Christian Atheism

Is there room in the church for the Christian Atheist or the Christian non-Theist, the Christian that doesn’t necessarily, or doesn’t believe in God at all.  I’m just beginning research on this topic, and want to know what this community thinks about this issue.

I know churches are different, and as there have been different responses in the Church regarding the issue of homosexuality from total inclusion, to total exclusion and somewhere in between the two extremes.  I am convinced,  regarding the issue of Christian Atheism, the Church’s position will be along similar lines of total inclusion, total exclusion, and somewhere in between.

Is there space in the church for those who don’t believe in God?  What about the Christian who used to believe in God, but doesn’t anymore, and what does that space look like?  Would it be best if the church adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach regarding Christian Atheism?  Which I think is where the church is at now.  There is no asking because there is a general assumption that people who are a part of a church believe in God, and what I’m saying is this assumption should not be taken for granted. 

In bringing all this uip, perhaps I am trying to find a solution to a problem that does not exist, at least not yet, but I really think this is the next battle the church faces.  I’ve been a Christian, involved in many different churches as a lay person, a church leader and pastoral staff for almost forty years

I’ve been a part and help lead churches through different battles, including women in ministry amd gays in the church, and I really think Christian Atheism is the next battle for the church.  I think this, because I’m not special.  If I think this, others think this or have thought this long before I have.  What I’m wondering is how do we respond?  How should the Church respond?

25 thoughts on “Christian Atheism

  1. Is there room in the church for the Christian Atheist or the Christian non-Theist,…

    I think the first thing we should do is define what we mean by “room” or “space”–in the Church. Being a member–maybe an active member where an individual has the same set of core beliefs and works together for common goals.

    This definition is still too vague, and I think it needs further work, but I want to mention another possible definition….Well, not so much a definition, but what the words strongly imply, at least to me–namely, acceptance and love. That is, “space” = loving and accepting the individual, versus judging, rejecting, or even condemning a person because of their beliefs.

    My sense is that the Church should always have space, in this second sense, for every person. That is the Church should love everyone, regardless of the beliefs. This is not the same as accepting and/or approving of all beliefs. We can love people while not agreeing with their beliefs.

    But loving everyone in this way doesn’t mean the Church should have space for everyone, in the first sense…at least I don’t think it should. That a Church would not allow individuals to become members if they don’t share a core set of beliefs and goals seems reasonable to me, and I don’t think violating the call to love everyone.

    Here’s a quick example that came to mind. If a Pentecostal church believes that one must speak in tongues (i.e., be baptized in the Holy Spirit) in order to be member of their church, but I don’t, I wouldn’t be offended if that church doesn’t allow me as a member. I also wouldn’t consider this unloving.

    Oh, I thought of a third definition of “space.” Space could mean allowing individuals to visit and interact with members of the church, engaging in dialogue. I feel like the Church should create this type of space.

    Edit:

    John, could you define what you mean by Christian atheist?

    1. John, could you define what you mean by Christian atheist?

      When I think of Christian Atheists, I mean Christians who don’t believe in God. That’s the simple definition, but I think you’re wondering more about the Christian part than the Atheist part, so I think the question becomes, not what does it mean to be a Christian Atheist, but what does it mean to be Christian, and can someone be a Christian and not believe in God. Twenty years ago, I would have answered an emphatic no. Ten years ago, I’d hane to think about it, and probably lean toward no. Today, I believe it is entirely possible to call oneself Christian without believing in God. I think this goes to the faith/works debate we see in the book of James, where faith without works is dead. Faith is not about what we say we believe, but what we do. In my early Christian experience, this wasn’t always the case. The beginnings of faith in Christ was always expressed in words first, as in, a profession of faith, then we move to discipleship, which really serves to reinforce our profession of faith. And hopefully, works comes later. Is this really the best model for Christian formation? For me, being a Christian is not so much about what we say or what we believe, as much as it is about what we do.

      What do I mean by space?

      When I first started looking at the issue of Christian Atheism, I used the word place instead of space, as in, “Is there a place in the church for the Christian Atheist?” I didn’t like this, because it reeked of placeism, as in know your place. I use the word space in the hopes of opening the conversation. Can Christians who do not believe in God find a home in the church? Perhaps this is too sentimental, and not concrete enough. I hate to use the word member here, pertaining to church membership, because while churches might hope for new members, or more members, church membership isn’t what it used to be. Many today are content with being active in a congregation without being members. As active participants in a local congregation are all avenues of opportunity available to the Christian Atheist? Can the Christian Atheist teach Sunday School, lead in worship, give their offerings (which is a much deeper theological consideration), preach, be a deacon or hold other office? Can the Christian Atheist be on equal footing with the Christian Theist.

