are and many are not. That is the lovely thing about UU. They have
room for a lot of different people to worship in their churches.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EmperorHasNoClothes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. self delete
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 07:55 PM by EmperorHasNoClothes
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catbird Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. Some are; some aren't
There is a Unitarian-Universalist Christian Fellowship, which is an Independent Affiliate Organization of the Unitarian-Universalist Association.

For further information see http://www.uuchristian.org /

So you are both right.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. No, I don't think of us as Christians...
My UU Church has atheists, Jews, Greeks, Buddhists, and Hindus in its congregation. Our Pastor is Buddhist. Peace and Social Justice are our tenets. We honor the works and values of Jesus, Buddha, MLK, and so on, but we pray to none of them.

TC
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. your own search for truth = do NOT murder anyone with your results
while conducting your search or after you have found a satisfactory answer for yourself.

roots of the group are somewhat christian, with influences from many sources

unitarian means not believing in the trinity concept (no father, son, and holy smokes err ghost)

universalist means all who seek salvation will find it

some are christians, many are not.

msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
13. Yes - we are going through membership class right now. However....
My husband and I have been attending a UU church for a few months now, and started our membership classes last week. The history was just discussed in that class. UU is formed from the combination of two churches that preached similar messages, but were originally two different classes of people (mid-upper & worker class). The two churches were Unitarian (believing in a single god, not the trinity) & Universalist - same belief but more open acceptance to all religions (believing that we live for our current life, not the life beyond). I believe (if I'm remembering correctly), the unitarian belief structure dates back to the 300's, but it wasn't seen as what it is today - it just didn't practice the trinity. The trinity (father, son & holy ghost) isn't even in the bible, and was something that came out of a council session - I *think* in the 500s (could certainly be wrong on this date).

In the branch structure of religion, universalist falls under the spectrum of the 4 primary types of christianity. With fundementalist on one end of the spectrum and liberal UU on the other. The one reason why UU isn't accepted into the Christian Council is because we refuse to place oath to the Trinity. Furthermore, we respect religous awareness through all forms of spirituality (meaning we accept people of all faiths and cultures to actively worship).

Our Pastor went to a Jesuit school, but preaches a very open message on a variety of topics through the viewpoint on many religions. Therefore, we have people of all backgrounds, and religions that are comfortable to worship, as long as they also respect that the person next to them might not have the same spiritual belief structure. Overall, it's a fantastic religion to help in guiding your life on a true path of love and peace, with awareness of our surroundings and what relationship we have in it - as well as acceptance and love of others.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. An informative post

Thank you.

Have been hearing a lot about U UUs over the past few years and have liked all I have heard.

After reading your post I went looking for the dates of the First and Second Council of Nicea for you.found them and then got sidetrackedno matter.

What caught my eye and interest (as relevant to thread) was this from Wikpedia-
Historic Unitarians believed in the moral authority, but not the deity, of Jesus.

As I understand it the term Christ or Christos means The anointed one.

If that leaves (in UU cosmology) Jesus as a man (not a deity) who is anointed
(given moral authority) by God..then it makes more sense to me than the trinity.

I have also heard it said that in the time of Jesus all Israel was referred to as the son of God.

And none of the above interests me half as much as the knowledge that there are UU congregations comprising Christians, Buddhists, Atheists and Calithumpians all gathered in fellowship with a mind to social justice.

Good Lord.there is hope for us yet ;-)

Thanks again
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
14. By what authority does your wife, or anyone for that matter,
get to decide who is or is not a christian? If unitarians think they are christians, they are christians. What any other sect thinks of that is irrelevant.

Better to debate the number of angels that can occupy the head of a pin I think.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. That's not how language works.
I can say that I'm a baked bean, but that doesn't make me one.

The people who define who is and isn't a Christian are, ultimately, lexicographers, not theologists. The definition of the word "Christian" in the English language is, roughly, what the OP's wife said.

Whether someone is a Christian or not depends on whether they satisfy the definition of the word, not on whether or not they think they are.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Agree. n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #24
32. Gee Mel Gibson thinks anyone who isn't Catholic
isn't a christian. And he isn't alone. There are many sects that hold themselves to be the one true christian faith while all others are misguided corruptions at best. Are Mormons christians? Depends on which christian you ask.

