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What is a Christian?

mak2

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?
 

RGacky3

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for sociological reasons? For salvaiton reasons? definitional context matters.
 

mak2

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Interesting. I had not thought about sociological, I meant the thread for salvation reasons.
for sociological reasons? For salvaiton reasons? definitional context matters.
 

RGacky3

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Interesting. I had not thought about sociological, I meant the thread for salvation reasons.

I dont' think we can get into for salvation reasons, only God knows who will be saved, there are guidlines for how a christian would act in the sciptures (love amungst yourselves, matthew 25:31-46, the fruits of the spirit in galations 5, and many others), also beliefs, John 3:16, i.e. everyone who excercises faith in christ will be saved.

I don't think we can or should define who is and who is not a christian in terms of salvation, that's up to God.

For sociological reasons, I think it's just those who put faith in Christ for redemtion.

I don't take people who think christ was a good moral philosopher and nothing else as christians, since christianity has a religious aspect to it.
 

Gardener

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I think that in order to be a Christian, one needs to follow Jesus.

There are all sorts of men who will interpret things for you in such a way they bolster their own influence and power. There are those who created the religion of Christianity, and established church bureauocracy. There are all sorts of things in the old testament that can be cherry picked in order to support preexisting attitudes and beliefs. There is only one Jesus, however, so I think it is a pretty good idea to read the red letters and ignore what men are telling you.
 

braymoore

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

I believe you need to believe in the Atonement and also follow His techings.
 

Medusa

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

these are not enough to be a good christian
 

davidtaylorjr

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

Repentence of sin.
 

head of joaquin

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Accept the gospel message that God's love for us is so deep it can transform us into loving persons (if that's what we want to be). And this is expressed in the story that God was willing to let his own son be murdered to prove it.

Nothing else. Thinking right thoughts about God's essence won't get us anywhere since God is transcendent and anything we think about his status is wrong.
 

tosca1

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

To be a Christian is to believe in Jesus Christ and follow His teachings. The coming of the true Messiah had been prophesied in the Old Testament.

How can we say we believe in Jesus Christ if we think any of those significant aspect about His life - the virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection - is false? If any of those are not true, then that would mean He is not the true Messiah.
 

head of joaquin

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To be a Christian is to believe in Jesus Christ and follow His teachings. The coming of the true Messiah had been prophesied in the Old Testament.

How can we say we believe in Jesus Christ if we think any of those significant aspect about His life - the virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection - is false? If any of those are not true, then that would mean He is not the true Messiah.

What doe it mean to "believe in" Jesus? What doe messiah mean since Jesus totally rejected the Jewish view (which was in fact not unitary by multifarious)? Why doe Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves? Why does Paul say faith without love is meaningless? Why does Paul say the only thing that counts is a "new creation" and what does that mean? What do you mean when you say that texts (the gospel and epistles) are true?

Simplistic notions of faith and Christianity without authentic questioning dishonors the gospel.
 

The Baron

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

I tried starting a thread on this same subject and it did "okay". Here was my original post...

"It has been my observation here at DP concerning debates on Christianity that two positionson Christianity are always going to be expressed.

1. Non-Christiansare going to lecture Christians about what it means to be “Christian”. Typically they’re rants are both elitist and wrong (although not always the case).

2. Those who think they are Christian (and who are not) espouse what they self-identify as Christian beliefs. These would be beliefs that are un-Biblical.

By those who I say are “not” Christian but claim to be I mean Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, some Catholics (but not all and I would even be hesitant to say “most Catholics”), etc.

So it seems to me that what we need here at DP is a good definition of “Christian”.

A “Christian” is someone who understands that they are a sinner and unfit for a just and holy God and deserve everlasting Hell.

A “Christian” also understands that what a holy God requires the love of God provided when no-less than God, Himself, came to this world in a physical body, born of a virgin and died an excruciating death on a cross. He died to pay the price for their sins and to rescue them from Hell by imparting in them the very righteousness of Christ, Himself.

A “Christian” understands that they are absolutely helpless to save themselves and that Christ’s free gift of grace is all that is required for their salvation--nothing more.

A “Christian” is someone who undergoes a change of heart (vs. a change in position as some would argue, i.e. the “rich man” who must give away all his possessions to obtain eternal life).

I’m sure I could elaborate but that’s really all there is to it.

So what’s wrong with my definition of a Christian?"
 

tosca1

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Why doe Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves?

What did he mean by "Gospel?" The teachings of Christ.

What did Christ say? I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

If one follows the teachings of Christ, that means he believes in Him.

If one follows the gospel, he follows the teachings of Christ.
If he follows Christ - he is saved!

Therefore, following the gospel saves!
 
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brothern

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1. The virgin birth.

How can we say we believe in Jesus Christ if we think any of those significant aspect about His life - the virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection - is false? If any of those are not true, then that would mean He is not the true Messiah.

Two out of the four Gospels omit the virgin birth. It cannot be that important.
 

tosca1

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Why doe Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves?

Because we aren't saved if we don't follow His teachings.


Matthew 7

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
 

brothern

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What doe it mean to "believe in" Jesus? What doe messiah mean since Jesus totally rejected the Jewish view (which was in fact not unitary by multifarious)? Why doe Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves? Why does Paul say faith without love is meaningless? Why does Paul say the only thing that counts is a "new creation" and what does that mean? What do you mean when you say that texts (the gospel and epistles) are true?

