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The Contender
Con (against)
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for christians, what minimal faith is needed to be saved, is not clear

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 683 times Debate No: 31226
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




what the absolute minimum needed to believe is not clear. this debate is beyond the "faith v works" debate and is simply in the realm of what faith is required to be saved. i am not saying this in terms of seeking to do or believe the minimum such as to "do as little as i have to to get saved".

i ask christians and they say "believe in jesus". then i point out that the devil does as even the bible says. so they say believe he's your savior. then i point out that some believe that different people see that differently... a good message or atonement etc. a fundamentalist would say a good message is not sufficient. so... you have to believe in atonement is one element. but then there's various beliefs in atonement, "christus victor" v "substitionary" etc.
but then the bible has lots of places where it says what to believe. "confess with your lips that he is lord and believe that he has risen and you will be saved". that doesn't really define what "Lord" is though, thoug h in any case all this atonement stuff may not be necessary after all. but what if they do beleive in atonement and all this other stuff, but dont' know to believe that he was risen? or what if they find that piece of evidence insufficient for belief but believe everything else? most christians just say "believe he's savior and you're good".
and what if you don't like this "savior" stuff given it's a loaded word. what if you just "relied" on Jesus instead, and acknowledged that you're a sinner, wouldn't that be enough? well it's not confesing and beleiving all that stuff, though no one said that was teh end all be all of what's required.
some don't believe he's god... is that okay? a dogamatic would start to list things you must believe. then i point out that that's dogmatic, and most would shy away from that. if it's too short though, they don't like the vagueness or the possibilities they are forgoing for the sake of an easy answer... it's a brutal issue when you get down to it. they want to have their cake... easy answer... and eat it too.. not giving a clear answer.
you have people who are new to the religion and one wouldn think couldn't be held responsible to everything to a T, and you have those who have honest disagreements over what doctrines should be belieeved and what shouldn't. and even if they knew of one doctrine and rejected what tehy knew... what is the minimum they'd have to believe? they can do the "confess with your mouth" stuff and reject say the trinity and be condemned for it? basically everyone is at different stages.
it seems the right conclusion is it depends on hwere you are in your walk.

so... beyond the whole faith v works debate.. even in terms of faith... what one must believe is not clear or taught very well.


"Faith v Works" has a positive and a negative side to it.

On the positive side (which is usually Catholic), faith recognizes how people can be appreciative regardless of their particular behavior. That way, nobody is judged according to anyone else, so nobody is entitled to say that anyone else has worked hard enough to prove one's salvation. This is usually called "universal reconciliation".

On the negative side (which is usually Protestant), faith can be lazy or negligent, so people have to work effectively to prove their salvation. Everyone supposedly judges everyone else, so it's nothing already unexpected. This is usually called "depravity".

Your question was about clarity, so to be clear, I'm not arguing one way or another between faith or works. I'm just saying that the minimum is clearer than you're giving credit. It ultimately depends on whether or not you believe people are obligated to endure the judgment of their peers.

If the answer is "no", then faith is simply believing in God. It's positive by default.

If the answer is "yes", then faith has to be strong enough to perform good works. It's negative until it's proven.
Debate Round No. 1


It ultimately depends on whether or not you believe people are obligated to endure the judgment of their peers.

If the answer is "no", then faith is simply believing in God. It's positive by default.

If the answer is "yes", then faith has to be strong enough to perform good works. It's negative until it's proven.

you have not shown how faith is tied to enduring judgment of one's peers. i see no connection ebtween that and believing in God or doing good works.

also, as i said, per believing in God, even demons believe in God. that's not sufficient. it says in James that for example "you belive God is one, good... buit even the demons do that" to say that that aqlone is not sufficient.

you say that the faith has to be strong enough to perform good works. i actually might be able to get behind that somewhat. but, if we were to argue literally "confess w ur mouth that Jesus is Lord and that he rose from the dead, and you will be saved" does not per se require good works. sure, good works would follow and one's faith would allow for it... but as a literal per se minimum, that confess w your mouth thing shows that good works are not required at first brush, bare bones minimum.


Could you clarify your position? It's not clear whether you're talking about actual salvation or proving one's salvation. There is a difference between the bare minimum between one and the other. The first involves what's actually needed for salvation. The second involves proving one's salvation to others. Merely being saved does not necessarily mean others will believe someone is saved. Likewise, people can believe someone is saved despite how someone is not.

