Christianity - What is a Christian

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Justin
 
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 11:31 am
This is an important question. To define Christianity would be very good to know. Many folks from all over call themselves Christians, but what is a Christian? I'm sure we're going see some different opinions but it's a good place to start.

So tell us, what is Christianity and how can we define a Christian?
 
cut2thepoint
 
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 12:28 pm
@Justin,
I think the worlds depiction of a christian and what the bible claims a christian is, could be diffrent. Or indeed diffrent sub cultures of christians could exist, ie evangelical , baptist , methodist etc. Would you say they are united In there beliefs to the point they all fall under your perception of what a christian is? Also a christian may be looked upon diffrently in diffrent parts of the world due to stereotypes etc .In the middle east for example. Or look at northern Ireland, the christians there (If the rest of the christian world see's them as so) See thre own place as a christian completly diffrent to an evangelical. you are either born protestant or catholic and are expected to carry on your beliefs and protect them even if it means to kill.

Yet each group claims to know the truth.
I suppose it depends on who in gods view (if he or it exists) what a christan is . I have my own view on what a christian is, but as humans living in the flesh its a tall order to follow , but thats just a personal view.

Does to be a christian in the bible sense of the word ,come down to this : your either saved or going to hell.? I hear the word christian means annointed one.
 
perplexity
 
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 01:37 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:

So tell us, what is Christianity and how can we define a Christian?


It is a form of conditioning, usually.

They may like to talk as if they've shopped around and picked the best of the bunch, but the pretension falls apart on seeing how little they really know of the alternatives, for which, by the way , the same may just as well be said.

--- RH.
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 09:30 pm
@perplexity,
Christanity, as Ive studied it, experianced it and have come to accept how it is 'supposed' to be lived is simply that (I say with a 'sure' face) suppoed to be lived. Yes it is beyond our own power to fully fulfill, actually even slightly fullfil the way he wants us to live, but we were never ment to do it, it is the Holy Spirit in us (Baptised and anointed Christians) that fullfils it. As the parable, the 'vine and the branches' John 15:15 and any references that refer to the Holy Spirit empowering. ''You can do nothing without God''.

Being a Christian is about serving God with everything you have, to not submit to him in all areas is limiting Gods power and ability to move in your life, hence 'live by faith'. There are three things to compleatly submit;DESICIONS, TIME and FINANCES.
''Therefore, I urge you,brothers, in view of Gods mercy,to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,Holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will'' Romans12.

The begining is when a person belives that Jesus Christ is lord, confessing it with his mouth, and believes in his heart Jesus is raised from the dead. Then he/she asks God for forgivness of his sins and 'repents'. Salvation is gained through mercy by the blood shed when the 'Holy lamb of God' was sacrificed to wash away the sins of man forever, EPHESIANS 2:8,9. Repentance is the changing of our minds, turning from our old 'dead ways' to Gods ways, this is from the thoughts and desires of the flesh to the thoughts and desires of the Spirit. Galations 5:16-26.''Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires'' ROMANS 8:5 ''The man who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life'' GALATIONS 6:8-9 Wisdom from the Spirit 1 CORINTHIANS 2:6-16.

A person first should be Baptised in water, this is full submersion, hence the word 'baptise' which sybolises death (with Christ)and rebirth(with Christ), made a-new, set free from your past. It is thought to have a deeper spiritual meaning which is little understood, but a running theme in the Bible is that where there is a physical practice there is a mirror spiritaul aspect to it also. This is done by somebody who is already anointed. Then followed by the 'laying on of hands', where the Holy Spirit is anointed onto the person, the baptism of fire. The person is commanded by God to ''love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strengh and love each other as I have loved you''. And to ''Go ye into all the world and preach the good news to all creation'' ect MARK 16:15. Forgivness comes at a price, however. In order to be forgiven, you must totally forgive everyone else yourself:eek:

Now that person is a fully fledged member of Gods kingdom, he must now build his relationship with his 'Father' through Christ. As Christianity is all about 'Relationship, Relationship, Relationship'. The core and true meaning, the whole point of it is to reform the bond between the Lord and Adam (man) in the cool of the day back in the Garden of Eden (presence of God). ''I will reward those who dilligently seek my face'', you dont even have to find it.The more you are filled with the desire to 'seek Gods face' the closer you will get. Humility is the key to this, the formula is to recognise;1, God created this universe and us. 2, God shows that he is much more powerful than we are by what he does and has done in our world. 3, God gives us abilities that we cannot supply to ourselves or explain our worthiness of, then we are humbled.

