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Author Topic:   What Is A Christian (Remix)
Phat
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From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 1 of 133 (425849)
10-04-2007 8:50 AM


In an off topic rant in the Discussion of Moderation thread, Iano made this comment:
quote:
Jar is not a Christian. Never has been (but hopefully will be). From Rays perspective (and mine) Jar is a 5th Columnist - and could expect to be (as per type) particularly reviled by those who recognize him for what he is.

I will never be so brash as to judge whom God accepts versus whom God does not accept. Jar is an Episcopalian . I would pay close attention in this link to the following three statements:

  • Uniformity of beliefs and disciplines is stifling. Our differences disclose the variety of gifts the Spirit gives. We will have different perceptions about what friendship with God requires of us. So we don't tell each other what to do or make judgments about each other. We do try to be supportive of each other. We try to be "a church in which there are no outcasts" as our former Presiding Bishop puts it. We struggle hard to overcome those fears which keep us from being fully inclusive. God is not through with us yet. So we strive to be a community in which we have “in all things essential, unity; in all things non-essential, diversity; in all things, charity.”

  • The Scriptures speak God's truth with special power and are God's Word. Simplistic and literalistic interpretations may miss the point of what God says to us.

  • Reason is a gift. We should accept it even in religious matters. We affirm the importance of an ongoing conversation between the voices of faith and those of science, art, culture, economics and public life.

    In this topic, I wish to discuss the attributes of what makes a Christian a Christian.

    I also want everyone to be familiar with the following concepts:

    Inclusivism

    Exclusivism

    Common Grace

    Prevenient Grace

    Faith & Belief, please.

    Edited by Phat, : added link

    Edited by Phat, : added link again

    Edited by Phat, :


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  • AdminNosy
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    Message 2 of 133 (425860)
    10-04-2007 9:53 AM


    Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
      
    New Cat's Eye
    Inactive Member


    Message 3 of 133 (425868)
    10-04-2007 11:35 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
    10-04-2007 8:50 AM


    I will never be so brash as to judge whom God accepts versus whom God does not accept.

    I'm not so sure that saying that someone isn't a Christian is the same as judging whether or not God accepts them. But that probably comes down to semantics.

    Deciding if someone is a Christian or not means that we are using some criteria, right?

    Isn't saying that someone isn't a Christian just saying that they don't meet you criteria for being one? It doesn't necessarily mean that you are saying that God doesn't accept them. Whadaya think?

    There's got to be some minimum requirements for being a Christian that Christians, in general, can agree on. For one, I'd say that believing in Jesus' divinity is one of those minimum requirements.

    If someone claimed to be a Christian but believed that Jesus was not God, wouldn't you lean more towards them not actually being a Christian?

    So I guess the question becomes "What is the criteria?".

    In this topic, I wish to discuss the attributes of what makes a Christian a Christian.

    Yep. So, isn't that what they wrote creeds for?

    Here's the one Catholics use:

    quote:
    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.
    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
    and born of the Virgin Mary.
    He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended into hell.
    On the third day He rose again.
    He ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the Holy Catholic Church,
    the communion of Saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. AMEN.

    I'd say that one is too strict for defining just Christian because it professes belief in the Holy Catholic Church.

    Maybe the Nicene Creed would be better? I still think that one is still too strict because you don't necessarily have to accept every single part of that creed to fit the general definition of Christian, IMHO.

    Which creed should be used to define Christian?

    Maybe we can nail down the minimum requirements in this thread and write a new creed :D

    As far as jar's beliefs, which is kinda rude to be discussing, I read him write that he thought that it didn't matter if Jesus was God or not. I think that being a Christian pretty much means that Jesus' divinity does matter, so its hard for me mix that belief with those of the True Christian(TM).


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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30144
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 1.8


    Message 4 of 133 (425875)
    10-04-2007 12:05 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 11:35 AM


    Nicene Creed and get it right if you are going to post my beliefs.
    First:

    As far as jar's beliefs, which is kinda rude to be discussing, I read him write that he thought that it didn't matter if Jesus was God or not. I think that being a Christian pretty much means that Jesus' divinity does matter, so its hard for me mix that belief with those of the True Christian(TM).

    Let's try to get it right.