  2. What I’m wondering: In what way is a Christian Atheist, a Christian? Based on what you wrote, I’d guess you mean someone who behaves in a Christlike manner, without believing in God. Is that the gist of what you mean?

    Faith is not about what we say we believe, but what we do.

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this. It sounds like you’re saying one’s beliefs are largely irrelevant–only one’s actions. Maybe you don’t mean this, but I don’t really agree with this thinking.

    Faith–trust and love in God–those states of being are crucial. If they’re substantive, then certain actions will result from them. If these actions don’t manifest themselves, then those concepts are largely hollow and perhaps not real. That is, such a person really doesn’t have faith, obedience, trust and love. If one’s faith and trust in God is really substantive, that will lead to certain actions.

    Moreover, as a Christian, I believe in order to do good works, to walk in a way that is pleasing to God, I need God. Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit redeem and renew my spirit and ultimately enable me to do this.

    As a Christian, to me, doing good works is not the central point. The central point is one’s relationship to God. And the cross is central to this relationship as well…There’s a lot more to say, but I’ll stop here.

  3. Can Christians who do not believe in God find a home in the church? Perhaps this is too sentimental, and not concrete enough.

    Yeah, I think this is too vague. I think the could possibly find a home in a Christian Church if they are simply passively involved (e.g., not much more than attend services). I think it would be more problematic if they were more actively involved (e.g., preach, teach Sunday school, etc.)

    But this raises another important question in my opinion–namely, why would they want to be? Could you describe a scenario where someone who doesn’t believe in God would want to be an active member of the Church?

    For me, a big part of being a Christian is my need for God–for healing and redemption. I am a sinner–a morally and spiritually weak person–and I’m in need of help; I need the cross of Christ. This is a crucial thing that connects me to all other Christians.

    1. What I’m wondering: In what way is a Christian Atheist, a Christian? Based on what you wrote, I’d guess you mean someone who behaves in a Christlike manner, without believing in God. Is that the gist of what you mean?

      Yes. I think what you think I’m saying is correct. How we live is more important than what we believe, though I understand what we do can be a reflection of what we believe. So let me ask you this: Is it more important for the Christian Atheist to have a proper belief, in this case, to believe in God, or to act accordingly, even if they don’t believe in God?

      Faith–trust and love in God–those states of being are crucial. If they’re substantive, then certain actions will result from them. If these actions don’t manifest themselves, then those concepts are largely hollow and perhaps not real. That is, such a person really doesn’t have faith, obedience, trust and love. If one’s faith and trust in God is really substantive, that will lead to certain actions.

      The Alabama state legislature, Texas state legislature, Georgia state legislature, and several others, are we really going to give them a pass in the continual oppression of people of color, the least of these, when it comes to voting rights, and I’m assuming, professed Christians, who say they believe in God. Is belief really more important than action?

  4. Could you describe a scenario where someone who doesn’t believe in God would want to be an active member of the Church?

    All of this started with an active church member, an ordained minister, and former pastor, who decided he can’t believe what he doesn’t believe any more. Do we simply toss this person aside, maybe hope he comes to his senses, and believes in God again like he’s supposed to, or do we find a way to make room for him in the church as more than a passive participant in the church?

    1. But is not being part of the church equivalent to tossing himself? To me, “tossing him aside” would be cutting off all ties with him. If the church members still maintained a relationship/friendship and treated him with love, but he was no longer a member of the church, would you see that “tossing him aside?”

  5. So let me ask you this: Is it more important for the Christian Atheist to have a proper belief, in this case, to believe in God, or to act accordingly, even if they don’t believe in God?

    In terms of being a Christian, I think belief in God is central–and there’s a lot to this belief. My understanding of myself, human existence, the purpose of my life–that stems from the belief that God exists. What I do, how I live is based on a belief in God. If I didn’t believe in God, the way I live and the ultimate goals I’m striving for would be really different.

    I don’t think Christianity, at its essence, is simply moral teachings that one should implement.

    (On another note, you lost me with the point about “giving a pass” to those state legislatures or people who believe in God.)

    Is belief really more important than action?

