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Christians, who are they?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Corban, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Corban

    Corban Member

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    What are chistians? what does it take to be qualified as such. How can we group so many people with so many beliefs into one category. Are methodist christian? are lutherans? baptists? they all believe in Christ. but does this make them Christian? There is one Jesus Christ who is eternal and unchanging so if two people believe different things about Him either one or both are false, and if one has a false belief about Christ is he truly a Christian?
     
  2. LeaderNotFollower

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    Corban, the majority of Christian fundamentalists, and all religious fundamentalists for that matter, portray a image of ignorance to people like me because of their blind faith. Your last post shows that you are truely interested in gaining knowledge, and I respect you for it. A lot of religious people I have come in contact with do not feel the need to gain knowledge about their beliefs. And this is what truly dissuades me from religion. The only way to become truly enlightened is through knowledge.

    Your question is extremely legitimate. If so many people believe different bits of information about Jesus, they can not all be right, right? It is right, so how do you tell who is correct. That, I am afraid, is impossible. We know Jesus was speaking to and for Jews during his life. Jesus's love for Judaism is why he went to such great lengths to inform his followers. What amazes me is that Jesus never thought of, came in contact with, or spoke about Christianity by name. He was just developing a reformed Judaism. Christianity was developed by his followers, namely Paul of Tarsus. Please do not take offence, but have you ever wondered if Jesus is actually not the son of God at all, but a really good public speaker and political leader at best?

    Before Christianity became popular, Judaism had been around for ~4000 years. That should say something for it. And what about Paganism? The entire Roman empire, with a few exceptions, believed in multiple gods. How do we know these two religions are not correct? Muslims, Buddists, Atheists, Scientologists; these could all be the chosen religion too. How do we know that the 'correct' religion has not come about yet. Again, it is implausible. In my own quest for correctness, I do not believe that any organized religion is correct, it is just impossible to tell.

    My goal on this webpage, and in life, I suppose, is not to stop people from following Jesus, or beliving in God, but to get them to question their surroundings, gain the facts, and stop believing just because they were told to. I believe the world will truly be better if people wake up from their 'sleep' and think about things.
     
  3. Corban

    Corban Member

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    Before Christianity became popular, Judaism had been around for ~4000 years. That should say something for it. How do we know that the 'correct' religion has not come about yet. Again, it is implausible. In my own quest for correctness, I do not believe that any organized religion is correct, it is just impossible to tell.

    I appreciate your response and your thoughtfullness, howeve i must disagree on a few points. There is in my mind only one religion and always has been, one true religion that is, it has existed since the beginning of man though men have called it different names. The only true religion is that which follows the only true God. You say Judaism had been around for ca. 4000 years, but what was Judaism and from whence did it spring. The God of the Jews is the God of Abraham, Isac and Jacob, yet it is the sam God that spoke to Adam, Enoch and Noah long before "Judaism" came into being, He is the same God, then now and forever, He does not change. The way He deals with His children has changed, He gave certain laws to Moses and we call this Judaism, He gave certain laws to the Apostles and we call this Christianity, what then is true religion? the answer is simple, it is not following the tradtions of the past, but following the teachings of God that He gives to us. It is not bound by Judaism or christianity, yet it encompasses both. True religion is based on revelation from God, revelation that does not cease but continues, true religion then is following the living God, and it has always been that. our mistake is only listening to His past words and rejecting current revelation. God's words for Noah to build an ark did not free the people of Isreal from Egypt, God's words to Moses in the wilderness did not guide Peter when establishing the church. The only sure foundation and therefor the only true religion is one that follows continuing revelation from God. God has always led His church by Prophets men called of God by revelation to speak in the current time.
    As to your second question, you say it is impossible for us to know which church is true. I disagree. It is given of God for us to know by revelation. God's speaks to His prophets who in turn speak to the people, we can hear His words and then after own study ask Him directly if they are true, I believe in Christ not because i have studied and proved Him to be the son of God, but because God revealed that truth to me directly. Revelation is alive and well today. On our own I agree it is impossible to know, yet i belived God can manifest such things to us, indeed this is the purpose of our lives, it is our responsibility to find out. and it is by that we will be judged, on our pursuit of the truth and our acceptance of it. We can know things are true by the power of the Holy Ghost and then we will be judged by how we respond to that witness.
     
  4. quick

    quick Member

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    I think most Christians of all denominations would agree that a Christian is one that has accepted Christ as his lord and savior. All of the other--doctrine, theology, rituals, etc.--have some clear Biblical authority, some less so--but since only God can judge the heart, a person's behavior and other beliefs that we can see are an indication of, but not a conclusive determinant of, whether someone's faith is real.

    The reason for the many variations within the faith is simple--sinful man, in this life, will never be sanctified to the point that sin does not cloud one's judgment, causing rifts within the brotherhood.
     
