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Will you help me settle this debate with my friend: can a Christian be a freethinker?

Me and one of my oldest friends were debating this. We're both non-theists, by the way. I don't want to bias the results... so I won't say what side I'm on.

What do you think, can you be both a freethinker and a Christian?

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silvereyes 8 Jan 8

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A lot of Christain’s practice religion mostly because of tradition and don’t take it that seriously so sure a Christain can be a freethinker.


The atheist group has the greatest knowledge of all groups, about worldwide Religions.

It is why they reject to pratice Religion, and why they use it to protect themselves.

When another group knows your Religion better than you know your own Religion. That is a sure sign you lack thinking about your own core life system.


Being a Christian REQUIRES holding specific beliefs. Free thought has no requirements, it's free. It's like when someone says "I'm a Christian because I'm a skeptic" or "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist". A skeptic is someone who does not believe a claim until there is sufficient evidence to support believing that the claim is true, and it doesn't take faith to Not believe something. And your not a free thinker if you have required beliefs and restrictions on what you can doubt, that's not freedom.


I said, "Yes" to the poll. I know one Christian who is. People like him are rare. The majority of Christians cannot be. They are arrogant. They do not want to learn anything other than what they were taught in catechism of Sunday school.


obviously only in a limited way, they may think freely on some things?


It's fairly cut and dry to me. Based on the Webster definitions, if you are a free thinker then you can't truly practice any faith based religion.


Only partially in my view. They might not be excercising free thought in terms of their religious beliefs but they can be free thinkers when it comes to other things. Yes there's some cognitive dissonance there but still. It's not impossible.


Seem a cartoon of the painting of Michelangelo. Take off of God touching a finger with Abam . Rather this cartoonist had God offering a brain to Adam. Adam waved back with his finger, no, no no.


Can't see an over Obedient Christian being a true free thinker . Maybe a soft believer, for sure not a Christ fundamentalist.


During the deconversion process, there's overlap. Cognitive dissonance is recognised and acknowledged. Bad theories and beliefs tossed with reticence. It's like - Gee, what if...

But to maintain both in equilibrium is madness.


I have known very dedicated Christians that believed in evolution, so they were outside main stream Christian doctrine. Some were prochoice. I thought of them as free thinkers. I think it is wrong to view all of them in the same light. I have seen secular critical thinking in religious people, and their attraction to religion was to sit in the light of the stained glass and meditate. All of them are not Zealots. I am pretty sure that most of them would not die for their faith.


I voted yes-cultural Christian?


With free in mind ultimately a christian has to answer to the higher power and have explanation for their actions. Where as a free thinker can express whatever they want with no fear of consequence.

There are plenty that don't believe in heaven or hell, or that their God is a judging/unfair one. And theres always laws to hold anyone back - for one, not everyone lives where freedom of speech is a thing (and theres definitely a lot of shutdown in the US as is).


Just like an atheist, a lack of belief is only one trait in someone's personality. An atheist can have some "unusual" beliefs outside of their atheism. (Ghosts, Bigfoot, Aliens, Etc)

The way I see it, a theist can have other personality traits such as freethinking but for whatever reason(s) they're stuck on god.


Going by the definition, you cannot. Some have claimed that you can be and that's how they transitioned. I do not believe this to be true. Just because the journey may seem longer than an instant, it's really not. Kind of like being pregnant, whatever your definition of pregnancy is, you are either in that state, or you are not. (e.g. If you consider it to be implantation of a fertilized egg onto the uterine wall, the egg is either implanted, or it is not.) The same is true for being a Christian. There are probably a ton of definitions for it, but I think there is one that makes the most sense: you are a Christian if you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. All the other definitions that take into account teachings and practices fail us because they are so vastly different and contradictory. But if you believe Jesus IS God, it bypasses all the other junk. But whatever your definition, it seems as though you either are, or you are not a Christian. Either I believe that god exists and Jesus is that god, or I don't. Let's face it, if you kind of believe or you think he's part god, then you don't believe he's god. And according to the definition of freethinker: "Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, revelation, or other dogma" it cannot coexist with Christian for there can be no belief in the divinity of Jesus that is formed on logic, reason, and empirical data.

