The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Emily77
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

the required threshhold of faith required for Christians to be saved is unclear

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
dairygirl4u2c
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/13/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 470 times Debate No: 56556
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

the requirements are either too vague, or too listy/dogmatic.

the bible says if you confess with your mouth jesus is lord, and beleive in your heart that he was raised from the dead you will be saved. it also say if you believe in the lord you will be saved. it also has all kinds of other statements.
i'm sure if you do these, that is sufficient. but what about various other scenarios, like the content of 'sinner's prayers' that dont include those things?

what or where exactly is the threshhold?

if you believe he existed or is God is that enough? probably not cause the bible says demons do likewise.

what about a list of of common beleifs? that you rely on him generally, that he is your savior, that you are a sinner, that he is lord, tha he rose from the dead, that he was incarnated, that he is God, that he is the son of God, that you believe you are saved (plenty of christians say you must believe you are saved, or you aren't saved), substitutionary atonement v 'christus victor' etc etc.

ask different christians, get a different answer, almost every time. they just have 'gut feelings' but dont have firm answers. see past debates from me on this topic, and you'll note a different answer pretty much every time.

some say you have to admit you're a sinner and that he is your savior. what if you believed all the other things and not these? or what if you believe you're a sinner, and that he's a savior, but not that he's God, or a various type of atonement belief. eg, chrsitaus victor v substitutionary.
some say that he is God is required, some say legal substitution is mandatory.

and how do you demarcate the requirements for those who are new to the faith, and those who are really knowledgeable? it might be seen a okay for a newbie to miss a thing or two, but less understandable for the expreinced etc. does this come into play?

so what's the magical formula?
Emily77

Con

I would first like to begin by saying that I believe you to have made several crucial errors in your logic with regards to this debate. You wish to debate that,

"The required threshold of faith for Christians is unclear"

However, this is problematic because:

1. There are too many types of Christianity with conflicting views. In order to properly debate this, it is necessary to pick one. So for the sake of argument, I am going to assume that you are referring to the original form of Christianity before it began to branch off.

2. The 'threshold of faith' is not the same thing as the entrance requirements of heaven. While we could argue all day about the definition of 'faith', if you take it at it's most common meaning, it is to say that you must believe in Jesus Christ as well as God. Demons fully fit this requirement, but are denied entrance into heaven.

3. You make a logical fallacy that popular opinion means vagueness. Even if 99.9% of the population were incorrect and believed the entrance requirements for heaven were to eat popcorn-flavored sprinkles on their jelly beans, this does not make the facts as described in the bible any less clear. It simply makes everyone who doesn't adhere to the strict bible description wrong.

The bible lists four requirements in order to be given over to 'God's grace' after death.
1. You must be baptized
2. You must believe Jesus Christ was God's son and died for our sins
3. You must verbally state your belief in Christ to another person
4. You must repent your sins. Each time you do so is essentially a blank slate, and you can't get into heaven without this blank slate.

The Bible clearly states all of these requirements, and there is no vagueness about them. They are spelled out firmly and fairly clearly, and those who believe otherwise have not read The Bible properly and/or are not fundamentalists.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

so here we have if folks? the official list of things that must be believed, through milleniums of fighting and wars by christians..... it has been officially listed on debate.org during the month of June, 2014? notice the sarcasm.

so you are asserting that someone would not be saved if they:
1. You must be baptized
2. You must believe Jesus Christ was God's son and died for our sins
4. You must repent your sins.

didn't tell anyone that they were Christian after being baptized?

do you go against the bible's teachings, then, as it says "anyone who confesses that Jesus is Lord, and believes in his heart that he was raised from the dead, they will be saved".

that shows a lower threshhold. even most fundamentalists don't require *necessarily* that you be baptized, just that it is proper. what if they are new to the faith and never had a chance? what if they were trying to figure out what it means and wanted to know what they were doing before getting baptized?

and what about the Lord's supper? it was a direct command for us to do it.... why is it not in your list? what makes baptism so much superior to the lord's supper?

i'm sure i could go on and on with more examples.

i don't see any reason why con's list is so magical.
Emily77

Con

Again, we have the problem that you have not addressed which is crucial to the argument: to which branch of Christianity are you referring? Since you have not specified, I am going to continue to assume you mean the original and uncorrupted version of Christianity. I will give a little blurb below about why these corruptions are insufficient in addressing the issue in question so that you might in your response understand the importance of specifying a particular sect of Christianity.