  5. LeaderNotFollower

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    "The only true religion is that which follows the only true God."

    Very possible; but then which is the true religion, Judaism or Christianity? They both follow the same God. The same Yahweh that gave the 10 comandments to Moses, and the same God that passed down laws to the apostles. How are general believers supposed to know which is the 'chosen' religion.

    "...but following the teachings of God that He gives to us."

    Aside from the bible and the apostles, how does God convey his teachings? And if he has taught you, why has he not taught me? I will probably never understand how so many can use the bible as such a strong fundament, when it was quite factually written down by men. I know that God told these men directly what to write, but think about it; if one of my professors recited a book to me, I highly doubt I would be able to go back to my room and write down the whole thing verbatim. And I am not saying that the same does not apply to the torah, the talmud, the koran, etc. The fact is, God did not write the bible in heaven, and make it appear somewhere on earth for someone to find. Anything passed through man is fallible, and I believe the bible is quite flawed. If God had truly written it himself, maybe things would be different.

    "God has always led His church by Prophets men called of God by revelation to speak in the current time."

    This line truly interests me. We have all read about the prophets in the bible, but what about the last 2000 years. Have there really been any signs of prophets, and if so, why have I not picked up on them? Where, exactly, are they?

    "...God revealed that truth to me directly."

    I was wondering about this statement as well, only because I have never experienced something like it.

    "...on our pursuit of the truth and our acceptance of it."

    On this statement I could not agree with you more. Your comments, however, lean towards a side that seems that you believe you have already found the truth, and steadfastly stick to it. Now I assume that God wants all his children to love him and believe in him. If this is true, I would also think that God would give each human something, a thought or idea, that would sway that human to the side of belief. If all this is true, than how come Christianity is not the most popular religion in the world. Why did God not implant some thought into each newborn's mind, saying that Christianity is the correct one. One would think that a God, going to all the trouble of creating a world, full of humans and everything, would ensure that his creations would follow him. Yet that just isn't the case on earth.
    I believe I will not know the truth until I die. Sure I would love to go to heaven, but the idea of an afterlife is just not logical to me. I could never tell someone that they were wrong about their ideas, because, who knows, I could be way off. But while I am here on earth, I will continue to try and make people think about alternatives.
     
  6. Corban

    Corban Member

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    -I appreciate your response but your answer misses the fundamental purpose of my question. This is why i further explained the question in my original posting, but i will do again as i see you don't understand.
    How can someone accept Christ if they do not know who He is? If i call the lamp in my room Christ and worship it and accept it as my Savior am I a Christian? The same concept applies to everyone who believes in Christ Everyone believes different things about Him, it may not be as broad as saying He's a lamp, but there are large difference, and since Christ does not change, if there is more than one idea of Christ then at least one idea is wrong, therefore the person who accepts this false Jesus would be in the same spot as me worshipping my lamp. A person cannot accept Jesus withought first having a correct idea of His nature. So not everyong who accepts Christ can be called a Christian unless they all beleive in the same Christ, and since Christ is perfect and unchanging any variation in their beliefs negates the possibility of saying He is the same being that has been accepted by all.
     
  7. Corban

    Corban Member

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    "Very possible; but then which is the true religion, Judaism or Christianity? They both follow the same God. The same Yahweh that gave the 10 comandments to Moses, and the same God that passed down laws to the apostles. How are general believers supposed to know which is the 'chosen' religion."


    This is where the important factor of true religion comes in, to answer your question my original answer remains, the only true religion is the one that follows the true God. Judais was God's church when it was being led by an inspired prophet from Moses down the line, until the Jews corrupted it by no longer following God. Even though they kept the law of Moses, withought a living prophet or authority from God the church dies. the same is true of Christianity, This is why i never group all christian churches into "christianity" or why i at least do not like the word. People define Christianity as those churches that accept Jesus as the son of God. yet i say wether or not they accept Him, or wether or not they follow His teachings and those of the apostles, withougt a living prophet to guide the church by revelation their church is dead, just as the Jews who still kept the law of Moses but rejected the living teachings of Yahweh through His chosen servants became a dead church. so every church that keeps the teaching of Jesus, but rejects His living servants and continuing revelation is a dead Church, "Christianity" as the world defines it is as dead as Judaism or Paganism for that matter because they all relly only on the teachings of men, even if there teachings are founded on the past revelations, their interpretations of them are dead withought continuing revelation. This is why God has restored His church today, today there is a living church with a prophet and apostles that is still led by God through continuing revelation, this can be the only true church,
    yet as you very truly pointed out, how can we know, even if we study this church our study is based on our ideas which are imperfect which is why we have to study then pray to God who will tell us if it is true. we then must base our conviction of accepting a living prophet on if we really feel God has told us he is a living prophet and does indeed speek as directed by God
     
  8. LeaderNotFollower

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    "...the Jews corrupted it by no longer following God."

