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Author Topic:   What is a True Christian?
IrishRockhound
Member (Idle past 1788 days)
Posts: 569
From: Ireland
Joined: 05-19-2003


Message 1 of 329 (109222)
05-19-2004 8:21 AM


This has come up again and again, and always in the same pattern - if someone disagrees with creationism or another fundamentalist position, then they are not 'true Christians'. Here's a small example from the Religious Rights thread, from Willowtree:

quote:
quote:
IrishRockhound quote:
Turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour; the whole message of peace and love preached by your Messiah

You think you know what this means Hound ? You think you can hijack scripture which you don't believe in and use it against me ? Why don't you dazzle me with your Biblical exegesis and break down this verse and the truths contained therein ?

You wouldn't know a true christian if you had a gun to your head. Your view of a true christian makes them past muster with your subjective opinion/Satan's world frame.

Hound, I am intensely waiting to read your explanation of the Sermon on the Mount AND its interpretation.


I'm tired of hearing this kind of crap. I have lived in a Catholic country all my life (I WAS one up to the age of 14), and yet I don't know what a 'true Christian' is. Considering WT's recent behaviour in the same thread, I contend that they are not worthy of the same title on the basis that they preach a message totally in conflict to the message of Christ. I know exactly what his message is - I learned it in my youth and I keep getting reminded by other Christians on the boards (thank you Buz) - and as far as I know his MESSAGE is important, not the words of the bible. Unless, of course, you worship a book and not God.

So, I wish to know what exactly a true Christian is, according to the Christians on this board. I also want to know if WT fits any of the descriptions, given that their posts on the other threads seem to consist of nothing but hate filled ranting.

If the Admin won't allow this topic I'll gladly remove all mention of WT and we can discuss what is a true Christian alone.

The Rock Hound


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12391
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 2 of 329 (109240)
05-19-2004 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by IrishRockhound
05-19-2004 8:21 AM


I like this topic a lot. If you can state your case more dispassionately, modify the emotional portions, I'll release it.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by IrishRockhound, posted 05-19-2004 8:21 AM IrishRockhound has responded

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IrishRockhound
Member (Idle past 1788 days)
Posts: 569
From: Ireland
Joined: 05-19-2003


Message 3 of 329 (109869)
05-22-2004 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
05-19-2004 10:14 AM


I'm sorry about the late reply; I was sick over the last few days...

Ok. As requested, this topic will discuss the definition of a 'true Christian' and nothing else. If the Admin wants to, they cam remove all reference to WillowTree in the title (although I would ask that they leave the original post as it is).

The general idea seems to be that, for Christian fundamentalists, anyone who does not agree with their interpretation of the bible or creationism is 'not a true Christian'. This has come up in several threads, usually in relation to theistic evolutionists. In order to clarify for everyone interested, I believe that some kind of definition would be helpful (and could possibly prevent inadvertant insults).

So, some questions to start with:

What is actually necessary to be a true Christian?
- belief in bible inerrancy?
- belief in creationism?
- regular Church-going habits?
- regular prayer?
- use of the bible as a moral guide?
- belief in the core message of Jesus Christ?

Who gets to decide who is and who isn't, and how relevent is their opinion?

- the Pope?
- Christian fundamentalists?
- majority decision by ordinary Christians?
- just the person in question?
- non-Christians who are familiar with Christians?

Of course, this leads to the question of whether someone who decides to go on a killing spree for God after reading the Old Testament is a 'true Christian'.

Any more elaboration needed?

The Rock Hound


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4751
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 4 of 329 (110000)
05-23-2004 12:14 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4751
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 5 of 329 (110001)
05-23-2004 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by AdminNosy
05-23-2004 12:14 PM


Moved Mike
I didn't want to step into something that Admin had already started but there was a request to get it through and it worked for me.

I think we should treat Rocks revised post as the real OP.


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jar
Member
Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 6 of 329 (110004)
05-23-2004 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by IrishRockhound
05-22-2004 9:31 AM


What is actually necessary to be a Christian
is pretty much covered, IMHO, in Matthew Chapter 22, Verses 36-40.

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

As I see it, there are three things needed, to love GOD, to love others and to love yourself.

There is no need to believe in the Literal interpretation of the Bible, but rather to learn from it and understand its message.

IMHO, it is really that simple.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4545
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 7 of 329 (110010)
05-23-2004 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by IrishRockhound
05-22-2004 9:31 AM


Thanks Ned!

In order to clarify for everyone interested, I believe that some kind of definition would be helpful (and could possibly prevent inadvertant insults).

Absolutely! And there is the key! If we meet the definition of christian then I suppose we qualify. Now this has zero, zilch, zip all to do with being a fundamentalist or evolutionist. As far as I am concerned, you can be a fundamentally half-ape believer or a preacher touting literalist yet they are both irrelevant to the definition. I will outline the definition from the dictionary to help us see what counts:

- Professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
- Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.
- Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
- Relating to or characteristic of Christianity or its adherents.
- Showing a loving concern for others; humane.

Notice how the last one kinda spoils it for murderers. You see, this is why I sometimes say that atheists are infact more christian than they realize.

Christ himself was heartily against hypocrites, and said many would claim to know him but he will say "I never knew you".

Who gets to decide who is and who isn't, and how relevent is their opinion?

Well, first I suggest we meet the definition, but only Christ can decide. That may seem inconvenient but the scripture is clear, if you pretend to be something you're not then you're simply not it.

