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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'?

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62 comments

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I dated a woman who called herself Christian, but never went to church. She felt she had read the Bible and in her mind, understood the message much better than any of the preachers and biblical historians and others who have studied it for centuries before. So she did not participate in religion as such, while still believing the tenets.

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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

Cafeteria christianity .. tucking that away for later use! Ha

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.

5

Yes, if being "religious" means belonging to an organized religion or church. There are a lot of free-floating theists out there. Such people often describe themselves as spiritual, but not religious.

5

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.

5

It's the "Not a religion, it's a relationship" bs.

mebeb32 Level 5 Apr 16, 2018
5

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

4

I know a few people who fit into this category. They never go to church and don't believe in most of the magical things that religion teaches, but they say they believe in a creator. They are more like Deists, like many of the founder fathers of the USA.

sfvpool Level 7 Jan 7, 2019
4

I believe that those are people who are holding on to the last remaining thread of something their parents led them to believe before they were old enough to critically analyze it. Kind of like still celebrating Xmas even after you find out there's no such thing as Santa Claus. You don't want to give up all of something that at one point in your life brought you something positive.

redbai Level 7 Apr 16, 2018
3

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

3

I do chuckle at those people who say "I'm not religious, I just have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

HankFox Level 4 Jan 7, 2019
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Why not. Some folks don’t care for the organized kind of thing whose hands reach into their pockets while spouting hypocrisy. I can see people believing without being religulous. However, at that point, why bother? Know thy self.

Arachne Level 5 Nov 14, 2018
3

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

3

I think they're just as whacked out as the religious ones.

KKGator Level 9 Apr 16, 2018
3

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.

jperlow Level 7 Apr 16, 2018
2

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.

Allamanda Level 8 Mar 17, 2019

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

2

There's a great essay called, "Kurt Vonnegut, Christ-Loving Atheist," that I was going to link, but it's behind a paywall now so I didn't bother.

2

I don't believe in God but I still fantasize that I will see my grandma again.If there were a heaven she would be there.

2

"Can Christians, Muslims, Jews ..." believe in Jesus, God, sinning, heaven & hell without being religious? I'd think not, but there is all sorts of cherry-picking that happens, so maybe so. Christian-atheists (I didn't make it up, I just forwarded it on) are alleged really religious. shrugs

Fun Facts (or maybe just batshit crazy)

Nontrinitarianism (Jesus but not God)
[en.m.wikipedia.org]

Christian-atheism
[en.m.wikipedia.org]

And finally: Christians Without Christ

2

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...

2

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

I loved the UU "church" in Colorado Springs! When you say faith tradition what do you mean?

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

2

As they are both man made constructs I stopped giving this much thought a long time ago.

ipdg77 Level 8 Nov 10, 2018
2

I could be convinced that a god or gods exist, but I will never see organized or unorganized religions as anything other than a criminal enterprise.

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I think when they say this they are saying they believe there is a god, but do not attend church.

Bobby9 Level 8 Apr 26, 2018
2

Its just fucking stupid

2

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?

2

i don't know if this counts or not, but my mom believes in a higher power(she says she calls it god because its a common way of reffering to a higher power) but she doesnt identify with any particular religion. she just thinks theres something bigger than us out there looking out for us. i don't have any problem with it. everyone sees things their own way.

Byrd Level 7 Apr 16, 2018
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