I am very interested in this topic since I started to take a Bible class. I had never read the bible, or more specifically Tanakh before and reading it made me question a few things. For example everyone says 'there is only one God' but it /says/ there is more than one. Everyone says that Moses was the one to turn his staff into a snake in front of Pharaoh but it says that it was actually his brother Aaron.
Anyway my question to you is, do you think it is wrong to not beleive everything about a religion, but still see yourself as that religion. Because it seems to me like most people of the Jewish or Christian religions only believe in one God, where as it seems there are actually several, but you are only supposed to /worship/ the God of Abraham. Are they wrong in calling themselves Jews or Christians? Or say it's something else, like you don't agree with some rule or some story, can you still rightly say you are fully and completely of that religon? Similarly, can you call yourself someone of that religion until you have read the holy book?

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But shouldn't what you believe in be somewhat coherent with what your church is preaching? Otherwise what's the point in going there?
A lot of Christians do pick and choose what they agree with from the bible. I have a Christian friend who believes in evolution ('who knows how long a week is to God') but still believes non-Christians go to hell because it is 'clearly stated.' But who knows what a non-Christian is to god, was my argument...
I think you'll probably want to read the holy book of whatever religion, to decide if you truly that god would say the things written in it. I have no idea what you mean by mulitple gods...Jesus was God's son (apperently) and sort of part of him, was how I understood it.
I'm not Christian, that's just my take on it :P
I think we know what a non-Christian is to God because the Bible goes to great strides to outline it, unlike the extent to which the Bible talks about the creation of the world, which is limited in the extreme because it's not something designed to teach us about the begining of the world.
In reply to the author of this post:
You can all yourself someone of that religion, though I do not advise it.
Religion is a life-long commitment. You are essentially marrying yourself to a religion you do not understand. I would not marry someone without knowing them nor would I commit to a religion I was ill-informed about. While you cannot know everything about Christianity by reading the Bible, it is a pretty big chunk of the religion and is something I would read in full before making a decision. Subscribing to a religion without having read its holy book in full is signing a contract for your soul blindfolded.

* notes of interest
since you said you haven't read the entire Bible yet I will note another controversial subject in the bible often overlooked:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

That's the new testament by the way.
The marriage analogy is pretty good. I doubt that most people actually do get to know their spouses like that before they marry though.

Christianity only claims one real God, including three persons (the Trinity). It acknowledges other spiritual activity (angels and demons). It also often refers to "false gods" without calling them false, though it would never acknowledge there existence as real gods.

I think Judaism also only believe in one real God, but do not distinguish him as three persons. Judaism is more confusing because I think that many historical Jews practicing Judaism actually did believe that there were other gods while many modern practicing Jews don't seem to believe in any God.
What I meant with the marriage analogy:
You would not marry someone with the information off of their business card and nothing else nor would you marry someone based solely on the recommendations of others. The same goes for religion: you shouldn't commit to a religion because you like the calling card or a lot of other people say it is a good religion.
On the note of Christianity god(s), that's all up to interpretation. I know Christians that believe in one god and some that believe in multiple (not talking about the trinity, but actual lower gods).
Interesting. I have never met any Christian claiming that. Were they otherwise sound doctrinally or could you tell?
As far as I can tell they believed the basic tenants of Christianity, they just interpreted the commandment to not worship other gods to mean that there are other gods, but they are not the high god and should not be worshiped.
Ok. That seems like a very loose interpretation. I seem to remember the Word of Faith group making similar claims. I doubt that it would be widely accepted as doctrine.
Well they believe so do to the fact that the original scripture says Eloheim, which can be plural or singular. In the plural it means the highest in a council of gods.
Good interpretation of scripture references other relevant passages, including ones that say that there is only one God. There are many verses where I could argue for an obscure but bad doctrine based even on a good reading of that passage.

There are a couple other clearly agreed upon rules of hermeneutic, or interpretation, such as reading the verses in context.
I can't think of any which say there is only one god. One true god, yes, but not a single god and true god can be taken in the council way as well.


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