Faith is all a man needs to bring to the 'body of Christ'. ''Without faith it is impossible to please God'', and a faith the size of a mustard seed ''can move mountains''. ''Be Holy as I am Holy'', we cannot make ourselves Holy, but only by the influence and by being ''filled to over flowing with the Spirit''. Holy means 'different'. Its the 'difference' made in us by the Holy Spirit changing our minds into the 'mind of Christ'.

'Worship' is the most important aspect to being a Christian. Anointing depends on your obedience, from obediance comes sacrifice, from sacrifice comes worship, from worship comes fellowship/sonship/heirship/and reward (or blessings). These are Love, Peace, and Salvation. Christians are commanded to be 'the light of the world','ambasidors of Christ', and 'for as much is given much is expected'.

A Christian should rely on the LORD in all things, regardless. ''Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'never will I leave you; never will I forsake you''. Hebrews 13:5 ''But seek first his Kingdom and all his righteousness and all these will be given to you as well'' MATTHEW 6:31-33 ''Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways ackknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight''. PROVERBS 3:5-6. Christian conduct, a couple examples; ''My Brothers, as believers in our glorious LORD Jesus Christ, dont show favoritism'' JAMES 2:1. ''To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogence, evil behaviour and perverse speech''PROVERBS 8:13.''Do not judge, or ye will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you''MATTHEW 7:1,2. This like many other scriptures and biblical consepts is missinterpreted. Cuppled with other scriptures such as ''dont you know that your are 'gods''', which Jesus said to the people, Hebrew translation means Judges, kings, rulers and Lords (not a deity);and the scripture about ''you will judge angels''. Judging others is not 'banned' by God, it means to do it fairly, and exercise justice and mercy.

Another forgotten or neglected aspect to Christianity is; 'Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands''(this is wrongly used by some denominations, scripture should always be backed up by other scripture or it gets warped;''Do not test the Lord your God'' ect)and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all(''Do all things with sound judgment and mind''); they will place their hands on sick people, and they will be healed.'' MARK 16:16-18. Also ''of the works I have done, in my name you will do greater works than these. There is nothing to suggest that these things have seaced to operate as they are in the Bible.''Non of these will pass untill the perfect has came''. There are spiritual gifts also 1 corinthians 12:1-11. Fighting against temptation is called 'standing firm in Christ. 'The Armour of God, EPHESIANS 6:10-18.

Just to round-up; ''Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are Sons of God'' ROMANS 8:12-14.
 
cut2thepoint
 
Reply Thu 16 Nov, 2006 09:30 am
@Justin,
Ok you have given an argument from your own perspective, and your own understanding of the bible. All views count, but It is almost completly a one sided one dimensional argument. You have not looked no further than your own understanding which is fine, but when we are trying to get to a deeper understanding, I feel we have to way up many factors such as culture and other peoples view of what a christian is, and many more. As diffrent churhes will and indeed do act out there christian faith according to there own understanding of scripture, yet they read the same book!.

You say you have experienced christianity but you write it with a "been there done that" attitude. Am I wrong in my assumption?. Maybe your own experiences of when you was a christian would have been more helpfull in this thread? You have just quoted bible scripture, of what a christian should do and believe. Without tackling other factors. And in my personal view if you was just going to ramble on, maybe you could have made it a little shorter and forgive the pun cut2thepoint a little more.
 
perplexity
 
Reply Thu 16 Nov, 2006 09:41 am
@cut2thepoint,
cut2thepoint wrote:
...And in my personal view if you was just going to ramble on, maybe you could have made it a little shorter and forgive the pun cut2thepoint a little more.


My style was developed by writing letters for newspapers to publish, in which case the chance of anything more than 300 words is increasingly slim, and I reckon the same then for the internet, if not more so.

When up to 1000 words at a time, or more, you are lucky to get a response, if not to complain about that, or else on your own.

