so Didymos Thomas,
"A Christian is someone who honestly self identifies as a Christian"
what about those people who have split beliefs or are undecided about what they believe in, what do they self-identify themselves as.
Is that all it takes to be a christian, for me to self-identify myself as such? wow a lot easier than i thought.
They self-identify as they feel comfortable. Even if one is uncertain about some matters, if they feel themselves to be a Christian they could say "I am a Christian still dealing with doubts". There is nothing wrong with doubt. I think we all have doubts.
To be a Christian is easy, to be a good Christian is difficult. We're all still working on being a good Christian.
Well, that's true. Jesus did often convey His messages through parables and figurative tales, but those are always well defined as parables. Jesus getting up there and saying "many will come to me on the day of Judgment and profess to me 'Lord Lord'...", with little indication of any symbolic language.
Is there any less indication of symbolism in that phrase than there is in his parables? Jesus does not preface parables by saying, "okay, figurative, didactic tale here..." nor does he preface his mention of Judgment with, "okay, this is purely literal."
Again, what criteria are you using to make your determination?
Because of the bible verses outside of revelation that are not completely symbolic that talk about a day of Judgment.
So you say, but I disagree. Until I understand your criteria, I cannot understand how you make the distinction.
Look, I understand that is not an easy question to answer. It would be difficult for me to clearly explain my criteria. So, to make this fair, perhaps you could sight a passage that you find to be literal (and it would be best to sight one that I find to be figurative) and one you find to be figurative and explain how and why you reached your conclusions. I would be more than happy to do the same.
But let's imagine for a minute that we were listening to Jesus' sermon. When He says "you are the salt of the earth", we know that He is speaking figuratively. It's obvious, isn't it? But when He should talk about how at one point there will be a day of Judgment, and that something would happen on this day, the figurativeness of this is not at all obvious to me, as it would be for the men standing and listening to Him. And, Christ was teaching the people who were present, that they would understand. Why would He give speeches that are incredibly ambiguous to their meaning?
Did Jesus not say that what he taught was not easily understood?
The problem with saying that the Day of Judgment is literal is that everything said about the Day of Judgment is figurative. How do we have a literal event (a single day) when the content of that event is figurative. If everything comprising the event is figurative, then the event itself must be spoken of as figurative.
Here, we see Jesus calling those that bear evil fruit 'false prophet'. In the context, however, 'false prophet' also means 'false Christian' (As the topic Christ is addressing is basically who will get into heaven and who will not). So we see that Christians who do not bear good fruit are not truly Christians.
When we discuss what we, mortal men, are to call a Christian we are speaking of something quite apart from what Jesus would call a "true" or "good" Christian.
The only thing we can do is define "Christian" for us men to use; we cannot define "Christian" for God and it would be rather presumptuous for us to even make an attempt at providing God such a definition.
Christian, for use in scholarly work, is something quite different from a true and good Christian, just as Muslim for scholarly work is quite different from a good and true Muslim. For example, Osama Bin Laden is a Muslim, but most certainly not a true and good Muslim.