    For a Christian, I would say faith, trust and love in God is critical. Here, I’m talking about real faith, trust and love–which will manifest themselves in action. I’m not talking about simply saying, “I believe in God or “x” theology.” I’m talking about faith–trust and love in God–that actually manifests themselves in action.

    1. In terms of being a Christian, I think belief in God is central–and there’s a lot to this belief. My understanding of myself, human existence, the purpose of my life–that stems from the belief that God exists. What I do, how I live is based on a belief in God. If I didn’t believe in God, the way I live and the ultimate goals I’m striving for would be really different.

      Do you really believe the things you do, the things you strive for would be so radically different if you didn’t believe in God? I am seriously asking this, and maybe it’s difficult to answer because you can’t imagine not believing in God. Would you not still strive to be a loving spouse, someone who cares deeply about your community, who tries to help those in need? Would you not be a champion for social justice, or a peacemaker? Would you really be so awful if not for God?

      (On another note, you lost me with the point about “giving a pass” to those state legislatures or people who believe in God)

      I apologize. I thought I was clear in my post, but when I reread it I can see how it might be ambiguous. The point I was trying to make is about belief and action. Those state legislatures, composed of mostly white people, and I’m making an assumption, but I think it’s probably accurate, overwhelmingly Christian, with a strong belief in God, have passed legislation in an attempt to retain power by suppressing the voting rights of people of color. I don’t know any other way to see this. This is an issue of social justice. Christians with a strong belief in God should not be doing this. They should not be trying to silence the voice of the minority, in many cases the poor and forgotten, “the least of these”. How are these Christians with a strong belief in God able to ignore this basic principle to love all of God’s children? Is it because they don’t believe they will be judged by God, and if they don’t believe in God’s judgement, does it really matter if they believe in God?
      Why are those who stand on the side of the poor, who fight for justice, who love their neighbors as themselves, who for whatever reason, don’t believe in God, why are they less worthy of the call of Christ?

  6. For a Christian, I would say faith, trust and love in God is critical. Here, I’m talking about real faith, trust and love–which will manifest themselves in action. I’m not talking about simply saying, “I believe in God or “x” theology.” I’m talking about faith–trust and love in God–that actually manifests themselves in action.

    ‘What do you mean when you talk about faith and trust? I know you’re talking about faith in God, and trusting God, but what does this mean? Faith that God will do what, or trusting God for…

    1. Off the top of my head, trust involves truly believing that one’s well-being is not primarily dependent on one’s efforts. For example, generally, I have a list of things I feel I need to accomplish–some more pressing than others. I frequently get this sense that if I don’t accomplish some or all of them, I’m screwed. That is, my well-being depends on my accomplishing these things. If I’m highly stressed or even panicked about accomplishing these things that I tend to think this is a lack of trust. If I’m trusting God, I may still seek to accomplish the items on my list, but I won’t be so stressed out about it–acting as if everything is riding on me accomplishing them.

      To trust God also involves being open to God’s list of things to do, His priorities. He might want you to do something ahead of the things on your list. He might want you to do nothing at all and just wait. Can you do this comfortably, without fretting? If so, I think that’s a sign of trust and faith.

  7. Do you really believe the things you do, the things you strive for would be so radically different if you didn’t believe in God?

    I think some things would be similar–I suspect I would still try to be a good husband and father; and I’d probably feel bad, at least to some degree, about my failures at this. From a secular point of view, I think I’m a fairly decent person, and I suspect I would continue that, if I didn’t believe in God. (Then again, it’s hard to know the degree to which I would change if I didn’t believe in God.)

    But the moral component of my life is only one aspect of my faith. The other, likely more central, aspect is my relationship with God and the beliefs that are relevant to this relationship. For example, I believe God is an all-powerful being, who loves me, and has a plan for me; and his plan is way better than mine. I want to walk humbly with God in my life, living my life trusting him–versus acting as if my well-being ultimately depends on my efforts. It’s about giving up worldly conceptions of success and how people should live. This also involves practicing the spiritual disciplines to allow God to fill my life with his presence and power–both of which would truly transform me….

    …I could go on, but I’ll stop here. I don’t know if I’m what I’m saying is clear, and I don’t think it’s adequate….I would just say that I don’t really think in terms of being a good person or doing good works. I spend far more time thinking (and worrying) about revering God, truly trusting Him, being obedient because I genuinely want to please Him and for Him to be pleased with me; and being obedient because I truly believe He is God.

