Inspired by this article
posted in the Atheist News group, and its opening excerpt:
IN 1910, A COHORT of ultra-conservative American Protestants drew up a list of non-negotiable beliefs they insisted any genuine Christian must subscribe to. They published these “fundamentals” in a series of widely distributed pamphlets over the next five years. Their catalog featured doctrines such as the virgin birth, the physical resurrection of Christ, and his imminent second coming. The cornerstone, though, was a belief in the literal inerrancy of every syllable of the Bible, including in matters of geology, paleontology, and secular history.
I've pondered this question for some time now. E.g.; I don't agree with everything
Keith Olbermann says, but I like him and his approach enough to call myself a solid fan. I have little problem with pick-and-choose Christians who at least admit they pick and choose, though I also believe that gives them zero right to tell me something is true "because it's in the bible." But that's a different post.
My query here: At what point does a Christian censor so much of their own history and doctrine that they are absurd to call themselves "Christian?" I get really tired of people who say, "Oh I'm a Christian, but I don't believe in tenants X, Y, or Z (which are tantamount to Christianity). But really, praise Jesus!" On my list of must-haves:
1) Literal belief in one true god and that the Judeo-Christian bible at least comes closer than any other doctrine to describing the nature of that god.
2) Literal belief that Jesus existed, is the son of said god, and that the cannon New Testament is at least largely (if not fully) representative of Jesus' biography and teachings.
3) Literal belief that adhering to tenants 1 and 2 make you at the very least more favored in the eyes of God (if not completely necessary to not end up in hell).
That third one is the bit that I find makes most touchy-feely Xians twitch. It's why I make hefty use of the word 'Literal' in my must-have list. More and more I see Christians trying to worm their way out of the xenophobic and silly-superstition nature of their faith by saying "Oh I totally respect your beliefs and I think God loves everyone equally so long as you're a good person ... All religions are ok, I just personally find that Christianity works for me."
To which I say, "Bullshit." It's like saying "I think Jews are awesome people, but I still think Hitler is the bomb." I'm fairly certain Hitler would not count such a person among his followers. Likewise, there is little or nothing in the cannon bible to suggest God/Jesus have anything resembling equal respect for Atheists or people of other religions.
You don't get to say Yay-Hitler while also hugging your Jewish friends.
You don't get to say I'm-a-Christian while telling me that you believe God is totally down with me being a Buddhist, Hindu, Pastafarian or Atheist.
If you're going to call yourself Christian, then man up and admit that non-Christians are something less than you are because they worship a different idol or no idol than you do. If stating something like that about your fellow human beings seems inherently wrong then you'd better re-consider being part of the Christian club.