--- RH.
 
cut2thepoint
 
Reply Thu 16 Nov, 2006 09:54 am
@Justin,
Quite but one does not want to fall asleep halfway down the page. There is writing a long piece and there is rambling.
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Fri 17 Nov, 2006 12:00 am
@cut2thepoint,
So am I to assume that you, and everybody else didnt want a full answer? There is lots I didnt include, though I definatly wont bother now!

Christianity I based on what we read from the bible, which is a record of what the original church saw and did (New testament). If there is anything I spent so much time and effort on in my whole life it was my Christian life. I didnt just say, '' yea Im a christian'' and thats it..(halted by the rambling police)

{Brakes free for a moment}...and it doesnt even count 'what churches do today as any indication to what Christianity is, your analysing the wrong source! 1 the bible is the only authority (''All scripture is inspired by god'') 2. Differing denominations and verious traditions today(''Dont nullify the word of God by your traditions'') 3. The criterier for what is a Christian will never change (God is the same yesterday,today and forever).

So IF a list of scripture is not the answer to ''what is a Christian'' then what is?

Its just accured to me this isnt to find out what a Christian is 'ment' to be, but what the 'world' thinks a Christian is. If you read your Bible it will become clear that god clearly states that Christians are ''not of the world'', and ''do not love the world'', ''the world cannot comprehend the things of God'' ect, ect.

And yes, I have asked the question many, many times to why so many denominations with different doctrines all preach from the same book. The Bible answers this when it talks about the Holy Spirit teaching, revealing and instructing the Church. Ill find the scriptures later.

Before they cart me off in the meat waggon, What has anybody else got to add apart from ''there is other things to look at as well, honest''.

I have offically RAMBLED

Im wondering where all the Christians are to back me up, I dont even believe its true:D.

Oh no, here comes the Rambling police again...
 
cut2thepoint
 
Reply Fri 17 Nov, 2006 07:18 am
@Justin,
Very funny you once again did not read what I put it really is a shame, but I'm not going to go on or this thread will be ruined like every other seems to be by going off the point. Its nice to see you can give a balanced argument.....not.......and do you know what makes it worse?your head is so inside itself I see no reason why you should be speaking on a philosophy forum. If you can't weigh up other forms of debate or even try to look at them from there view first before ranting on then what have you given us? If you want to reply do it in the thread I made the other day 'ranters corner' I will speak to you in there as we dont want this thread ruined as well.
 
pilgrimshost
 
Reply Fri 17 Nov, 2006 10:44 pm
@cut2thepoint,
Ok.

There are many things to Christianity that I have uncovered, ultimatly resulting in me (I was about to be ordained as an Evangelist and bible teacher by a Bishop) seeing through it and realising there is so much that doesnt quite ring true. I do have so many experiances and testamonial stories but in hiensight, they raise more questions than answers!

I can debate fairly, and I always seek alternative reasoning. Its never wise to assume anything-ever, as the truth may bite you in the bum. For this thread to develop we need to imput info into it (d'ya like that?).Smile
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2006 05:40 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
This is an important question. To define Christianity would be very good to know. Many folks from all over call themselves Christians, but what is a Christian? I'm sure we're going see some different opinions but it's a good place to start.

So tell us, what is Christianity and how can we define a Christian?


Wrong approach, in my thinking.

A TRUE Christian would not dare to define it. This is why--a true Christian has come to know the WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIGHT and so all definitions fall away, for these are efforts at separation.
 
Justin
 
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2006 07:48 pm
@Justin,
More than defining it, the intention was discussion on it. I was raised in a Christian Church which at one time was Episcopalian. So it's been a concern of mine since childhood. Recently my wife and I attended discussion groups through our Church and it was difficult to sit in there and listen to much of what I'd consider to be nonsense... blind leading the blind sort of thing.

There has also been some mention of Christianity and I do want to respond to some of these posts. It could be important to help understand Christianity or the many facets of it... and I'm not going to sit here and tell anyone that I'm a true Christian because it would be difficult to know what facet of Christianity or category one would fall into. That's the purpose of this discussion.

