Essay:What if we had to be Christians?

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Question[edit]

This question is addressed to all the people on this Wiki who are not Christians: i.e., those who (1) cannot recite the Nicene Creed without lying, and (2) are not members in good standing of any Christian religious community.[1]

Suppose that for some reason or other you were required to become a member of a Christian religious community of your choice. What sort would you pick, and why? Would you frequent a megachurch outfit whose services are 99% rock-concert and 1% GO L D?[2] An age-old Catholic cathedral with a lock of some saint or other's hair tucked under the high altar? A whitewashed whackjob-filled Protestant assembly in which the ladies have to wear hats to show how fervently they oppose the E.R.A.?[3]

(N.B.: No, Unitarian Universalism is not a choice; there are four times as many nontheists as Christians in Unitarian Universalist churches.[4]) Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 13:12, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Answers[edit]

ListenerX[edit]

I would obviously be most comfortable with the sort of Christianity that is most accommodating in form and values to the practice of my own religion, Odinism.

Such a sort is fairly simple to find, because Germanic paganism had much syncretic influence on Christianity that is still felt today. One of the goals of evangelical Protestantism is to wipe this influence out; therefore, a "high church" (candles and Saints) would be preferable to a "low church" (whitewash and seizures very interesting sermons).

A state church — not just a church that has the status of state religion someplace, but a church that began its existence as the established church of a particular nation — is the most in line with the non-universal religious ideas prevalent in pagan times.

This rules Roman Catholicism out; this rules Orthodoxy out. It in fact rules everything out except for two narrow choices: high-church Anglicanism and high-church Lutheranism.

Odinist values hold it a good thing to respect one's ancestors, and mine were Lutheran, for the most part, so this might seem the natural choice. But high-church Lutheranism is a very small phenomenon, largely European, and candles and Saints are, in my experience, scarce in the Lutheran churches of Minneapolis. I would have to join the Episcopal Church.

As to the specific congregation, it would be preferable that it emphasize liturgical tradition, because this brings it closest to the pagan bits in liturgical Christianity. A congregation housed in an old church building, also, would be preferable: a building's great age makes it far more holy than any clergyman's mumbo-jumbo. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 10:56, 27 January 2009 (EST)

Stile4aly[edit]

As a Muslim, albeit a fairly liberal one, if I were to convert to Christianity it would have to be some version that closely matches my existing belief structure. Given the fact that I don't believe Christ is a deity, this limits my choices when it comes to Christianity. I expect that Unitarian Universalism would be the closest option, though it has its own quirks as well. In fairness, though, I am an associate member at my wife's church which is a United Church of Christ church, and I do find their message appealing. That message is that God is still speaking. Some would have us believe that all of God's wisdom is contained in books written hundreds and thousands of years ago, but in fact God continues to reveal himself to us through our search for knowledge, the needs of our fellow man which we are called to address, and our own spiritual examination. Though I can't agree with the central point of their theology, this part of their message is a good one in my opinion. Stile4aly 11:16, 27 January 2009 (EST)

Silver Sloth[edit]

This comes down to which set of lies would I be least uncomfortable saying - and before our resident theists leap up and down on me I'm not saying that Christianity is a lie, rather that the reason I left religion never to return was that I couldn't say the Nicene Creed without lying. I guess the good old CofE is as broad a church as any and, if their bishops can doubt the immaculate conception then so can I. Silver Sloth 11:48, 27 January 2009 (EST)

Toanoopie[edit]

I simply wouldn't do it: I'd honestly strongly prefer being burnt at the stake to being forced to play along with religious authorities. That, or start some form of underground resistance. But I would never join such a religious community: however liberal and open-minded such a group might be, they'd still be living a lie and I refuse to do that. Especially under duress. Toanoopie (talk) 21:29, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Sprocket J Cogswell[edit]

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. You'd find my heathen ass in a pew of a local C of E on the usual days, Christmas and Easter. Since I live in the States, it would more likely be an Episcopalian congregation, but tomato, tomato. If weekly attendance were compulsory, I'd probably join the choir so the time wouldn't go totally to waste. I'm fond of the four-part SATB harmonies of familiar hymn tunes, anyway. I've survived compulsory chapel before, and am familiar with the credibly deniable forms of mockery. User:Sprocket J Cogswell/sig 21:50, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Georgie Enkoom[edit]

If I had to be a Christian, I would have joined Messianic Judaism. I have many reasons:

  • Catholicism? Too much idols. Not my cup of tea.
  • Protestantism? They believe only faith can save you. While Catholicism insists in the necessity to do good things, Protestantism claims that all you need is faith...

You can be the most evil and batshit insane guy of the world, if you believes in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Savior, you're saved.

  • Jehovah's Witnesses? NOPE. For many reasons:
    • Their harsh tendency of disfellowshipping.
    • Their opposition to blood transfusions.
    • Their dislike of abortion.
    • Their love of creationism.

I'm kinda fascinated by Judaism (but I have no intention to convert) and it's history. Also, I think Judaism is closer to Islam, my religion, than Christianity. Finally, I'm not fond of the Trinity. And since some Messianic Jews reject Trinity...My choice is made. Georgie Enkoom (talk) 20:19, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

References/footnotes[edit]

  1. As opposed to members who would be booted out if their church did not need to keep its membership numbers topped up.
  2. http://www.destinycc.org/
  3. http://www.bereabaptistchurch.org/church/whoarewe.html
  4. http://archive.uua.org/news/011205.html