Why is Belief crucial?

TzipiDee

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
 

d taylor

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
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Why s belief crucial, because that is the only condition God has given humanity to receive God's free gift of Eternal Life and become a permanent born again child of God.

God is making a statement about how He, God has setup the way back to Him for man. So God is using belief to see if people believe God is truthful or not.

So when a person reads verses like.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


People will either believe these verses and how they tell people to receive God's free gift of Eternal Life. Or they will not believe these verses and are basically saying by not believing these verses. That God is not being truthful in telling people how to receive Eternal life salvation.

And you are correct belief is not making a choice, a person does not choose their beliefs. When a person is convicted by evidence presented (that what is being presented is true) they will believe it. they do not have to choose to believe the evidence is true. If they do not believe the evidence presented is true, they will not believe.
 
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2PhiloVoid

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.

Personally, I think the term 'belief,' as it is all too often used today in the English speaking world, fails to be ontologically parsed out as it should be, allowing too many nuances of its meaning to either become vaguely applied, or misconstrued over and against that other supreme idea, 'faith.'

While I agree with you that on the level of neuroscience, where the issue of voluntarism or involuntarism is an issue and we realize that we can't help but to either find that we are autonomically and reflexively able to believer or not, we can still choose to better understand the epistemological means and the conceptual structures of our methods for handling and assessing what it is that we are attempting to "believe in."
 
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d taylor

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The problem man has created about belief, is that belief has been redefined as obedience.

Many people say about belief in Jesus.
If they are not obedient and follow Jesus in their lives, the person saying he believes or believed in Jesus for God's free gift of Eternal Life. Really does not believe in Jesus, because they are not committed to and obedient Jesus in their life.

But that is not how belief is. Belief is the conviction that something is true.
 
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eleos1954

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
Belief is faith ... faith is the believing the written Word of God .... Jesus is the embodiment of the Written Word.

His Word teaches that mankind has a sickness ... a sick mind .... and that we need our thinking changed. Our thinking determines our actions. When one accepts Jesus as their Lord and savior .... He works through the Holy Spirit to change our thinking and our thinking will (should) change our behavior .... we will mess up here and there .... but we should be turning away from sin and not towards it. This is how we know we have received the Holy Spirit.
 
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Hawkins

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.

God is to build an eternity we call Heaven for angels and humans to live with Him forever and with high satisfaction. One of these 3 parites - God is completely sin-incompatible. God thus set up Law as an open standard. It is a promise at the same time saying that if you pass the Final Judgment of Law, God would bear with you in eternity no matter what.

It's said that 2/3 angels will pass such a Final Judgment of Law. There is also supposed to be 1/3 humans passing the same Judgment of Law. However the angels are made to be much more capable and intelligent than humans, as angels' very existence is to take part in God's complicated jobs such as the various creations. Under the influence of the 1/3 fallen angels (crafty snake) there will be no human passing the Judgment of Law. Humans as a whole shall be destroyed (with a flood). Jesus made a sacrifice at a certain point of humanity, which allows humans to be judged by covenants instead of Law.

Law is a test of obedience, which humans will inevitably fail. Testing a human's obedience is less important as he will fail anyway. Another element humans need in order to live in eternity with God is Faith. Just as demonstrated in Eden, Adam lacks both obedience and faith in God's words which led to the fall. Humans are made to be low in intelligence comparing to the angels. We don't comprehend God's creations all the times with our intelligence, just as how Adam didn't understand the existence of the Tree of Knowledge in the garden. We should not double the Word of God as Adam did. We need to trust God even when we failed to comprehend with our low intelligence. That's what faith is, and what is required by humans in order to live with God, as lacking of faith may lead to sins just as what Adam did due to the lack of faith. Faith is thus used in the New Covenant as a judging element, instead of obedience as it won't distinguish the saved from the unsaved, that is, it won't distinguish those capable of living with God in eternity and those not.
 
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fhansen

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Pet 1:21

We tend to overcomplicate the faith, I think, especially when we focus myopically on certain concepts or passages. The reason Jesus came was to reveal the true God, His nature and will, and reconcile us with Him, reversing the alienation from God that Adam instituted for man and which constitutes the chief aspect of the state known as “original sin”.

Man was absolutely made for communion with God and is lost, sick, wounded, dead if and when apart from Him. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Everything Jesus said and did was an expression of God-because He is God. When we see Jesus, we see God. When we know Jesus, we know God. When we believe in, hope in, and love Jesus, we believe in, hope in, and love God. And the more we know Him, the more we believe in, hope in, and love Him.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you,the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3

Faith is a game-changer for man because it makes God our God again, and that relationship, itself, is the basis as well as the source of authentic justice/righteousness for man. It’s to acknowledge His existence first of all, and His goodness, mercy, wisdom, and love-and that He’s always had man’s highest and best interest at heart. It’s the beginning of a relationship that’s meant to grow and blossom into full blown love for Him, as well as neighbor. This is our purpose, our telos, the reason we were created. And it, or He, also happens to be the sole, full-true unending source of uncompromised, ineffable happiness for man, that which we’re always looking for but in all the wrong places. “God, alone, satisfies”, as an ancient theologian once put it.

In any case, faith, therefore, is the basis or foundation of the right behavior that Jesus taught as it opens the door to the life of grace, life in the Spirit, a life of love: as it opens the door to God. Faith is both a gift of grace, and a daily human choice to accept, embrace, and act upon that gift.
 
