Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 86 (8936 total)
34 online now:
Captcass, DrJones*, dwise1 (3 members, 31 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: ssope
Post Volume: Total: 861,614 Year: 16,650/19,786 Month: 775/2,598 Week: 21/251 Day: 21/23 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   What Is A Christian (Remix)
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 133 (425868)
10-04-2007 11:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
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).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-04-2007 8:50 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 12:05 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 5 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 12:09 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 7 by Taz, posted 10-04-2007 12:28 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
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:
 Message 5 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 12:09 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 12:49 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
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:
 Message 7 by Taz, posted 10-04-2007 12:28 PM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Taz, posted 10-04-2007 1:12 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
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

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 12:36 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 133 (425921)
10-04-2007 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
10-04-2007 12:36 PM


Re: What is a Christian?
By definition if you are accepted as a member of some organization you are a member of that organization.

So you define Christian as being a member of a Christian organization regardless of what you believe or how you act.

No offense, but that definition sucks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 12:36 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 2:55 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 133 (425925)
10-04-2007 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by ringo
10-04-2007 12:49 PM


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.

So, you're defining Chirstian as a person who believes and/or follows the message of Christ, regardless of what they believe.

I just don't agree with that definition. I think that you have to believe in Christ to be a Christian.

The only way you can tell what somebody else believes is by what they proclaim and what they do.

We're discussing if the person is actually a Christian, not whether or not they believe they are a Christian.

If what they do doesn't match what they proclaim, you have to question the proclamation, don't you?

Sure, why not? But just falling short of you proclamations doesn't mean they were falsly proclaimed. I mean, you could be a Christian and not behave very Christ-like, but that wouldn't make you a non-Christian. It would make you a not-very-good-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.

"Christian" means "Christ-like".

Duh :rolleyes:

Being like Christ doesn't make you a Christian if you aren't a follower of Christ and just happen to be on the same path by coincidence.

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

Nuh-uh :p


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 12:49 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 133 (425928)
10-04-2007 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by jar
10-04-2007 2:55 PM


Re: What is a Christian?
Well, no! Like any club, Christianity has a Member's Bylaws. Those are laid out in the Primary Creeds. To be a member of the club you need to agree with the bylaws.

That's what I was saying.

quote:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father

So you pretty much gotta believe that Jesus is divine.

But behavior is unrelated. There is a difference between being a Christian and being Christ-Like.

I agree. Try telling that to Ringo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 2:55 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 3:14 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 133 (425937)
10-04-2007 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by ringo
10-04-2007 2:46 PM


When the driver says, "Yes, this is the bus to New Jersey," you'd be the one who's overreaching if you insisted it was the only bus to New Jersey.

Not when the driver says: "This is the bus to New Jersey. There is no other way to New Jersey except on this bus."

quote:
6Jesus answered, "I AM THE WAY and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Its really not totally explicit though. Like you said, the "me" at the end could indirectly be referring to "the way" and not necessarily Jesus, himself. I just don't see it that way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 2:46 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Brian, posted 10-04-2007 3:42 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 35 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:44 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 36 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 3:45 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 133 (425938)
10-04-2007 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by ringo
10-04-2007 3:14 PM


No, not regardless of what they believe - regardless of what else they believe.

O I C

So it's not black and white? There's "good Christians" and "not-quite-so-good-Christians" and maybe even a few "bad Christians"? But they're still Christians?

Yup, they're still Christians even if they suck at being one.

Being like Christ doesn't make you a Christian if you aren't a follower of Christ and just happen to be on the same path by coincidence.

Why not?

Because that is not what it means to be a Christian. You have to believe and follow Christ. If you end up on the same path by following another religion, that doesn't automatically make you a Christian. Your still a member of that other religion.

Which is more important? Being on the right path? Or some other Guy in a robe and sandals who happens to be on the same path?

Important to what? Defining the word Christian? Being on the right path is irrelevant to arguing semantics :D So its very unimportant to this discussion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:14 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:54 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 133 (425942)
10-04-2007 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by jar
10-04-2007 3:14 PM


Re: What is a Christian?
But if you are honest, you also admit that is without support and simply a belief.

For me, sure.

