The Instigator
KittyEmPhilosophy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
1Credo
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Is it contradictiory for a true christian to be polytheistic?

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
1Credo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 467 times Debate No: 67417
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (3)

 

KittyEmPhilosophy

Con

It does state quite plainly, in the bible, that you are to take no other gods (lower case "g") over God himself, in other words, acknowledging the fact of other gods' existence.
1Credo

Pro

1. Acceptance

I accept. I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate. I look forward to a good discussion.

2. Rebuttal

I will begin by responding to my opponent's first argument:

"It does state quite plainly, in the bible, that you are to take no other gods (lower case "g") over God himself, in other words, acknowledging the fact of other gods' existence."

My opponent refers to Exodus 20:3, which says "You shall not have other gods beside me". It seems that my opponent has misinterpreted this verse. The assertion made in his opening argument was that the Bible acknowledges the existence of other gods. This verse is clearly referring not to the actual existence of other gods, but to the ideas of other gods that individuals may have. The verse is acknowledging that there are several different beliefs in different gods, but by no means does it acknowledge the existence of any other gods.

3. Argument

There is no reason to think that Exodus 20:3 acknowledges the existence of other gods. Even if it did, however, my opponent would still have all of his work ahead of him in order to show that there is no contradiction between being a Christian and being polytheistic. I take a Christian to be an individual who believes and follows the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and of the Bible. It seems to me that an individual who is a Christian cannot also believe in polytheism. I'll sum this up with a deductive argument:

(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.
(2) The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.
(3) If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (1) & (2)).
(4) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.
(5) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (3) & (4)).

I won't provide justification for (1) and (4) as they are definitions (see sources for justification).

Justification for (2):
Deuteronomy 4:35,39 — Unto thee it was shown, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. (39) Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Deuteronomy 6:4 — Hear, O Israel: The LORD thy God is one LORD. [Note in Mark 12:28-34 how Jesus and a Jewish scribe he encountered understood this text.]
Deuteronomy32:39 — See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
2 Samuel 7:22 — Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God; for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
1 Kings 8:60 — That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.
2 KINGS 5:15 — And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
2 Kings 19:15 — And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
1 Chronicles 17:20 — O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
Nehemiah 9:6 — Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou has made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Psalm 18:31 — For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
Psalm 86:10 — For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
Isaiah 37:16,20 — O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou has made heaven and earth. (20) Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.
Isaiah43:10,11 — Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he:before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.
Isaiah44:6,8 — Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Isaiah 45:21 — Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time: who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.
Isaiah 46:9 — For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.
Hosea 13:4 — Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me; for there is no savior beside me.
Joel 2:27 — And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Zechariah 14:9 — And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
Mark 12:29-34 —And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
John 17:3 — And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Romans 3:30 — Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 — As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, andthat there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Galatians 3:20 — Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
Ephesians 4:6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1 Timothy 1:17 — Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
James 2:19 — Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Debate Round No. 1
KittyEmPhilosophy

Con

That was a beautiful argument. But, amid that very argument lies my rebuttal, plain and simple. For one, let us define polytheistic. According to www.vocabulary.com, "Polytheism is belief in many gods". Note the precision of language: "belief in", not "worship of". It is entirely possible to acknowledge the existence of other self-proclaimed deities, and not bow to them, much in the same way to recognize that there are many kings, but be loyal to yours alone.

And my next statement is actually yours.
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 — As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Notice that the bible always refers to "our lord" as God, capitalized, whilst commonly refering to other "gods" which is always lowercase and plural. However, even the Bible itself does not banish the fact that other "gods" exist, only restates that we must choose Him, because He is our creator and our one Lord. God exists, as does Satain, as do demonic forces, as do other gods. As a Christian, one must be aware of their enimies, and not blind to their existance.

The Bible does not lie, nor contradict itself, the fault is in those who mis-interpret it. There are other gods, many in fact, but they are futile in the eyes of God.
1Credo

Pro

1. Argument

Recall that I gave an argument in support of my position that there is a contradiction between being a true Christian and being polytheistic:

(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.
(2) The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.
(3) If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (1) & (2)).
(4) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.
(5) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (3) & (4)).

In his response, my opponent notes that polytheism is "belief in" many gods as opposed to "worship of" many gods. I agree; as I stated in premise 4 of my argument, if an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God. In other words, an individual who affirms polytheism believes in many gods. So, it seems that my opponent and I are in agreement here.

Next, my opponent states that "it is entirely possible to acknowledge the existence of other self-proclaimed deities, and not bow to them". Again, I completely agree. I would add, however, that "acknowledging the existence of" other gods is different from acknowledging that there are other ideas of other gods. For example, if I acknowledge that Hindus believe there to be multiple gods, it does not follow that I acknowledge the actual existence of these other gods. So, the contradiction remains.

2. Rebuttal

"Notice that the bible always refers to "our lord" as God, capitalized, whilst commonly referring to other "gods" which is always lowercase and plural."

Again, it does not follow from the fact that the Bible refers to "other gods" that therefore the Bible acknowledges the actual existence of other gods. I'll gladly agree that there are several ideas of other gods, as evidenced in the Bible, but by no means does this mean that the Bible affirms the actual existence of other gods.

"However, even the Bible itself does not banish the fact that other "gods" exist"

The Bible does, in fact, "banish" the existence of other gods. Look to my opening argument to find several Biblical passages which eliminate the Biblical possibility of the actual existence of multiple gods.

