What is a Christian?

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dpmartin
 
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2007 06:21 pm
@Justin,
karmapolice:

Let me ask you this, what is illogical about trusting that God knows who He is, and what He is, much more so then we? If God says you must be born in Spirt to know Him then it must be true. I cannot require God to be who He is on my terms. It must be on His terms. Who is to say what it takes to know Him, but Him.

Tho to seek God's Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding is a worthy pursuit. Why would God restrict knowing Him only to those gifted in logic and reason? Salvation is for all souls, not just those that may be as smart as you.
 
karmapolice
 
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2007 09:58 pm
@dpmartin,
:confused:

dpmartin,

It seems you have misread my post. Please read it again if it's in your interest.
 
Katherine phil
 
Reply Fri 24 Aug, 2007 04:17 pm
@karmapolice,
Justin,

We're 'kinda' on the same page. We're approaching it the same way, to a large degree we have the same understanding. I think, though, there is a threshold here that I have crossed, that you have not.

Prayer, although I have heard it presented the same way, is communion with God. I think you have said the same thing. The thing about Christians, is we're trying to be better than we are, but we're still idiots. We're well-meaning idiots, but we are trying to live something that is beyond us and it is wonderful, so we want everyone else to have it, but we haven't matured to the point where we know how to express it fully and we get frustrated. In our minds, can you imagine living in Africa, watching people die slowly and painfully of AIDS with the cure in your hand, but you just can't get anyone to take it? It's why we get a little crazy. Sure maybe there are other treatments, but we've seen this one work!

A lot of churches, some of the biggest denominations actually, want to get everyone saved, but they don't do anything to help them mature. One of the terms for salvation is to be born-again. Well, to be born is to be an infant in the things of God. What do you do then? Well, you run around screaming at people, threatening them with Hell, rejecting them based on their dress and lifestyle. Or you see those people, not understand that they are just toddlers with just enough information to be dangerous and decide you want nothing to do with their attitudes and ideas, so you don't even cross the threshold. Instead, you understand God at a distance.

What I have found is an inter-denominational church (not a guarentee of anything, but it helps) that focuses on growing Christians into maturity in Christ. Those are the quiet Christians that go around helping people in sacrifice, most of the time not even mentioning they are Christians. They just live a lifestyle of serving God by serving others in His Name.

God has provided a doorway through His Son, Jesus. We can stand outside the door and talk about it, but salvation is only through the door.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 09:32 am
@Justin,
Good post Kat. That's a great approach to the discussion without preaching at the same time.
It's hard to define a Christian in reality, since there are so many different denominations that have different opinions. If you look at the overall picture, then yes; being a Christian is about devoting yourself to the teachings of God and devoting your life to worship. That is, if you are a Christian in the traditional sense. You can however, be Christ-like in the way that you live according to his teachings...which is the definition that everyone can live by and accept without becoming religious.

Remember: Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
 
Katherine phil
 
Reply Sat 25 Aug, 2007 11:37 am
@Justin,
My pastor likes to talk about church membership by using the example of his gym membership. Just because he has a membership to the gym doesn't make him an athlete.

I love my Christian community though. I find so much encouragement, learning and a closer walk with God through my relationships with them.
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 10:04 am
@Katherine phil,
Thanks Kat for your post. Sometimes I need to digest things and then approach them after I've spent time thinking and meditating on things. My thoughts are listed below.

Katherine wrote:
Justin,

We're 'kinda' on the same page. We're approaching it the same way, to a large degree we have the same understanding. I think, though, there is a threshold here that I have crossed, that you have not.

Prayer, although I have heard it presented the same way, is communion with God. I think you have said the same thing. The thing about Christians, is we're trying to be better than we are, but we're still idiots. We're well-meaning idiots, but we are trying to live something that is beyond us and it is wonderful, so we want everyone else to have it, but we haven't matured to the point where we know how to express it fully and we get frustrated. In our minds, can you imagine living in Africa, watching people die slowly and painfully of AIDS with the cure in your hand, but you just can't get anyone to take it? It's why we get a little crazy. Sure maybe there are other treatments, but we've seen this one work!

