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What is more important...having faith in the resurrection or following the teachings of Jesus?

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What do you think of someone who has faith that Jesus is their savior and believes in the resurrection, but they do not follow any of Jesus' teachings from his life?

What do you think about someone who does not believe in the resurrection, but tries to follow Jesus' teachings?

What are your beliefs about faith in Jesus vs. Jesus' teachings during his life?  Do you think one is more important than the other?  Do you think both are necessary or only one of these things is necessary (i.e. to be saved, to be a Christian, etc)

 

Reading the section below is what made me think of this question today, but other topics and comparing teachings within different denominations make these or similar questions come up in my mind on occasion.  The bold emphasis below is mine, and the italicized words were Nhat Hanh's emphasis in the book.

 

If you're not familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh, he's a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and teacher.  He was the Chairman for the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation during the Vietnam War.  He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.  He is a Zen Buddhist, a scholar, and a peace activist.

 

Living Buddha, Living Christ

Thich Nhat Hanh

From Chapter 4


Seeing the Way, Taking the Path


When Jesus said, “I am the way,” He meant that to have a true relationship with God, you must practice His way. In the Acts of the Apostles, the early Christians always spoke of their faith in “the Way.” To me, “I am the way” is a better statement than “I know the way.” The way is not an asphalt road. But we must distinguish between the “I” spoken by Jesus and the “I” that people usually think of. The “I” in his statement is life itself, His life, which is the way. If you do not really look at his life, you cannot see the way. If you only satisfy yourself with praising a name, even the name of Jesus, it is not practicing the life of Jesus. We must practice living deeply, loving, and acting with charity if we wish to truly honor Jesus. The way is Jesus Himself and not some idea of Him. A true teaching is not static. It is not mere words but the reality of life. Many who have neither the way nor the life try to impose on others what they believe to be the way. But these are only words that have no connection to the real life or a real way. When we understand and practice deeply the life and the teachings of Buddha, or the life and teachings of Jesus, we penetrate the door and enter the abode of the living Buddha and the living Christ, and eternal life presents itself to us.

 


Answer Question
 
pam19

Asked by pam19 at 4:07 PM on Feb. 12, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 30 (42,186 Credits)
Answers (46)
  • The most important is your relationship with Jesus.
    Shaneagle777

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 4:20 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • I'm one of those who strongly believes his life and message is where the emphasis should be. The fact that he was willing to see his message through to death makes me think it was something he figured was pretty important. Then again, I'm one of those who doesn't really believe in the Atonement or Resurrection, so I'm sure I'll get a lot about how the reason I believe the way I do is because I'm not a true Christian, lol. Even rejecting those to concepts, though, I do believe that believing in the Resurrection/accepting the for yourself this "Atonement" without putting in the work involved in actually FOLLOWING Jesus and his message is kind of hypocritical... :)
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 4:34 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • It's all important because it is a step by step type of life long education. First, you have to believe, which is the beginning of faith. Then, you have to be discipled, which will strengthen that faith. Then, at the perfectly right time for you, you will have to give God every part of you, your life, etc. Which will make it easier to follow Him, His way, His will, etc. It's all in the timing.
    BUTTERCUP777

    Answer by BUTTERCUP777 at 4:39 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • "If you only satisfy yourself with praising a name, even the name of Jesus, it is not practicing the life of Jesus. We must practice living deeply, loving, and acting with charity if we wish to truly honor Jesus. The way is Jesus Himself and not some idea of Him"


    I couldn't agree more!
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:40 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • I agree, what we do matters a lot.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 4:59 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • – collapse
    Not having such a close relationship with an imaginary friend.
    Holly.

    Answer by Holly. at 5:00 PM on Feb. 12, 2011 (hidden) + expand

  • The most important is your relationship with Jesus.

    ------

    Does this mean your faith in Jesus is most important or does this mean you think it's all important--having faith in Jesus and the resurrection AND being compassionate, forgiving, loving neighbors, charity, etc?


    I'm trying to leave people room to say both or either in their answer depending on what they believe, but personally I always had a problem with the idea that someone could be a 'bad' person most of their life and then repent and accept Jesus as their savior on their death bed and be 'saved' while I'm supposed to believe that someone who acts very 'Christ-like' and works hard for the poor, gives to charity, is kind and compassionate--but belongs to another religion (or is not religious) is supposed to go to Hell for not believing. That makes no sense to me personally. I think it's more important to 'walk the walk' so to speak.
    pam19

    Comment by pam19 (original poster) at 5:02 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • well I'll start off by saying that, for me, it's not what I feel about the person, it's what I feel about the beliefs. But personally, I think *the* most important thing is trusting in the resurrection.

    I'm not saying that the teachings are irrelevant, they're not, but when it comes to having different opinions on the smaller things, we will only know *for sure* when we get to Heaven. Although even there I'm sure we won't find answers to all of our questions.

    I believe that trust in the resurrection is what brings our salvation - living like Christ is what makes us Christ-followers, or "Christians" as some would call it.
    LiveBreatheSing

    Answer by LiveBreatheSing at 5:03 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • I'm sure I'll get a lot about how the reason I believe the way I do is because I'm not a true Christian, lol.

    ----

    I get so tired of people telling other people they aren't 'true Christians'. I can't even imagine having to hear that on here all the time. In my opinion, you are a Christian and it seems to me that you try to be very 'Christ-like'. Obviously, from my post I think that following the teachings and his example (and the Buddha's example) of love and compassion are more important. ;-)
    pam19

    Comment by pam19 (original poster) at 5:07 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • Preparation for handling life's hardships and continuing the species is the fundamental reason to develop your faith in a higher power. Jesus and Budda are teaching their followers to lead by example and to assist their disciples reasoning ability as problems arise. To ignore or accept historical record or the lack thereof of the resurrection, is not required to form a belief in God but it is necessary to understand that the written explanation for historical events took place in the context of what passed as knowledge during those ancient times and may seem "impossible" in 2011. Faith is individual to each of us and is to be respected by all including the non-believer.
    annabarred

    Answer by annabarred at 5:20 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

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