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Schroedes13's avatar

To non-religious people, even though you don't believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, do you still believe that His message is applicable to your lives?

Asked by Schroedes13 (3864 points ) July 27th, 2011

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57 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

I would say, at the very least, we’re on the same page. It really depends on whose interpretation of the message I’m going by, though. There are enough inconsistencies to make my head spin.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Which message?

Schroedes13's avatar

Well, the main message of Jesus was acceptance and love.

Hibernate's avatar

Most apply part of His teaching even without knowing what that is.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Also, ‘non-religious’ people can and frequently do believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible, they just may not affiliate with a church. I think you mean to address this question to nonbelievers or non-Christians.

Hibernate's avatar

Well not going to a church or not affiliating with one is another issue because these are believers. Another whole new topic.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Hibernate that’s my point. I’m almost positive that the OP means to address nonbelievers or non-Christians. Lots of people consider themselves to be ‘non-religious,’ but are believers.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It depends on the exact message. There are parts where we’ll match up, and parts where we won’t. But I think the key is that what Jesus did or did not say or preach is not at all part of my decision making process. If it ends up that we are on the same page, that’s a coincidence, not me thinking about how Jesus’s message could be applied to my life. Similarly, I’m sure there’s something John Boehner and I agree on (perhaps the tastiness of risotto?), but I would never phrase it as applying Boehner’s message to my life.

Hibernate's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I don’t know if that’s even possible. If one is a believer he has to follow certain aspects of the particular religion he follows. Or else he’s just believing whenever that suits him. And this doesn’t mean he is a believer.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Hibernate certain aspects, yes. I have met plenty of people in my lifetime that identify as some type of Christian, but do not attend church. It happens.

MacBatman31's avatar

To my interpretation, Jesus had more than just a message of acceptance and love, but a message of worshipping him and spreading his word, would get you into his paradise sin-free.
I feel that his message just lays out some morals that are good to follow. The same morals could be provided by good parenting as well.
So is his message applicable to my life? Not really, as long as I try to be the best person I can be, and teach my family to be good people, I really don’t feel I need to apply a book to my life and live up to the standards of “His word”. I think I can set my own standards of living.

Schroedes13's avatar

@MacBatman31 What are some characteristics of being the best person you can be?

Hibernate's avatar

Well some do not want to go to church because of other reasons [ I won’t say which these are because I do not want to encourage others into doing the same]. better live a Christian life alone at your home then just pose as one to others.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Hibernate I don’t care what the reason is, I just know that non-religious and non-believer are not the same thing, and I suspect that I think the OP used one term and may have meant to use another.

downtide's avatar

I’m atheist, and I don’t believe that any part of the bible is necessarily the truth, so I have no way of knowing what Jesus’ message really was.

Referring to the contents of the bible, there are some bits I agree with; in particular his compassion towards others and his largely pacifistic stance. He stood in political opposition to the traditional religious law and religious elders of his time, which I also like. But any of his teachings that mention God or Heaven, are totally irrelevant to me.

Had Jesus lived in modern times, I think he would have been a hippie.

Hibernate's avatar

I don’t think he used the wrong term. If you ask a non believer about Jesus teaching he won’t know what He talked about [or only a few that he heard from others]..

MacBatman31's avatar

@Schroedes13 Being kind to people, lending a helping hand, respecting people, are the first three that come to mind at this instant. My Grandfather instilled in me, “Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.” There are many things that I do to be a good person, and all of my morals were instilled in me by my Mother, without Jesus and church.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Hibernate I’m a non-believer, and I know plenty about what Jesus taught. Not because I heard a few things from others. Many, if not most, of us do. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/28/nation/la-na-religion-survey-20100928

Schroedes13's avatar

Those morals coincide quite well with many points of Jesus message.

MacBatman31's avatar

@Schroedes13 Yes but I also don’t reject people for what they believe in, and I don’t say that people who don’t believe in me will go to hell.

Schroedes13's avatar

@MacBatman31 I never heard of Jesus ever rejecting anyone. One of Jesus main parables involved someone of an alternate faith. I wouldn’t consider the second point valid because of the nature of the question.