    The way I treat others stems from this. But it’s only one part. If I’m trusting God, I’m not acting as if my life depends on my efforts. I’m not acting out of fear or panic that I’ll be screwed unless I do something. I mention this specific example because it is really not about the way I treat others; it’s about how I live my life.

  8. Why are those who stand on the side of the poor, who fight for justice, who love their neighbors as themselves, who for whatever reason, don’t believe in God, why are they less worthy of the call of Christ?

    When you say “call of Christ,” I’m thinking an invitation to be a Christian. I think they are worthy of that invitation. But based on the context, that doesn’t sound like what you mean. It sounds like you mean accepted versus shunned or rejected by the Church (i.e., they can’t be active members).

    If this is what you mean, I would say that whether one can be a part of the Church has less to do with whether one does good works or not and more to do with one’s beliefs and spiritual goals. Worshiping God, submitting one’s self and life to God, walking humbly with God–I would say these are key goals for many serious Christians. How would the atheist fit in to a community like this?

    And to be clear, I think the Christians can love and have a relationship with atheists, but that is a separate issue from being an active member of the church.

    How are these Christians with a strong belief in God able to ignore this basic principle to love all of God’s children? Is it because they don’t believe they will be judged by God, and if they don’t believe in God’s judgement, does it really matter if they believe in God?

    You’re not talking about political policies and religious beliefs. I think this is a really murky and thorny topic. For example, I believe that people can say they support a particular political policy because of their faith, when their support stems from something non-spiritual or religious. Politics and public policies are about power–worldy power. Striving for worldly power is often at odds with spiritual goals in my opinion. Is it possible for the two to be compatible? I think so, but I think it’s rare, and I suspect it’s difficult to know when this actually occurs.

    (By the way, I don’t mean that public policy or political positions can’t be informed by religious beliefs and principles. I’m saying that the support for political position is often driven by the desire for power and the desire for power is at odds with spiritual goals. What is spiritual seems to involve a relinquishing of (worldly) power.)

  9. You’re not talking about political policies and religious beliefs. I think this is a really murky and thorny topic. For example, I believe that people can say they support a particular political policy because of their faith, when their support stems from something non-spiritual or religious.

    You’re right, I’m not directly talking about political policy and religious belief, but when we speak of actions and belief, I don’t know how we can leave this out. If I can systematically disregard the poor, does it really matter what I believe? And if you don’t think that’s what these state legislatures are doing, marginalizing people without a voice by restricting their right to vote, give me an alternative, something more palpable. Tell me why their actions are correct.

    Now I’m not saying that as Christians, we don’t do things we shouldn’t do, perhaps in the heat of the moment, maybe even thought out, trying to get out of a circumstance we’d rather avoid, and because of a lack of faith and trust in God, we do something we shouldn’t do. I don’t think this applies to these mostly Christian bodies, intent on holding on to “secular” power, devising a scheme to restrict voting rights, to diminish the voice of those who desperately need a voice. The point I’m trying to make is there are worse things than not believing in God.

    1. You’re right, I’m not directly talking about political policy and religious belief, but when we speak of actions and belief, I don’t know how we can leave this out.

      First of all, a correction: I meant to say, “You are talking about politics and religious beliefs. I think this is a real murky and thorny topic.” I mentioned the way people can believe their religious principles and beliefs drive their political positions, when, in fact, non-religious factors are the primary driver.

      But let me mention something else. I’m very uncomfortable with the notion that a political position is more Christian than other positions. Now, there are times when I believe some positions are more Christian or moral than others, but many other political positions are complex and ambiguous.

      Using one’s political positions as an indication of one’s religiosity or spirituality doesn’t seem like a good approach–or a least it’s not the approach I favor.

    2. I forgot to comment on this:

      The point I’m trying to make is there are worse things than not believing in God.

      I guess, it depends on what we mean by “not believing in God.” A real, deep belief in God would lead to humility, submission, and trust–which is closely related to putting God at the center of one’s life, rather than putting one’s self in the center. I don’t think there is many things worse than failing to believe in God, in this respect.

      Same with not believing in sin or that one is in great spiritualr need of healing and redemption; not believing in the cross.

      And to be clear, by “worse,” I’m not saying that non-believers should be treated badly. I mean the consequences for the individual.