Is that making more sense?
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2006 01:11 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
More than defining it, the intention was discussion on it. I was raised in a Christian Church which at one time was Episcopalian. So it's been a concern of mine since childhood. Recently my wife and I attended discussion groups through our Church and it was difficult to sit in there and listen to much of what I'd consider to be nonsense... blind leading the blind sort of thing.

There has also been some mention of Christianity and I do want to respond to some of these posts. It could be important to help understand Christianity or the many facets of it... and I'm not going to sit here and tell anyone that I'm a true Christian because it would be difficult to know what facet of Christianity or category one would fall into. That's the purpose of this discussion.

Is that making more sense?


Hi Justin

Your question made sense to me when I read it. However, you specifically used the word true in your original post. This changes my response from having a discussion on Christianity as a whole (or its facets) to examining what it means to be TRUE in this religion, and in turn, what it means to be true in ANY religion.

What is the goal of this religion? and other religions? To me, it is to realize no religion was needed in the first place. So therefore, you get my previous answer. Facets and classifications within belief systems, distinctions between ANYTHING is directly opposed to the goal, in my experience.

From a galactic perspective, this whole idea of defining a Christian (true or not) seems very strange. If one could transcend the idea of 'religion' it will have served its purpose in my opinion. I mean, why would one attend a group meeting and listen to a proposed teaching that he or she finds to be nonsense? This seems an odd waste of time to me.

Krishnamurti was known for saying Truth is a Pathless Land--that once you organize a movement or a belief it becomes dead, crystallized. In otherwords, you cannot lead people to the Truth in this manner. It is absurd to try. It is like public education. It attempts to standardize and homogenize an experience that to me is absolutely unique to each individual, it is impossible--unless one has a certain set of false beliefs from the beginning. This can only be used to reinforce these false beliefs, creating layers of falseness that is said to be the TRUTH.

So what is the purpose of attending this church? Is it to see and be seen? Is it to listen to the spoon fed teachings of another's interpretation? Is it good for business, because people know one is a member of a certain church? Does it facilitate community and community good? Is it to simply to give people a starting point on ideas of morals and ethics? Does it teach people to truly understand prayer and meditation? Is it to uphold and propogate the teachings of the Bible? If so, which version? What is the history of this book? What is the history of this religion in the first place? You see, to me it is a complex notion that is not getting to the initial idea that preceeded it.

The idea of it all and what it means in America particularly is very very strange to me. I am not challenging the idea that you go to church or classify yourself loosely or not so loosely, as a Christian. This is your choice and path. But I do feel a passion when one addresses what it is to be True in something-- especially something that through history has proved itself to be Untrue and more accurately DAMAGING by unenlightened approaches and interpretations.

It seems odd to me that it says quite plainly in this book called The Bible, that Jesus meditated, seeking communion with the spirit. And in all my years of Catholic School - no one ever taught this technique, or even mentioned the possibility that one could find the Kingdom of Heaven within. In retrospect, the whole idea of my Catholic upbrining was to create a bunch of rich "good" people (sheep) that would be fruitful and multiply by making many children - so that the BUSINESS of Catholicism could sustain.

I have a lot of absurd ideas such as this. For example, I believe in an enlightened world, it will be seen that governments and religions have done the most damage to the evolution of the human, killing off spirit to service its own designs of self-interest--all in the name of 'good' for the people.
 
Justin
 
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2006 10:11 am
@Justin,
I agree with you 100%.

It's been a struggle of mine since childhood - going to Church to be led by the blind leader. Matter of fact, my parents used to force us to go to Church and wear our best clothes when we did. If we refused, then another facet of Christianity was exposed. This is why I had to ask. There is much confusion with the way we are trained.

As far as the Bible and Jesus... yes, when Jesus prayed it was alone in quietness and peaceful meditation. Religions are more of how you describe them as a status quo type of thing.

When it comes to Church, I don't attend very much at all. The Church I grew up in was Charismatic to the extreme. People blurting out, falling on the floor, shaking, speaking in tongues and all that other nonsense as I saw it. This was a spirit that came into the Church on Sunday and took the rest of the week off. Then Sunday would roll around again and you'd repent to be saved. These days I don't attend Church often at all. I have a wife, a 6 year old, and an 18 year old and my wife wants to go to Church for the fellowship and for our daughter... that's perfectly understood as that's how I was raised. The teachings however, are not in line with what I feel in my heart to be truth.