MacBatman31's avatar

You asked about his message being applicable to my life, the non-acceptance of homosexuals is not one that I agree with. Or people who belive in a different diety, I accept them too. Have you gone to a Christain church? I have, and I distinctly remember the service I went to, there was a comment made, by the pastor, about Jesus is the only way, and others are wrong. That is accepting?

Schroedes13's avatar

I have personally never heard of Jesus making any claim about homosexuality.

Just as most of the major religions claim to be the “only” way to salvation, that does not mean the the followers have to be exclusive. I personally love interacting with people of other faiths/or with no faith.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Not really.

I can be accepting, and I can be loving, but I have no more in common with Jesus than I do with more or less any other character you care to mention. I can be loving and accepting, but I can also deduce things and investigate, so am I more like Jesus or Sherlock Holmes.

There are also some things me and Jesus just plain disagree on. You wont find me loving my enemy any time soon. I also don’t believe in an eye for an eye, if you take my eye, I’ll take both yours, 1 so we are even, the other so you learn your lesson.

His message may be partly applicable to my life, but so are the messages of Tyler Durden, James T. Kirk, and several others.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t disagree with the message though I have trouble believing in ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ and the afterlife. I think this is all there is and Jesus’s teachings are a good way for us all to get along while we are here. If Christians were less proud and more willing to follow his teachings we would have a better world.

tom_g's avatar

Message? Which one? If it’s something vague about acceptance and love, I can probably find a more articulate expression of that message from the back of a cereal box.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Everything I have read in the new testament that Jesus actually says himself I find to be profound and wonderful and deeply moving. The quotes themselves, his message.

Everything else in religion seems like people telling me what to do based on what they think Jesus said, when I am perfectly capable of figuring out what Jesus was saying on my own.

cazzie's avatar

I tire of the idea any of the values supposedly expressed by a man who lived only 2000 or so years ago were never held by anyone before or since.

ucme's avatar

No I don’t, although he should be commended for wearing his sandals without socks, gimme some blood nazarine!

Your_Majesty's avatar

No, I must admit that it’s supporting social studies. Religions have values that could be considered as the very first social values and moral in ancient societies.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes! I was raised Catholic and the words of the Lord are universal truths and are very much a part of my agnostic lifes journey.

Cruiser's avatar

@downtide I disagree…I believe Jesus would havee been a Tea Partier! Jesus abhored the Roman taxation policies!

Blackberry's avatar

No, I figured it out without him.

Schroedes13's avatar

@cazzie Many people have held the values of Jesus close to their heart and lived them as best they can. The sad thing is that many have not, but still claim to!

KateTheGreat's avatar

Many of his teachings are very good, but I don’t need Jesus to teach me how to be a loving and caring human being.

Hibernate's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf okay. I understand. But at one point you’ll see that most principles that human kind has are related to the Bible. A lot of what Jesus said are found [in other words] in the Old Testament in the books for wisdom. And a lot of the things here are found in The Torah. So basically it started from God and ended with God.

Blackberry's avatar

@Hibernate No, it didn’t. How do you think the bible influenced people before the bible (or religious texts) was created?

Hibernate's avatar

Before they were created and everyone could access them there were designated people who had to TEACH / READ / EXPLAIN the laws to the jews. When God gave Moses the law he also told him to go and read, teach and explain them so they can understand them and remember them. And I’m sure you can check it up if you are not familiar to it. And before he died Moses gave Joshua something to meditate upon.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1 : 8

And he had to teach the others along with the priests.

Blackberry's avatar

@Hibernate And before that?

Hibernate's avatar

That’s when the Bible started. Before that people knew WHO was God and how they had to rely to Him. As for how back this goes go to Cain and Abel. Why did they bring a sacrifice and a peace offering? They didn’t knew who was God , they just knew what their parents told them and it’s not like God was roaming on earth preaching. Adam and Eve did the preaching mouth to mouth.

cazzie's avatar

@Hibernate do you realise how circular and meta your explanation is? For us who believe the bible is simply full of fairytales, your talk of Cain and Abel and Adam and Eve sends us into embarrassed giggles for you.