But I don't rule out the possibility that Jesus could reveal himself directly to a person and allow them to know him.

And I wouldn't speak on behalf of everyone and claim that their belief must be without support, lest they be dishonest.

But it is still only relevant to being a member of the club. It has nothing to do with whether it is true or not.

So?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 3:14 PM jar has not yet responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 133 (425943)
10-04-2007 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by ringo
10-04-2007 3:44 PM


As I've tried to explain, he didn't say that.

I didn't see your better explanation, the post previous to the one that you replied too, until after I had posted mine.

I understand you explantion/interpretation and it makes sense and is a possibility. Honestly, though, I could read it either way.

Its really not totally explicit though.

I thought I explicitly said IMplicit.

Yes, I was agreeing with you in saying that it really is not explicit.

It "could" be interpreted either way. Isn't the safer interpretation the less dogmatic one?

Hell, I don't know.

If I told you I was a Christian, would you say, "Nuh-uh, you're No True Christian because you don't believe Christianity is the only way"?

No, I wouldn't. But if you said that you were a Christian but you don't believe and follow Jesus. Then I would say Nuh-uh. Or if you said that you don't think that Jesus was God's son. Or if you thought that Jesus never existed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:44 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-04-2007 4:11 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 133 (425945)
10-04-2007 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by jar
10-04-2007 3:45 PM


Re: On the way
One is "What is a Christian". That question has absolutely nothing to do with getting to the Father or salvation or Christ-like behavior.

But that is the question that the thread is addressing.

And if someone is a member of a Christian Church then they are, by definition, a Cristian.

That is not the definition that this thread is trying to pin down.

And we've already agreed that being a member is not enough:

quote:
So you define Christian as being a member of a Christian organization regardless of what you believe or how you act.

Well, no! Like any club, Christianity has a Member's Bylaws. Those are laid out in the Primary Creeds. To be a member of the club you need to agree with the bylaws.

The club doesn't make sure that you agree with the bylaws before they accept you into it so you could be in the club and not accept the bylaws.

Being a part of a Christian group is not what makes a True Christian. Sure, that makes you a christian, by defintion of being in the club. But that doesn't make you a Christian as in a follower of Christ.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 3:45 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-04-2007 4:02 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 42 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 4:09 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 133 (425948)
10-04-2007 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by ringo
10-04-2007 3:54 PM


That's what I said. You "believe and follow Christ" by doing what He said, not by joining a club.

Yes, but if you believe and follow Bob and coincidentally end up on the path Jesus described, then you are not believeing and following Christ, you are believing and following Bob.

You might be very Christ-like, but you aren't a Christian, by definition.

Why can't a person be a member of another religion and still be a Christian?

They can. For example, there are Buddhist-Christians.

I would still consider them Christians. Additional qualifiers don't make you non-christian. Its the lack of the Christian qualifier that makes you non-christian.

We're not defining the word "Christian". The OP says:

quote:
In this topic, I wish to discuss the attributes of what makes a Christian a Christian. Message 1

Meh, same thing.

You seem to be saying that what makes a Christian a Christian is what gang colours he wears.

No. I think it matters what you believe.

Unless you're conflating wearing gang colors with having a belief.

If you believe in Jesus then you're a Christian. If you've failed to follow him well, then you're still a Christian. If you don't believe in Jesus, then you're not a Christian. If you're coincidentally following him, but don't believe in him, then you're not a Christian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 3:54 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by ringo, posted 10-04-2007 4:22 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 133 (425951)
10-04-2007 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Thugpreacha
10-04-2007 4:11 PM


Re: Bylaws
I agree with you. Anyone may be able to make it into heaven by doing the good philosophies of the tales told round the campfire, but to be a Christian, you need to relate to Christ IMHO.

It really is that simple :laugh:


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-04-2007 4:11 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 133 (425952)
10-04-2007 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Thugpreacha
10-04-2007 4:02 PM


Re: Just joining...man this thread moves quick!
Although some believe that while on earth, Jesus was only human.

This is off topic, but "only humans" can't walk on water and raise people from the dead.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Thugpreacha, posted 10-04-2007 4:02 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by jar, posted 10-04-2007 4:18 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019