Everything the Lord Has Said, We (Can’t) Do

Distill your beliefs down to one. What is the one thing you need to believe/have faith in for redemption/salvation? How much/many of your beliefs are actually necessary (live and death beliefs)? I believe many on this site have done just that - stripped away the unnecessary and in doing so have jettisoned beliefs you still cling to. Are they right? For their journey they are. Are you right? For your journey you are.

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I believe that logic is flawed. Nowhere in the Bible does God say it’s ok to just ignore the portions we don’t think are necessary for salvation. He determines the terms of salvation, not us. Yes some teaching are more important, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore the less important ones. Jesus said to the Pharisees that they focused on the less “weighty” matters of the law, like tithing, and ignored the more “weighty” matters like love etc. but He ends that portion by saying “these you should have done (the more important ones) WITHOUT leaving the others undone (meaning don’t ignore the smaller stuff like tithing etc.

Jesus also told His disciples before ascending : go to all nations and baptize them and teach them to observe “all things I have taught you”

He also said whoever teaches someone to break one of the least of the commandments would be considered least.

The danger in jettisoning whatever we don’t believe is needed for salvation we are setting the terms for our salvation…and that’s not how it works. I can see the appeal of saying, believing in Jesus is the only thing we need. But then how do we obey Him if our beliefs end with believing.

And the danger in rejecting the historicity of stories like the exodus, is that what we’re actually doing is changing our concept of God. And if our concept of God changes our opinion of what matters will change. Wrong theology leads to wrong actions.

Stating that everything related to our salvation can be condensed to one belief and nothing else is important…is extremely dangerous and not biblical at all.

I am not asking you to ignore anything. I am asking what is the one central tenet that is crucial to redemption, without which it is not possible.

In the reformation they didn’t have EGW but salvation was possible.
In apostolic times they didn’t have the NT but salvation was possible.
In OT times they didn’t have any of our scriptures but salvation was possible.

So what is the central core that is crucial?

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The central core in Christianity is that Jesus is the Son of God and anyone who confesses their sins and believes in Him will be saved.

And the examples you give are 100% true. But the comment you made about many jettisoning the unnecessary beliefs and being right for their journey is what I disagree with.

There’s a big difference between not having light, as in the OT characters not having NT scriptures, and having light and rejecting it.

Curious to see where your argument goes though…I don’t think I’ve gone down this specific conversation road before lol

There is no assumption that the additional light is rejected, just that it is not necessary. Additional light should add/explain the central core, not change it or add additional requirements. Throughout the history of the church the “central core” has been expanded and expanded until the core has more layers than an onion. Hence asking to peel back the layers. The church has 28 “fundamental” beliefs but how many of them actually qualify as fundamental? How many could be peeled back without jettisoning salvation? The core of salvation does not change no matter how much new light is received.


But what if our understanding of that core can and should be changed?

Yes, Jesus supposedly said, “I am the way.”

But we’re also told that he associated himself so closely with the creator of the universe that he was one and the same thing.

So maybe his “way” was not him as a person, as he knew he was going to die, but instead was a reference to The Way, much more akin to the Tao of Zen Buddhism.

And not that Buddhism or any other religion understands that core completely, either. But if this is the path to salvation that Jesus was talking about, we have not changed the core of Jesus’ message but Christians certainly need to change how we think about and act upon it.


What light is needed today that wasn’t available previously? Can you be specific in regards to this light that you view as necessary? Thanks


Light, or better “Enlightenment” comes from the painstaking process of gathering evidence, testing, making predictions, applying logic, integrating new discoveries into the hierarchy of previously verified knowledge, and using this information to improve our lives. It never comes from the claims of mystics that they received information through feelings, intuition, telepathy, dreams, or hallucinations. It is the con man/woman who says “Just believe me and never subject my claims to critical analysis.”

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Hello, that’s a great question because In essence I believe all teachings are contained in the OT. However, the question I was asked was, what is our core belief? Because many people have jettisoned everything that isn’t our core belief and they are ok with God.

But my point was that we can’t just toss away whatever we don’t feel is related to our core beliefs about salvation.