    I know quite a few Jews, including my entire family, that still follow God. My cousin is an Orthodox Jew, which I'm sure you already know means he devotes a good portion of his life to prayer and religious study. If Judaism is dead, as you claim, then why is it still thriving in Europe, not to mention a presence in the US. These people aren't just hallucinating, they believe they are enlightened. I suppose the question I have for you is, how can you be so sure that God is talking to Christians? Where are the prophets? Are they the people you read about in Weekly World News? Are they the people locked away in mental institutions claiming to have talked to God? I just have a hard time believing that God would talk to one group of people, and leave the rest out in the cold.
     
  9. Corban

    Corban Member

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    Notice in my reply I also said that Christianity as a whole is dead. I also do not include being a dead church with being a bad person. I'm sure your family is full of great people, but do you believe they talk to God, they follow old principles that God once gave to His people, Christians are doing the exact same thing, they are basing there entire beliefs on a short book written 2000 years ago, they are full of great people also but their churches are dead because they lack revelation. Adhering to God's words from the past will enrich one's life because Judaism and Christianity if full of many truths that will lead to better and happier people, but at the same time they are still people, people who have their own interpretations and need continuing revelation. That is why God has called prophets again in our day. It started in 1820 when a 14 year old boy asked the same questions i am asking now, which church is right. He believed the Bible but all the churches believed different things about the Bible, he read in James 1:5, "f any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God wich giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him" This is the answer don't look to men to understand God look to God. He followed this and prayed to God to know which church was right. God the Father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to the boy and told him all churches were false that they draw near to God with their minds but their hearts are far from Him. As a result of this, this boy was called as a prophet, He was further visited by Heavenly beings and given to restore the church of Jesus Christ on earth led by a prophet who could speak as God directed Him. Here now was a man who did not say I read the Bible and this is my opinion, he said, I saw God, I talked with Him and this is what he told me. This boy was Joseph Smith, under the direction of Jesus Christ he restored the church with chosen apostles to lead it under direct revelation from heaven. there is still a prophet and 12 apostles on the earth today. The prophet speaks with the same authority as Noah, Abraham, Moses, or Peter of old. This is what it means to be a living church. The message of this church is not to throw off all your old teachings, but take the good that you have learned and let the God of Abraham direct you in truth. There are many honest seekers of truth in the world who are confused by the many different teachings of men, our message is that if they lack wisdom let them ask of God, there is a prophet on earth today who speaks as God directs him, revelation is not dead. Any system of religion that accepts past writing of God from any time but rejects His current prophets is dead. Religions have some good because they are based on past teachings of God, but they all go astray because they follow men. So if you are an honest seeker of truth, see what God is saying today, and let the God of truth guide you to truth.
     
  10. Corban

    Corban Member

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    Notice in my reply I also said that Christianity as a whole is dead. I also do not include being a dead church with being a bad person. I'm sure your family is full of great people, but do you believe they talk to God, they follow old principles that God once gave to His people, Christians are doing the exact same thing, they are basing there entire beliefs on a short book written 2000 years ago, they are full of great people also but their churches are dead because they lack revelation. Adhering to God's words from the past will enrich one's life because Judaism and Christianity if full of many truths that will lead to better and happier people, but at the same time they are still people, people who have their own interpretations and need continuing revelation. That is why God has called prophets again in our day. It started in 1820 when a 14 year old boy asked the same questions i am asking now, which church is right. He believed the Bible but all the churches believed different things about the Bible, he read in James 1:5, "f any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God wich giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him" This is the answer don't look to men to understand God look to God. He followed this and prayed to God to know which church was right. God the Father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to the boy and told him all churches were false that they draw near to God with their minds but their hearts are far from Him. As a result of this, this boy was called as a prophet, He was further visited by Heavenly beings and given to restore the church of Jesus Christ on earth led by a prophet who could speak as God directed Him. Here now was a man who did not say I read the Bible and this is my opinion, he said, I saw God, I talked with Him and this is what he told me. This boy was Joseph Smith, under the direction of Jesus Christ he restored the church with chosen apostles to lead it under direct revelation from heaven. there is still a prophet and 12 apostles on the earth today. The prophet speaks with the same authority as Noah, Abraham, Moses, or Peter of old. This is what it means to be a living church. The message of this church is not to throw off all your old teachings, but take the good that you have learned and let the God of Abraham direct you in truth. There are many honest seekers of truth in the world who are confused by the many different teachings of men, our message is that if they lack wisdom let them ask of God, there is a prophet on earth today who speaks as God directs him, revelation is not dead. Any system of religion that accepts past writing of God from any time but rejects His current prophets is dead. Religions have some good because they are based on past teachings of God, but they all go astray because they follow men. So if you are an honest seeker of truth, see what God is saying today, and let the God of truth guide you to truth. God is not speaking to one select group, He is speaking through His chosen prophet and all are invited to listen
     
  11. LeaderNotFollower

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    Now, Corban, from your story in this past post, I would guess you follow Mormonism. I surely will not hold that against you, but why did you not mention that sooner? I suppose I could be wrong, but my hint was when you mentioned Joseph Smith.