The Bible either is the Universal truth and Knowledge or it is a lie. No thinking required, you got the sheep herders guild to the Universe. Why explore or think any more?

Since everyone lies to different degrees, and man wrote the Bible, then the Bible must be a lie.

If the Bible is the be all and end akl. If your God asked you to kill your son or daughter to show your faith. Would you without thinking?. I would kill God before killing my daughter, yet I don't have too, because I can't imagine running out of ideas to kill anyone.

Just look at all the graveyards and tombstones worldwide who died written in the name of God. What were they thinking?

@Castlepaloma I have no idea what your comment is about...


Could be a free thinker about anything which isn't related to religion (though there aren't really that many things this would apply to, since an omnipotent god would trump science, and everything is tied together by science)...

I don't think one is a freethinker ABOUT individual things, they are just a freethinker, and it applies to everything.

Aaah, I see...Then I'll change my answer to 'no'....thanx!

I would think of Science as a branch in the tree of life. Don't think God or science as the be all and end all. I feel in the middle of extreme poles of atheist and Religion. When a group gets onesided or extreme, that limits your thinking.


I'll put it this way, if you've got an evangelical or born again Christian saying "Hey, I'm a free thinker!" then I think you're probably dealing with either delusion or deception there.


Some people use the label “Christian” but work/behave more in line with freethinking. But as to what these people are, to me that is more like “lost” than freethinking or Cristian.


I'm an ignostic episcopalian. I'm a free thinker. Happy to answer your question for you.

I'm confused, how can you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ while at the same time claiming it is absurd to even propose to have a conception of god?

@JeffMurray Where did I say I believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

@Druvius How exactly are you Episcopalian if you don't?

@JeffMurray The same way anyone joins a church? Was that a trick question?

@Druvius Being a member of a church community is not the same thing as being a member of its faith. Does signing up on an atheist website mean someone is an atheist?

@JeffMurray So now you ate going to define my faith for me. We're done here. God bless. 🙂

@Druvius I'm not defining it, the tenets of faith are. Saying you are two things in an effort to prove those things can coexist (you said you were a freethinker and a Christian) and then backing out and saying that you're not one of the things (not a believer in the divinity of Jesus) is a waste of everyone's time. Plus the "God bless" is pretty non-freethinkery of you...


I’m sorry, but if you’re dedicated to the defense of a select ideology, then you’ll never be a free thinker.


Wow it’s 50/50 damn. Maybe we need a better definition for freethinker. It should not be evenly split.

Riley Level 6 Jan 8, 2018

a person who rejects accepted opinions, especially those concerning religious belief.
synonyms: nonconformist, individualist, independent, maverick; agnostic, atheist, nonbeliever, unbeliever; informalbad boy
"he has been celebrated as a freethinker and a rebel"


some of the smartest , nicest people I know are xians and look at the world much as I do . They just love to be in a group setting . safety in numbers may be their modus operandi.


If you'll take a stroll through my gallery?

I have two perspectives. One is the one I grew up in. Everyone is a freethinker...except faith..."accept faith'll be much better." This was in one of many rebel flag flying neighborhoods, when the only identifications with it were rebellion and being southern in my mind, but most others not so. Affiliated or not, if you were there you were probably a white supremacist.

Then there are those among our scientists, artists...there may even be some clergy left...who...I guess have compartmentalized so well they can be at once our greatest intellects, humanitarians and philanthropists.

Except those "Pray, then eat" missionaries. Please.


All religions require adherence to a dogma.

How about the Religion of Dudeism?


Many people I Know are Christian by label only; going thru the motions, be it out of habit, family, social or other reasons.

mzee Level 7 Jan 8, 2018

That's just semantics. Am I a Catholic because my mom had me baptized into the Catholic Church, or am I not a Catholic because I do not believe in God or any Catholic/Christian teachings whatsoever?

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