Schroedes13's avatar

@cazzie why would you giggle at someone only because they believe something different from yourself?

cazzie's avatar

Not the belief.. but the argument.

Schroedes13's avatar

@cazzie I’m not arguing anything. I believe in the validity of the Bible. That’s my belief.

cazzie's avatar

@Schroedes13 are you @Hibernate ? because my comment was directed at their comment.

Schroedes13's avatar

@cazzie Is this not free form discussion? If you really wanted privacy, you should have messaged them. Or are you trying to pick on @Hibernate in a public forum? Is so I’ll leave you two alone.

Aethelflaed's avatar

You know what’s really fun? When threads ask for atheists to open up about their beliefs under the guise of a safe forum, and then some Christian has to come along and argue about those beliefs with them. Which, if the atheists found to be a fun time, they wouldn’t have become atheists in the first place.

Schroedes13's avatar

@Aethelflaed There is a difference between discussing things in a meaningful way and giggling at someone because of their beliefs, is there not?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Schroedes13 Sure. But sometimes, things aren’t really up for discussion.

Schroedes13's avatar

@Aethelflaed I agree that Hibernate could have gone about his method in a more amicable fashion, but that still doesn’t call for giggling (sorry).

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Schroedes13 Ok. Don’t really know what laughter has to do with anything.

cazzie's avatar

@Schroedes13 don’t know how much clearer I can be… I wasn’t laughing at the ‘belief’ I was pointing out that the argument @Hibernate was trying to make was worthy of laughter because, to an atheist, using the bible to point to reasons why the bible is correct makes no sense at all. Now, if someone can’t follow reasoning and logic…. fine, but don’t cry, ‘She’s laughing at me because I’m a Christian.’ rubbish. I have plenty of Christian friends on his board who I really enjoy having discussions with. It simply looks like you won’t be one of them.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@cazzie Indeed. And it’s not just theological discussions, but all arguments, ever – you use the argument that will convince the person you’re trying to convince, not the one that would convince you.

Schroedes13's avatar

@cazzie I’m sorry I mistook your statement.

Hibernate's avatar

@cazzie you do know that if someone is an atheist he mainly has to explain what’s wrong with the system the others believe in. If for instance you are asked to go to a pool party and you say “I won’t go because I don’t swim” you just encourage the person inviting you to ask why don’t you swim. It’s that simple. You got different beliefs. It’s all good.

I was to lazy to react to your attack and still someone who doesn’t believe the same way I do or might believe in the same things [without me knowing it for a fact ] defended me.

I was pointing out to @Blackberry that even if he was sarcastic and tried to see how well I manage to keep my cool I did a good job at it. Okay. I got other beliefs but I believe in something. As for the most they don’t believe in nothing or only things that suit them. Have I judged anyone because they pick what to believe in? No. Then why do you do it towards others? I don’t really understand that.
There are no arguments I can use to convince another who doesn’t believe in nothing. While there’s no way someone who believes in nothing can be shown they are wrong since they got other beliefs. Erm .. hard to explain it here.

All in all it’s all good that you stick to what you know because you won’t make a wrong step in the future.

adr's avatar

I believe in acceptance and love, but not because Jesus said it.

martianspringtime's avatar

I haven’t read through the Bible since I was in elementary school, but from what I do remember about it, know about it generally, and have learned from the Sunday school I used to attend, there are some things I certainly think are worth minding. I don’t believe in anything simply because Jesus said it was right, but I think we certainly share some beliefs. I believe in trying to view other people in a positive light even if they seem really terrible. I try to accept others as they are, even if we don’t agree. It’s important to be kind, and if that’s what Jesus teaches, he’s a good guy, son of a god or not.
I think there are plenty of good teachings and morals in the Bible in general. I don’t take the stories at face-value, but I think there’s a lot to be learned from some of the things in there. It doesn’t matter who said that you should respect others, it’s still the right thing to do.

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