Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 11 – Can you be a Christian without believing in Jesus?
Without faith in Jesus* you cannot call yourself a Christian. Christians believe in God*, but so do Jews* and Muslims. Believers of these religions pray* and express their faith in rituals. An outsider sometimes doesn’t see much difference between all the ways of praying and celebrating. The values and norms of Christians do not differ much from those of other religions. What does distinguish Christians from all other religions is their faith in Jesus Christ*. Hence the name ‘Christian’.
Christians believe that Jesus was the best person who ever lived, but they believe even more than that about him. In particular, that Jesus was completely human and at the same time completely God. That in him God has become man and a man has become God. This means that Christians believe that by getting to know Jesus, you can discover who God is. Also that a person, by trying to live like Jesus, can come closer to God and so live life as it was meant to be.
Christians also believe that Jesus rose after his death. That he lives again. They don’t believe in a dead body, but in a living person with whom you can have a relationship. The intensity of that relationship varies from person to person, and can also vary throughout a person’s life. One will talk about friendship with Jesus, another about a love affair. That relationship sometimes feels strong. At other times it may seem weak, almost dormant, even though you might have wanted it to be different.
– What importance do you attach to the person of Jesus?
– Can you imagine believing that Jesus is still alive today?
Feel free to leave your thoughts, reflections or comments below.
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 12 – Did Jesus really exist?
Follow these links to go back to Question 1 – Is believing exceptional? , Question 2 – Is Faith for simple souls? , Question 3 – Can you be a Christian and yet doubt your faith? , Question 4 – Can a believer be critical? , Question 5 – Can faith and science get along? , Question 6 – Are you born a Christian?, Question 7 – Can a human being meet God?, Question 8 – Did God create the world in seven days?, Question 9 – What did God do before he created the world?, and Question 10 – Is God a man or a woman?
If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.