To be clear, I'm taking a non-spiritual perspective on religion. "God" is a model of perfect goodness, and "salvation" is having a good attitude. No offense, but I am not talking about an imaginary friend in the sky who judges us when we die. If you wish to believe in spirituality, be my guest, but the focus here is on religion. Furthermore, spirituality is a personal, not a social, endeavor, so it really isn't respectful to talk about since it can't really be communicated. In fact, it is impossible to confirm whether one's "beliefs" are real. Like you said, someone can confess everything and anything in the world. That doesn't mean it's honest.

In turn, when I refer to people judging each other, I'm referring the "grayness" of human nature. Some people are good, some people are bad. Bad people judge others by default, ignoring how judgment itself is an individual quality where nobody's judgment is more important than anyone else's. Good people do not judge because they understand how judging another's judgment is hypocritical...


...good people are still trying to avoid bad people, so it's possible for good people to do bad things in order to protect themselves. Therefore, good people will sometimes judge others in order to avoid being judged themselves. This means that even good people will sometimes expect "good works" in advance of believing that others are "saved".

You also referred to how even demons (bad people) believe in "God". That's complicated because you're confusing intelligence with attitude.

Intelligently speaking, yes, bad people can recognize models of perfect goodness. Information processing and storage would require what works.

Attitudinally speaking, no, bad people can not recognize models of perfect goodness. Information processing and storage would require being faithful.

To resolve this difference between intelligence and attitude, it needs to be clear whether you're talking about actual salvation or proving one's salvation.
Debate Round No. 2


i see no reason "proving one's salvation" was ever inserted nto the debate to begin with. it was inserted by Con for reasons unknown. It seems clear enoiugh to me that the debate is about acheiving actual salvation.

you also mention honest beliefs being rerequired. i would agree with this but would say it's a given. my initial post says the things that must be believed or not, and doesnt add anything about honesty because it's assumed.

i dont see how attitude and intelligence is relevant the way you are discussing it. it seems like a made up construct and i dont see how it's applicable here.


This is the final round, so I'll keep things succinct. If there were more rounds, I would explore the matter of "proving one's salvation" further. To wrap up the situation at hand, I'll simply refer back to what was said about "grayness" in human nature. Believing in "God" as a model of perfect goodness is subject to different people being good or bad. Also, people judge one another in order to know whether or not they're saved.

Regarding intelligence and attitude, ideas (such as God and other models) need to be imagined. The difference between intelligence and attitude here is whether or not someone is imaginative. A merely intelligent person can believe in God without imagining it. That is a merely intelligent person looks at what works and accepts it even if that includes denying the very imagination required to imagine the workable idea.

An attitudinal person, however, has the imagination required for ideas in the first place. When an attitudinal person believes in something, that belief actually creates and sustains the idea. This isn't to say intelligence and attitude are mutually exclusive though. Someone can have both a faithful attitude and workable intelligence. That is someone can both believe in how an idea is imagined as well as what the idea is itself.

With that out of the way, we can now clearly determine the minimal belief required for salvation. Keep in mind that pro has admitted that we are not talking about what it takes to prove one's salvation to others. We are discussing a personal, not a social, issue.

In terms of faith, one believes enough by simply believing in God. The attitude itself imagines the idea into creation and sustenance. There is no complexity required.

In terms of works, one believes enough by believing in what works. Intelligence uses God as a motive in order to create something physically real that sustains itself.

Again, this doesn't mean attitude and intelligence are mutually exclusive. Some might even argue they're mutually necessary. That is the idea which intelligence uses to work must be attitudinally imagined. Likewise, attitudes require intelligence in order to physically exist.

One way or another, however, the minimally necessary amount of belief to be saved is clear.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by zezima 3 years ago
remember, the ways changed to get to heaven once Jesus came down and died on the cross. also remember the devil is not human.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
i edited it
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
If you'll extend the voting period to two weeks, I'll take this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by morgan2252 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments go to con because he makes his arguments very straightforward and he seems to know what he is debating. He makes it clear that different types of Christian have different beliefs on what "faith" is. Pro, on the other hand denies this immediately without providing any reason why it isn't clear. In addition, conduct goes to con because pro began the debate, but doesn't seem to know what she is talking about. She needs to clarify her statement just slightly more. Spelling and grammar goes to con because pro does not capitalize her letters as often as she needs to. Sources are even.