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Thread: Can one be a christian and not believe in the resurrection?

  1. #1
    SarahC
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    Default Can one be a christian and not believe in the resurrection?

    I know someone who is defending Romanian Unitarian Christians saying they are Christians even though they deny the Trinity and Resurrection. I'm a Christian and know that the resurrection is foundational to our beliefs. What do I tell her?

  2. #2
    asdf
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahC View Post
    I know someone who is defending Romanian Unitarian Christians saying they are Christians even though they deny the Trinity and Resurrection. I'm a Christian and know that the resurrection is foundational to our beliefs. What do I tell her?
    Tricky question. I know that the first place many would go is 1 Corinthians 15:
    If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
    One thing that makes this tricky is that this is the same scripture that says, "Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?" Being that it's notoriously hard to interpret, I would certainly err on the side of caution when it comes to deciding who's in and who's out.

    In any case, your post made me think of this quote from the philosopher/theologian Peter Rollins:
    One is not called to believe in the death and resurrection of Christ but rather to be the site where that death and resurrection is made manifest, not to believe in the miracles of Jesus but to be the place where a miracle takes place. In short belief in the Messiah is one that is affirmed only in the life that emanates love, sacrifice, forgiveness, mercy and joy.
    -source
    I think that the emphasis on the way that faith is put into practice is a helpful counterbalance to a type of 'faith' that is solely concerned with believing a set of facts. For instance, some who ostensibly claim to be saved 'by grace through faith' actually act as though they think they are saved by believing that they are saved 'by grace through faith'. I recently read this characterized as 'not Calvinism, but Calvinism-ism'.

  3. #3
    Columcille
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    Just remember asdf's gospel is one of a postmodern re***essment. Christianity, in order for it to be recognized for what it is, must contain some very elementary aspects shared amongst the Christian community from the past to the present and crossing national boundaries. For a person to say they believe in Christ, but not his resurrection, is a person without any authority in his life, for he rejects the Scriptures. Now if you want to make a case for a "pre-Christian" state, such as Romans 2 states concerning an upright Gentile... I think a case can be had. But let's stop the redefining Christianity by eleminating those things that have always existed in Scripture. Peter Rollins only is demonstrating one side of the coin, but a coin nevertheless has two sides to it... if that coin only has the face but no tail, it is either a fake or a faulty minting, in both cases the coin is not legal tender.

    Just as Romans 10.9-10 states "If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saived. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved."

    A confession that does not believe Christ was resurrected certainly doesn't have faith in God to be considered a genuine Christian. If he was raised in the lie, you might have a case of the righteous Gentile, but I think if the Spirit resides in him that red flags should go up when comparing the Scriptures to such an unChristian view.

  4. #4
    aristotle
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    Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day:
    Col 2:17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.

    this is a list, though not exhaustive, of those things which we, as fellow saints, have freedom in choosing. we can be eat beef, pork, or vegetables only. we can meet on sunday or tuesday. these things have no substance outside Christ and i am forbidden to put another under subjection to what i think ought to be observed. however:

    1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

    Th 4:15 For this we declare to you on the Lord's own authority--that we who are alive and continue on earth until the Coming of the Lord, shall certainly not forestall those who shall have previously p***ed away.
    1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will come down from Heaven with a loud word of command, and with an archangel's voice and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
    1Th 4:17 Afterwards we who are alive and are still on earth will be caught up in their company amid clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
    1Th 4:18 And so we shall be with the Lord for ever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

    if anyone thinks to ignore or deny the clear words of the text then they place themselves in jeopardy. the apostle paul in both corinthians and thessalonians made it very clear that a resurrection is going to take place. even john in revelation speaks of a resurrection of the just and one of the unjust. we may disagree on the placement of the rapture but there can be no denial of the resurrection. as dr. walter martin loved to say, "i can read the text for myself. i don't need you to tell me what it says."

    as to any unitarians remind them of this verse as spoken by our Lord:

    Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    'nuff said

  5. #5
    ActRaiser
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    I'd just like to revisit this thread and say no. They can't be saved if they don't believe in the Ressurection.
    Not unless they beleived it to begin with.

  6. #6
    SarahC
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    TY for your responses! I agree. The 1 Cor verses were what I thought of too.

  7. #7
    borrows123
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    These are very helpful for me...
    I was a bit tense about these things.....

  8. #8
    Jean Chauvin
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    ABSOLUTELY NOT

    The resurrection is an essential doctrine, if you deny it, you cannot be a Christian.

    I Corinthians 15:1-4.

    Respectfully,

    Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

  9. #9
    Super Moderator alanmolstad's Avatar
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    You can NOT be a Christian if you don't believe in the Resurrection!

    case-closed!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahC View Post
    I know someone who is defending Romanian Unitarian Christians saying they are Christians even though they deny the Trinity and Resurrection. I'm a Christian and know that the resurrection is foundational to our beliefs. What do I tell her?
    If that group is a subset of that commonly known as Unitarians, then they are a CULT, who state:
    "In addition to holding different beliefs on spiritual topics, individual Unitarian Universalists may also identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Paganism, and other religious or philosophical traditions."
    In other words, they embrace pretty much any religion, which makes them a New Age Religion. No matter their claim to Christianity. They cannot be a Christian to ***ociate themselves with such a cult. They are deceived and in need of repentance.
    TD

  11. #11
    pilgrim1411
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    If you deny the resurrection, you are not a Christian. Read THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, by Habermas and Licona.

  12. #12
    TheSword99
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    The resurrection is part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If one is truly a born again believer in Christ, there is no way he can deny the Resurrection.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator alanmolstad's Avatar
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    Christians believe in the resurrection of Christ.

    If a person does not believe in the resurrection?....they are not a Christian.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator alanmolstad's Avatar
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    we are Christians because Jesus came back from the dead.
    If you do not believe that Jesus came back you can not be considered a Christian.

    It does not really matter what else you believe that you might have in common with the Christian faith, you still are not a true christian.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator alanmolstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanmolstad View Post
    we are Christians because Jesus came back from the dead.
    If you do not believe that Jesus came back you can not be considered a Christian.

    It does not really matter what else you believe that you might have in common with the Christian faith, you still are not a true christian.
    So the answer to the Original Question of this topic, is, "no"

  16. #16
    Super Moderator alanmolstad's Avatar
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    the answer is still "no"
    From the Forum RULES : "As you know, the Walter Martin website takes the position that Mormon theology is not Christian theology. Use of the term "LDS Christian" is inaccurate and misleading, and as such is not acceptable on this board."

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