What If I Believe In “God,” But Not In Jesus?
What is the point of Christians insisting that Jesus Christ is the only way to go to heaven? What about the man or woman who believes in, loves, and worships God, but does not believe in or worship Jesus? Is it possible that God would refuse to accept someone simply because they do not believe in Christ? Christian claims are exclusive by nature, which is one of the cultural challenges to their acceptance and practice. Take a look at the following passages: 1
- There is no one else who can save you. Acts 4:12
- I am the way, the truth, and the life
- No one comes to the Father except through me. No one else can bring someone to the Father but through me. 14:6
- John 14:6
The fact is that such comments are risky, if not downright disrespectful, in view of our culture’s stress on the relativity of truth and the diversity of suitable methods of approaching God. We face the accusation of exclusivity since Christianity has stated that trust in Christ is required for salvation. Our religion is then labeled as intolerant and so unsuitable in the marketplace of ideas. Is this charge warranted in this case? Is Christianity genuinely a religion of exclusion? Christian exclusivity arguments are rejected because they are incompatible with the belief that God, assuming He exists and is capable of such restrictions on access to Himself.
A fundamental theological presupposition is at the heart of this question.
1 See Is Jesus the Only Way? for a more in-depth statement of the uniqueness of Christian faith in Christ. 2 A teaching on the Christian belief in the Trinity may be found in the Dwell Deep Weeks 10, 11, and 12 series. – Village Resources are a group of people that work together to improve the quality of life in their community. We enjoy developing practical discipleship materials to assist you in growing in your knowledge and love of God. If you’ve benefitted from our materials, would you consider making a donation to enable us to continue assisting men, women, and children as they discover their role in God’s story?
Can You Believe in God But Not Believe in Jesus?
Approximately 65 percent of individuals in the United States identify as Christians when questioned about their religious affiliation, according to Pew Research Center telephone polls conducted in 2018 and 2019. But what exactly does this term imply in practice? Is it necessary for someone to recognize Jesus as the Son of God and to follow His teachings in order to be considered a “Christian?” Is it possible to believe in God while not believing in Jesus? Is it possible to be a Christian while still rejecting Christ?
What Is a “Christian”?
According to Acts 11:26, the word “Christian” was first used in this context to refer to individuals who followed Jesus as followers. Barnabas had left the city of Antioch in order to bring Paul back to the city and instruct the new converts. “And when he finally tracked him down, he transported him to Antioch.” And for a complete year, they met with the church and taught a large number of people; as a result, the disciples became the first to be referred to as Christians in Antioch.” A biblical view of what it means to be a Christian is based on two terms found in this verse: “Christ” and “Christian.” In the first place, there is the word “disciple,” which is derived from the Greek wordmathts and defines a student, an apupil, or someone who adheres to the teachings of another.
According to the Blue Letter Bible, the literal meaning is “a learner” (from the Greek word manthano, which means “to learn”).
Witnesses to Jesus’ Sovereignty
If one is devoted to the God of the Bible, I believe this is impossible to achieve. As a matter of fact, I would argue that when someone proclaims a belief in God other than Jesus, they are not serving God at all, but merely an imitation, an idol, which they have made out of their own free will and desire. Instead of serving the Deity who created them, they have constructed a god who serves them and their needs. Jesus Himself had to deal with a group of individuals who were hesitant to believe in Him, but who were outwardly and publicly dedicated to fulfilling the will of God.
In John 6, Christ provided His critics with three testimonies to the fact that He was, in fact, the Son of God, and that He should be regarded as the Son of God.
Where Does Jesus Affirm That He Is God?
Jesus does not want us to be perplexed about who He is or what He is about. He was forthright in his teaching that He came from God, that He is the Son of God, and that to reject Him is to reject God himself. “So that everyone would revere the Son as much as they honor the Father,” says John 5:23. “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him,” says the apostle Paul. 5:38 – “You do not have His message living in you because you do not believe Him who sent Him,” says the author of John 5.
Because it is the desire of My Father that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life with Him,
What Does It Mean to Believe in Jesus?
