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They aren't really <insert preferred religion here>

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by standing_alone, May 19, 2006.

  1. standing_alone

    standing_alone Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Ah heck! Might as well respond tonight! :p

    But who's to say which one is the true Christian, for the Bible can be interpreted differently?

    Makes sense. I'm inclined to accept that. :)

    Definately, but I don't understand why some resort to doing that (call "not true Christian", however.

    In what way has the term Christian become more broad? And if so, then why do some feel compelled to put down other Christians because of disagreeing with something that seems (at least to me) rather trivial, like the way they preach (not what or how they preach) the "word?"


    But hasn't Christianity adopted some aspects of other religions (such as pagan religions)? What is so bad about adding a little ritual (not neccessarily solely addressing the example you presented), if it is done to worship Christ?

    Totally understandable. But why claim that they are not Christians? Why not say that they follow a more extreme "sect" (for lack of better word) of Christianity?

    No. You use it as an oppurtunity to educate. I don't see where you'd have to claim that people aren't true Christians to do this.

    Please explain.

    How so? If someone is using a religious text in a "controversial" or "questionable" matter, would not the text be the root of the problem, for it inspired them to use it in such a way? Explain, please.
  2. standing_alone

    standing_alone Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    And to you as well! :)
  3. standing_alone

    standing_alone Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Or would good morning be more appropriate? :bonk:
  4. Mykola

    Mykola Member

    May 3, 2006

    Interpretations can be sound ones or baseless ones.
    Normally, when you hear a person saying "I like porridge", and then the same person saying "I'd prefer steak" you wouldn't scream "Liar! Liar!", would you?

    Again, normally, when you read a book and see the words "...He saw her standing by the car, unaware of his presence. He rose immediately and crossed the street..." you don't think that this describes an old women who saw an elephant in the desert and went to shake his trunk, do you?

    You can get to know more on the subject of interpretations if you read this:

    ...and, for a bit more detailed view, this:

    ...and, for a still more detailed view, this:

    Why? Firstly, who knows other person heart beside God Himself?
    Still, let me suppose... People can be just too weak to stand for the truth in any way other than merely rejecting "heretics" - baselessly, emotionally.

    In that way that discilples of Christ in the 1st century didn't invent any titles for them, like Arcbishop, Pope etc... pursuing only one goal - serving Christ.
    Now we have all sorts of denominations, which are accepting or rejecting any parts of the Bible doctrine that they wish, or accept any other external revelations, and still are inclined to call themselves Christians generally.
    The perfect example of how broad the term has come to be is a thread about an "Christian Atheist" (!)...

    I don't really intend to speak in behalf of the other people... and I've already put forward the reasons why I've been constantly trying to emphasize of importance of exact naming, when it comes to the word "Christian".

    Teaching of Christ has nothing to do with pagan religions.
    But... (what a good word!)
    But taking Christianity as a broader term to cover all offshoots of the teaching of Christ, we can see that some religious groups "converted" pagan feasts into "Christian" holidays... and that contradicts the bold words above, thus making such "converting" non-biblical practice... which can bring us to a growing confidence that they are not [really] Christians.

    Good question.
    God is the One Who decides what is good and what is bad.
    If you read Old Testament you'll see that He was very concerned about the people worshiping Him exactly the way He set forth.
    The same applies to the New Testament - God is the same!

    When one does something like an adding a ritual to a worship, the one should consider thoroughly and sincerely by what authority it is done and, consequently, whether it would be accepted by God.

    Because that's true.

    I can say that also. Almost.
    Let me put it his way: "They are not Christians [narrow term here!] and they follow an extreme sect, which is based on some Christian notions."

    Because those people didn't act like Christians, didn't even try to act like Christians and were not Christians - only sullying the holy name of Jesus Christ by claiming their being Christians (and doing what they did at the same time!).

    I meant to say that for a Christian it doesn't matter whether the way of doing anything is easier or otherwise. There is a right way and wrong way. The right way is often hard to follow, but still, not all the hard ways are right.
    Thus, "more difficult/eaiser" is not a criterion for choosing a course of action.

    If what I has written above doesn't make the point clear, tell me, and I'll try to answer this one separately.
  5. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

    Mar 22, 2006
    By this criterion, there would be no Christians, since there is no Christian that has followed 100% what Christ said. At least, that's the implication of what you just wrote. :confused:

    And if 100% adherence is not required (which I'd agree with, btw), then at what percentage do you decide that someone is not following the teachings of Christ? Or what other criteria are they? And who set up the scale by which to judge?

    This is the difficulty that arises with the "not a true member of religion X" statement.

    How do I know if someone is doing his/her best? How can anyone know?

    Um, depending on your denomination, maybe you don't have rules. And the rules change with denominations. There is no universal standard to measure with. So who decides who's a true Christian? Individuals? Who are they to do so?