The truth that I know is a truth coming from a voice crying out within me. It's spoken to me since I was a small child. Christianity, Catholicism, and the other known religions are not something that sets well with me.

Your ideas aren't absurd. Matter of fact, I like them.

Also, you mentioned something to the effect that you are working with Indigo Children. I'd like to hear more about this in another thread. I'll pm you and explain why.

Thanks again for your insight.
 
rschmeec
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 11:35 pm
@Justin,
In relation to this question, I pose this one: Was Jesus a Christian?
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 06:46 am
@rschmeec,
I'd really like to see some concensus on this. Yea, I know... there probably won't be, but one can hope... yes?

Silly me; When I pose that question to myself...
[INDENT]I hit the dictionary and see, "... one who professes belief in the teachings of Christ". Ok, well.. which book, all books? The books that weren't included? The new scrolls found all over? The books added to the original bible? The children's bible? Teachings passed on down through time mouth-to-mouth? Which?

I remember in my philosophy courses, Christianity as being three fold: Belief in the Trinity, That Jesus died for our sins and that return to God was possible through salvation.

I recall how many times I've heard that this religion wasn't reallychristian, or that that religion wasn't really christian.

I recall the plethora of posts here where folks don't believe in the bible necessarily, or in any of the "traditionally" christian teachings, yet profess themselves to be christian.
[/INDENT]The result for this non-believer: Complete confusion.

I'd like to understand it, and I think it's an outstanding question to pose. If we can't even define a "thing" as having any particular qualifications or attributes, what is it then? Does it now have no meaning or substance? I'd love to hear more thoughts on what being a "Christian" means.

Thanks
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 10:10 am
@Justin,
I was kicked out of church at the age of 12 when I pointed out to the congregation that wearing a suit or nice dress to church was the equivalent of lying to god or being guilty of vanity. God could see everything that we have done and will do so there was no point in dressing up as it meant nothing to the almighty. Unless you were dressing up to impress others which meant you were guilty of vanity. In other words, it is not a respect to God as God does not care so it must be for your own means which is a sin.

As far as Christianity goes, the definition is simple. One who believes in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascendance of Jesus Christ as told by the bible. Anything that has stemmed from that is purely a human creation. Even church is a man made abomination of the text which seems to be the unread root of the religion. Church is defined as any time that 2 or more people gather in the name of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the way I see it: A good 75% of christians which I have asked (approximately 650 or so) have not even read the whole bible. Most of those have not read even one entire testiment of the bible. Still a majority of those have not finished an entire book in the bible. Yet they claim to be Christian? That is like saying that you are a Pro athlete because you saw a tv show on it once. I have read the bible cover to cover 5 times now and I am not a believer. It just has too many contradictions for me to see it is accurate.

It is especially scary to be in a church service. Stand, sit, sing, clap, be silent, listen, stand, sit, sing, clap, be silent, listen, PRAY! It is nothing more than a routine for most of these people. They think that by filling a pew, they will get some magical wealth when they die. It is quite frightening really, to think that all of these people truly do BLINDLY believe in something just because they are afraid of the consequences of NOT believeing in it.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:43 pm
@Icon,
perplexity wrote:
It is a form of conditioning, usually.

They may like to talk as if they've shopped around and picked the best of the bunch, but the pretension falls apart on seeing how little they really know of the alternatives, for which, by the way , the same may just as well be said.

--- RH.


Hey, awesome, more ludicrous, derogatory generalizations.

To answer the question:

A Christian is someone who professes belief in the teachings attributed to Jesus.

This shouldn't be confusing. Christianity is a diverse group, with a variety of beliefs which are often times mutually exclusive. Gnostics and Catholics, for example, have mutually exclusive beliefs yet are both Christian.

The definition of Christian must make room for the wide variety of manifestations of Christian belief.
 
Solace
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 03:26 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
But can someone profess a belief in the teachings attributed to Jesus and not be Christian?
 
ciceronianus
 
Reply Sat 29 Nov, 2008 03:42 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
But can someone profess a belief in the teachings attributed to Jesus and not be Christian?


Certainly. A good many of them were taught by others, long before he lived, or is said to have lived.
 
 

 
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