    Again, I am not trying to offend you, we are both in a neverending quest for knowledge. What if Joseph Smith did not actually see God or Jesus? There are so many motives to think of. What if he was very ambitious? He thought up a scheme to get followers, and it worked. What if he was on some sort of hallucinogenic drug, popular in the 1800's? What if he had visions, but they were all contained in his mind? Just a few alternatives to Smith's claims.

    Mormonism is a religion I know a lot less about than the others, though I have to say that the Mormon church in Salt Lake City is an architectural masterpiece. I suppose I am still hung up on this notion of prophets still existing today. Where are they (aside from Smith)? All very interesting.
     
  12. quick

    quick Member

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    Christ is revealed in the Bible, and we can know him from that revelation. We can also know him spiritually through the Holy Spirit, which brings a special and supernatural assurance and peace in one's belief, and indeed the Spirit helps the beleiver understand the Word-it open's the believer's eyes, much like Paul's eyes were blinded and then opened on the road to Damascus.

    I would suggest to you that your conundrum is not really so important. All that matters to the believer is that HE know he is saved, and it is possible to know in one's heart. Those who accept many variations on the nature of Christ, particularly those who deviate from the clear truths in the Bible, may have a problem. There are indications a believer can see and which are described in the Bible to test faith; however, we cannot truly see one's heart--only God can do that. So, when evaluating another who claims to be a brother in Christ, we as Christians must be careful and cautious.

    I hope this anwers your question.
     
  13. Corban

    Corban Member

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    I did not mention i was a follower of Mormonism, because i want people to see the messge of my writings withought being clouded by a vale of ignorance that people have in regard to Mormonism. look at the message of Mormonism and what it means to the world. you ask what if Joseph Smith did not see God, I ask what if he did? If Moses was on the earth today would people listen to him, i'm sure most people would say yes, because it's easy to accept prophets of the past. Yet there is a prophet on the earth today with the same power and authority as Moses and all prophets that have been called of God. See what this means? it means the confusion imposed by finite minds is pulled away by direct truth from the Heavens, the only truth we can absolutely follow is that which comes from God, if you are an honest seeker of truth, try this, it is the greatest message being told on the earth today, and it is sad that many people ignore it. God is still speaking, but the world is not listnening. see what He has said and ask Him if it is right. You say you are looking for truth and trying to help people overcome their present ideas and look at alternatives, i say look at this alternative, both you and i could agree that pure truth of things heavenly can not be known withought knowledge from God. God must be revealed or remain forever unknown. I say i know that this is true, at the same time i know you can't take my word for it, just as i couldn't take anyone's word for it, i had to find out for myself through study then asking God.
     
  14. LeaderNotFollower

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    "You ask what if Joseph Smith did not see God, I ask what if he did?"

    This is all I want people to realize. Just ask. Ask yourself, ask God, ask whoever. You asked a question right there: "I ask what if he did?" This shows that you recognize that their could be alternatives, but you choose to believe this one is the truth. I truly believe that if more people did this, the world would indeed be better than it is.
     
  15. Corban

    Corban Member

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    I hope this explains your question from the other post
     
  16. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    Christians (or the church proper) are a body of believers in Christa who have been born again. You can find them in all kinds of denominations, in all kinds of political societies, across cultures, and in the remotest regions. What they share is a relationship with Christ initiated by a born again experience.
     
  17. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    First off, no, Jesus/Yeshua was NOT a Christian. He was a Jew as were all the Apostles. 2nd. Anyone can be a Christian just by calling himself or herself one. To join the "body" of believers (so to speak), we must 1. Accept Jesus and repent of our sins 2. Be baptized (unless it is totally impossible, such as being on a deathbed or something). Different denominations may have different requirements for joining their Church. That's the way it was in my Church.
     
  18. rusra02

    rusra02 Well-Known Member
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    Jesus himself said the following: “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
    In the parallel account at Luke 6:46, Jesus adds; "Why, then, do you call me ‘Lord! Lord!’ but do not do the things I say?" Only those who faithfully do what Christ says and follow in his footsteps can rightly be called true Christians. How many of the churches claiming to be Christian follow Jesus command at John 13:34,35?
     
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