The death and resurrection of Jesus provide the most compelling evidence that He is indeed God, and that He deserves to be acknowledged and honored by those who believe in God. Jesus defeated death and resurrected from the dead, removing any question as to whether or not He was who He claimed to be in the first place. Over the course of 40 days, more than 500 individuals observed the resurrected Christ before He ascended into heaven in plain view of His devoted disciples (Acts 1:1-11). If nothing else persuades us, His resurrection should suffice as sufficient evidence.
Those who believe in His name are given the right to become children of God, according to John 1:12-13: “But as many as welcomed Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”
Are You a Christian, or Do You Simply Believe in “god”?
In today’s culture, we’re led to think that there are several paths to paradise and that you may believe in a deity that welcomes you on your own terms. This is deception at its most egregious level. While it may appear to be tolerant and kind to believe in the god of your choosing, doing so will ultimately result in disaster and an eternity apart from the Most High God who created you to worship Him and sent His Son to teach you how to do so.
John 14:1–7 – – – – – – – – – – “Be calm and believe in God; believe also in Me,’ says the Lord. There are many dwelling places in My Father’s home; if this were not the case, I would have informed you; because I am going to make a place for you. If
“I Believe in God, but Not Jesus”
God-talking is a dangerously deluded kind of entertainment. There is an alarmingly large percentage of individuals who claim to “believe in God,” but who do not believe in Jesus. This is especially true in places of the world that are culturally or ostensibly Christian in nature. “I believe in God,” is a sentiment that can be found almost everywhere. “I say my prayers every morning and every night,” alternatively, “I believe in the existence of God.” In other words, “I know He has seen me through a lot of difficulties.” In addition, I do not engage in games with Him.” I am grateful for all of these remarks, which include some significant facts.
He is not a teddy bear in any way.
God, on the other hand, does make His rain.
Meet Those Who “Love Jesus but Not the Church”
We are living in an increasingly secularized American society. Religion is retreating from the public arena in this new age, and old organizations such as the church are no longer able to function with the cultural power that they previously possessed in previous generations, as has been observed. Today, about half of the population of the United States is unchurched. Although an increasing number of Americans are abandoning the institutional church and its clearly defined boundary markers of religious identity, many continue to believe in God and practice faith outside of its walls.
Starting with the fascinating segment of the American population who, as the saying goes, “love Jesus but hate the church,” let’s take a look at what makes them tick.
9 Faith Groups That Deny the Trinity Doctrine
The belief of the Trinity is fundamental to the majority of Christian faiths and religious groups, however it is not true of all of them. The name Trinity does not appear in the Bible, and the notion of the Trinity is difficult to understand and describe. However, the majority of conservative, evangelical Bible scholars feel that the teaching of the Trinity is clearly revealed in the Bible. Non-trinitarian religion groups, on the other hand, deny the Trinity. The theory itself was initially proposed by Tertullian at the end of the 2nd century, but it wasn’t universally accepted until the 4th and 5th centuries, when the Church of Rome was reestablished.
The name “Trinity” derives from the Latin noun “trinitas,” which means “three are one.”
9 Non-trinitarian Faiths
Image courtesy of smartboy10 / Getty Images of the Trinity Knot or Triquetra Symbol There are several faiths that deny the notion of the Trinity, the most notable of which are as follows: The following is not a full list, but it does include some of the main religious organizations and movements. An overview of each group’s beliefs on the nature of God is provided, indicating a departure from the idea of the Trinity in certain cases. For the sake of comparison, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines the biblical Trinity belief as follows: “According to Christian theology, the one God lives in three Persons and one essence, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; this is known as trinitarian theism.
Even while God is one, he is also self-differentiated; the God who exposes Himself to humans is one God who exists in three unique modes of existence at the same time, but who remains one throughout all eternity.”
Mormonism – Latter-day Saints
Utah was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. Mormons believe that God possesses a physical body made of flesh and bones that exists eternally and is completely flawless. Men have the capacity to ascend to the status of gods as well. As God’s real son, Jesus exists as a separate entity from God the Father, as well as the “older brother” of humanity. The Holy Spirit, like God the Father and God the Son, is a distinct and independent person. The Holy Spirit is seen as an impersonal power or spirit being, rather than as a human individual.