So for example, if someone somewhere has only heard about Jesus and believes in Him, they are saved. But me, knowing much more about the Bible will also be held accountable for keeping the sabbath, forgiving my enemies etc. as the NT amplified the principles already contained in OT (mainly thru Jesus’ example and life) we are held to a higher standard of faith because we have a better understanding of Jesus’ will.

Jesus said to whom much is given much is demanded. So we can’t just say, the sabbath doesn’t matter, marriage doesn’t matter, etc. we would not be ok with our pastor having 2 wives…but there was a time when this would not disqualify someone from salvation, although it was wrong even at that time.

To your specific question, i think most Truths were available previously although maybe not as clearly demonstrated or understood. For example, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. So it’s not so much that there’s light that wasn’t available previously, it’s that we are held accountable for all the light in the word. We can say: well I have accepted Jesus so whether I keep the sabbath doesn’t matter, whether I pay tithes doesn’t matter, whether I divorce my wife doesn’t matter. All this matters. Some more than other, but it’s all light we are held to.

Jesus said in John 15:22: if I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

I rambled a bit but my point is that we can’t say that as long as I believe in Jesus the rest doesn’t impact my salvation. The rest absolutely impacts our salvation because any deviation from truth impacts our relationship with God.

Of course additional light adds requirements. Jesus said to whom much is given much will be required/demanded. Someone who only knows of Jesus’ sacrifice can be saved with that little knowledge. But if they then hear of the commandments, of course they are then responsible for obeying them.

And salvation should not work on the premise of how much can I toss away and still be saved? But I’m how much can I approach closer to the full will of God.

Just like if I’m married I shouldn’t say, well how much can o get away with and stay married. True love will compel me to say how much more can I do to make them marriage stronger.

I agree that we shouldn’t lose our way to those things that matter most. Some things are more important than others. But it all matters and there aren’t biblical truths we can just toss away with no consequence to us or our relation to God.

Can I say, I believe in Jesus so if I divorce my wife then that’s not going to lead to me losing salvation so it’s ok if I do it? Or if I do drugs I won’t lose my salvation? Etc etc. the more truth we jettison the more our relationship with God will suffer and the consequences will he seen in our salvation.

I get the impression that you have missed my point.

This is not it.

And neither is this.

The central tenet of salvation has not changed. New light does not change the central tenet of salvation. New light cannot change the central tenet of salvation, or it ceases to be the central tenet.

New light will only ever increase or add to our understanding. On some occasions it may even change our understanding, but it will never add to the central tenet (or it is not really new “light”).

Having been raised surrounded by absolutists, I have issues with words like “only” and “never”.

For example, “SDA-ism is god’s only true church.”

And “Never doubt that Jesus will be back by 1983.”

(This being the message at my graduation from SDA high school in 1973!)

Just sayin’…


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For practical purposes, any claims from mystics are unverifiable and are therefore useless as sufficient evidence for knowledge.

I understand that the scientist-can’t remember his name-who discovered the double helix configuration of chromosomes first visualized it in a dream.

This intuition, once confirmed by empirical evidence, has proved useful and led to verifiable knowledge,

So yes, the subjective cannot be considered an end onto itself, and may even need to discarded if it doesn’t comport with empirical evidence. (I’m looking at you, Joe Smith, EGW, Mary Baker Eddy, LRH, et.als.)

But then again, given that we have no rational explanation for how we have emotions, nor from where our ideas originate, to reject feelings, dreams, mysticism, etc., as useless and dismiss them on the basis that they may seem at first counterintuitive, and perhaps even irrational, may be like throwing out the bath water before we’ve even given the baby a bath,


Yes I agree it doesn’t change the central tenet. But the central tenet isn’t the inly thing that matters and not the only thing we’ll have to answer for…that was my initial point

That is the opposite of my point. If it is not the only thing, then it is not the central/core.

Crick & Watson are the names you are searching for.

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I suspect that many of the ideas we have are the product of inputs we have received, in sum or in part over the course of our lifetime. Much of it will have been absorbed unconsciously.

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I also find it fascinating that many times scientists will simultaneously come up with the same solution to a problem, even though they are working on opposite sides of the country or planet.

Of course, rational people say this is a coincidence and only makes sense.

But there’s that “only” word again which almost always sets off alarm bells in my head!

(I’m also pretty sure that coincidence is one of the least acceptable explanations for any observed phenomenon,)



What do you consider the central tenet of Christianity?