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For PM "Who is a Christian"

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  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I can certainly agree to all of this, but the question remains: what are the "essentials" necessary for a person to accurately label himself as Christian, and how can I-- as a non-Christian-- evaluate whether your list of essentials is better or worse than someone else's list of essentials?
    The Bible doesn't call us to be judges, but fruit inspectors.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I can certainly agree to all of this, but the question remains: what are the "essentials" necessary for a person to accurately label himself as Christian, and how can I-- as a non-Christian-- evaluate whether your list of essentials is better or worse than someone else's list of essentials?
    That is the question, isn't it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I can certainly agree to all of this, but the question remains: what are the "essentials" necessary for a person to accurately label himself as Christian, and how can I-- as a non-Christian-- evaluate whether your list of essentials is better or worse than someone else's list of essentials?
    Have you even bothered to read my posts? I answered this question in post #21.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Easy. Banana pudding, by definition, is a dessert, and that dessert is composed of very specific ingredients: custard, wafer cookies, bananas, and some sort of whipped topping, maybe whipped cream or meringue. Now you might have a bland banana pudding made with low quality ingredients (maybe the wafer cookies are generic wafer cookies from the dollar store, or maybe the whipped cream is Cool Whip instead of hand whipped), but its still banana pudding. You might even have a banana pudding with extras. It has all the same ingredients as an original banana pudding, but you've added maybe a strawberry for color.

    So when isn't a banana pudding a banana pudding? When you replace the essentials with other ingredients. Instead of using custard you use an all beef patty. Instead of using wafer cookies you use a freshly toasted bun. Instead of bananas you've used a slice of American cheese, and instead of whipped cream you used ketchup. What you have now is a cheeseburger, not banana pudding. Even if you insist that the cheeseburger is actually banana pudding, it don't make it so.

    A new frozen yogurt shop opened down the road from me. They have a lemon meringue pie flavored yogurt. Right above the handle is a picture of lemon meringue pie with the words "Lemon Meringue Pie". It even tastes a lot like lemon meringue pie. Sadly, its not lemon meringue pie. Its yogurt.
    Now I'm hungry.

    Leave a comment:


  • Boxing Pythagoras
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Easy. Banana pudding, by definition, is a dessert, and that dessert is composed of very specific ingredients: custard, wafer cookies, bananas, and some sort of whipped topping, maybe whipped cream or meringue. Now you might have a bland banana pudding made with low quality ingredients (maybe the wafer cookies are generic wafer cookies from the dollar store, or maybe the whipped cream is Cool Whip instead of hand whipped), but its still banana pudding. You might even have a banana pudding with extras. It has all the same ingredients as an original banana pudding, but you've added maybe a strawberry for color.

    So when isn't a banana pudding a banana pudding? When you replace the essentials with other ingredients. Instead of using custard you use an all beef patty. Instead of using wafer cookies you use a freshly toasted bun. Instead of bananas you've used a slice of American cheese, and instead of whipped cream you used ketchup. What you have now is a cheeseburger, not banana pudding. Even if you insist that the cheeseburger is actually banana pudding, it don't make it so.

    A new frozen yogurt shop opened down the road from me. They have a lemon meringue pie flavored yogurt. Right above the handle is a picture of lemon meringue pie with the words "Lemon Meringue Pie". It even tastes a lot like lemon meringue pie. Sadly, its not lemon meringue pie. Its yogurt.
    I can certainly agree to all of this, but the question remains: what are the "essentials" necessary for a person to accurately label himself as Christian, and how can I-- as a non-Christian-- evaluate whether your list of essentials is better or worse than someone else's list of essentials?

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Easy. Banana pudding, by definition, is a dessert, and that dessert is composed of very specific ingredients: custard, wafer cookies, bananas, and some sort of whipped topping, maybe whipped cream or meringue. Now you might have a bland banana pudding made with low quality ingredients (maybe the wafer cookies are generic wafer cookies from the dollar store, or maybe the whipped cream is Cool Whip instead of hand whipped), but its still banana pudding. You might even have a banana pudding with extras. It has all the same ingredients as an original banana pudding, but you've added maybe a strawberry for color.

    So when isn't a banana pudding a banana pudding? When you replace the essentials with other ingredients. Instead of using custard you use an all beef patty. Instead of using wafer cookies you use a freshly toasted bun. Instead of bananas you've used a slice of American cheese, and instead of whipped cream you used ketchup. What you have now is a cheeseburger, not banana pudding. Even if you insist that the cheeseburger is actually banana pudding, it don't make it so.

    A new frozen yogurt shop opened down the road from me. They have a lemon meringue pie flavored yogurt. Right above the handle is a picture of lemon meringue pie with the words "Lemon Meringue Pie". It even tastes a lot like lemon meringue pie. Sadly, its not lemon meringue pie. Its yogurt.
    It could be worse! It could be TOFU!

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I agree that it is subjective!

    Let me use your "banana pudding" example. My mom is a gourmet-level chef. She could make a banana pudding that would knock your socks off. At the same time, she would say that the mass-produced stuff that you get from the store which is labeled "banana pudding" is not "real" banana pudding, despite being a pudding made with bananas.

    This seems directly analogous to the case with Christians. I am told that some people are not "real" Christians, despite the fact that they practice a religion wholly centered around Jesus Christ. How am I, as a non-Christian, supposed to differentiate "real" Christians from those who are not?
    Easy. Banana pudding, by definition, is a dessert, and that dessert is composed of very specific ingredients: custard, wafer cookies, bananas, and some sort of whipped topping, maybe whipped cream or meringue. Now you might have a bland banana pudding made with low quality ingredients (maybe the wafer cookies are generic wafer cookies from the dollar store, or maybe the whipped cream is Cool Whip instead of hand whipped), but its still banana pudding. You might even have a banana pudding with extras. It has all the same ingredients as an original banana pudding, but you've added maybe a strawberry for color.

    So when isn't a banana pudding a banana pudding? When you replace the essentials with other ingredients. Instead of using custard you use an all beef patty. Instead of using wafer cookies you use a freshly toasted bun. Instead of bananas you've used a slice of American cheese, and instead of whipped cream you used ketchup. What you have now is a cheeseburger, not banana pudding. Even if you insist that the cheeseburger is actually banana pudding, it don't make it so.

    A new frozen yogurt shop opened down the road from me. They have a lemon meringue pie flavored yogurt. Right above the handle is a picture of lemon meringue pie with the words "Lemon Meringue Pie". It even tastes a lot like lemon meringue pie. Sadly, its not lemon meringue pie. Its yogurt.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    WHY do we need to define what a Christian is?

    Perhaps...
    A) To have a sense of whether or not to witness to them - but in the process of witnessing, you can discover, "Yes, I have already accepted Christ as Savior...."
    2) To have a sense whether they can be an office-holder in the local Church - a teacher or counselor, or some other capacity of spiritual leadership...
    C) To know whether or not we are "in fellowship" --- I wouldn't feel comfortable having fellowship with a Catholic group, but I wouldn't necessarily need to identify each member as "Christian" or not....

    So, WHY do we need to label people "Christians" or not?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I usually accept this label as accurate just so long as their religion is focused on the personal and philosophical importance of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Christian Church.
    The kind of "Christians" you describe are the ones who will stand before Jesus on the day of judgment and say, "Lord, didn't we prophecy and peform miracles in your name?" And Jesus will answer, "I don't know you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

    The Bible is pretty clear on the definition of a Christian: 'If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.' (Romans 10:9). Someone can "focus on the personal and philosophical importance of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Christian Church" without ever once confessing Jesus as Lord or believing that God raised him from the dead.

    The problem with Mormons, and perhaps Catholics to a lesser extent, is that while they ostensibly hold to Romans 10:9, they also add to the requirements, which according to Revelation 22:19 is as bad as subtracting from them.
    Last edited by Mountain Man; 02-17-2015, 10:06 AM.

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  • Cow Poke
    replied
    NO True Scotsman....

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  • Boxing Pythagoras
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Labels are only as good as their ability to correctly identify or describe that which is being labeled. You can put a label that reads "banana pudding" on a jar of mayonnaise, but that doesn't make mayonnaise banana pudding. Your qualifier that a religious label should be ascribed to those who self-identify on a "personal or philosophical" level is entirely subjective, but then again, you seem to acknowledge this in the post I initially replied to.
    I agree that it is subjective!

    Let me use your "banana pudding" example. My mom is a gourmet-level chef. She could make a banana pudding that would knock your socks off. At the same time, she would say that the mass-produced stuff that you get from the store which is labeled "banana pudding" is not "real" banana pudding, despite being a pudding made with bananas.

    This seems directly analogous to the case with Christians. I am told that some people are not "real" Christians, despite the fact that they practice a religion wholly centered around Jesus Christ. How am I, as a non-Christian, supposed to differentiate "real" Christians from those who are not?

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    Yep, I think it's true in almost every religion. Of course, I tend to make the same point when I hear Heathens claim that a person or group of people "aren't real heathens." It's especially ironic because many Heathens tend to despise dogmatism in the faith. There are certainly other neopagans who claim that I cannot be a "real" neopagan because I am a philosophical naturalist.

    Personally, I would argue that anyone who self-identifies as "Norse Heathen," and who ascribes serious personal and philosophical importance to the sagas and traditions of pre-Christian Germanic peoples, should be considered a "real" