Another topic, in another thread in another CAF forum made me curious about something. Does anyone here know which Christian denominations don’t require a belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Sounds pretty non-Christian to me!
Not so non-Christian as you’d think. There were a fair few early Christian sects who basically denied the humanity of Christ - they surely wouldn’t have believed in a bodily resurrection if they didn’t believe he was really human, would they?
I think to answer, we’d have to define Christian…
Christian as in mainline religions that consider themselves to be Christian. I just noticed that I originally wrote denominations that don’t require belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ but I meant to write the bodily ascension of Jesus, so, scratch the original post. :o Let me try this again. What denominations believe in a spiritual ascension rather than a bodily one?
I see your point. But very early in the Church’s history this idea was condemned as error. That means, people espousing it are not Christian!
Okay, what denominations don’t believe in the bodily ascension of Christ but still consider themselves to be Christian?
St. Paul had some thoughts on that:
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:13-19
The jws, who call themselves Christians, do not believe in the bodily resurrection nor the bodily assumption.
But they also don’t believe in The Holy Trinity either.
In many of the Mainline denominations it is not demanded that one believe in a bodily ressurection or literal bodily ascension…
While many repeat the Creed…it can be seen as a spiritual understanding…
The controversies of the early Christian movement were varied…that there were those who did not follow the “orthodox” understanding is a matter of historical record…that the “orthodox” called them “heretical” for many isn’t reason to change belief…the “orthodox” became the majority…the victors write the history…not the losers.
I don’t know of any Christian denomination that actually forbids one to believe in the literal resurrection and ascension of Christ, but the United Church of Canada, for one, has a lot of theologians and ministers who believe that these events were purely spiritual, and so does the Anglican Church in Canada.
It’s confusing to know what either of these churches actually teaches, since it seems to be up to the individual pastor or Sunday School teacher, without any specific guidelines one way or the other from the “head office,” so to speak.