A lot of churches, some of the biggest denominations actually, want to get everyone saved, but they don't do anything to help them mature. One of the terms for salvation is to be born-again. Well, to be born is to be an infant in the things of God. What do you do then? Well, you run around screaming at people, threatening them with Hell, rejecting them based on their dress and lifestyle. Or you see those people, not understand that they are just toddlers with just enough information to be dangerous and decide you want nothing to do with their attitudes and ideas, so you don't even cross the threshold. Instead, you understand God at a distance.

What I have found is an inter-denominational church (not a guarentee of anything, but it helps) that focuses on growing Christians into maturity in Christ. Those are the quiet Christians that go around helping people in sacrifice, most of the time not even mentioning they are Christians. They just live a lifestyle of serving God by serving others in His Name.

God has provided a doorway through His Son, Jesus. We can stand outside the door and talk about it, but salvation is only through the door.

Kat, we're kind of on the same page. I'm not sure what threshold you speak of though. I swallowed the magic pill in my teens and crossed those thresholds long ago... just to find out that it isn't a magic pill that one has to swallow.

"The thing about Christians, is we're trying to be better than we are, but we're still idiots" You're only idiots because that's what your faith teaches you to believe. Something seems to be mixed up here because Jesus said something totally different. No sense beating a dead horse though, you have to figure this out for yourself. ... and how can anyone live something that is beyond themselves? Jesus didn't tell people that it's beyond us, on the contrary, Jesus told us it's within us and all around us and when we hurt a neighbor, we hurt Jesus.

Oh the cure... It's what all Christians think they are holding yet they believe they are idiots and it's beyond themselves. That's a problem in Christian society. Christians don't hold the cure because they ignore the teachings of Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. There's no need to get hostile and frustrated because someone doesn't want to have Christianity shoved down their throat. Christianity may be the cure for those who think it is but further study and prayer and communion with God says much different. Once again, we're talking about 1000 or more facets of a Christian.

Born again... Here we go. Being born again is being born of the spirit. To be born again is when the mind and heart of man has made the connection of spirit. To be enlightened in the spirit of Christ. To surpass worldly consciousness and make that connection with God in spirit a higher level of consciousness. To advance to the next level of the unfolding of mankind in spirit. To Know Oneness and Eternity. To be fully aware that we are spirit and not body, our body is simply a vessel that we create with. to be Enlightened. Christians (from my experience), could write a book on how to be born again inside of 60 seconds, (just ask Jesus into your heart). I'm afraid that doesn't cut it.

To most Christians, this Born Again thing is totally different. You simply go into a Church and depending on the church, you walk up front and get down on your knees and surrender your life to Christ and pronounce Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Walla - That magic pill! Now you are a Born again Christian. You now hold the keys to the Kingdom of God and you shall go forth and try to shove this pill down everyones throat you encounter. Then you are accepted into the church and the church is supportive of it's members and through that support and meetings and Sunday Sermon, you are molded and shaped to believe whatever that pastor believes. Christians seek like kinds. They make a display of themselves so other Christians will recognize that they are Christians. So as a Christian, you are supposed to live a better life. That's it, DONE. This is not born again. I've made it sound really simply and it is. This is what Christians do. Christians believe they are less than what Jesus told them they are. Christians understand God at a distance disregarding the Nature of God completely.

God created everyone of us. We also have the Kingdom of God within us. "They just live a lifestyle of serving God by serving others in His Name." How can one serve God by serving others if God is not a part of the others? Whoa! So if God is outside of us or beyond us, then how is it a Christian serves God by serving his fellow man? Big question here? The answer is simple, God is your fellow man but your fellow man hasn't figured it out yet... Jesus taught it, Christians ignore it and just swallow magic pills. Their sacrifice is for their own spiritual contentment.

God provided the doorway to the Kingdom of God when he created us. It's always been there and will always be, yet most don't open it or answer it.

According to Christians, only Christians hold the key to the Kingdom of God and it's in a little magic pill that they try to shove down the throat of everyone they encounter. The only way into the Kingdom of God is through Christian fellowship... Bull malarkey! --- I still Love you Kat! Smile
 
Katherine phil
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 12:16 pm
@Justin,
If you have a active and powerful relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, and you are being transformed by His Presence and Word, then we are on the same page. Even if we disagree in every other way. I hope to see you in eternity!
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 12:37 pm
@Justin,
I understand what you are saying Katherine, I do. However, through Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ died 2000 years ago. How can one have a relationship with God through Jesus when God and Jesus are One and when Jesus isn't here? This all filters down to ONE. That's my point. To have a relationship through Jesus with God, without the physical presence of Jesus or God (so we think), then that means God/Jesus/Man (ONE), is within us. It's the essence of our very spiritual selves.

