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The Contender
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what the absolute minimum needed to believe to be saved is not clear

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/3/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,309 times Debate No: 25426
Debate Rounds (3)
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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.


Greetings affirmative team.
I accepted this debate after making a bet with myself that I would or would not be able to decipher what you are trying to say.

After reading through your slab of text I have concluded that the only sentence really worth noting is the last one. What one must believe is not clear or taught very well.

The Bible makes a very clear cut as to what we are to believe: Everything. There is nothing in the New Testament that you can discredit without discrediting the lot. There is nothing the Bible claims as optional to believe. It only gives facts required for our benefit. The old testament gives historical facts about the Hebrew nation, the New Testament gives a historical account of the life and times of Christ as well as the first century church. It gives us the morals we abide by and the organisation and running of the church.

I fail to see what my opponent asks when she states: 'what one must believe is not clear or taught very well.'
I assume she is under the illusion that somethings in the New testament are not needed to be believed. If that is the case, I challenge my opponent to provide an example of such an incident.

I predict that she will be unable to find any piece of information in the New Testament that can be discredited without undermining the entire Covenant. I am not saying that proving one part of the New Testament proves the lot, but I am saying that doubting one part means you are questioning the lot in its entirety.

So moving back to the topic, 'The absolute minimum needed to believe to be saved' is a flawed statement. You must believe it all.
Debate Round No. 1


you are missing the point of the debate. if someone comes up to you and says what must i believe to be saved? and you say "believe everythign in the bible", then you gave an unbiblical response.
there are places in teh bible that give an appropriate response. eg, confess with your mouth that jesus is Lord and believe that he rose from the dead.
ask any evangelical, and they will at least give you the "sinner's prayer". albeit each one varies to some extent and is moreso the essence of this debate comparing notes.

what if a person is just learning what must be believed? then yuour theory of believing everything would preclude them from salvation. absurd. and you're also going beyond dogmatic, you're including in your creed of salvation everything in the book. no one would ever get it all. and what about honest disagreements within the book? is it okay to at least have some differences in belief while takign it all or nothing? and so we must conclude given what you said that a person is not at liberty to reject something that they think might be true, without condemning themself? that flies against all of christian belief, any religioin that's ever been known. so if they believe that Jesus is savior,thtey are a sinner, they believe in the atonement, that Jesus is God, that he rose from the dead etc etc... but they don't believe in teh trinity, that they are condemned? it's a novel belief, unheard of for sure.


My opponent is talking gibberish now, and is not presenting anything in any logical format.

I think my opponent is trying to make an attack on my argument when he/she says 'what must I believe to be saved?'
As from the previous debate, my opponent has a knack for asking flawed questions. And so I must reiterate. To be saved, there is belief involved and there is practical work to be involved. The Bible lists 5 'steps' that must be done in order to be saved. Notice how only one of them is actual believe. All the others are different works.

Hearing (Romans 10:17)
Believing the Gospel (Mark 16:16) (Hebrews 11:6) (Hebrews 5:8,9)
Repentance (Luke 13:3)
Confess Christ (Matthew 10:32)
Be baptised (Acts 2:38)

I am fairly certain this is what my opponent was asking of me.
Now, looking at what my opponent said in a completely unintelligible rambling: 'what if a person is just learning what must be believed? then your theory of believing everything would preclude them from salvation.' To start, it is not my theory because it isn't a theory, its a practice. Secondly, unless my opponent can justify how this practice of believing everything can preclude them from salvation, my argument will hold firm.

I am under the impression that we are from different belief systems in Christianity and m opponent is going ahead and making assumptions about what I believe. Please don't.

The rest of my opponents text does not contain any new arguments or notable material. I must ask him/her to please make a better structured argument in future as this is really hard to read and refute.