Charles Taze Russell founded the company in 1879. Joseph F. Rutherford succeeded him in 1917.Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God exists as a single individual, known as Jehovah. Jesus was the very first creation of Jehovah. Jesus is not God, and he is not a member of the Godhead. He is a greater being than the angels, yet he is a lower being than God. The rest of the universe was created by Jehovah via the usage of Jesus. Known as the archangel Michael prior to his arrival on earth, Jesus was the son of God.
Charles Taze Russell founded the company in 1879. It was Joseph F. Rutherford, who took over as the leader in 1917.Jehovah’s Witnesses adhere to the belief that God exists as one individual known only as Jehovah. As Jehovah’s first creation, Jesus was the center of attention. In no way, shape, or form does Jesus represent God or any other member of the Godhead. The angels consider him superior, while God considers him beneath them. Creation of the remainder of the cosmos was made possible by Jehovah’s intervention in the person of Jesus Christ.
In contrast to God, the Holy Spirit is an impersonal power from Jehovah.
Charles Taze Russell established the company in 1879. Joseph F. Rutherford succeeded him in 1917.Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God is one individual, known as Jehovah. Jesus was the very first thing that Jehovah created. Jesus is neither God nor a member of the Godhead. He is superior to the angels, but he is subordinate to God. The rest of the universe was created by Jehovah with the help of Jesus. Prior to his arrival on earth, Jesus was known as the archangel Michael. The Holy Spirit is an impersonal energy emanating from Jehovah, yet he is not the same as God.
Dr. John Thomas founded the company in 1864. As opposed to the three different individuals who reside inside one God, Christadelphians believe God is one indivisible unity.
They reject the divinity of Jesus, thinking that he is a totally human being who is distinct from God in every way. Some Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity, but rather that he is only a force from God, the “unseen power.”
Frank Ewart founded the company in 1913. People who practice Oneness Pentecostalism believe that there is only one god, and God is that one God. God has presented himself in three ways or “forms” (not as individuals) throughout history: as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. OnenessPentecostals have a problem with the theology of the Trinity, primarily because of its usage of the term “person.” They think that God cannot be three distinct individuals, but rather a single deity who has shown himself in three different ways.
Sun Myung Moon founded the organization in 1954. Unification supporters believe that God exists in both positive and negative aspects, as well as in both masculine and female forms. The cosmos is God’s physical body, which he created. Jesus was not God, but rather a human being. He did not have a bodily resurrection, as some believe. In reality, his purpose on earth was unsuccessful, and it will be completed via the efforts of Sun Myung Moon, who is greater than Jesus. The Holy Spirit has a feminine quality about her.
Unity School of Christianity
Charles and Myrtle Fillmore founded the company in 1889. Unity members believe that God is an invisible, impersonal principle rather than a person, in a manner similar to Christian Science. God is a spiritual power that exists within everyone and everything. Jesus was merely a man, not the Christ, as some believe. He simply came to recognize his spiritual identity as the Christ by striving to achieve his potential for perfection in his daily life. This is something that every man can accomplish.
The Holy Spirit is God’s law in action, and he is the active expression of God’s law.
Scientology – Dianetics
L. Ron Hubbard founded the organization in 1954. God, according to Scientology, is defined as Dynamic Infinity. Jesus is neither God, Savior, or Creator, and he does not have authority over supernatural abilities, as is commonly believed. He is frequently forgotten in the field of Dianetics. Aside from that, the Holy Spirit is not present in this religious system either. Human beings are “thetan” – eternal, spiritual creatures with boundless capacities and powers, albeit they are frequently oblivious of their true nature and potential.
- Cults, World Religions, and the Occult, by Kenneth Boa, published by Rose Publishing. Christianity, Cults, and Religions (Chart)
- Cross, F. L., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church). Oxford University Press published a book in 2005 titled Christian Apologetics is the study of the defense of the Christian faith. Ministry of Research and Development The Trinity Diagram
What’s The Difference Between Atheism And Agnosticism?
The date of publication is September 29, 2020. According to recent research, both atheists and agnostics are remarkably knowledgeable about a wide range of religious traditions.
This raises the question of what is the difference between someone who labels themselves as “atheist” and someone who professes to be a “agnostic,” which is frequently asked.