The Criteria for Salvation
There are 3 criteria above which are repeated throughout The Bible and throughout several of the books;
  • 1. You must believe Jesus Christ was God's son and died for our sins
  • 2. You must verbally state your belief in Christ to another person
  • 3. You must repent your sins. Each time you do so is essentially a blank slate, and you can't get into heaven without this blank slate.
The requirement of baptism is mentioned only once, but it is definitively mentioned in Mark 16:16.

“He who believes and is baptized will be save; he who believes not will be condemned”

Notice here that in the first half, baptism is included, and in the second, it is not. This is one of the main reasons why the concept of ‘limbo’ arose; to correct the obvious issue that a benevolent God would allow an ‘innocent’ child to go to hell simply for not having been baptized. In 2007, a decision was rendered by the Theological Council under agreement of the pope that this concept of salvation was too restrictive and was unfair to babies. But religion is old and dogmatic, and if you want to follow it correctly, it must be understood that a modern council has no authority to override The Bible. If you don’t like the ‘word of God’, don’t follow Christianity.

Misunderstanding The Bible
There are many misunderstandings when it comes to The Bible, and I will reiterate my argument that, this does not make their interpretation correct. There are facts, and then there are interpretations of those facts. Now while I would not call The Bible a book of facts, what is a fact is that something is written in The Bible. One cannot attach their own meaning to what is written in there and call it truth.

The Lord’s Supper is another example of this. Nowhere in The Bible does it say this is a requirement for salvation. It frames it as a way to participate in Jesus and the memory of his sacrifice. This is different than following the aforementioned requirements for salvation. For example, one can participate in Christmas without believing in Jesus, or vice-versa, one can believe in Jesus without participating in Christmas. Belief and participation are not mutually exclusive, nor are they necessary-sufficient.

Conflict Over the Bible
In your argument, you mentioned conflict over the bible for centuries. While this is true, this fighting is not over the text in The Bible itself, but rather, what the beliefs associated with Christianity ought to be. These are very different things. It is important to understand that the vast majority of the Christian faculties used today are fairly new. The Pope, Theological Councils, The King James Bible, Protestantism, etc. are all corruptions of the original texts. That is not to say that the original Bible (The Vulgate Bible) is the only correct religion, but rather, that if you wish to criticize The Bible about vagueness, then you can’t do it through corruptions or misinterpretations of the text.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

con makes an issue out of me not stating a type of christianity. i don't need to as we are examining the formulas people give for their own worth. i argue what i see, you argue what you see.

i also point out, con hasn't shown why believing he is the Son of God, or that he died for our sins, are listed in the things that must be believed. they are surely christian teaching, and a christian will follow what Christ taught, but why are these ones singled out when there are tons of others, as mentioned earlier?

baptism. do you argue that a christian who doesn't get baptized is going to hell? do you think that the Christian can be new to the faith, believe that Jesus is lord and that he was raised from the dead, and still be going to hell even though it was just because he hasn't had a chance to be baptized yet?
i'm not sure how absolute your thoughts are on baptism, but if we can establish that you aren't hardline, we can establish that you yourself don't take it truly hardline, when it's clearly possible to be hardline about it. it's not clear if we should be hardline or not.

con points that baptism is associated with salvation in the bible. okay i will grant that it is clear that a christian follows the teachings of Jesus. that includes baptism. that could be said to include the other things, but i don't see why the other things were made so special as to be included in the list?

why is the Lord's supper not considered something a Christian must do? Christians must follow his teachings, that means this one too. i wouldn't parse out baptism specifically.
some argue that a Christian must believe Jesus is God, why is that not on your list? the bible says that he is. i would argue against the notion given the bible teaches this in places that are not clear to all Christians. but i'm open to what's required v not. you don't seem to be, so why are you not forcing this belief?

if i tried to put a more definite bar on what's required, i would think it is sufficient to believe you are a sinner and believe he's your savior. but i know it doesn't necessarily boil down to that, cause it's possible someone will be working all those issues out, but at least believe something like "jesus is Lord, he was raised from the dead" so they are saved. why don't you think the way?

and that draws us to that last point. which you still have not addressed. what if someone believes in their heart that Jesus is Lord, and was raised from the dead, but they haven't had the chance to be baptized yet? or what if they haven't had a chance to fulfill the other requirements you list? surely we have that bible passage for a reason, what does it mean if that person isn't really saved or what?
Emily77

Con

I would like to state for the conclusion of this debate, that I think Pro has completely misconstrued what he is asking in his own question. The question proposed was:

  • "The threshold of faith required for Christians to be saved is unclear"
What this means is that the onus was on your to prove that the language for salvation written in the Christian text, The Bible, was unclear and vague about its requirements. Unfortunately, not only have you not met this burden of proof, you seem to misunderstand your own topic.


