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Can you be a "true believer" in any certian path (fill in random path) even if you don't agree with the basic beliefs of that path?

This comes up over and over - "What makes someone a true believer" - and after the question I asked about can you be a Wiccan if you don't follow the Wiccan beliefs and lifestyle that comes with it I wanted to specify this question...

While it is true that each individual will have slight differences in opinion over this or that, even within the same branch of the same religion... BUT, if someone doesn't share the basic beliefs or doesn't follow the basic traditions or lifestyle of that belief system, can they be classified as a "true believer" since they obviously don't believe the same?

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 1:54 PM on Jul. 16, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Yes, its hard I mean hard but I make it.

    Answer by mamaofficer at 1:56 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • I would think you would have to believe in the "basic" tenants of religion to be a believer... however, that gets sticky, because in Christianity, even what is a basic is up for debate.

    Answer by lovinangels at 1:57 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Tenets are man made and if you want to follow a man made religion instead of just following your faith, then you have to obey their rules. If you don't agree with or believe in them, why are you trying to follow that particular flavor of religion?

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 2:21 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Well, that's true - sometimes what is basic is up for grabs, but if you are claiming to be a JW (for example) and then have no issue with sex before marriage, don't believe in going door to door, celebrate Christimas as the birth of Jesus and are willing to accept blood... Are you REALLY a JW? I would have to say no, because all of those things go against the basic beliefs of JWs as a whole. Which I think tends to be the reason why people are now sticking to terms like "Pagan" or "Christian" instead of adding labels associated with specific denominations within those paths.


    Comment by SabrinaMBowen (original poster) at 2:22 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • My personal belief is this.

    ANYONE... NO matter the religion they choose to follow.. or choose not to follow... NO matter the names they use, the rituals or brand of worship they prefer. NO matter the name of the buidling they choose to worship in, or whether they choose no specific place at all.

    ANYONE who believes in and has their own individual personal relationship with God is a True Believer.

    A religion does not make you a true believer.
    How you pray or worship does not make you a true believer.
    Where you pray or worship does not make you a true believer.
    The name or names you choose to use when you refer to/speak to/pray to/worship God does not make you a true believer.

    A true and sincere belief in God is what makes one a true believer.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:33 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Not trying to hijack, but this gets to the heart of my issue with eclecticism. I understand an inherent pull towards more than one direction, and some people do approach it that way - a struggle to do the best to honor both sides. But more often, it's picking and choosing the bits that they like, and rewriting the ones they don't.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:38 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Core beliefs are often subjective, and only the individual can decide why they feel connected to a particular religion of belief system. .Most religions and groups are more complex then just a list of beliefs, so each person has to decide for themselves what they feel is "true" about their religion or belief group, and what really draws them to that faith or belief system.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 3:46 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • in order to be a "true believer" of a certain religion, then yes you'd have to believe the basic fundamentals of it. Example:
    to be a Wiccan, you'd have to follow their basic beliefs.. if you say for example, only believe in part of it, you'd be more apt to class your self as a Pagan, or digging deeper to find the correct term for your beliefs.

    Or look at Catholics.. if you can't follow their religious beliefs, and are a more open individual who just shares a common belief with them in God and Jesus, you'd really just be a Christian, not specifically a Catholic.

    I hope I explained what I mean right

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 4:57 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • Or like your example with JW's.. they would be more of an open minded Christian.. boarding Agnostic beliefs..

    Like with an atheists.. you can have beliefs of an after life and such and still be an atheist.. it just means you don't believe in a God or higher power.. however if you are just unsure of your beliefs and/or believe in a God as well. the correct beliefs term would be Agnostic.


    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 5:02 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

  • I guess it's like this: to label yourself as _______ you have to be a true believer in the basic fundamentals of that religion/beliefs system. If not, then the label is inaccurate and incorrect, and thus making you someone who is NOT an actual true believer.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 5:04 PM on Jul. 16, 2010

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