    I have said two things.

    One that "The message of Jesus would be valid even if Jesus had only been myth and tales told around the campfire."

    I have also said that while Jesus lived here among us, I believe he was fully human.

    Last, look at the Nicene Creed:

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. Amen.

    Made man.

    And catholic does not mean Roman Catholic, but rather inclusive.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 14505
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 5 of 133 (425876)
    10-04-2007 12:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 11:35 AM


    Catholic Scientist writes:

    If someone claimed to be a Christian but believed that Jesus was not God, wouldn't you lean more towards them not actually being a Christian?

    No.

    "Christian", in the broadest sense, means "one who believes in Christ". "Christ" means "Annointed One". I don't see where it requires divinity.

    As I've said before, in other threads, to "believe in" somebody means to believe in what he said and what he did. It has little to do with what he was.

    So, to be a Christian is to do what Christ told us to do: to love our neighbours as ourselves. It does not mean, as Jesus Himself said, to proclaim our "belief" in Him by yelling, "Lord! Lord!"

    (And yes, I do believe that many Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc. are more truly christian than many professing "Christians".)


    “Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
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    This message is a reply to:
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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30144
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 1.8


    Message 6 of 133 (425878)
    10-04-2007 12:23 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
    10-04-2007 8:50 AM


    What is a Christian?
    If someone is accepted as a member of some officially sanctioned Christian Church, what else could they be called but a Christian?


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
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    Taz
    Member (Idle past 1033 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 7 of 133 (425879)
    10-04-2007 12:28 PM
    Reply to: Message 3 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 11:35 AM


    I'm just wondering. Do you think a mormon is a christian?
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 3 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-04-2007 11:35 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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    New Cat's Eye
    Inactive Member


    Message 8 of 133 (425880)
    10-04-2007 12:28 PM
    Reply to: Message 5 by ringo
    10-04-2007 12:09 PM


    As I've said before, in other threads, to "believe in" somebody means to believe in what he said and what he did. It has little to do with what he was.

    But Jesus claimed to be God. If you believe in what he said you believe that he was divine.

    Also, Jesus said that the only way to the father was through him (Jesus).

    So again, if you believe in what he said...

    So, to be a Christian is to do what Christ told us to do: to love our neighbours as ourselves. It does not mean, as Jesus Himself said, to proclaim our "belief" in Him by yelling, "Lord! Lord!"

    Well, I was thinking more on the belief, itself, and not the proclaimation of it.

    I think the definition above is too loose. For example, I think that you have to at least be aware of Jesus to be a Christian. I wouldn't call a person who has never heard of Jesus but coincidentally lived by Christ's teachings a Christian. Even if, for all practical purposes, they were Christ-like, you can't fairly call them a Christian without them having knowledge of Christ.

    (And yes, I do believe that many Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc. are more truly christian than many professing "Christians".)

    Christianity and Islam, as well as Hinduism and atheism, are mutually exclusive. While Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc. may be more Christ-like, they are not Christians, by definition.


    This message is a reply to:
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    New Cat's Eye
    Inactive Member


    Message 9 of 133 (425882)
    10-04-2007 12:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by Taz
    10-04-2007 12:28 PM


    I'm just wondering. Do you think a mormon is a christian?

    Its hard to say. I don't really know what they believe. I've heard some really strange things that they supposedly believe but I don't know if they're true.

    For example, I've heard that they put Joseph Smith above Jesus. If that's true then they are more Smithians than Chistians. Also, I've heard they are polytheistic, so...

    But again, I don't really know.

    I need some kind of criteria for what the minimum requirements are to be considered a Christian before I can go down the list and check off all the non-Christians.


    This message is a reply to:
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    New Cat's Eye
    Inactive Member


    Message 10 of 133 (425883)
    10-04-2007 12:33 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by jar
    10-04-2007 12:23 PM


    Re: What is a Christian?
    If someone is accepted as a member of some officially sanctioned Christian Church, what else could they be called but a Christian?

    Couldn't a non-Christian be accepted as a member of some officially sanctioned Christian Church?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 12:23 PM jar has responded

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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 30144
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 1.8


    Message 11 of 133 (425887)
    10-04-2007 12:36 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 12:33 PM


    Re: What is a Christian?
    Couldn't a non-Christian be accepted as a member of some officially sanctioned Christian Church?

    LOL

    Kinda like being a Mason and a Moose?

    By definition if you are accepted as a member of some organization you are a member of that organization.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-04-2007 12:33 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

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    Brian
    Member (Idle past 2701 days)
    Posts: 4659
    From: Scotland
    Joined: 10-22-2002


    Message 12 of 133 (425890)
    10-04-2007 12:42 PM


    It's obvious
    A christian is someone who is stupid enough and ignorant enough to believe in 2000 year old fairytales.

    A Christian is someone who is badly in need of a father figure to look after them.

    A Christian is someone who has not really grown up, they believe in all sorts of nonsense without a single shred of external evidence.

    A Christian is someone who corrupts the Scriptures of the Jews for their own ends.

    A Christian is someone who is unable to read properly, particularly the verses in the old and new testaments that prove Jesus was not the Messiah that the Jews were waiting on.

    A Christian is someone who psychologically abuses children by forcing their ignorant fantasies on to defenceless kids.

    A Christian is someone who gets upset when free thinkers point out the absurdities of Christianity.

    A Christian is someone who lives in a world of circular reasoning.

    A Christian is someone who believes that they are the only true Christian on Earth.

    That should clear things up. ;)

    Edited by Brian, : more reasons are becoming obvious as the thread unfolds


        
    Brian
    Member (Idle past 2701 days)
    Posts: 4659
    From: Scotland
    Joined: 10-22-2002


    Message 13 of 133 (425892)
    10-04-2007 12:49 PM
    Reply to: Message 11 by jar
    10-04-2007 12:36 PM


    Re: What is a Christian?
    Hey, you know what catholics are like, they'll change anything at all that they believe as long as it suits them.

    Heck, how many popes have decreed that some earlier teaching was wrong. Didn't old 'Heil Hitler' Ratzenberger recently decide that 'limbo' was only a dance and not a hang out for unbaptised kids?


    This message is a reply to:
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    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 14505
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.3


    Message 14 of 133 (425893)
    10-04-2007 12:49 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 12:28 PM


    Catholic Scientist writes:

    But Jesus claimed to be God. If you believe in what he said you believe that he was divine.

    Some writers claim He claimed that. It isn't necessary to believe everything said about Him to believe in His message. Strictly speaking, you don't even need to believe He existed.

    Also, Jesus said that the only way to the father was through him (Jesus).

    Jesus said that no man cometh unto the Father but by the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Way™ is the message, not the messenger.

    ... I was thinking more on the belief, itself, and not the proclaimation of it.

    The only way you can tell what somebody else believes is by what they proclaim and what they do. If what they do doesn't match what they proclaim, you have to question the proclamation, don't you?

    Even if, for all practical purposes, they were Christ-like, you can't fairly call them a Christian without them having knowledge of Christ.

    "Christian" means "Christ-like".

    Christianity and Islam, as well as Hinduism and atheism, are mutually exclusive.

    Nonsense.

    While Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc. may be more Christ-like, they are not Christians, by definition.

    That's your definition. I was using a more sensible one. :)


    “Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
    -- Joseph Goebbels
    -------------
    Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
    Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
    This message is a reply to:
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    Taz
    Member (Idle past 1033 days)
    Posts: 5069
    From: Zerus
    Joined: 07-18-2006


    Message 15 of 133 (425899)
    10-04-2007 1:12 PM
    Reply to: Message 9 by New Cat's Eye
    10-04-2007 12:32 PM


    CS writes:

    For example, I've heard that they put Joseph Smith above Jesus.


    Whether it's true or not depends on how you see it. They believe that Jesus visited America and left a whole new set of scripture here. Smith was suppose to be the prophet to proclaim this scripture. In other words, you could say that Smith supposedly had more up-to-date info.

    Also, I've heard they are polytheistic, so...

    I don't know where you got this idea...


    I need some kind of criteria for what the minimum requirements are to be considered a Christian before I can go down the list and check off all the non-Christians.

    You said so yourself. Believe in Christ. They certainly believe in Christ. Otherwise, they wouldn't be knocking on my door trying to convert me.

    [qs]


    Disclaimer:

    Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

    He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


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