Yeah, that's why I typed believing AND following Jesus.
Following His directions is the same as believing that His directions are the right way to go.
By believing Jesus I meant believing what he said. As in being the Son of God, etc. Not just believing that his direction is the right way to go. Obviously you'd believe it was the right way to go if you were following it.
Sorry, but to be in the club all that is needed is that you subscribe to the bylaws and that the club accept that you have done so. If you are a member of the club called "Christians" then you are a "Christian".
I just don't see any other way around it.
An evil anti-Christian atheist, bent on destoying Christianity, could join the club by simply stating the "I believes".
That person is a non-Christian and they could easily get into the club.
If a non-Christian can be in the club then being in the club doesn't necessarily mean that you are a Christian.
How can you not see that?
There is no way that you can actually test whether someone really believes the "I believes" or simply so asserts.
That's why there could be a non-christian in the club.
We can follow His instructions about what to do whether the stories about Him are true or not, because His instructions make sense. Loving thy neighbour just works better than constantly fighting with him.
The stories about Him help to clarify who our neighbour is. (Even the Samaritans? :eek: ) They help us to understand that even if we're prodigal, it isn't the end of the world. They show us a way that we know intuitively is "the way" to live.
That's all fine and dandy, and I've heard it before and it makes sense.
But that doesn't further the discussion on what the minimum requirements are for being a Christian.
The stories about Jesus make sense in the same way that Aesop's fables make sense. They don't have to be "true" to be valuable. You don't have to believe that animals can talk to believe what they say.
But if you don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and you just think that those are some good fables, then you're not really a Christian. At least not in my opinion.
Catholic Scientist writes:
By believing Jesus I meant believing what he said. As in being the Son of God, etc.
We've been through that. We don't know that He said that. We only know that somebody claimed that He said that.
I guess it is possible for someone to believe that Jesus was not divine, and just had a good philosphy that is worth following, and still be rightfully considered a Christian.
but, to be a christian in one's own mind doesn't necessarily require being a christian in *your* mind.
The point was the people that don't consider themselves to be Christian, shouldn't be considered Christian by someone else just because they are like Christ. If you don't consider yourself a Christian, then you're not.
if someone doesn't think jesus was god, but thinks he's really cool and tries to live like him and thinks he's a christian, he's every right, despite what you or your friends may say.