Simplistic notions of faith and Christianity without authentic questioning dishonors the gospel.
May I ask where you find the passage that says, "Why does Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves?" ... All of Paul's writing occurred previous to the creation of the four Gospels. It's impossible that Paul would have been referring to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. He would have to be referring thusly to the (lower case 'g') gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.

What did he mean by "Gospel?" The teachings of Christ.
At some point, someone is going to add that Paul never explicitly mentioned the divinity of Christ in any of his writings. Paul certainly asserts the divine revelation of the gospel he is preaching, but he does not go as far as to mention the virgin birth or any miracles that are now credited to Jesus. It's definitely a possiblity that Paul did not believe in the divinity of Christ, as many other Judeo-Christian faiths argue. That, I believe, goes back to the question of "What is a Christian?"
 

brothern

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So it seems to me that what we need here at DP is a good definition of “Christian”.

A “Christian” is someone who understands that they are a sinner and unfit for a just and holy God and deserve everlasting Hell.

A “Christian” also understands that what a holy God requires the love of God provided when no-less than God, Himself, came to this world in a physical body, born of a virgin and died an excruciating death on a cross. He died to pay the price for their sins and to rescue them from Hell by imparting in them the very righteousness of Christ, Himself.

A “Christian” understands that they are absolutely helpless to save themselves and that Christ’s free gift of grace is all that is required for their salvation--nothing more.

A “Christian” is someone who undergoes a change of heart (vs. a change in position as some would argue, i.e. the “rich man” who must give away all his possessions to obtain eternal life).

I’m sure I could elaborate but that’s really all there is to it.

So what’s wrong with my definition of a Christian?"
1. Your definition excludes major Christian denominations. Catholics, for example. Us radical Protestants (though I am now an atheist), aren't granted the power to to decide who is and is not Christian using just one of their extrabiblical beliefs. Especially given that Catholics invented many of the doctrines we still adhere to that are ALSO not exactly Biblical.

2. EG, the concept of Original Sin is not directly Biblical. You have to do proverbial backflips on verses from Proverbs and Ephesians to get there.

3. Again, two Gospels are missing accounts of the virgin birth. And the four resurrection stories have a number of discrepancies from book to book. Therefore, the virgin birth and resurrection story cannot be THAT important to the definition of a Christian when even the Bible disagrees with itself. Unless you says it's just a general "theme" you should believe in.
 
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head of joaquin

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What did he mean by "Gospel?" The teachings of Christ.

What did Christ say? I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

If one follows the teachings of Christ, that means he believes in Him.

If one follows the gospel, he follows the teachings of Christ.
If he follows Christ - he is saved!

Therefore, following the gospel saves!

Nope, the gospel is a narrative. The teachings of Jesus came from oral tradition and were set forth in the Q ms. Paul was mostly unaware of them.

This is obvious because he tells us that what he meant by the gospel, and it doesn't involve any of the sayings of Jesus. See 1 Cor 15.

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


So Paul disagrees with you on his face. Again, simplistic notions about the gospel and its message are best avoided.
 

head of joaquin

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May I ask where you find the passage that says, "Why does Paul say the gospel, not Jesus, saves?" ... All of Paul's writing occurred previous to the creation of the four Gospels. It's impossible that Paul would have been referring to Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. He would have to be referring thusly to the (lower case 'g') gospel of Jesus of Nazareth.


You've confused the gospel (a little narrative Paul preached on streetcorners and is still preached on streetcorners) with the written texts, which came later. Much later.

Here you go:


Romans 1:16:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.


I'm always slightly amazed that I have to defend the precedence of the gospel (the core of Christianity) to modern Christians.
 

Monserrat

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I beleive to be a Christian you need to beleive in:

1. The virgin birth.

2. The Crucifiction.

3. The resurrection.

and accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. Is there more?

I would go with you have to be Catholic as well since Jesus didn't leave us a bible, he left us a succession of followers aka his Church which was recognized by early christians in early christian writings. Everything else is just a tampered with form of Christianity.

Usually if people refer to themselves as Christian I'll go with it but in all honesty they're not fully Christian if they deny Gods Church.
 

head of joaquin

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Because we aren't saved if we don't follow His teachings.


Matthew 7

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Jesus teaches that you have to give away all your possessions. Are you saved?

The funny thing is the passage just cited doesn't say what you say it said. It doesn't mention teachings. Modern American Christians and their neglect of Jesus plain teachings about helping the poor and not accumulated money, might want to be thankful for that.
 

davidtaylorjr

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Jesus teaches that you have to give away all your possessions. Are you saved?

The funny thing is the passage just cited doesn't say what you say it said. It doesn't mention teachings. Modern American Christians and their neglect of Jesus plain teachings about helping the poor and not accumulated money, might want to be thankful for that.

Actually it does say what he claimed.... :shrug:
 

nota bene

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I would go with you have to be Catholic as well since Jesus didn't leave us a bible, he left us a succession of followers aka his Church which was recognized by early christians in early christian writings. Everything else is just a tampered with form of Christianity.

Usually if people refer to themselves as Christian I'll go with it but in all honesty they're not fully Christian if they deny Gods Church.

I'd say we should leave it to our Father, who alone knows His children's hearts, to sort us all out.

But I do understand what you're saying about why some denoms aren't sola scriptura. Christ left a living church.
 
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