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Featured What Makes a Christian a Christian?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Heyo, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    We know that a true Scotsman doesn't put sugar on his porridge. So we have a test for true Scotsmanship.

    But what is the test for a Christian? Do we have inclusive and exclusive criteria?

    According to Wikipedia there are 2.4 billion Christians on earth. What do they have in common?
    What do the other 5.4 billion not have?

    Would your answer significantly change that number of 2.4 billion?
     
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  2. SeekerOnThePath

    SeekerOnThePath On a mountain between Nietzsche and Islam

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    Abrahamism is anti-Anthropomorphic, that is why it exists in the first place.
    A Christian is anyone who follows Catholicism, Orthodoxy and any of the billions of Protestant denominations.

    Contrary to what Christians themselves believe though, a Christian is not a follower of what Jesus himself and the twelve disciples followed (of which was Torah-observing apocalyptic/messianic ascetic Judaism and not a new religion).

    A Christian is a follower of the aforementioned, which is later traditions built out of the stream that grew from the Peterian/Paulian sects (which was incorporated Marcionite and Johannine streams into their literature) in combination with gradual systematic canonization of texts and evolving dogmas and doctrines.
     
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  3. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

    I'm not christian but I think almost all christians in the world believe in John 3:16 in the new testament.

    And also to be a true christian you have to believe:

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40)
     
    #3 Meandflower, Nov 9, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
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  4. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that believes cause actions? Or, in other words, can we make a test to see if someone believes in loving his neighbour as himself?
     
  5. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    Yes i think what you believe cause actions. If for example a man give money and clothes to poor people and he's kind to everyone around him then he most likely loves other people.
    But if a man don't want to help other people, he's not kind to other people and very selfish then he most likely does not love other people so much
     
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  6. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Two answers here:

    Firstly, my personal view of the minimum requirements for somebody to be a Christian is that they worship a single deity and consider Jesus to be the messiah and the son of that deity. Exactly how they interpret the nature of God and what being his/her/its son entails is entirely up to them. How literally they take the Bible, whether they believe in Hell, what their views on homosexuality are and so on are secondary issues.
    I also don't believe that immoral behaviour precludes you from being a Christian. After all, morality is at least somewhat determined by personal and societal values rather than an objective measurement and humans themselves are imperfect creatures. A popular Christian viewpoint is that everybody is a sinner.

    Secondly, I just don't feel strongly enough about my minimum requirements that I would say, "No, you're not a Christian" to somebody who doesn't meet them. If they consider themselves a Christian, that's up to them and my own views on the matter really aren't that important. This is also honestly the only thing that matters as far as determining the difference between the 2.4 billion Christians and the 5.4 billion non-Christians. To vastly oversimplify the process of determining religious demographics, it essentially boils down to how many people said, "Yes, I'm a Christian" when asked (or at least, how many people do we predict would say yes).
     
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  7. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    You said you are not Christian (what's your religion/denomination) so you may not know about the concepts of Sola Fide and Sola Gratia to which a big part of Christianity adheres. Are all protestants not Christians?
     
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  8. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    To love others as much as you love yourself.:)
     
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  9. Meandflower

    Meandflower Active Member

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    Protestants and catholics really believe the same in this manner. Why? Because protestants believe good works are the evidence of divine election and catholics believe good works lead to salvation. The result is identical. (This answer Estro Felino wrote to me. She is a very wise person)

    But I think protestants should word themselves in the same way about the salvation question as catholics because then most people understand it better.
     
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  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    For them or for you?

    For them, the litmus test would be if they identify as Christian.

    For you, it would be how you choose to judge them from your own personal perspective.
     
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  11. Hermit Philosopher

    Hermit Philosopher Selflessly here for you

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    I find this a rather strange, but recently reoccurring topic here.

    Christianity is not a social club; it’s a faith. And what they [should] have in common is the personal will to follow the example of Jesus Christ, no...?

    Humbly
    Hermit
     
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  12. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Thank you...You are so kind. :)
     
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  13. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    The belief that Jesus died for sins and was resurrected from the dead.
     
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  14. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    Yes, that "should" be the outcome of our faith.
     
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  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Someone who claims to be a Christian is a Christian, to my mind. They're certainly not a homogenous group, and there is wide variance in their beliefs.
    I see no reason to go further than that. Particular denominations can quibble about membership as they see fit.
     
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  16. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    For them, of course. I'm not a Christian, I don't feel competent enough to define what they are. I'm looking for their definition.
     
  17. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    And if it isn't, when do you kick someone out?
     
  18. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    IMO, it's quite simple: two commandments, which are a belief & love of God and the love of our neighbor, with the latter word used in the utmost broadest context.

    Frankly, not much.

    I'm more interested in what they have.

    Not at all likely.

    The above are obviously short "answers", so I can expand on them if there are questions.
     
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  19. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    That is a difficult question that certainly be handled differently in each room (church) of Christ's house (the Body of Christ).

    I am reminded of a situation in scripture where someone was kicked out:

    1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing.4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

    Some interesting points:

    1. It gives a hue that there are other sexual immorality issues that would be handled differently than this one since it declares "of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans".
    2. He was kicked out not out of revenge but for salvation. This sin opened the door for Satan's right to kill but it was done so that, even though it was a horrible sin, "his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord"
    3. The reason was for repentance and not revenge because in 2 Corinthians he said "let him back in because he repented".
     
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  20. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    A christian is one who takes the full sacraments of christ: repentance, conviction, communion, and baptism. From then on, they vow to follow the teachings of jesus (not just love your neighbor) in thereby hopes to reach god after they die. So, belief in god, jesus' role, and sacraments are crucial to "christian criteria". Everything else denominations tend to argue over.
     
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