[b-hebrew] Evil & God

Pawel pawel at kul.stalwol.pl
Thu Aug 11 12:23:56 EDT 2005

Peter Kirk wrote:

> >Unlike judaism which is not dogmatic and admits
> >some variety of views on the same issue, christianity
> >has a very strict and inflexible doctrine which
> >is obliging for every believer. ...
> >
> This is simply not true. Well, it may be true (although I think 
> exaggerated) within certain Christian groups or denominations, including 
> the largest one in Poland (but then there are probably analogous Jewish 
> groups of which it is true). But it is not at all true of the Christian 
> faith taken as a whole. There are of course a few basics which are 
> considered fundamental to Christian identity, but the same is also true 
> of Judaism. However, to say that anything in Christianity as a whole is 
> "very strict and inflexible" is a gross caricature.

Poland is nothing peculiar in this respect. I'm afraid I have 
been misunderstood. I will try to make my point clear again:

Some tenets in Christianity must be necessarily accepted by
a Christian. If not, you are no lenger a Christian. The tenets
are shared by all denominations and are really strict and
inflexible. For example:

	1. The existence of the Holy Trinity,
	2. Two natures of Christ,
	3. Jesus saved people on the cross
	4. Resurection of Christ and of our bodies,
	5. Future judgement, 

And so on, and so forth...

No one can claim to be a Christian and reject any of these
tenets. No matter if he is Polish, or Dutch, or Chinese.
No matter if he is a catholic, a protestant or Russian orthodox.
Can you say that a man who believes in reincarnation is 
a Christian? Of course not, because he rejects the truth 
about Resurrection. But some Jews do believe in reincarnation
(chasidim, cabalists...), others don't and they are still
Jews. Why is it so? Because Judaism is not primarily a system
of tenets, but practice of life following God's micwot. That's
why I wrote that, compared to Judaism, Christianity is much
more strict as a doctrine.

> >... All views which
> >are not contained in the doctrine and do not oppose
> >it are acceptable - there is a principle: "in dubio
> >libertas". Now, when you say that an idea 'is Christian'
> >you suggest that it is part of the official Christian
> >doctrine. In case of "the fall of Satan" - it is 
> >simply not true. ...
> >
> I don't think the point was that this doctrine is official Christian 
> doctrine

But it was exactly my point! :-)

>  (indeed I am not sure if there is any such thing - certainly 
> none accepted since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 which is I think the 
> last generally recognised Ecumenical Council),

See above. Christian doctrine does exist, even if you don't go farther
than Chalcedon.

>  nor that it is the 
> official doctrine of any branch of Christianity. The point is rather 
> that this teaching originated among Christians and is widely believed by 
> Christians. The latter is true, although it is not official doctrine. As 
> for the origin of the teaching, I don't know.

For me the origin is the bone of contention here. 

Regards -

Pawel Sajdek

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