Sect of Christianity
My opponent has still not chosen a sect of Christianity. Unfortunately, this is necessary because some sects adhere much more closely to the bible, others to the pope, others to outside officials, etc. He states it is not important because, " ..."we are examining the formulas people give for their own worth. [sic] i argue what i see, you argue what you see." Unfortunately, what he seems to misunderstand is that his question is asking for a specific threshold for salvation in Christianity to be found, not the interpretations of every single Christian that has ever identified as such.


The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich of Salvation
When making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, there are 3 required components: bread, jelly, and peanut butter. Without any of these components, it cannot be a peanut butter sandwich. However, I may enjoy the taste of bananas in the mix, or a grape jelly rather than a raspberry jelly. I can give it whatever flavour suits me best, until I take out the peanut butter. Then it is no longer a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter, jelly and bread are the threshold; all the rest is preference and/or additives for a richer dining experience.


Christianity is analogous. The threshold for salvation is clear. Repentance and acceptance of Jesus are each a slice of bread, verbal recognition is the peanut butter and baptism is the jelly. Without all of these components, the threshold for the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of salvation does not exist. If I want to add Lord's Supper bananas, or use 'Follow the 10 commandments' brand jelly, great. It's still a salvation PB&J. If I take out the jelly baptism, then it's just a peanut butter sandwich. So I can still call myself a Christian sandwich, but I am not going to PB&J heaven in the sky.


The point of this analogy is to try to allow you to understand what a threshold is. It is not open for interpretation. It is a limit comprised of a set of fixed variables. Those four variables for this debate have already been stated. They are not open to interpretation.


Why Some and Not Others?
Very simply, any commands that include 'being saved' are required for heaven. Any that don't, are the almonds in your PB&J. I would also like to point out here that I think you should do a little more research into this topic, as stating that Christians believe Jesus to be God are not only incredibly false, but would be wildly offensive to many Christians. Jesus was the son of God, and if you want to utilize the holy trinity, even here, he is not a god, merely a component of the holy trinity.


The four components I have listed are the only four that are attached to 'salvation'. The others are 'commands', but salvation is not tied to them. They are commands to become a better Christian. And since in The Bible it teaches that the better a Christian you are, the closer to God you will be in heaven. As long as you fulfill the 4 components of the very clear threshold, you will go there, you simply may be further away from God than someone who followed more 'suggestions' from The Bible.


As for baptism, the passage is cut and dry. It doesn't say you will go to hell if you go unbaptized, but is also makes it clear that you will not go to heaven. You can't ask me if I am hard lined on the subject, because I am not a Christian, and even if I were, it would be irrelevant. The Bible is clear, and since you refused to state a sect of Christianity, the other interpretations outside of The Bible are moot.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
A close debate, though Pro stuck to covering all of Christianity in the argument which kept the resolution viable, had Pro been tempted to state a particular sect, then it would be false, as each sect has like the Bible a definite path to salvation. It's that sects follow the personal interest/concepts of their usurpers/instigators that they differ.
They differ depending on how much money and power the instigators of the sects require.
Jehovah Witnesses seek total mind control, so their Bible differs entirely from the standard Bible which members are not even allowed to access.
Pentecostal sects have completely insane concepts regarding Salvation and their silly speaking in tongues (glossolalia), with insane Holy Spirit concepts.
So in the end, Pro held on and just sneaked in by a nose.
Because Con's argument about Biblical standard and standardization of salvation within a Sect is also valid.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
dairygirl4u2cEmily77Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro took the debate and put it into her favor by limiting what kind of belief they were talking about in this debate, and ultimately won as a result of this
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
dairygirl4u2cEmily77Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: A close debate, but Con insisted on Pro defining a Christian sect in particular and made a good case for the Bible being clear on what is needed for Salvation, but forgets that different sects adhere to different variants (JWs have their own which differs entirely) of the Bible. Pro's argument covers multiple Christian sects, not a particular sect, the fact that all Christian sects differ in Salvation requirements supports Pro, but had Pro confined the argument to a specific sect, then Con would have taken the debate.
Vote Placed by T_parkour 2 years ago
T_parkour
dairygirl4u2cEmily77Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both Pro and Con had convincing arguments. I kinda liked the peanut-butter-and-jelly analogy though.