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Thoughts on people who claim not to be religious but still believe in Jesus/god/sin/heaven etc?

Met a few people who say this and I know there are different schools of thought on this topic. Thoughts? Can you believe and not be 'religious'?

loloworonuk 3 Apr 16

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To be honest I think that's most Christians. They all engage in cafeteria Christianity where they pick and choose what they want to do and what they want to believe.

Cafeteria Christianity - nice turn of phrase

Would you agree that its all cafeteria? Humans are built to adapt to changing circumstance. Religion and faith is no different.

@Quarm adoptable in the sense that's selfish . You know your God is man-made when it hates the same people you do. The part of the Bible that talks negative about gays also talks negative about fermented food.I don't see Christians being outraged over grocery stores and restaurants serving sauerkraut and other fermented foods.

@Kojaksmom Would you agree we are all selfish. It comes I think with the very nature of humanity. The rub as it were is balancing selfishness with our wish for community. I no longer identify as Christian as I do not agree with any rational real or imagined to hate and oppress others.

@Quarm yes I would agree that each and every one of us is selfish. The key is to find the balance.


It depends on what you mean by “Jesus.” A god who came to earth and rose again? I would question why you would believe that if you’re not spiritual. But a Jesus who hand an interesting take on Judaism, flirted with messianic ideologies, and who apparently impacted someone who would eventually deify him, well, we’re pretty sure that guy existed, we just don’t know much about him.

As to sin, well, that would depend upon the creation story, which is incompatible with what we know about earth’s evolution. And here I would ask, “Why do you need sin?” We all ask the bigger questions about “right and wrong,” but at our everyday level, we know to “do no harm.”

God, heaven, afterlife... it all depends on how you define them. Do you do so against the backdrop of Christianity? That would put you back in the religious camp. But to consider the bigger questions, and use the term “god,” “heaven,” all that, as long as you’re not using those terms to bring harm, I see nothing wrong with it.

"But a Jesus who hand an interesting take on Judaism, flirted with messianic ideologies, and who apparently impacted someone who would eventually deify him, well, we’re pretty sure that guy existed, we just don’t know much about him."

"We" may be pretty sure but "they" would be wrong. There is no evidence of a real life Jesus Christ. He was a character in a book of fables until the catholic church claimed he was real for political reasons.

"There is no evidence of a real life Jesus Christ."

Of course not. "Christ" is a Hellenistic term and no Jewish person would ever wear that moniker. But there is plenty evidence of a "Jesus," big brother of James, who would be used by Paul to create hi Christ. Again, we don't know much about him.

I don't debate this because it's like debating a Creationist. They want to believe that, and that's their choice.

@Benthoven Have to disagree about plenty of evidence for Jesus.

@KC1959 Like I said, I no longer debate this.


Said another way, can you be religious, and not believe? Perhaps the person just can't find a discipline that agrees with their idea. ....but doesn't want to piss god off by saying they don't believe.

I think another thought on that would be can you believe without needing others to believe with you? Can you separate a belief from a fact and still use both for a better life?

@Quarm have to give both some thought.....first question....I think "yes",....requires self confidence, or self delusion, but yes.....the second part......I just don't understand the question...example???

@HankSherman I think the best example would be an interview I saw once with a catholic priest about the separation within the church of science and faith. Another example would be the believer who lives a good life from a measurable point of view but still finds comfort and meaning in their faith in the unknowable. I think many people of faith stay far away from church and organized religion and simply use their belief as a tool to drive action.

@Quarm this..I think another of those times, when my third grade eddumacashun is going to be a hinderance to the I'll bow out to those of more learned skills.


I find it difficult to understand them. I have a good friend who talks about sin and is a 12 stepper who really believes that god is the 'higher power'. I've confronted him about it and he says it's entirely possible to believe in god and not be religious. I disagree with him.

I was in life-threatening situations and it never crossed my mind to appeal to any magical powers. I'm an alcoholic and appeling to a god-like fictional character would be no different from appealing to Kenny from South Park.

@Gregory2 Then 12 stepping is obviously not appropriate for you. However, that's not what my response was about. It was pointing out what I consider an inconsistency in my friend's commitment to a 12 step program and his statement that he's 'not religious'.

Believing in God is, by definition, religious.

@HankFox You got it. I went two meetings and was like "Jesus, I would rather quit on my own." And I did.


It sounds feasible to me that some people may feel that human organized religion is BS but they still want to believe there is something superior somewhere somehow

For me I have had events, experiences in my life that too me and only me point towards something more then us and a cold uncaring universe. This presence is not human and cannot at least right now be explained or proven. I have always failed to embrace religion as it attempts to bottle that shit and sell it. I have always resisted anyone or anything that attempts to use control as a tool for power. Secular or religious. It irritates the hell out of me the control inherent in the insistence that one cannot have such beliefs and not fit in the hole of religion. The sheer variety of belief and its impact both positive and negative in the world is immense and defining it as black and white is just lazy.

@Quarm My policy is that averyone can believe (or not) as they please and that's fine with me for as long as they don't try to talk me into it.

@IamNobody I agree completely.


Those people annoy my nut hair. It's worse when they say Atheism is a religion. Oh, Jesus.

Amen to that !!

I can feel my eyeballs attempting to explode everytime I here that.


Define “religious”? I disagree with this site’s definition, which is that it’s a belief there is a god or gods who must be worshipped. I’m a non-theist lifelong Unitarian Universalist. I consider myself religious because of my commitment to and participation in the faith tradition.

UUNJ Level 8 Jan 7, 2019

@Nightshade1313 It’s another way of referencing “religion.”



It's cool now to say your'e a "follower of Jesus", not a "Christian".. I think people are trying to distance themselves from all the crazy zealots..


Many people shun organized religion, or don't identify with a specific faith, and have beliefs in higher powers or what have you.

I agree


here is what I think,

Religious: Practicing Worshipper, Regular Church Goer
Non-Religious Christian: Believer, but Doesn't regularly attend church and doesn't trust the New Testament as Cannonized, views Jesus as more of a individualized personal savior without a lot of details other than to be a good person and ask for forgiveness when one has done wrong (sinned).

Personal savior from what?


I don’t think you can be not religious and still believe in jebus. I don’t think he ever existed and there isn’t any god, PERIOD!
There isn’t any proof of a god, none!
The more I studied religion the more I came to see that it is all myths and folk tales that never occurred.
I found that the Bible borrowed from Persian, Egyptian, and Babylonian myths.
The bible was written, re written, translated, added to, subtracted from. Some books were lost and later found.
None of the bible was written before 1500BCE. It has over 40 different authors and some events have two or more versions.
The bible is a poorly written book that most Christians haven’t even read.

You are right. And it's not only about religions. If you believe in good or bad luck you are not a rational person. If you get on a plane and think think thatvyours might crash because there were no crashes for a year so there is one due you are not rational. If you land safely, get a cab and think that now you sre safe...


Well I believe some people aren't religious. But they believe in god or whatever. I think those people are alike agnostics. But they believe in god out of fear. Cause being an atheist can be scary

Yes- it is like a journey,pusuing truth from what I was taught.


I think there are a lot of people who were raised to have faith but who don't practice by belonging to a church or going to services every Sunday. Life is busy and sleeping in on Sunday is good but that belief system is still ingrained in them.

Nope that's not active assertions claiming to be an Atheist but keeping milquetoast faith traditions....only 44% of USA attend religious events more than 4 times per year NOT COUNTING WEDDINGS OR FUNERALS


there is a sense in which many religions have produced isolates, like the anchorites of the late Middle Ages, who were regarded as holy, secluded themselves etc. but whose views often bore no resemblance to Christianity (their time or ours). This is still current in Hindu mysticism and common in Buddhist countries where there is no line between philosophy and religion, or it may constantly move. In these cases one could surely say the religion is a cultural movement that produced a non-adherent who may not have rejected all the basic premises. But whether that 'counts' in your opinion, or mine, would be entirely that, opinion.

My Teri died sitting on our loveseat in the lotus position as a self styled SUFI....she had low pulse low respiration low blood oxygen and did not wake up from her intellectual only whirling dervish in her head....I miss her but never agreed with any of that....peaceful co-existence in the kitchen in the bedroom and watching our movies...planning our retirement but death happens when some least expect it


Dumb funny harmless in their circles but won't lift a finger to jail a local rapist priest or stop the tampon terrorists @ the nearest abortion clinic


What? Where?




Many people do not go to church or temple or mosque and still believe. that does not make them religious, it means they have a belief system.


Just in case? Or they find some confirmation to their bias in it.


It is semantics. Maybe they say they are not "religious" because they think they have a "personal relationship" with the invisible man in the sky. These are often the pious. By most people's definition they are religious. Though their piety, delusional thinking, and self-rightousness leads them to think that they are something beyond that...


Inconsistently and lack of logic help people cling to comforting ideas they have come to suspect are not nearly as true as they always hoped. Maybe they are in a process of transition or deep down reluctant to let go of the crutch of relgion entirely. Being religious to any degree is like being pregnant. You are religious to some degree, or you are not relgious. Self-deception is a popular way to have it both ways. 🙂


Well where do they think those ideas come from? Organized Religions. I think they just want to make themselves sound more credible.


People just say that so they don't offend anyone


I don't think you have too be Religious too believe in anything.

Coldo Level 8 Apr 16, 2018

well I guess you can if you are a bit 'throughother' and arent getting a lot of the art of logic in your life. But I guess it isnt worth talking serioulsy with someone who believes two contradictory things at the same time -( Like the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland.)

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