    And here's the rub. It's not in the NT that lighting a candle does anything, but presumably the prayers go with it, and prayer is scriptural. Does having a certain habit about making prayers make something "not following the teaching of Christ?"

    Yeah, I certainly now about pogroms. Stalin had a few of his own, absent any "religious" motive. :(

    No, but you don't have to call them not true Christians either. It's enough to point out there is no scriptural justification for their acts, and that the people were very badly led. You could throw in a mention about Christ's warning about "wolves in sheep's clothing" to drive home the point.

    In their personal lives, there may have been much about the people involved in such atrocities that was also laudable. You just don't get to hear about that.

    Hm, a tale from my own religion's history. The Bab, the Prophet-Herald of my faith, was being led through the streets, when this wizened old woman came up to throw a stone at him. Some in the crowd tried to stop her, but the Bab said, no, let her throw her stone, because she truly believes she is protecting Islam by doing so. Was the woman at fault? In some way, yes. Were the leaders who taught her such violence at fault? Far more so.

    I have found this to be very rare. I can think of a few people who joined churches for networking opportunites or access to the gym in the church basement. That's a very very few people.

    Whether people who declare themselves Christians have learned much about that means, or have been poorly led, is another question.
  6. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

    Nov 27, 2004
    I caught myself doing this today actually. I was having a conversation with my brother about Satanism and he referred to all the Iron Maiden fan boys who go around calling themselves Satanists and rolling around in pigs blood. My immediate reaction was "well they aren't really Satanists" breaking my own golden rule... ooops.
  7. Mykola

    Mykola Member

    May 3, 2006
    Oh, may I make my definition more exact: those who sincerely strive to follow the teaching of Christ, are Christians. Will it do? Any hope now? :)

    100% sincerely longing for adherence is required. Agree?

    God sees peoples' hearts. He will decide how serious a person about following Christ. I don't want that a quantitative question. Do the best you can sincerely and nobody would ever be able to say that you're fake.

    Not with the teaching of Christ, though, not according to the Bible, at least.

    Good question.
    Pray for wisdom and watch mostly yourself.

    Again, if someone has not noticed in my posts yet, I should repeat that calling someone "not really Christian" should be confined to very rare occasions.

    Re your questions: See above.

    Re denominations: I do not belong to any denomination. The rules are set forth in the Bible (e.g. Matthew 18:15-17) and are suffice to handle any conflict situation.

    Yes, and I would not be against my Mom praying for me - to God, not to St.Nicholas, mind! But sticking candles does nothing - according to both OT and NT.
    So, when someone invented candlesticking - by what authority he had done that?
    God had never commanded to do so, then the authority is purely mundane...

    Certain habit, huh? For example, praying after powdering one's nose by cocaine?
    Or sprinkling some chicken-blood around while praying? Or rooting in one's nose while praying?
    People can have whatever habits they want, but the prayer is an act of communication with God, and must be done properly.

    Stalin had rather started political repressions, and pogroms were very "popular" at the time of Tsarism.

    Yes, and have anybody seen me hanging around calling people this or that? :)
    I don't care about who calls himself what, until it touches me directly. I'll show you an example when it should be the case.

    Very good pieces of advice, thanks!

    Normally I draw my conclusions on the basis of what I know rather than on what I don't know... :)

    I'm not finding faults with any people. I'm not the one to judge or to decide who is really who.


    No, I didn't mean that.
    What I meant was that, for example, some people dance by rock music until they exhausted, raving, shrieking and screaming "Jesus, come!", "Holy Spirit, come!" and seriously think that this rave party worship would be accepted by God!
    People make additions to the worship or exclude something despite the commandments and examples set forth in the Bible, and still aspire to be called Christians.

    Okay, let them call themselves what they wish, but how can I explain to my friend that the infant baptism, which is accepted Orthodox practice (Orthodox call themselves Christians, of course) is unscriptural and therefore, not Christian action at all!
    The difficulty here as I see it is that it is not logical at all. If they're Christians, why do they distort the teaching about baptism, and since they're distorting the teaching, how in the world it can be that they should be Christians?

    I may not (and did not actually) tell my friend that Orthodox are not Christians at all... but it is the concluson that he has drawn by himself, just following the biblical information given by me.
  8. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

    Mar 22, 2006
    I just want to make sure we were on the same page here. There's always hope -- isn't that what religion teaches us? :)


    Oh, I agree that God sees peoples' hearts and will decide. But I've seen people that looked pretty sincere to me called fakes by others. Not that I pay that much heed.

    Always excellent advice. But then Jesus gave it, so how couldn't it be? ;)

    I've noticed, fwiw.

    Here I'm out of my depth, and it would make more sense to consult someone who follows the practice regarding any source of it in tradition.