If Unitarians follow the teachings of Jesus without requiring belief in the unproven divinity of Jesus are they just christians in practice only but not real christians? How stupid and unchristian is that? What would Jesus think?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. Completely Christian, I suspect, but that's beside the point.

The single most important part of Jesus's teachings as recorded in the bible (not, of course, necessarily accurately) was that he was the son of God and salvation was through him, so your claim that Unitarians who don't believe that are following his teachings is misguided.

However, that's irrelevant. The people who decide who is and isn't a Christian aren't theologians, they're lexicographers, and in the English language "Christian" means, roughly, something between "a worshipper of Jesus" and "someone who believes that Jesus was the son of God, died and rose again", depending on how picky you want to be. There *is* certainly a grey area, in which groups like Mormons fall.

However, the claims that all non-Catholics aren't Christians, or that most UUers are, fall well outside that grey area.



As to what Jesus would think, well, I suspect he'd be horrified by the UUers - the perception of Jesus as a hippy liberal primarily concerned with peace and love found among many left-wingers has very little, I suspect, with the beliefs of the actual 2000-years-ago Jewish mystic who founded Christianity. That's a completely different issue, though, as I said - even if were he to come back the UUers would be the group he most agreed with, if they don't worship him as the son of God then they're not Christians, in the sense the word is used in today.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #32
42. What? Is Mel Gibson Catholic?
I thought he was Catholic in the same sense that Mormons are Christians.

:evilgrin:

His anti-Vatican II Church is not recognized by the Holy See.

Technically, I've been attending Catholic Mass for near twenty years now, but I'm not Catholic. There are a still a few snags I'm still too stuck on to make that jump from the parallel tracks. To make a long convoluted story short, I think they are snags of the Church, while the Church believes they are snags on me. (Call me in 300 years, we'll see...)

But Mel??? I didn't see him and his family at Mass.

I've gone to church with Unitarians, and they reminded me a lot of the Quakers. Are Quakers Christians?

Anyhows, if you are a Unitarian or a Quaker, and Christ speaks to you, then you listen. In other religions that can get you in a lot of trouble, especially if Christ is telling you to support same sex marriages or something like that.

It's my own understanding that you can be as Christian as you are called to be within the Unitarian Church, and in some cases this is more of a calling than commonly occurs in nominally Christian churches.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Trajan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. I agree with your wife ....
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 08:46 PM by Trajan
Though it must be admitted : This has been the crux of debate and contention since the early church fathers hammered out (as best as they could) a catholic/orthodoxy from various sects and factions ..... What doesnt it mean to be a christian ? .... Many would agree with your wife ....

As a side note: I have taken one of those 'Religion Questionnaires' one might find online .... and I usually score highest as 'Universalist Unitarian' .... (or Quaker, where I also ranked high) ...

Funny thing is: I am strictly atheist, and secular humanist ....

I think the fact that UU and Quakers focus on human issues in the here and now places my general philosophical position somewhere near those two camps ....

The UU is christ-like in it's approach to the poor and needy, but it doesnt preach eternal damnation, which Christ occasionally thunders from time to time ....

"Capernaum shall be thrust down into hell ..."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
16. If the worship or study of Christ is at the core, they're Christians.
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 08:50 PM by rocknation
There's no litmus test as to how Christian you are.

:headbang:
rocknation
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
41. Worship of Christ is optional for UUs
I'm pagan and most of my home congregation are Jews and agnostics. Last time I checked, neither pagans, Jews nor agnostics qualified as Christians by any litmus test.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
17. not necessarily
some UUs may be Christians but not all

your wife is right to a point-Christians do believe that Jesus is the Son of God but I don't believe all of the New Testament; there are too many contradictions, especially in Paul
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
18. Define Christian.
If you don't do it ahead of time, you're arguing about something you don't think you're arguing about.

And, when the word "Christ" (or "Jesus") pops up, you have to define your Jesus. There are many. The Muslims have a Jesus that few Christians would recognize.

Philosophy 101, or college algebra (same diff) ... define your terms precisely, otherwise you don't really know what you're saying. Shifting definitions is a classic fallacy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. It's predefined.

In philosophy, as in algebra, you only need to define a term if it's not a set definition - "Christian" and "Abelian group" both already have definitions, so you can talk about them without needing to define them every time.

A Christian is defined, roughly, to be a follower of Christ who believes that he was the son of God and "died for our sins and was resurrected" or something to that effect.

I think it's more accurate to say "the Muslims believe things about Jesus quite different" than "the Muslims have a Jesus quite different". Even if you don't believe Jesus was a historical figure, the precise definition of Jesus isn't relevant to that - any (within reason) Jesus who the person in question believes to have the above properties will suffice to qualify them, as it were.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #30
33. No it isn't.
And the fact that you attempt to equate a precise mathematical term with something as imprecise as the meaning of christian is ridiculous.

Consider that your attempt to provide a precise definition fails as you trail off into 'or something like that' as you realize that your definition has stumbled straight into the morass of the mythology surrounding various christian beliefs. Did you want to throw in virgin birth too?

Now go look up the definition of Abelian Group and see if you can spot why these are not on the same footing.

How about 'follower of the teachings of Jesus of Nazereth'? It is a simple definition that probably pisses off the more traditionally religious while including even those problematic Unitarians. It leaves the interpretation of 'who is a christian' up to the individual, who simply has to answer for himself only 'am I a christian', which as far as I am concerned is exactly where one Jesus of Nazereth would have thought that it belonged.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Absolutely not.
If you follow Jesus's teachings without believing that he was the son of God, died and was resurrected then you're not a Christian. If you *do* believe that, and that his teachings are the right way to live, then you're probably a Christian even if you don't follow them yourself; just not a terribly good or devout one.

Belief in the virgin birth isn't a sine qua non for being a Christian, but you'll be an extremely heterodox one if you don't believe in it.

The reason I'm not quite certain of the form of words to use in the definition of a Christian, as compared to an Abelian group (a set with an associative & commutative binary operation, an indentity and inverses) is because I'm a mathematician, not a theologian - "something like that" means "I may have got the precise form of words wrong", not "the definition isn't the same as this in substance".

It's not, of course, as precise as a mathematical term - there are some borderline or questionable cases - but it's fairly universal, and totally clear in most cases.
In the case of the UUs, for example, it's clear that following Jesus's teachings without believing he was the Messia makes those of them who do believe that not Christians (although I believe that some of them in fact are).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hsher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
19. Hopefully the future of Christianity
Christianity the way Jesus would have wanted it, IMHO. A touch of new age, a warm non-judgmental atmosphere. Where else ya gonna get the New Testament, Pema Chodron and Wayne Dyer all on the same program, the same Sunday, and "it's all good"? Go UUs!

I LOVE EM.


www.yourmorningleibowitz.blogspot.com
The Daily Show as a comic strip
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
20. No, but some Christians are UUs...
UUs follow philosophies...Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Humanist, etc...

Doctrine and dogma are refreshingly absent.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
21. I have been to several UU congregations
And I have never seen a Bible, heard a prayer, or heard any discussion of Christ in those congregations. That doesn't mean that some congregations aren't Christian, but it is certainly not a requirement for membership in the UU Congregation. I am an atheist, and I felt quite welcome there.

Here is the official UU statement of belief:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
http://www.uua.org/aboutuua/principles.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
23. It's like when the KKK came to the Unitarian's house .......
they burned a big question mark on the lawn.


-Mort Sahl
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
26. Some are, some are not, from what I understand
all are welcomed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
27. I say...sounds like your wife is a semi-dogmatic Christian.
Good luck with that - you'll need it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I'd say "has access to a dictionary" rather than "semi-dogmatic".

Believing in Jesus and (the key points of) the New Testament is the definition of a Christian. It's a lexicographic issue, not a theological one.

Certainly, the idea that being married to someone who believes that will, on average, be more of a trial than being married to someone who isn't, is one which I think you would do well to reconsider.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. but it's not quite that simple
"Believing in ... the key points of the New Testament"

The problem is, you could ask thirty Christians to list the key points of the New Testament and you'd get thirty different answers. One example is whether it's necessary to believe in virgin births to be a Christian.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. Actually, it is that simple...
but I agree, if you ask 30 self-described Christians you will get 30 different answers.