  10. It sounds like you mean accepted versus shunned or rejected by the Church (i.e., they can’t be active members).

    That’s kind of what I mean. I don’t think the church shuns people who don’t believe in God. We certainly welcome them to be a part of our church activities. We let them give their money, and time to engage in the church’s ministries. The church doesn’t worry about this because we don’t know, nor do we care that there are Atheists in our midst. There is an assumption that people who go to church believe in God. I’m not saying there in an overwhelming number of atheists in the church, but to think they don’t exist is kind of like thinking there were no gay people in the church before this century. Today there are many churches that accept fully, gay Christians, and for many of these churches it has been a difficult journey, but they struggled with this issue, and are better for it, because of the struggle and the outcome. I am wondering if the same can be true for the Christian Atheist?

    Now I think you agree people who are gay can also be Christian. Where we differ is the idea that people who don’t believe in God can also be Christian. You reject, or are at least deeply skeptical with the idea of Christians that don’t believe in God, while I accept that Christianity and atheism are not necessarily mutually exclusive. While we might not agree on this, I think the conversation is still important and worth having.
    How the church responds to the Christian who doesn’t believe in God is going to be the next big issue we face. I really believe this. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. You’ve already mentioned one difficulty: worship, specifically the worship of God. But just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t struggle with it.

  11. That’s kind of what I mean.

    Then I agree with you–I think the Church should accept atheists–as in, they should love them, maintain relationships with them, not treat them as pariahs. But to accept them in this way doesn’t mean that the Church needs to accept them as members of the body. To not accept them as members isn’t inherently unloving or cruel in my view.

    Where we differ is the idea that people who don’t believe in God can also be Christian.

    The definition of a Christian would be radically different from my definition. A relationship to God is central to my definition of Christianity. I want to say that everything I do as a Christian relates back to my relationship to God. So if you take God out of the equation, there’s not much left of Christianity–at least my understanding of it.

  12. But let me mention something else. I’m very uncomfortable with the notion that a political position is more Christian than other positions. Now, there are times when I believe some positions are more Christian or moral than others, but many other political positions are complex and ambiguous.

    You know, I also am uncomfortable with the notion of Christian political positions. I think the descriptive nature of Christian should apply to people more than anything else. When I bring up this example, I am not talking about politics. You’re the one bringing up politics and the murkiness of it all. I am talking about actions and the things we do, and how, more than anything, show what we value, what’s important to us, and what we believe. I don’t understand how you are able to so casually disregard the actions of these bodies, saying it’s politics, not religion, when what they’ve done, not by accident, but with thought and malice goes against these basic teachings of Jesus.

    I think the Church should accept atheists–as in, they should love them, maintain relationships with them, not treat them as pariahs. But to accept them in this way doesn’t mean that the Church needs to accept them as members of the body. To not accept them as members isn’t inherently unloving or cruel in my view.

    Twenty years ago I might have agreed with you. We should love them, maintain relationships with them, and not treat them as pariahs, but to accept them as members of the body…that’s just going too far. Only thing, this is the same position many churches took regarding the issue of homosexuality: Love the sinner, hate the sin. And regardless of our intention, it was both unloving and cruel. Hey we love you, but you are less than us, because our God, or our perception of God does not love you nor accept you for who you are.

    1. I don’t understand how you are able to so casually disregard the actions of these bodies, saying it’s politics, not religion, when what they’ve done, not by accident, but with thought and malice goes against these basic teachings of Jesus.

      First of all, I totally disagree with the various states changing laws to make voting more difficult. I see this as part and parcel of the GOP’s shift toward authoritarianism to be honest. I think it’s un-American and wrong, and I’m not casually dismissing their actions.

      But I’m not comfortable impugning the religious faith of the Christians in these states who support these political moves, which is how I’m reading your position, but maybe I’m misunderstanding you?

      1. I’m not comfortable impugning the religious faith of the Christians in these states who support these political moves, which is how I’m reading your position,

        Yes, I am impugning their religious faith. I am calling into question their Christianity, based on what seems to me an obvious disregard of one of the basic tenets of Christianity, love your neighbor as yourself. I understand the irony of what I’m saying considering the first part is to love God, but what does it all mean if we do not love our neighbor. How can we say we love God, and not love our neighbor by marginalizing a large segment of God’s creation. I mean I guess we can say we’re talking about politics, and not religion. I’m just not comfortable doing that. Still, I think this is something worth looking at, what it means to be Christian.

        Yes, I am questioning their Christianity based on their actions, in the same way, I think, you question the Christianity of Christian Atheists, based on their beliefs, or lack of it.

