What is a Christian? (Page 2)
Zanjan: Personally, I don't believe in throwing good money after after bad - if I pay for something, I want to see the product in my hands NOW. If somebody else pays for it, then gives it to me, same thing.
That's what palm Sunday was all about - cross my palm with it, eh.
TheDoctor394: Yes, Swine. :-) That's all there is to it. At least to be an actual Christian. There are other aspects to it, of course. But what Cena and I have said is the essence of it, what actually makes one a Christian.
S W l N E:
TheDoctor, I'm yet to meet one then. Because if you're claiming there is something deeper that makes a person a Christian while stating you don't adhere to that list you've made but yet still call yourself a Christian. Then it means to me it is simpler as I've stated.
S W l N E:
I believe that at the very surface religious people are followers of either their book (very vaguely) or their god (very vaguely). None are holy or godly. They're as the average person.
If someone tells me they're a christian, I'm not going to think greater of them or say 'oh well this is a peaceful person'. I'll take them as an average person who follows another religion and if they show me some other side of themselves then I deduce with that, not their named religion.
TheDoctor394: Well, you're speaking to one now, in me.
But I'm afraid I don't understand your statement: "Because if you're claiming there is something deeper that makes a person a Christian while stating you don't adhere to that list you've made but yet still call yourself a Christian."
Are you saying in your second post that people who identify themselves as Christian don't look particularly different to you from any other average person? That's fair enough. I don't know who you've met, what they're like, or how you go about perceiving people.
I can say that the average Christian certainly SHOULD be at peace. They should have decent moral standards, they should be honest, trustworthy, patient, kind, etc, although still sinful. Being a believer does not suddenly make us perfect, although we should strive to live the best lives we possibly can. I know it's something I try to do. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.
But, either way, I know I am saved through Jesus Christ. :-) That does not give me an excuse to do wrong, as if it's not going to matter. It does matter. I still have to give an account for my actions. But I have the comfort of knowing that my salvation is secure.
S W l N E:
Not in looks, TheDoctor, but in actions. There was a list Cena used and I'm saying it leans towards a No True Scotsman Fallacy when Christians are simply average people who differ only due to holding Jesus as the Christ and all that that entails. Not due to any special actions on their part.
You look at "should" and I'm just looking at reality and what is defined as a Christian.
Being a believer doesn't suddenly make you anything to me except an average person who I should view as potentially anything.
If you say you're a Christian, it has the same effect as if you say you're a Muslim. I adhere nothing that you 'should' or 'may be' because reality and experience has taught me that both are at the root the same.
(Edited by S W l N E)
If you meet someone who claims they are a Christian, and they pretty much act like everyone else around them, then I would certainly doubt what they actually believe.
But, also, remember that human beings are pretty deep. If you meet someone who is supposed to be a Christian, and you just talk to them for a bit, or maybe spend some time with them, but not that much, then they might indeed seem just like a "normal" person to you. It can take some time to really get to know anyone. It could take a while before certain particular aspects of their faith start to appear.
Biblically speaking, we should be different from the "average" person. Jesus Himself touched on this during His Sermon On The Mount, when He said in Matthew 5, "43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"
He's saying here that we are held to a higher standard. We should have standards that are different from others, but such things could take a while to show. If you haven't seen anything that suggests that, then, again, fair enough. I don't know your experiences. But, to my understanding, there should be factors in an actual Christian that, eventually, come to the surface and have people noticing that there's something just a bit unusual about us.
S W l N E:
Christians are not different from the "average" person. That's my point. Just as a Jew is not different from the "average" person or a muslim isn't either.
On an individual bases there are exceptional individuals and these people come from various backgrounds. There are atheists who practice kindness. There are muslims who will sacrifice their lives for people who are non-believers. There are jews who will practice love for those who hate them. There are christians who are peaceful.
This is the root of it, no religious group holds the monopoly on exceptional behaviour. That 'exceptional behaviour' that you might label as 'being christ-like'.
S W l N E:
If you love your enemy, TheDoctor, ISIS is an enemy to everyone outside their organisation. Will you openly say you love ISIS?
TheDoctor394: Alright, I can see where you're coming from :-) Personally, I think you have to, at least often, have to go pretty deeply into a person to see what they are truly like.
Simply watching someone helping an old lady cross the street is hardly a full picture of what they are actually like as a human being. Sure, people from all sorts of walks of life can do wonderful things. I'm not denying that for a moment. But the essence of a human being is how they live their lives week after week, month after month, year after year. That's why i think it can take some time to really see what a person is like.
TheDoctor394: That's a very fair question, and I'm stopping to think about it before giving an honest reply.
In regards to people like ISIS, or others who hand out evil to people on a regular basis, I don't tend to think a lot about them at all. It upsets me greatly when I hear what they have done. I grieve. I hope and pray that justice is done, and I won't deny that when I am in sorrow for those who have died in an attack, I'm not grieving for the suicide bomber.
But, at the same time, neither do I spend my time hating them. As I said, my mind doesn't really go towards them much at all. I think more about those who are suffering because of them.
I see "love" as having three aspects. There's romantic love, a love we have for people who are close to us (like friends and relatives), and a universal, "love your neighbour" aspect. Obviously, I don't love them on those first two, so the question is do I love them as I love anyone else in the world.
The question then is do I love everyone else in the world that way. I certainly don't hate anyone. I can honestly say that, while I can get angry at people when they hurt others, I don't have a hatred for them. At least, not in the way I understand hatred. I can think of people who have wronged me, and I can say without doubt that if I found them in some kind of trouble, I'd certainly help them in any way I could.
But someone murdering others is another thing. What would I do if I came across a terrorist who had just murdered a group of people, and was helpless? Indeed, what if I'd been personally involved in some way, and a relative or friend of mine had been included in the deaths? What would I think?
I honestly don't know. If what I said earlier, about those who have wronged me, means I do love them with a universal love, I don't know if that extends to terrorists, since I've never been in that situation.
My answer is I don't know if I love them or not.
TheDoctor394: Just to add something there, as I think a bit of what I said was a bit all over the place.
I am more likely to get angry at someone who hurts another person, than at someone who hurts me directly.
S W l N E: And what you stated about a person living their life in that way constantly is what I am talking about as not being a monopoly held by a christian.
Think of it as a label. If I say, Hispanic means someone who is good, self sacrificing, loyal, stands up for the weak and is a spanish speaker in the US. Then it gives praise to people who are Hispanics when these fine qualities are held by people in various backgrounds.
So no, someone who is a christian is simply one who believes Jesus is the Christ. Simple. When said person acts with fine qualities then they'll be given said adjectives as 'good" or 'peaceful' based on their action and not their religious "should be's"
S W l N E:
I don't mean to focus on the they being evil aspect but on they being your enemy in line with that command to love thy enemy.
I think the referenced 'love' is brotherly as you stated. But that is a command and you stated only Christians follow the bible's command.
See where I'm getting at?
I recommend you feel no love for ISIS btw.
TheDoctor394: :-) No, I probably don't. But, according to what the Bible says, I should.
But I didn't say that only Christians follow the Bible's commands. If someone does love someone who wrongs them, or refuses to take revenge, they are following a Biblical command, even if they're not deliberately thinking about it that way. I have no doubt non-Christians do that sometimes.
But, again, it's not about just doing it once, or a few times. It's a daily, monthly, yearly way of living. It's the very essence of a person. It's not about just "turning on" Christianity, thinking "well, since this has happened, I'd better do the Christian thing". It's the very essence of who we are. For anyone, what makes us the type of people we are is how we are throughout our lives.
S W l N E: I'm not referring to doing something once. I meant this is just how they genuinely are as an individual.
It just shows people can be exceptional without a specific religious text or religious label.
Perhaps a jew will label that as a 'jewish thing' ey
I've had more interactions with christians and christianity and I think that it is a bad precedent to state that list of requirements is what it means to be called a christian. Apart from there being noone who adheres to it, it is often used as a pat on the back and means of putting oneself higher than others.
I only take people for who they prove themselves to be not their claims or labels.
Zanjan: Swine: "None are holy or godly. They're as the average person. "
Takes one to know one.
"Will you openly say you love ISIS? "
If you'd asked me this question, I wouldn't need time to think about it - I'd say yes, enough to put them out of their misery.
Let them go to a place where no one can see their abject poverty and shame, a special place with only their own soul to keep them company. This isn't hate - it's a kindness because being near people makes them puke. It's also wisdom because time out always helps them in the long, very long run.
Zanjan: Doctor: “They [Christians] should have decent moral standards, they should be honest, trustworthy, patient, kind, etc, although still sinful.”
*Should be*….still sinful? They’re none of the above if they’re still sinful. If Christ is proven to have saved you from sin, then you’re sinless. Point: anyone and anything can change your life; if Christ changed you, what are you now?
“Being a believer does not suddenly make us perfect,”
Only God is perfect in all things. True believers, on the other hand, are perfect in spiritual virtue, whichever virtue (s) they possess. One either has a spiritual virtue or they don’t. If you have one, you can name it because it’s one of God’s attributes. Being one step away doesn’t cut it.
“It can take some time to really get to know anyone. It could take a while before certain particular aspects of their faith start to appear.”
You’re right on that. Look how long it took for people to realize who Jesus was. Even His own family had a hard time believing and, His character was spotless! You recall Jesus and the woman at the well? He just flopped down on the ground beside her to chat, like any ordinary guy. You just don't expect that of a king, eh.
Yes, one’s true colours are often only exposed in times of disaster.
chronology: The situation at the well was an odd one Zan. Women were worthless at that time. Because of His high morals Jesus would have no use for her as a sex toy, women were also kept out of education, both religious and secular, so He had nothing to learn from spending His time talking to her. In short they were not much better than donkeys. But Jesus sat and talked with her, treating her as an equal to men. The contempt women were held in in those days was chilling indeed. Religious and secular society never even wanted to recognise they existed.
S W l N E:
"takes one to know one" Sure. I do view myself as not holy or godly and average. What is your point?
If you'll extend love to ISIS that is your choice. I know I wouldn't based solely on their atrocities.
It is odd to me that you say you will say yes to loving ISIS but you seem hot under the collar over atheists.
Zanjan: Chron, she had an education - all Jews were literate. Jesus wasn't there to learn. He was there to restore. Perhaps she was the most influential in her family. Clearly, she was receptive.
"For the Son of Man came to save THAT which was lost" (Mathew 18:11)
"THAT" doesn't mean "who".
What would that be? Oh, could it be paradise?
Zanjan: Swine, spiritual love doesn't mean "LIKE". It's not an attraction or personal desire . When I think of Christians, I hear "Unchained Melody", sung plaintively by the Righteous Brothers. "I neeEEEedd your love". No, it aint like that.
Unconditional love does what's best for another, actually for everyone, bar none - no strings attached. It pours out from the highest mind, unstoppable, unbounded, and without need of being returned, condemned or praised.
That doesn't mean every individual is to be treated identically. A loving mother doesn't do to a child what will harm him, regardless of whose child it is. A Doctor wont prescribe the same treatment to all people with the same disease - in one person, it might be a remedy yet in another, it could kill that patient.
Do you insist on being treated like a king when you aren't one? If so, you and the Donald would make great brothers.
S W l N E:
You go off tangent a lot and I am unsure if it is a deflection tactic to hide that you have no point or a genuine inability to focus while having no point.
Whatever type of love you have for ISIS members that is your personal issue. I was drawing a point across to TheDoctor and I think it was covered.
chronology: Well Zan I think most women on earth would disagree with you. The one's who are not brain washed by religion of course.
It has taken women 2000 years to achieve equal rights and the most active apponent to women's rights is religion.