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RandyPNW

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
I was raised in the Lutheran Church, and also had this experience where "faith" is preeminent, it seems, even beyond rationality and repentance. I couldn't give in to that--seemed canned or purely dogmatic and repetitious.

I never felt good "sinning boldly," as someone recommended. ;) It is guilt that drove me back from a life of backsliding to a renewed commitment to Christ.

The kind of "faith" that supposedly "covered my sins" really didn't! Pure confessions of faith were choreographed pretend rituals that only served nominal Christians whose Christianity was purely surface level and not proven in deed.

Over the years I gradually came back to a more balanced position, and understood that biblical faith is different than the oft-repeated version of "faith" that covers all sins and replaces our intellect. True biblical faith is based on fact, as one evidential apologist of fame put it in the title of his book (John W. Montgomery).

So we don't surrender our intellect at the church door, so to speak, but are quite willing to agree with God who said, "Come let us reason together." We can base our faith on reason that is enlightened and energized by God's spiritual word and revelation. The fact revelation is supernatural does not mean it excludes human reason, although it would indeed exclude *humanistic* reason.

We truly must repent if we are to believe because in believing in God's word we recognize that we must surrender our own ways for God's ways, ie for the ways of Christ. Good luck on your theology degree. It's a noble goal.
 
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Maria Billingsley

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.
Repenting from unbelief to belief through LOVE is the first step. If you do not Agape Love Jesus Christ of Nazareth, belief is a moot point. Even Satan believes, but through hate and fear.
If you Agape Love Him He will make His Home in you through His Holy Spirit. In other words, no Holy Spirit, no salvation. Regeneration.
In conclusion, the Nicene Creed are words but without the basics, LOVE, which grows from ones heart, no amout of theology, Dogma or practice will bring you unto Him unless Love is present.
Be blessed.
 
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fhansen

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Repenting from unbelief to belief through LOVE is the first step. If you do not Agape Love Jesus Christ of Nazareth, belief is a moot point. Even Satan believes, but through hate and fear.
If you Agape Love Him He will make His Home in you through His Holy Spirit. In other words, no Holy Spirit, no salvation. Regeneration.
In conclusion, the Nicene Creed is a moot point without the basics, LOVE, which grows from ones heart, no amout of theology, Dogma or practice will bring you unto Him unless Love is there.
Be blessed.
This is good! And love obeys by its nature, willingly, and acts- or works- for the good of others for the same reason. One historical teaching I'm familiar with says, "For faith, unless hope and charity be added to it, neither unites man perfectly with Christ nor makes him a living member of His body."

Anyway, love is the full-true definition of righteousness for man, so that another teaching can rightly put it this way:
"At the evening of life we shall be judged on our love."

And that happens to be good dogma as well, IMO :) .
 
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FireDragon76

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Why, do you think, when all of Jesus' words seemed to emphasise action and behaviour, is belief so supreme in Christianity?

It's more of a western thing, and especially present in Protestantism.

In the world in which the historical Jesus inhabited, belief would have been more implicit than explicit. However, western culture has a uniquely introspective consciousness with a different ego structure focused on the notion of a buffered, autonomous self. Factor in the rise of Protestantism, Sola fide, the Pietist focus on instrospective mysticism, the rise of consumerism, and you have a culture where religious identity is supposed to reflect something that is hidden within the self.

Of course, I should point out this is a bit of an oversimplification. Not all Protestants are as thoroughgoing in this respect, and it's not even uniquely present in Protestantism, as its also reflected somewhat in Catholicism as well.

(I am considering starting a Theology degree. Most colleges I have approached insist on belief, some don't. )

For clarity, I am willing to accept and submit to Nicene theology, but I cannot force myself to believe anything, and I think this is a crucial question - the nature of belief, it seems to me, is not a choice.

Submission is one possible interpretation of the meaning of belief.

Also, some Christian traditions do not confine their self-understanding to the Nicene Creed. In my own religious tradition, the Nicene Creed is merely seen as a testimony of faith, but not the only possible true testimony of Christian belief.
 
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dzheremi

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I once heard during a radio interview with an Eastern Orthodox priest the point being made that not even Moses, in the time before Christ's incarnation, came to belief himself. This is one way to interpret the significance of the command that he remove his shoes when in the presence of God in the burning bush, as he was standing upon holy ground: You do not approach God according to your own presuppositions and what you are willing to accept. God brings you to belief by direct action in your life. This is (I believe) why also in the Coptic Orthodox tradition, even though we are not in communion with the Eastern Orthodox, we likewise proclaim that it is the Holy Spirit Who teaches us to worship the Holy Trinity (read: it is not something that we came to of ourselves via some egghead theologians somewhere who supposedly decided that we have to believe it or else), as we do during the Prime hour of prayer, as found in the Agpeya (Coptic daily prayer book) under a confession titled "The Faith of the Church":

One is God the Father of everyone.

One is His Son, Jesus Christ the Word, Who took flesh and died; and rose from the dead on the third day, and raised us with Him.

One is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, one in His Hypostasis, proceeding from the Father, purifying the whole creation, and teaching us to worship the Holy Trinity, one in divinity and one in essence. We praise Him and bless Him forever. Amen.
 
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