Can an Atheist Actually Be Considered a Christian? A reply to â€œCatholicâ€ Matthew Dowd
ABC Information analyst Matthew Dowd, whom identifies as Catholic, recently produced claim that is particularly strange Christianity on Twitter:
Hereâ€™s just just exactly what he stated: â€œI am Catholic. Being Christian is really state to be. Exercising love. Several of the most Christian folks i recognize in life are atheists.â€ [sic]
Whenever challenged by another Twitter individual whom stated, â€œBeing a Christian has at the very least just a little related to thinking in Christ, no?â€, Dowd reacted, â€œJesus arrived to determine way that is new of. He didnâ€™t started to set up a faith.â€
Itâ€™s amazing why these things should be said, but listed below are a few means this is incorrect:
1) Jesusâ€™ best commandment is about loving Jesus
Yes, Jesus taught we have been expected to love other folks. But that is only the 2nd commandment that is greatest. The best commandment, based on Jesus, would be to â€œlove the father your God along with your heart sufficient reason for all your valuable heart along with your entire brain sufficient reason for your entire power.â€ (Mark 12.30)
You arenâ€™t going to be doing what Jesus said was the most important thing if you deny that there even is a God.
2) Jesus stated that thinking in Jesus along with his Son is important for likely to paradise
Then look no further than where Jesus explicitly talks about the necessity of faith if saying that loving God is the greatest commandment isnâ€™t clear enough that believing in God is necessary to be a Christian.
While speaing frankly about exactly exactly how Godâ€™s Son (himself) ended up being sent to save your self the entire world, Jesus states this: â€œWhoever believes because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.â€ (John 3.18 in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already)
Demonstrably atheists donâ€™t believe into the person that is second of Trinity.
This requisite of faith can also be confirmed later on within the brand brand New Testament in Hebrews 11.6: â€œwithout faith it really is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw next to Jesus must genuinely believe that he rewards those that seek him. he exists andâ€
3) Jesusâ€™ commands to love werenâ€™t â€œnewâ€
Whenever Jesus stated that the best commandments had been to love Jesus also to love your neighbor as your self, he had been straight quoting the Old Testament, especially Deuteronomy 6.5 and Leviticus 19.18.
Yes, Jesus showed us the depths of Godâ€™s love in a way that is new and he completely unveiled Jesus in a manner that had been new. But their commands to already love had been revealed formerly.
Keep in mind, Jesus himself had been a Jew who stated which he arrived to meet the Jewish legislation (Matthew 5.17ff). You canâ€™t realize Jesus except in the context of religion and Godâ€™s history because of the Jewish individuals.
As biblical scholar Dr. Leroy Huizenga stated in an answer on Twitter: â€œthe indisputable fact that a Jew like Jesus would set upâ€¦something brand brand new thatâ€™s not just a religion is borderline antisemitic.â€
4) Of program Jesus established a faith
About this problem, Dowd is ironically saying a speaking point from those who worry deeply about thinking in Jesus, evangelical Protestants; except where Dowd claims Christianity is truly nearly love rather than faith, evangelicals often say it is really and truly just of a relationship.
But theyâ€™re both incorrect. Of course, Jesus stated we have been to love; and undoubtedly, we have been designed to have relationship with Jesus. But neither of these things replace faith, and Jesus did set up a faith in almost any sense that is meaningful of term.
Jesus confirmed the authority for the Hebrew Scriptures. He clearly established rituals ( ag e.g. baptism, the Lordâ€™s Supper). He appointed leaders, the Apostles. He clearly stated he was establishing His Church (cf. Matthew 16.18). So yes, Jesus did set up a religion that is fairly well-defined.
More could possibly be said on a few of these points, nonetheless it ought to be clear that the theory that Jesus would not care if individuals have confidence in God, which he just taught about loving your neighbor, and that he established no religion is incorrect.