    2. Hey we love you, but you are less than us, because our God, or our perception of God does not love you nor accept you for who you are.

      That doesn’t sound like loving the sinner, but hating the sin to me. What you describe sounds like a failure of execution, not an inherent failure of the concept.

      My current belief and understanding is that homosexuality is a sin. But I don’t think homosexuals are less than heterosexual Christians. I believe we’re all sinful, and I don’t think there is a sin that is worse than others. If Christians are treating some people as lesser because of specific sins, something is amiss….

      …There seems to be two issues–issues that shouldn’t be conflated. One has to do with loving people and the other has to do with membership in the Church. With regard to the latter, I don’t really think about this much, and the notion of excluding individuals based on their (sinful) conduct makes me uncomfortable–largely for the reason I mentioned above.

      But I’m more comfortable with accepting or excluding individuals as members of a Church based doctrinal/theological groups. I’m pretty sure there are many Christian churches that would not accept me as a member for such reasons–that is, there would be some doctrinal/theological disagreement. I don’t think this is a problem–or at least I can’t think of any problems off the top of my head. To me, the atheist issue you raise is in the same category.

      On a side note, for what it’s worth, when I think of sin, the ones that I’m concerned with most, for my own life, have to do with pride, selfishness, callousness, a lack of faith and trust in God–things like this. (And these things relate to my relationship to God.)

    3. Yes, I am impugning their religious faith.

      OK. I’m just not comfortable doing this. In my view. the translation of one’s religious faith into a political policy can be murky and complex. I rarely feel comfortable or confident designating a political position as Christian or non-Christian.

      And, as I mentioned before, political positions are almost always about (worldly) power. This is another reason I don’t like labeling political positions as Christian or not.

      Yes, I am questioning their Christianity based on their actions, in the same way, I think, you question the Christianity of Christian Atheists, based on their beliefs, or lack of it.

      Yeah, I’m not comfortable judging someone’s Christianity based on their political positions or even their behavior more broadly. On on the other hand, if someone says they don’t believe in God or believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose to life–I have a hard time understanding how that person can be a Christian.

      Off the top of my head, I would say that to be consider part of any religion–e.g., Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism–requires accepting certain fundamental beliefs of those religions. It’s not just about acting in a moral way. If a person behaves in a virtuous/moral way–if they are compassionate, etc.–does that make them a Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Jew? Doesn’t membership or belonging to one of each of those religions depend on believing in certain key tenets of each of those religions?

      1. Doesn’t membership or belonging to one of each of those religions depend on believing in certain key tenets of each of those religions?

        You know, I don’t know. I;m sure there are, but I don’t know what they are. I think we make the assum[tion that Christians believe in God, and it’s not necessarily a bad assumption. We assume most of the earlier followers of Christ were devout Jews, meaning they participated in the synagogue, went to temple on the holy days, made the sacrifices they were supposed to make, but I don’t know if they had a relationship with God the way you understand having a relationship with God. What made them Jewish is not necessarily a belief in God, as much as adhering to the practices of Judaism. We can say that there adherence to these practices comes out pf a deep belief in God, and again, we make that assumption, but after generations of waiting on God to deliver them from captivity, from the Assyrians, Babalonians, and eventually Roman rule, I’ve got to think there were those who at least wondered, or simply doubted the existence of God.

        I think this is what the early church was made up of, those who believed in the teachings of Jesus. In its inception, Christianity is not so much of a religious movement as it is a political one, a way to cast off their oppressors.

        We can speak of key tenets of Christianity, and maybe believing in God is one of them, but I think we know for certain loving neighbor, caring for the “least of these”, standing for the oppressed, are as much, or more, a part of Christianity as belief in God.

        Perhaps we need to take another look at what it means to be Christian.

  13. A relationship to God is central to my definition of Christianity. I want to say that everything I do as a Christian relates back to my relationship to God.

    Please explain to me what it means to have a relationship with God. I’m not trying to be difficult or combative. I’ve heard this language before. I’m not sure if I’ve used it, and if I have, I’m not sure of its meaning. What does it mean to have a relationship with God? What does a relationship with God look like, or more specifically, what does your relationship with God look like?
    Also, when you say everything you do as a Christian relates back to your relationship to God, is there anything you don’t do as a Christian, or maybe that’s poorly worded, is there anything you do that’s not as a Christian? Perhaps also poorly stated.

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