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Sunday, January 15, 2006 

Are You a Heretic?

I found what should have been a fun quiz called Are You A Heretic? But, it doesn't work! It scored me as 'Donatism' (and now I've lost the notes on what THAT meant).

It presupposes theism, and I get the feeling it will never score heretic. For this question:
Jesus was not really God incarnate, because God cannot indwell corrupted matter
you have a choice of agreeing or disagreeing. I don't think Jesus is God incarnate, but not because God can't dwell in flesh. So, how should I score myself? I posted a clarification question on his web site, but no response so far.

But, if you have all the "right" answers, he replies: "Congratulations, you think JUST LIKE I DO!". Actually, he doesn't really, but almost does.

His web site has a cool "email me when someone replies" feature. Now I want that!

Well Donatism is a heresy, so you made it!

It means that the priests who administer the sacraments have to be without sin and perfect for the sacraments administered by them to be valid.

I don't need a quiz to tell me that I am a heretic in the eyes of christians. According to them I am already damned to hell many times over. How about a more universal test? That would be interesting.

I found most of the test questions impossible for me as an atheist to answer because many questions were asked in a way that assumed all participants believe in a god and that Jesus existed.

You said, "I don't think Jesus is God incarnate, but not because God can't dwell in flesh."

Not trying to stir up trouble here but, can you tell me then what you think Jesus is? I only ask because I've always understood Him to be equal with God and that by taking on the form of man He was literally "God in the flesh" i.e. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory."

Anyway, would enjoy hearing your comments and would even be willing to post on my site if you'd rather talk on this there or at a different post as this is sort of off your posted topic.

Marcguyver asked: "can you tell me then what you think Jesus is?"

I know the question was for freethoughtmom, but I thought I would toss my two cents out there. Jesus, to the atheist, was an historical figure who (as I was taught in my religious upbringing) is said to have gone around preaching to people that he was his god's son and to bring a message of supernatural salvation, OR (as I later came to realize) he is a myth. That Jesus had ever existed has never been proven with even a shred of material evidence except what some people wrote in some ancient texts long after he supposedly died-- texts based on what some people said, that some people said, that some people said, that he said.

I think that what freethought mom meant by "I don't think Jesus is God incarnate, but not because God can't dwell in flesh" is because she doesn't believe God exists...am I right freethoughtmom? I was itching to answer this for awhile...sorry for butting in!

I believe the "Are You a Heretic?" test was for differing viewpoints in religious interpretation among assorted christians to sort out those who didn't believe "properly" and sort them into categories as to how heretical they are.

Freethoughtmom - thanks for taking the quiz. You've pinpointed some of the shortcomings of it. It is tailored to give a number of preset answers which means that the quizzes don't cover all the eventualities that you might have felt better reflected your position.

As for Jesus being a mythos, while Orthodox Christianity would not affirm this to any degree, it is not a heresy. Heresy tends to be that which at least has some semblance to mainstream Christianity, but in the days of the church councils and the early heresies there weren't advocates of the mythos idea.

Believing Christ to be a mythos (in the mould of Earl Doherty and Co.) is an extremely shaky position to take from a historical point of view,and for Doherty to argue that even the NT teaches this borders on fantastical, but it isn't heresy.

Sorry for the delay in replying to you by the way. My comments function is broken on all posts older than 24 hours so I thought better to reply here than not at all.

stardust, you are right on :)

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  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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