Re: It isn't about ritual
It isn't about ritual. It's about relationship. The Bible is a book of relationships that centers on the relationship we have with God. If we are in a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ that is what counts. As far as what we do or don't do; when we are in a relationship with someone else I would hope we want to do things for each other that strengthens the relationship.
I don't follow the teachings of Christ because I have to or because I am afraid that God will hit me with a big stick if I don't. I follow the teachings of Christ because I am in a relationship with God that is based on love. Love for Him and for who He is. In the long run, a christian walk based on a loving relationship with God is as close as you can get to the Biblical ideal.
What if I believed in a divine being who was the son of God, born of a virgin mother, was crucified for our sins, resurrected to heaven, and through him sin would be forgiven. Heck, he even performed some miracles such as turning water into wine and raising people from the dead. But his name isn't
Jesus. If I believe in this god do you think I'll go to heaven? If not, what's the difference? Is it not the exact same story?
I guess what I'm asking you (you in general not specifically gospelman) is what is so original about the story told in the bible about Jesus? Can you name a definitive trait in the bible that was not preceded in many other religions prior?