The organized religions want the numbers and the envelopes/tithes so have watered down the doctrine to become a "big tent" for recruiting and retaining the membership. Same can be said for other political and social movements. Is a vegan who eats eggs really a vegan? Is a congressman who advocates against internet stalking of children but stalks them online really a child advocate?

People like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin and others realized the positive influences and teachings of the Scriptures minus the supernatural concepts that the churches of the time expected the followers to believe. Rather than throw the baby(Jesus)out with the bathwater they advocated the philosophy rather than the faith in absurdities to promote fellowship among an educated, rational people. The growth of deism, unitarianism and univeralism threatened conventional sects forcing them to focus on humanitarian rather than supernatural and dogmatic concepts.

As an aside, many catholics have found out the hard way about required doctrines and dogma when faced with divorce or remarriage and even birth control issues at times...this has led to a lot of sect hopping...

Religions have regained a lot of power and wealth in the US lately and have begun to push doctrinal purity and faith in absurdities again...

I say give them the rope...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
36. Traditionally, Christianity is based on two principles
1. All people are sinners and that, without salvation, every individual is going to Hell.
2. The one and only source of salvation is through Jesus Christ.

Everything else -- the definition of "sinner", the nature of salvation, what it means to be "in Hell", etc. -- are all matters of tradition, interpretation, and nearly two millennia of theological debate (and occasionally warfare.) These two principles represent the distillation of all the major Christian movements since Paul set pen to paper, and the vast majority of minor ones. They are represented in every creed, every declaration of the Ecumenical Councils and almost every Declaration of Faith.

I would say that the answer to your question is a qualified "No." The Unitarian Universalist Association does not place theological requirements on anyone, so as far as the denomination goes, they are not Christians in the individual sense. The qualification comes from the fact that "Christian" is a personal label, not an institutional one, and there are no doubt quite a few individual UUs who would meet the above criteria. Just as, I'm certain, there are many Baptists, Catholics, Russian Orthodox and Anglicans who do not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
37. I had one born-again nutcase (but I repeat myself) come to my house and...
...tell me Catholics aren't Christians. She's not my friend anymore.

Even though I'm an atheist, that riled me up majorly. It felt, I don't know, as if she was insulting my deceased Mom.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
38. I don't agree with either of you :)
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 10:25 AM by bloom
I say that Christians do not have to "believe that Jesus was the son of God" - I think that that is one interpretation.

I think if someone believed that Jesus was not the "Son of God" in a literal sense - but tried to follow the teachings of Jesus as s/he understood them - that person could consider her/himself to be a "Christian" -but should probably realize that a lot of people would not think that they were.


To me "Christian" suggests that the people believe that "Christ" is the one and only "Way" (or spiritual path) - where Universalists believe in a multiplicity of ways - that there is not just one way. But I think that there probably are Univeralist Christians - Esp. someone raised in a more conservative Christian tradition - who knows more about Christianity than most other things - who may mostly focus on Christianity - but does not exclude other paths, either. It would be someone who can pick and choose what makes sense out of various religious traditions.

There is the biblical thing that says that the only way is through Jesus. Some Christians think that that is a really important part of the idea of Christianity. I think that is a lot of nonsense and that it just reflects certain people's idea that they have to be "right" - the idea that they are the only ones who (can) know the truth.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-11-06 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. I agree with your definition
and that you hit the nail on the head in regards to the exclusionary aspects of the belief system, the need to hold the absolute truth when that absolute is essentially unknowable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
thingfisher Donating Member (445 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
43. Unitarians universalists are one thing
Christian Universalists are another. They beleive that all men will one day be redeemed by Christ and reject the idea that the vast majority of humans will end up in an eternal hell of fire. I find their beleif system very attractive although it is rejected outright as heresy by most fundamentalist churches, who are very attached to the idea of everlasting torment for those who reject Jesus.

Unitarians believe in the basic validity of all religions who seek god in their own ways.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Oct 25th 2014, 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Religion/Theology Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC