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how do you define a Christian?

edited February 2009 in Random
a friend of ours who is a pastor sent me a text wanting me to poll some friends about this and send him the results. rock on!

p.s. i don't go to church, care about religion or any of that... so don't try to rip on me about this, just answer the question.

Comments

  • I think you will need to define the context of the question since depending on your perspective or time of day the answer could get very lengthy and complicated.
  • well, i think he's almost looking for what comes to mind first. obviously you could get some pretty in-depth answers and "what's out side the blanket" type stuff going on.

    "when i say Christian, you say..." ( in hip hop terms )
  • edited February 2009
    someone that believes in Jesus Christ. that Christ was the son of God and here to spread His word. that's the first thing that comes to mind and it's what Mom explained to me when she took "Christology" true story getting her Masters at Boston College.

    but my mind is changing on this one I think. I got this book for Christmas, that I had begun reading at Aaron's parents' home, about the teenage years of Christ - The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ. And it explains that anyone can be a christ - one who is returning close to God or nature rather than their nurture. And this was exciting to me - it sounds like what yogis and meditators seek - to get closer to 'be ing'.

    next!
  • When you say Christian, I say contradiction.
  • thanks, kevin, i was gonna post it too. he is a youth pastor at an evangelical church, and he's looking to use whatever info he gains from this in his sermon on sunday. he said he's not looking for "church answers" but wants "THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE!!!" hahaha...
  • Laura's first paragraph kidna sums up the top of the head answer. Where it gets tricky is the good/bad debate. That Phelps guy (the god hates fags guy) would prob say that everyone who isnt practicing his form of it arent really Christians, and vice-versa. My defininition would be anyone that uses the writings/teachings of the Holy Bible and Jesus as a guidebook for their life.
  • cool. i'll keep this going until saturday or so and forward on the feedback. thanks.
  • That everyone can be a christ thing isn't a really good definition for me, of what a Christian is. It might be way cooler, but its something else. Maybe a new "lowercase c christianity" but clearly we are talking about THE Christ, the Jesus of Nazareth fellow.

    Seems pretty clear that you are a Christian if you believe the core dogma/origin story/mythology of Christianities:

    * Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary,
    * Was the son of God,
    * Brought a new Covenant between God and humanity,
    * Died on the cross (for our sins,)
    * Was resurrected 3 days later,
    * Assumed into Heaven a bit after that,
    * Must be accepted (see above) in order to be accepted by God.

    I think that Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and all the Protestant sects believe all that stuff, right?

    If you don't believe any one of those things, you're a heretic at best.

    If I met someone and they said they were a Christian but didn't believe in that stuff, I'd chalk them up as cultural Christian but a bit off the Christian mainstream.

    Me, I'm more of a heathen and a blasphemer than a heretic. I'm way outside the dotted line into full-on atheism these days. Sorry. I know that wins me no new friends, most of the time.
  • edited March 2009
    ^ sounds like the Apostle's creed. Different denominations have their own version, but basically:
    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth.

    And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, died and was buried.
    He descended into hell.
    The third day He rose again from the dead.

    He ascended into heaven
    and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
    From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy Christian Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting. Amen.
    I'd say baptism is a pretty widely accepted prerequisite also.
  • gotta believe in fairy tales too. :)
  • I'm pretty sure Jesus ate a lot of cereal and slept late alot and probably planned fuck all and then got upset at his parents when he didn't get stuff done on time. At least I hope he did. Otrherwise what followed would have been pretty crap really.

    What Ray said

    Seems pretty clear that you are a Christian if you believe the core dogma/origin story/mythology of Christianities:

    * Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary,
    * Was the son of God,
    * Brought a new Covenant between God and humanity,
    * Died on the cross (for our sins,)
    * Was resurrected 3 days later,
    * Assumed into Heaven a bit after that,
    * Must be accepted (see above) in order to be accepted by God.

    You must believe all that, but I think being christian is having a good set of morals, not screwing people over and being sound and fair overall. Not being an asshole, I suppose.
  • I believe the last bits you wrote too Dave. "Love thy Neighbour" and all that. Balls to the virgin-birth crap though.
  • I'm going to maintain that those last bits might make you a "nice Christian" or "a good Christian" but they aren't required to make you a Christian.

    Not believing in the virgin birth makes you a heretic at best.

    Just sayin', from a taxonomic point of view.

    I deliberatly left out any condition to believing in any triune god or Holy Spirit that has some separate existence, though that often softens the blow of believing that Jesus is God, for some reason.

    I am very interested, as much as I must come off as a total ass (about this and other things!) in the good folks that are in that tarpit of an area in between "taxonomic Christian" and "secular ethical humanist."
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