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

Coldo Level 8 Apr 16, 2018

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.




I believe that I am no longer religious. I take nothing in the bible book as real.


There are lots of non-denominational Christians out there. A lot of them perhaps, have had unpleasant experiences with the traditional churches?


A lot of people are believers but don't go to church or practice religious customs .


It's like xmas and Santa Claus Ishtar bunny to give presents BUT NOT EAT CANDY EGGS laid on dogshit lawns by boy bunnies.....same with astrology....cocktail party Atheists want their gawdless cake and pretend they are going to heaven with Capricorn jeebush geehobah ghostholes....Woody Allen said : " gawd, ? I am the loyal opposition" and " gawd, he is an under achiever "


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


I thought I rejected all forms of magical thinking at the age of 15 but I caught myself at the age of 45 thinking that good or bad luck was a thing. I didn't believe in talismans or black cats or broken mirrors. I just thought that luck was something like a force of the universe. That it affected my life in ways. I wonder if today, at sixty, I still have something of that sort that I'm not aware of. Looking back, as innocuous as it seems, believing in luck was somewhat limiting. Realizing that made me more vigilant towards myself and others. I'm a physics enthusiast and, since I'm an amateur, I have to rely on the experts when I read about it. I'm constantly on the lookout for biases. Obviously we all have them, the best scientists have them too. I'm ok with those arising from different interpretation of evidence. I'm not ok with those having to do with our inherently superstitious human nature.


I would say that’s more being spiritual. I know a few people that say they believe in a higher power but not what they preach in church


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.


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.


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.


Weird! Its a contradiction in terms -- I can get the one about maybe a guy called Jesus lived -not about him having been the son of god unless its a metaphor; The origin of the word sin comes from ,sine, meaning without love, so that one might have legs -Don't think heaven is real.

No I definitely don't think you can believe and not be religious


There have been times when religion was thought to be an affliction of some sort. Someone who was called "religious" was someone who ranted and raved and never shut up about Jesus. This viewpoint was held by people who generally believed in God, but weren't religious about it. Hence, you might overhear a conversation along these lines:

"What happened to Fred? How come he doesn't come drinking with the rest of us anymore?"

"Oh, Fred got religion, and he hasn't been the same since."

"Poor fella. I hope he recovers soon."

"Amen to that."

So, in that sense, I think there are lots of believers who are not religious.


I’m an alcoholic but I only drink beer so it’s fine, right?


I suspect that this condition is no different from, say, evangelical christianity where the individual has dillusions about what the 'faith' tells them and a huge diversion when it comes to their actual activities in daily life.


Excellent question. I was raised a Christian but after talking with many different denominations have concluded, finite man can not understand infinite. Religion is history but written by the victors. Rational, logical science with replicated, peer reviewed experimentation is an obvious choice. But, we are still ignorant to so much therefore God is still not disproven. 🤓


There is still lots to learn and unlearn.


Yes, they can. Some people equate "religious" as adhering to a certain set of beliefs set forth by a sect/denomination. They might even equate it with going to church. When I have heard people say that they are "believers" but not "religious," this has always been what they meant.

Merriam-Webster has three definitions of "religious":

1 : relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity a religious person religious attitudes
2 : of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances joined a religious order
3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

Those who are avowing to believe in Jesus but are not "religious" are thinking of only #2.


Some other options not mentioned:

They may be apathetic agnostics who don't actually believe but say they do for familial or social reasons.

Those overcoming indoctrination who still feel belief is required for a moral compass or other reasons ingrained since birth.

Those who may be described as "liberal xians", some of which equate xianity to more inclusive beliefs such as pantheism.

Still another type are those much like myself who believe a "god" can be described as the sum total the actions of the believers, who may (or, like me, may not be) polytheistic given the same reasoning.

I've had some interesting discussions with all of the above in artistic circles also comprised of various assorted and sundry pagans, new agers, humanists, atheists and agnostics.


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.)


People just say that so they don't offend anyone


What? Where?



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..

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