So then, when we serve God by serving man, we're still serving ONE. No separation whatsoever. Read John 17 again. Jesus repeatedly stated that we are ONE. So why do Christians draw a non-existent line between themselves and God?

We're living Eternity right now. Our very being is eternal that hath no end and no beginning. Our heaven and our hell is that which we create everyday. Eternity isn't separate from God, it is God.

Although this would be another discussion altogether it also brings me to question why Christians believe that when they die they go to another place, separate from themselves called Heaven and they all congregate there and have been for centuries.. waiting on the second coming of Christ when that second coming is going to be in the hearts of mankind. Nature will continue on. Our bodies will refold back into the universe just as everything does in perfect balance in their time. Man is not body, man is spirit and spirit is eternal.

OK, enough for today. When you have some time, I think it's important for a Born again Christian to explain how serving others is serving God when a Christian doesn't believe that Jesus, God, Man and all of nature and the entire Universe are ONE. Serve God by serving Nature because man is evil. That doesn't make sense either but it's a nice little twist.

Come all ye Christians and explain to us philosophers how man is separate from God when Jesus taught differently. - Thank you!
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 01:52 pm
@Justin,
En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos en pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos.

Matthew 3:16-17
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why would God tell us that this is his son, if they are the same person? Why would he purposefully make this distinction that they are two separate entities?

Matthew 27: 45-46
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Why would he ask himself why he forsook himself? If he's the same person, wouldn't he know that answer?
Later on it tells how God cried at the sight of his son being crucified.
Why would he feel a father's anguish at the sight of someone who is not his son, and is instead an actual part of himself?

Needless to say, I do not believe in the Trinity whatsoever.

Therefore I also disbelieve in the universal unity that you have just mentioned, Justin.
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 04:24 pm
@Justin,
I understand what you are saying here Aristoddler. So you know, I pay very little attention to what's written about what happened and focus more on the quoted text of Jesus. When man is sitting right in front of what happened, it can still get twisted.

When I was in grade school, the teacher had the students stand in a circle and then she whispered one sentence into the ear of one of the students and asked that they pass it on. The last student to hear it and repeat it came up with something similar but different. Man will translate every instance to suit his own needs. While other say one thing, Jesus says another. I'm left to believe the words directly from the mouth of Jesus rather than from the mouths of others.

I also cannot discount science and nature. It's definitely something to ponder and meditate about.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 06:05 pm
@Justin,
The example of the whisper game is a good one for sure.
An example right from the bible that I can think of, is John 1:1...which also sits with the theme of the trinity doctrine, obviously...

King James Version
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


New World Translation
1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

See the difference?
Read closely...one suggests a trinity, and the other clarifies three separate entities.
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 06:31 pm
@Justin,
Airtoddler:
this might help some.

God, the Almighty is a Spirit that speaks His will. His will is revealed through His Word, and His Spirit does it. Therefore all is said and done according to His Will. Note Jesus made it clear that it was His Fathers Will that He served. According to the Gospel of John Jesus is that Word of God revealed in the flesh.

If you remember that it is written that man was made in God's image. Man has a will, that is made known through his speech and if it is in his power he can do it. If a man does what he says, Without fail, it is considered by others that his word is good. And can be relied upon. So it is with our relationship with the Word of God.

In the "why have you forsaken me?"
As I can understand, God gave His Word freely, without reservation, as Jesus attested to on the cross.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2007 06:40 pm
@Justin,
Are you saying that you agree that the two entities are separate then?
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 06:28 pm
@Justin,
Airtoddler:

No, if you give your word you must keep it. God keeps the Word He gives. God the Father the will of which the Son, the Word of God given in the flesh, revealing the will of His Father, full of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. None are separate from the other, but revealed to us as God.

No different then:
"And the Spirit of God"(the Holy Spirt, God's Presents)" moved upon the face of the waters."
" And God said,"(the Word of God)" Let there be light"(the revealed Will of God via His Word)": and there was light."

Hope this explains, but truly it's a mystery from our understanding.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 06:41 pm
@Justin,
Obviously, we could make assumptions about the trinity doctrine until we're blue in the face and all get carpal tunnel, but it is a very interesting subject nonetheless.