There is an important distinction to be made. An atheist is someone who does not believe in the existence of a divine deity. The term derives from the Greekatheos, which is composed of the words a- (which means “without”) and theos (which means “a deity”). Atheism is defined as the philosophy or belief that there is no such thing as a deity. Anagnostic, on the other hand, is someone who neither believes in nor disbelieves in a deity or religious philosophy. Human beings will never be able to know everything about the universe’s creation or whether or not divine creatures exist, according to agnostic beliefs.
Huxley and derives from the Greek word ágnostos, which literally translates as “unknown or unknowable.” As an illustration:
- Despite the fact that I now consider myself an atheist, I used to attend church on a regular basis as a youngster. The term “agnostic” refers to someone who does not believe in the existence of a supernatural being. The fact that the film was so critical of institutional religion did not surprise us, given the fact that the filmmaker is an open atheist himself.
WATCH:Is “Agnostic” Only About Religion?
To make matters even more complicated, atheists and agnostics are frequently mistaken with theists and deists. In contrast to anatheists, atheists believe in the existence of God. Theists are those who believe in the existence of a deity or a group of gods. Adeists believe in God in the same way as theists do. A deist, on the other hand, thinks that while God created the cosmos, natural laws dictate how the universe will play out in the future. Isaac Newton’s clockwork universetheory, in which the world is like a clock that has been wound up and put in motion by God but is regulated by the rules of science, is typically associated with the deist movement.
- As an atheist, Edgar has had to face a number of heated debates with theists who have attempted to persuade him to accept their point of view. Despite the fact that he denied some features of Christianity, such as miracles and resurrection, many academics have labeled Thomas Jefferson an adeist. However, he most certainly believed in God
Whether you are religious or not, you probably say farewell on a regular basis. But were you aware of the religious significance of the word?
Unitarian Universalist Views of Jesus
The views of Unitarian Universalists on Jesus reflect the diversity of thinking fostered by our liberal faith. Our Principles include a dedication to “a free and responsible search for truth and purpose”; whatever one’s beliefs, there is certainly a Unitarian Universalist who holds them as well as one’s beliefs. We are, nevertheless, more than the sum of our particular tales. Universalism, as a religion, draws inspiration from various sources, including the acts and teachings of great teachers, the illuminating knowledge of the world’s diverse religions, and our Jewish and Christian roots.
UUs may regard Jesus as a moral example who exemplifies the compassion, kindness, and mercy that he preached by living out his teachings.
Rev. Dawn Skjei Cooley
Louisville, Kentucky’s First Unitarian Church is a congregation of Unitarian Universalists. Because I am an agnostic humanist, I have a strong emotional connection to the Jesus depicted in the early Gospels. In this guy, we see a somebody who treated the ill, fed the hungry, and clothed the impoverished. He took action in response to the agony he witnessed because he felt a strong connection to individuals who were suffering.
In this regard, he was a revolutionary, as he went outside of the current structures to correct the wrongs of the existing system. Considering that this ethic is compatible with religious humanism, I find it to be both educative and inspiring.
Rev. Scott McNeill
Members of the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists (UUs). Manassas, Virginia A Unitarian Universalist, I delight in reading the Gospels and seeing how Jesus would assist people to solutions rather than simply providing them with the answers they seek. Rather than merely going through the rituals of everyday life, I see Jesus as a person who wanted to address the issues that he saw in his church community and society and to construct the community that he knew was attainable, rather than simply going through the motions of everyday life.
Rev. Jonalu Johnstone
Manhattan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is a religious organization in Manhattan, Kansas. It took years of involvement in and even leadership of Unitarian Universalist churches for me to rediscover the significance of Jesus in my spiritual life. When I first discovered Unitarian Universalism, I was relieved to discover that I didn’t have to know what I thought about God, prayer, or Christianity in order to participate. God—or Goddess—came back to life for me through time, thanks to paganism, which was introduced to me by a fellow Unitarian Universalist sister.
As my career in ministry progressed, I felt increasingly compelled to engage with the Christian tradition on a personal level.
The Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, DCAmong the many pictures of salvation found in the Bible, the one that resonates with me the most is one that is connected to the root word for salvation, which is salve (salvation). In this way, salvation is defined as the process by which God’s healing salve is administered to the human race. Jesus, in my opinion, exemplifies the method in which God would have many of us administer this healing salve to the rest of the world. Whenever I look at the relationships between Jesus and individuals whose lives he has altered, I am motivated by his determination to heal both the wounds of his own heart and the wounds of his society.