My thanks.
Debate Round No. 2


i've met plenty of christians who have said you must confess jesus as savior and that you're a sinner,and you're saved. there's plenty who say baptism isn't required to be saved but rather is somehting a saved person does. so you're staking a claim that if you do all four of the first but not baptism, then you won't be saved? and what about some who say you should partake of the Lord's table, how does that fit in? remember i'm looking for the minimum here, that's the point of the debate. and what about those bible verse that say things like "what should i do to be saved? and it goes on to say believe Jesus rose from the dead and that he is Lord". those are listing a lesser requirement than you are with your longer list and yet it's a biblical response. and even if you used that verse, as mentioned earlier, as your standard, there's plenty of other holes that could be poked. i'm just not sure what direction you want to take this debate at this point.

"To start, it is not my theory because it isn't a theory, its a practice. Secondly, unless my opponent can justify how this practice of believing everything can preclude them from salvation, my argument will hold firm."

as to the second point. the whole point of this debate as is stated in teh title even, what is the "minimum" needed to believe? if you state that everything in the bible is needed, then you are going to extreme, given there's tons of biblical responses that state with the sinner's prayer what is a minimum. you gave a response that ensures salvation, but that doesn't address the theoretical issues at hand, the minimum.
as to the first point, what does it being a practice have to do anything? opponent needs to clarify their argument. it's ironic he says a bunch of things that are unintelligible ramblings after accusing me of doing so, as to all his points. but i'd rather stick to the substance of the debate and welcome clarification. anyway how does it being a practice change the fact that not anyone would know enough to believe everything in the bible? it's an impractical answer as well as a theoretically not sticking to the point of the debate topic, what's the minimum.

i think my topic is structured well enough. it's hard to refute because there is no hard and fast rules here as i said at the end of my initial post. unless youcan show otherwise, which you haven't done. and it's hard because i'm making it very theoretical you have to stop and think. im sorry for the inconvenience...


I would like to start by attacking my opponents claims that you don't have to believe everything in the bible in order to be saved.

To start, my opponent failed to reason why you don't need to believe everything in the Bible. That was directly after I questioned her about it. All throughout this debate I have been arguing that the absolute minimum amount that is needed to be believed to be saved is everything. There is nothing in the Bible that gives you an option of believing. History doesn't work that way. So time and again I still have to say, this resolution is flawed. My opponents arguments are flawed because she works from the assumption that the resolution is correct, which is what I am debating against as Con. So Since this is the final round, I've technically gotten all my arguments through for free since she has been debating something completely different. The resolution is that the absolute minimum to be saved is not clear. I have been debating that the bible makes it explicit that everything must be believed in order for salvation. Doubting one part would mean you are a very, very flawed sect of Christianity.

my opponent has been arguing that it isn't clear what must be done for salvation. She mentions prayer from evangelists and other random things that don't tie in with the topic or any of her arguments (not that she has any). The prayer which she mentions in her arguments is a prayer devised by people and is completely unbiblical. I think she is confused with the different things that you can do to be saved simply because of an exposure to multiple religions. These religions directly contradict one another though so I can forgive my opponent for being confused with all the different things out there.

Assuming you want to be saved via a sound, biblical salvation, it stands to reason that you would use the Bible as your source. I've reiterated my arguments here, argument two is the biblical steps to salvation. Not man-made creeds and doctrines like those Prayers she speaks of.
1) Choosing not to believe something from the Bible undermines the book in its entirety.
2) The things you need to do to be saved are clear:
Hearing (Romans 10:17)
Believing the Gospel (Mark 16:16) (Hebrews 11:6) (Hebrews 5:8,9)
Repentance (Luke 13:3)
Confess Christ (Matthew 10:32)
Be baptised (Acts 2:38)

So how can my opponent say that there is a minimum that you can do to be saved? You cannot do more than others, and you cannot do less. Everyone does the exact same amount to be saved.

I was really disappointed to see that my arguments were not refuted, maybe in a next debate things will flow more smoothly.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jessalyn 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro danced around the point of the debate quite a bit, digressing frequently and presenting her arguments in a rant-like manner. Con did a much better job with organization, as well as overall presentation of arguments. He also at least attempted to refute his opponent's points, and did so more successfully than Pro.