“One side said, Christ was ‘begotten’; the other said, ‘created’. One declared him ‘divine by nature’ and the other ‘divine by adoption’. These differences are essentially trivial. Christian thinkers should, imitate Greek philosophers, who had tolerated disagreements far more profound than this without calling each other devils or organizing factions to suppress each others’ opinions.” (Frend, Rise of Christianity, p 497)
The above issues were arguments supposedly settled by the Council of Nicaea, called by Constantine in 325 CE when Arianism was identified as heresy and the Nicene Creed was promulgated. But in fact Christians of one kind or another have been arguing about these issues ever since, even up through the present times.
Carl Rahner said “The Christians of tomorrow will either be a mystic or nothing.” I see that statement as a response to the crazy factions arguing about doctrine and dogma. To be egotistical enough to declare I’m right and you’re wrong is exactly what Christianity doesn’t need. My salvation is not determined by my intellectual capacities or by how I can force you to believe something, but by how I treat my neighbor.
According to Rabbi Benjamin Blech in Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, Judaism is recognized as being a religion about deed and not creed. (Blech, 1992) A Jewish friend of mine told me recently the thing she likes most about her faith is that you can believe anything you want. To have such freedom in a religion seems almost anti-religious, but I believe freedom is the reward for the spiritual quest, and happiness its standard of measurement.