If you are still dis-satisfied, there is ofcourse basic logic to back this up. For example, if a "footballer" is one who "plays football" and there is a man claiming to be a footballer, yet he has only ever played tennis, then he is simply not a footballer like he claims.

The general idea seems to be that, for Christian fundamentalists, anyone who does not agree with their interpretation of the bible or creationism is 'not a true Christian'. This has come up in several threads, usually in relation to theistic evolutionists.

Quite simply - they are wrong. That's about as well thought out as the other silly statement, "evolution is religion". The fact is fundamentalists/creationism has no say on who is christian. It's just tough cheese on a fundie if they want it to be otherwise.


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4545
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 8 of 329 (110011)
05-23-2004 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
05-23-2004 12:29 PM


Re: What is actually necessary to be a Christian
Great post!
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Brian
Member (Idle past 2311 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 9 of 329 (110017)
05-23-2004 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
05-23-2004 12:29 PM


Re: What is actually necessary to be a Christian
As I see it, there are three things needed, to love GOD, to love others and to love yourself.

Haven't you just described a true Muslim?

Brian.


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jar
Member
Posts: 28437
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 10 of 329 (110019)
05-23-2004 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Brian
05-23-2004 3:02 PM


Re: What is actually necessary to be a Christian
brian writes:

Haven't you just described a true Muslim?

Yup. And Jew. And Hindu.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Brian
Member (Idle past 2311 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 11 of 329 (110021)
05-23-2004 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by jar
05-23-2004 3:08 PM


Re: What is actually necessary to be a Christian
Now if we could only get Christians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims to recognise this, we may get a Nobel Prize to share!

Brian.

This message has been edited by Brian, 05-23-2004 02:26 PM


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 12 of 329 (110022)
05-23-2004 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by mike the wiz
05-23-2004 1:47 PM


More Info
quote:
Relating to or derived from Jesus or Jesus's teachings.

Which teachings of his are different from the Jewish teachings?

quote:
Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.

Can you clarify what these qualities are? What is Christlike?


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Trixie
Member (Idle past 1058 days)
Posts: 1011
From: Edinburgh
Joined: 01-03-2004


Message 13 of 329 (110026)
05-23-2004 4:23 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by jar
05-23-2004 3:08 PM


Re: What is actually necessary to be a Christian
So the bottom line seems to be that to define a Christian you have to find something about Christian beliefs that differ from Jews, Hindus and Muslims. IMHO that would be the belief that Jesus Christ was God made flesh and that, as Jesus, he died so that our sins might be forgiven.

If you believe that, then all else follows. You're going to follow the teachings of Jesus if you believe that He was God, or at least you're going to try, and you will behave in a way that will not displease the Lord ie you will love your fellow man as yourself, regardless of creed, you will try to do good deeds, such as helping those less fortunate, you will be humble, you will recognise your faults.

Very few of us manage to do all that, but the point is that we strive for it because we believe that Jesus was the Messiah.


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Petra
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 329 (110029)
05-23-2004 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by IrishRockhound
05-22-2004 9:31 AM


quote:
So, some questions to start with:
What is actually necessary to be a true Christian?
- belief in bible inerrancy?
- belief in creationism?
- regular Church-going habits?
- regular prayer?
- use of the bible as a moral guide?
- belief in the core message of Jesus Christ?

A true Christian is someone who has completely
entrusted his life to Jesus Christ.

Entrust = (usu with with) to confer as a responsibility, duty, etcí (usu with to) to place something in anotherís care.

- belief in bible inerrancy?
That is the idea, but if you donít have the love of Jesus Christ, that wonít do you any good.

Bible:
Psalms 119:160:
The entirety of Your word is truth,
and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 Peter 1:25 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

- belief in creationism?
Why should you not? If one can believe some theory like evolution, one might just as well believe in creationism. But that doesnít make you a true-er Christian.

Bible:
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Psalms 19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

- regular Church-going habits?
I personally want to visit Godís house every week. Every week thereís something to learn from the Word of God. If you do not go, where will you learn out of the Word? One could go to a bible study. We have them too, and we have them at home with our brothers and sisters (in the Lord)

Bible:
Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

- regular prayer?
In sundayschool I was taught that prayer is Ďtalking to/with Godí.

Bible:
James 5:16:
Confess your trespasses* to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(5:12 M-Text reads hypocrisy.)

John 15:7: "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,
you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Who gets to decide who is and who isn't, and how relevent is their opinion?
- the Pope? nope
- Christian fundamentalists? nope
- majority decision by ordinary Christians? nope
- just the person in question? nope
- non-Christians who are familiar with Christians? nope

Actually it is God who gets to decide who is and who isnít. His opinion is the most relevant you can find.

Romans 2:1-3:
1-THEREFORE you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2-But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
3-And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

quote:
Of course, this leads to the question of whether someone who decides to go on a killing spree for God after reading the Old Testament is a 'true Christian'.

See Romans 2:1-3 above.
Personally I donít think someone whoíd do that is a true Christian. Or most certainly that person has missed some part of the Word of God. For sure that would be: Thou shalt not kill. (exodus 20:13)

quote:
ĎAny more elaboration needed?

nah, this is fine ^__^

Thank you for your time.


1Cor 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 15 of 329 (110031)
05-23-2004 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Petra
05-23-2004 5:41 PM


quote:
Actually it is God who gets to decide who is and who isnít.

So no one will know if they are a "true Christian" until after they die.

Which means no one posting in these Forums can know who is or isn't a "true Christian."


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