Personally, I believe it to be a minor translation error which ended up creating a false doctrine that is something that many people have come to believe simply because that is what they were told to believe...but the bible itself supports otherwise, if you read it in full.
Simply reading John 1:1 will lead you to believe one thing, but if you take the chance to read the rest and realize that God is a god of order and not chaos, then it becomes evident that the Trinity is a misunderstanding of translated text.
 
Justin
 
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2007 08:27 pm
@Aristoddler,
Very good point DP! That's one way to look at it most certainly.

Yes Aristoddler, you see how one written word can easily be worded to influence the reader.. Nudge him or her in a certain direction. Most Christian Churches I've been to use the NIV Bible. It's easier to read and it sends an entirely different message.

We'll open up a thread to discuss this in more depth.

Now that I've taken a step back and had some time to think and based upon my experiences in the past, I feel the definition of a Christian has as many denominations as Christians themselves. There's no real way to define a Christian... it should just show by our actions. Those who say they are Christians don't really count because it can't be simply defined. Everyone has their definition of what Christianity is instead of removing all the Religious dogma and following the teachings of Christ. If we believe in Jesus as it was written and we believe in the message he gave to the world, then I feel we have to believe in his entire message. His message was very simple:
  • Love ye one another
  • Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you
  • When you hurt your fellow man, you hurt Jesus
  • Turn the other cheek
  • Walk the extra mile
  • Forgive 70x7
  • Look for the good in all things and they will be show to you
  • Find inner peace through communion with God the Father
  • Seek inside yourself that Divinity inherent in all things
  • Build a light
  • Pray and meditate as Jesus taught
  • Do not Judge others
I think that sums it up. None of it includes standing on the street corner passing out pamphlets. This also doesn't include running around telling other people from other religions or beliefs that they are going to Hell. This also doesn't include any Religion.

Would the above be considered a Christian? Whether Christian or not, shouldn't we all try to become this? I can't find any flaws in it. Maybe I missed something.

So anyway, I was doing a search the other day for a Christian forum, just to see if people understood Jesus and Christianity. I found a forum called Christian Boy Lovers... it's cblf [dot] org. I actually went in there and couldn't believe it. These people are Christians? It's so damn twisted I can't even explain, you'd have to read for yourself, on second thought, it's only mind pollution so don't read it. That's a sickness in Christianity!

My point is, I can't find an Enlightened boy lovers forum. People who really seek God inside don't get into this kind of crap. Those who mediate and build a light don't get into the crazy things some of these Christians do.

So all in all, I don't think anyone should say they are a Christian, they just show us by example. Jesus showed and without him showing there would be more lost than there currently are all leading each other blindly.

So if one should follow Jesus and consider themselves a Christian, then show it! Myself included. The problem is, everyone claims to be a Christian but not too many of us actually prove it in our actions and our words with each other.

Jesus was the light of the world. God is the light of the world. We can also be the light of the world if we could only recognize it inside of ourselves.

So anyway... I cannot call myself a Christian because I'm not all of the above things and frankly, I'd be embarrassed based on the Christian communities I've known. I've fallen short however, I see there is light and although the path is less traveled, it leads in the direction of love and light and that is the direction my inner-voice leads me. Someday I hope my knowing surpasses the illusions of my sensing.

"We cannot define in words what it is to be a Christian, it can only be defined by our actions." -Justin Smile
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2007 03:28 pm
@Justin,
Well said there Mr Justin, well said.
 
Katherine phil
 
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2007 01:13 pm
@Justin,
Seriously?? :confused:

I love you all, but truthfully, I've never seen such clueless pontification in all my life! Smile You are all groping in darkness, albeit impressively, but there is no understanding of spiritual things present in this discussion, and truly, no desire for it either.
 
Aristoddler
 
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2007 02:20 pm
@Justin,
How so Kat?
Could you give examples where some of us have no understanding of things spiritual?
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Fri 7 Sep, 2007 05:13 pm
@Justin,
Katherine:

I don't exactly disagree, but one must be alive before one can be fed. Therefore one can only encourage or try to persuade others that one, there is a Living God, two, He can be known through Jesus, three, to repent is to receive the mercy and Life of God. Till then there is no feeding (spiritually) unless they know the Truth. Thank the Lord, for the freedom of speech is truly the allie of the Truth.
 
 

 
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