What is a Christian?

  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Apr 28, 2011 1:08 AM GMT
    Many people call themselves Christians. But in conversations with Christians it dawned on me long ago that there is not a single belief or value that is shared by all people who claim that label. This is not necessarily a problem. People can define words however they like for themselves. But it is improtant to be clear about the definitions of our words if we are to have meaningful conversation.

    In many threads, including the recent one about the apparant conflict between people who claim to be both gay and Christian, this and other important terms go constantly equivocated and never defined.

    So what do you define as "Christian"? Who is a Christian and who isnt? And why do you use that definition?

    I think for any word to be useful it has to have some basic definition. Nowadays it seems like multitudes of people use the word Christian to mean things as vague as a charitable or generally nice guy. In which case most atheists would also then be Christians by that loose definition. So i tend to reject most definitions of the word that do not include a literal belief in a god and a belief in a literal Jesus.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Apr 28, 2011 6:42 AM GMT
    There are some set unambiguous guidelines by the Church, like the Nicene Creed and the Council of Constantinople. However, provided that most Christians have never heard of these things, organized belief is determined primarily by the church they attend. Some are now deviating from those guidelines.

    The Nicene Creed determines status as a Christian or non-Christian by tradition and literature.
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    Apr 29, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
    I was actully going to open a similar thread but my computer's down and I dont feel like doing much on a shitty pc so i'll type it up when i have time later and it's up again.

    In the meanwhile, It is my guess that religious beliefs alone are no longer important as it used to be and that Chrisitianity seems to be maturing into a pattern like Judaism where most people "culturally" identify with it rather than actively invovling themselves with literal beleifs and ofcourse with their own share of really hardcore believers as well.

    As with Jews, Christians don't exactly like to throw out whatever values they grew up with and like to keep em even if they don't take the bible seriously and since they're unique in their own ways, perhaps that's what makes them 'Christian'
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    Apr 29, 2011 2:09 PM GMT
    Christian is believing in Christ, whether literally or allegorically.

  • twilight2010

    Posts: 307

    May 23, 2011 5:56 PM GMT
    A Christian is a person who lives their lives in a morral and caring way, they abide in Jesus Christ, by following and obeying His commandments and confessing that they are sinners and by the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ they are made clean, there sins are blotted out of the books which we are to be judged by.

    A Christian does NOT judge another person or condemn them, they accept all and help the needy as well as care for the outcasts.

    The sin of Sodom was pride and many churches of today claim to be Christian but they are far from Christ. They are the true Sodom and Gommorah. And just like Sodom was destroyed by fire, when Jesus returns he returns in flaming fire with His angels and yes every single person is harvested. The great harvest takes place, the wicked are burned up like the chaff. So to all these churches that dont accept Homosexuals they better read Romans 2

    Christians believe that Jesus Christ was crucified and that He rose from the dead and are seated at the right hand of God.

    Without Jesus we are all doomed.

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    May 23, 2011 7:44 PM GMT
    Hmmm...this.."A Christian does NOT judge another person or condemn them"


    ...is directly contradicting what you're doing when saying this, "Without Jesus we are all doomed."


    Why? Because you are publicly posting this to Muslims, atheists, Taoists, Bhuddists, Sikhs and others on RJ. Your last statement condemns their beliefs. icon_wink.gif

    -Doug
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    May 23, 2011 7:55 PM GMT
    The taoists on here are cool.

    icon_rolleyes.gif

    well I am at least and Taoists generally are awesome.
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    May 23, 2011 8:40 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidThere are some set unambiguous guidelines by the Church, like the Nicene Creed and the Council of Constantinople. However, provided that most Christians have never heard of these things, organized belief is determined primarily by the church they attend. Some are now deviating from those guidelines.

    The Nicene Creed determines status as a Christian or non-Christian by tradition and literature.


    What about the Arians? icon_lol.gif
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    May 23, 2011 8:50 PM GMT
    meninlove said Christian is believing in Christ, whether literally or allegorically.



    That is about it.
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    May 25, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    commoncoll saidThere are some set unambiguous guidelines by the Church, like the Nicene Creed and the Council of Constantinople. However, provided that most Christians have never heard of these things, organized belief is determined primarily by the church they attend. Some are now deviating from those guidelines.

    The Nicene Creed determines status as a Christian or non-Christian by tradition and literature.


    What about the Arians? icon_lol.gif


    I think "unambiguous" is a particularly poor word choice when applied to the Nicene Creed!
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    May 25, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    I think most of the TV shows on Christian themes (like Supernatural) today espouse a form of Nestorianism rather than monophysitism. Otherwise it wouldn't be as fun for human possession.

    So we're all entertained by heretics, Christian or not. icon_lol.gif
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    May 29, 2011 7:27 PM GMT
    Suppose you are walking past an old well and you hear a pleading cry from the bottom of the well from someone who has fallen in. "Help, help," he cries. You recognize the voice and find out that the person who has fallen in has persecuted you in the past for being gay and said you should die in a miserable way. You call yourself a Christian. What would you do? Walk on by and say to yourself that it's his karma or do you help him out of the well?

    I believe a true Christian would help him out, but this could apply to anyone: Christian or non-Christian. It's just this right thing to do.

    As Jesus said, "Pray for those who persecute you or spitefully use you." (paraphrased)

    I believe if my day to day conduct is not any different than the majority, then what's the point. IMHO. Peace.