Salvation is associated with the root word for salvation, which is salve. Among the many pictures of salvation found in scripture, one that resonates with me the most is associated with the term salve. The procedure through which God’s healing salve is administered to the world is hence known as salvation. God’s will for many of us is that we administer this healing salve to the world in the way demonstrated by Jesus, in my opinion. The devotion of Jesus to mending the wounds of his heart and the wounds of his society inspires me when I analyze interactions between him and individuals whose lives he has altered.
As far as I’m concerned, Jesus exemplifies healing and exhibits the saving power of God—a power that we are called to seek out and give as frequently as we can during this life.
Rev. Robin Bartlett
MAI grew up as a Unitarian Universalist at the First Church of Sterling. Christmas was the only time that Jesus appeared in the form of a newborn. When someone asked me who Jesus was when I was a youngster, I said, “a mythical character who some people believe to be God.” This response revealed a great deal more about myself and my parents than it did about Christ. Now that I’m married, I have my own children. When I asked my four-year-old Eloisa who Jesus was, she replied that Jesus is the “Queen of God.” Cecilia, my eight-year-old daughter, described him as “the one who is always with me, in my heart.” And these responses are understandable since Eloisa has always wished to be Queen, and Cecilia has always wished to be good to others.
- Visit the website of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship (UUCF). Read Erik Walker Wikstrom’sTeacher, Guide, Companion: Rediscovering Jesus in a Secular World for more information. Scotty McLennan’s Christ for Unitarian Universalists is a good read.
For Your Congregation
According to the most recent religious polls conducted in the United States, between a fourth and a third of Americans identify as “spiritual but not religious,” depending on the study. This is something that many of my friends identify with. From “I believe in a higher power with whom I interact and pray” to “I believe in God, so why would I bother going to church?” their beliefs cover a broad spectrum. A number of Jesus’ teachings, in particular, are admired and followed by some, while others do not claim membership in any one spiritual organization or tradition.
“I don’t agree with what the Church teaches on politics, money, and other matters.”
Feed the fire
The people who are the most spiritually alive are those who never give up their search. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to ask them. If you want answers, you must seek them out. Read, research, debate, pray, and worship. The fact is that you are neither the first or the last person to go on this trip, and the vast bulk of human experience indicates that there are genuine solutions to be found. The majority of religious traditions teach that God is boundless, enigmatic, and unfathomable – yet that humans may nonetheless learn and understand a great deal about him.
The same is true of God: we can grow to know him even if He remains a mystery to us at first.
They are the ones that never give up on their pursuit for spiritual meaning and fulfillment. You should feel free to ask questions. Take action if you want to find out the truth. Pray and praise while you read and learn. The fact is that you are neither the first or the last person to go on this trip, and the vast bulk of human experience tells us that there are genuine solutions to be discovered. God is boundless, incomprehensible, and unfathomable according to most religions, but we may nevertheless study and understand a great deal about him.
As with God, we may learn more about him even though He remains a mystery to us. So, as the Bible says, “Seek first the kingdom of God.”
Being part of a team
Perhaps this explains why so much of St. Paul’s work (1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Galatians, to name a few examples) is devoted to educating flawed individuals how to negotiate community conflicts: conflict is a necessary component of the community’s purpose. It is possible that Jesus could have said, “All right, now everybody listen to my words, but then do your own thing and don’t get in each other’s way,” if He had desired to do so. He, on the other hand, did not — A community (in Greek, the word isekkelsia; in English, “Church”) was formed by Jesus, who gave it a mission (to live and seek the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven) and appointed leaders (apostles) to help it through the process.
In addition, as
Possibly, this is why so much of St. Paul’s work (1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Galatians, among other places) is concerned with teaching flawed individuals how to handle community conflicts: conflict is a necessary element of the community’s purpose. It is possible that Jesus could have said, “All right, now everybody listen to my words, but then do your own thing and don’t get in each other’s way,” if He had desired to. His failure to do so was due to the fact that A community (in Greek, isekkelsia; in English, “Church”) was formed by Jesus, who gave it a mission (to live and seek the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven) and appointed leaders (apostles) to lead it.
Furthermore, as previously said