    I agree that generally over time religions pick up things that are more local habits and customs and even superstitions. Although over time some of these get tossed overboard as well.

    Yes, but there is quite a bit of leeway about doing it properly, or so it seems.

    Probably shouting in the middle of the street wouldn't count, given what the scriptures have to say about showing off while praying.

    While studying Russian history, I noted that when the communists took over, they created a totalitarian system to replace....a totalitarian system. Sometimes you can change the names of the people, but the old cultural habits just stay.

    That can be problematic. People thought Eleanor Roosevelt was a drunk when she just had an ear infection. But then, I'm assuming you give people the benefit of the doubt anyway. I see nothing in your posts that would lead me to another conclusion, anyway.

    Maybe God does accept it, provided they go out into their daily life and do something with the energy they get out of it.

    Though you make a point, people who wear jewelry to show everyone how Christian they are, but can't be bothered to do anything else and don't seem to know much of what's in the scriptures, well, one wonders.

    Hm, I think it might be good to start a thread on traditions in some suitable place in a Christian conference? Because I would disagree with you on this one in some ways, but we'd be way way off the topic if we pursued it here.

    You see, I do think they are Christians. They are certainly not Buddhists. They follow Christ. They do that using tradition, some of which I may not agree with, but which may or may not damage their relationship with God. And besides, no one died and made me God or anything, so I really don't spend a lot of brain cells on it, beyond thinking about whether I should hold to some practice or other. Others get to choose for themselves.

    And even if someone calls himself Religion X and has practices I would think are wildly unscriptural (but not actually harmful), maybe that just means the person has been poorly led. The leaders who led poorly will have much to answer for in a lot of historical cases, I'd bet. (That's why I had included the earlier story of the woman who wanted to throw a stone at the Bab. She was sincere, but very poorly led, and frankly, not in much of a position to find out much else for herself.)
  9. Mykola

    Mykola Member

    May 3, 2006
    Religion is binding us only - by definition.
    But Christ teaches us that we always "ought to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1)

    Yes, they do, unfortunately.
    But I think one had better not to take any dead birds, empty cans and cigarette ends - any trash - from the streets into one's car so that not to have to toss it all out afterwards.

    Actually, yes, it is. Now it seems to me that the current Russian government is busy building good old Russian Empire...
    But let them play: "Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?" (Psalm 2:1)

    But still please pay attention to the fact that the people who take a diseased person for a drunken one may not know something very important and they jump to the conclusion too early!

    I always give people a benefit of doubt...
    Example: I come up to an Orthodox friend of mine and ask him to give me a couple of verses in the Bible to support infant baptism. This I do giving him a benefit of doubt.
    Then I wait for an answer... in vain, more waiting, no reply... Then, when no reasonable response is received, I do not have to give any benefits to this person on this subject anymore.

    Another, more abstract example. "Open your mind!" Okay, I'll do that.
    I'll do and try to stop a buzz-saw by my right thumb. Whizzzzz! Thumb goes off, and I close my mind to an option of stopping the buzz-saw by my limbs - for ever. If I'm not too open-minded, you know... :)

    You have just found an example that is more understandable for you.

    Can you please start it?

    Not, of course. They're Orthodox, Catholics, Lutherans etc. They have their respective names...

    In what way? By distorting His teaching?
    To be specific - is there any biblical example of infant baptism, for one?

    With all respect, Booko, what you or me agree or disagree just doesn't count.
    What God agrees is what counts!

    "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."
    (Colossians 2:8)

    Booko, the person who is poorly led does follow some ill-intentioned or ignorant leader and thus, does not follow Christ. Which brings us to the conclusion that... That... Can conclude it by yourself? :)

    Yes, they are.

    Look here:
    People have the Bible.
    The Bible encourages studying it sincerely and thoroughly, in order to follow Christ, not some human leaders.
    People who follow human leaders just drifting through they lives do not follow rather simple admonitions of the Bible, and therefore... (Can you finish the sentence by yourself, again? :) )

    Yes, and Saul of Tarsus was sincere - the Bible states this plainly. Sincere but misinformed.
    Some people are sincere but misinformed.
    Some people are well-informed but ill-intentioned.
    Some are stubborn.
    Some are afraid of alienation.
    Some are bound by local traditions.

    Saul has made a right choice.
    Sincere and fervent persecutor has become a sincere and fervent preacher of Gospel.

    His advantage was that he did follow Christ no matter what happened, what traditions were (there actually was a deviation with circumcision of Timothy, but we are to follow rules, not exclusions), what religious leaders of that days or that government told him.

    ...And may it be the attitude of every Christian!


    "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
    (Revelation 21:8)

    Sounds terrible, doesn't it?
    But there's something that is definitely good news:

    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
    (John 3:16)