"There are other gods, many in fact, but they are futile in the eyes of God."

There are other ideas of gods, but there are not other actual gods (on a Biblical worldview).

3. Summary

My opponent fails to distinguish between the Bible's talking about ideas of other gods and the actual existence of other gods. As evidenced by the Biblical passages I listed in the opening round, the Bible clearly affirms that there is only one God that actually exists.

If my opponent wants to win this debate, he must knock down the argument that I presented in the opening round:

(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.
(2) The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.
(3) If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (1) & (2)).
(4) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.
(5) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (3) & (4)).

So long as this argument holds sound, it follows logically and necessarily that if an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian. We can then reasonably conclude (for now) that it is contradictory for a true Christian to be polytheistic.
Debate Round No. 2
KittyEmPhilosophy

Con

I find your argument, rebuttle, and summary sorely lacking in new information. As a result, I will start by debunking your five point system of logic.
(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.
(2) The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.
(3) If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (1) & (2)).
(4) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.
(5) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (3) & (4)).

It appears to me that this system is quite repetitive, mostly based off of the first principle:

(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.

Once again... show me a passage in the Bible clearly stating that there are not wicked beings that declare themselves gods over humanity, and they are merely an abstract ideal of wicked men who turned from their creator. Believing that there may be such a thing and being wary of it does not potray an ignorant and insobordinate Christian, but a watchful and loyal one to their one true God. Lucifer himself desired God's power, and was jealous of him, and wanted to be worshipped as a god himself. Lucifer is deceptive and manipulative, with many faces and many names, and still seeks the title of "God." There are Satainists who worship and revere him as if he were one, but a true Christian will never do so, only watch out for his trickery. I use him as an example, to convay, but not restricting to, my point, because it is clear that Satain is a devil, and far from a god.

The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.

I correct this statement. True Christians are to worship one God, and not bow to or take another over him. The Bible teaches to do His will.

If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian

Please refer to one and two.

If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.

Please be more precise. Belief and worship are not interchangeable.

If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian

As I have stated, as unique and controversial this philosophy may be, acknowledging the existance of other gods does not relate to worshipping them; therefore, the purity of the Christian is still intact, he is merely watchfull and still loyal to his one God. They do not contradict the Bible, but interpret it in a different light. As this is the third and final round, I wish to thank my opponent for this debate. May the best argument prevail.

1Credo

Pro

Thanks, Con.

1. Argument

(1) If an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a true Christian.
(2) The Bible teaches that true Christians ought to believe in one God.
(3) If an individual does not believe in one God, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (1) & (2)).
(4) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God.
(5) If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual is not a true Christian (from (3) & (4)).

(1) My opponent seems to forget that this point is merely a definition. I defined Christian in the opening round as "an individual who believes and follows the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and of the Bible." My opponent doesn't seem to disagree with this definition, so I'm not sure what the purpose of the paragraph on (1) in his response was. He begins his response with a request: "show me a passage in the Bible clearly stating that there are not wicked beings that declare themselves gods over humanity, and they are merely an abstract ideal of wicked men who turned from their creator." I'm at a loss for how a single word of that was relevant to (1), which states that "if an individual does not follow the teachings of the Bible, then that individual is not a Christian." My opponent's response was like white noise to me; I have absolutely no idea how any of it was relevant to the first point of my argument.

(2) Here, my opponent argues that the Bible does not teach that true Christians ought to believe in one God. Instead, he argues that the Bible teaches that true Christians ought to worship one God. This is false. The Bible does not teach that we merely ought to worship the Judeo-Christian God, it teaches that the Judeo-Christian God is the only actual God. For justification of this, please look to the list of Biblical passages I gave in the opening round.

(3) My opponent has nothing to add on this point.

(4) My opponent appears to have been confused on whether I was referring to "belief" or "worship" with regard to this point. I'm not sure how that confusion arose, as I think (4) is pretty clear: "If an individual believes in polytheism, then that individual does not believe in one God." It clearly refers to "belief" and not "worship".

(5) My opponent states that "acknowledging the existence of other gods does not relate to worshipping them". I have never claimed that acknowledging the existence of other gods is the equivalent of worshipping them, so my opponent's statement is not relevant. However, believing in the actual existence of other gods is contrary to Christian belief, as the argument (and the Biblical evidence provided in the opening round) shows.

2. Conclusion

My opponent has failed to knock down the argument I presented, which shows that there is a clear contradiction between being a true Christian and believing in polytheism. This argument, along with the Biblical passages that support it (which can be found in the first round) show my opponent's position to be incorrect. As such, it seems to me that we can reasonably conclude that it is contradictory for a true Christian to be polytheistic.

I'd like to thank my opponent for creating this debate and for his participation. I'd also like to thank any readers for taking the time to consider each position.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
KittyEmPhilosophy1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons definition of polytheism is ridiculous. Polytheists worship more than one god. And pro showed many times where the Bible denies the existence of other gods. Arguments to pro.
Vote Placed by RainbowDash52 2 years ago
RainbowDash52
KittyEmPhilosophy1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had strong arguments which Con failed to refute. (will elaborate upon request)
Vote Placed by Rubikx 2 years ago
Rubikx
KittyEmPhilosophy1CredoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall Pro had a stronger argument and supported it more with biblical text.