What Defines a Person As A Christian? Some Mind Tickling Questions Within.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Eightball, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Seems like there is a lot of vehement hatred towards Christianity in this world, and even in the forum.

    Is the hatred spawned from fear?.....Ignorance?.....Jealousy?.....

    Numerous polls have revealed that a majority of Americans claim that they are Christians.

    What defines what a Christian is?

    Can one be a Christian and not believe in Jesus?

    What do people mean when they say they believe in Jesus?

    1. "I live by the golden rule". "Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you"?

    2. "I don't swear, I don't look at pornography, I obey all laws, I don't beat my wife..........etc.?

    3. "I read the bible often"?

    4. "I'm against all wars and all killing or taking of life"?

    5. "I go to church every Sunday, without missing an opportunity unless I'm sick or somebody died"?

    Is there a difference between those that were called, "Christians" or "Christ Ones" in the early days of Christianity(0-100 AD), and those that call themselves Christians today?

    How did those that were not followers of Christ act or behave towards those that did follow Christ in the early days? Were early Christians respected or liked by those that didn't follow Christ?

    What was Christ accused of as a pre-text to His crucifixion? Were the accusations valid?

    a. Why did some people like what Christ said, and others became infuriated to the point of plotting His demise?

    Why did Marx refer to Christianity as an "opiate"? Is "opiate" and accurate or definitive word to describe Christianity?

    When a man of high stature, Nicodemus, a Pharisee approached Jesus and asked Him, "how does one enter heaven?", Jesus simply said, "You must be born-again".

    What did Jesus mean when He told the learned Jewish Scholar, that he needed to be "born-again" to enter heaven?

    Did Jesus tell His followers that they would be loved by the world as a whole, or did He say something else.........?

    Was Jesus really who He said He was? What did Jesus mean when He said to the angry mob that was about to stone Him to death, "Before Abraham, I AM"?

    Who or what was Jesus claiming to be? What is significant about the "I Am" part of Jesus's statement?

    Was Jesus a lunatic, a liar, or was He who He claimed to be?

    I'd like to hear some nicely thought-out, and coherent answers folks.

    I think that those who have a real axe to grind with Christians should really join in. This a real test, to see how much we really know and understand about Christianity, and the one on whom the belief system was founded.

    Regards, Eightballsidepocket :usa:
     
  2. Shattered
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    1. "I live by the golden rule". "Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you"?

    This is the only one listed that I try to live by on a daily basis.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    In my world, here's my take:

    No, duh!

    That Jesus, God, took human form and redeemed us through his sacrifice. (Simplified for questionaire sake).

    Judeo-Christian, also Islam I believe

    Any good person

    Judeo-Christian

    Pacifist
    much more likely to be martyred in the old days for Christianity.

    See above

    No biblical scholar here, but I think the charges were based on heresy to Judism. I don't think they were valid, but did fulfill the prophesies.

    Love your enemies. Opened the door towards Rome and the pagans.

    I could answer, but for another thread. Nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    OK

    That one would have to leave Judism and accept Christ as Savior.

    Is this a quiz?

    I believe He was, you? Jesus is God, he always was, is, and will be.

    Jesus was claiming to be who He was, is, will be. Second part answered by first.

    Who he claimed to be is who He is, was, will be.
     
  4. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I can tell ya I know enough to keep my belief private.
     
  5. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    I submitted this thread on Tripleplate.com, and boy oh boy, there's some in there accusing me of "hate speech". Unfortunately, my thread was some how interpretted as hate.......and I'm trying to figure out what I said to provoke that response.

    whew!!!!!!!!!

    Regards, Eightballsidepocket
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Great question eightball. Here are my answer, from an evangelical standpoint.

    No. By definition, a Christian is one who believes in Jesus as the Christ, or Anointed One, of God.

    It means that they believe that 1) Jesus was a person who really lived, according to the Bible; 2) that He was crucified and died, and 3) that He rose again from the dead, and is now alive forever.

    1 and 2 are certainly good ways to live life, but they don't make one a Christian, they make one a morally good person. #3 and 5 are good habits for a Christian to have, but they do not make one a Christian. #4 is certainly not a required belief to have to be a Christian, though many Christians have become pacifists.

    I think the faith in Jesus (see above) is a common thread between all Christians, even though cultural standards may be drastically different.

    Early Christians were not only not tolerated, they were persecuted. Rome killed Christians until the time of Constantine.

    Read Matthew 26:57-65: "Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

    The bolded part is a prophecy from the book of Daniel, concerning the Ancient of Days (God). Jesus statement was considered blasphemy because He claimed to be the Son of God.

    I think Marx refered to all religion as an opiate. But he was an atheist, and many atheists make such statements.

    John 3:5-7: "Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’"

    It means that one is "born of the Spirit." Basically, this means having faith in Jesus. (see above)

    John 15:18-25 (Jesus speaking): “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’"

    It is very clear that Christians should expect to be hated for their beliefs.

    When Jesus said that, He was making a direct claim to be God. When God spoke to Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked who he should tell the Israelites was sending him. God replied, "Tell them "I AM" sent you." This was a very well known passage to all the Jews, and would not have been mistaken.

    Lunatics and liars do not rise from the dead. There is concrete proff that Jesus did rise from the dead. Therefore, I believe that He was who He said He was.
     
  7. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    GOP Jeff:

    Wow:

    That was some response! You truly answered/replied in the spirit of how I meant my post to be accepted.

    Your input was most astute, and very well thought out. I can see that you are well-acquainted with bible scripture.

    I hope that many on the forum will read what you shared in your response.

    Thank you so much .

    Regards, Eightballsidepocket :)
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Hey me too and first! Granted no bible quotes, but IF I'd asked Jeff for them, he would have helped me out! Right Jeff?
     
  9. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    The best definition of what defines a Christian or Christianity's beliefs can be summed up in the Nicene Creed.... the wording is given below.... some will object to the reference to a "catholic" church, which at the time of the Nicene Creed's compostion (about 350 AD) meant the Christian Chuch in general.....

    We believe in one God,
    the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.

    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us and for our salvation
    he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit
    he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
    and was made man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
    he suffered death and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again
    in accordance with the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven
    and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory
    to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].
    With the Father and the Son
    he is worshipped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come. AMEN.
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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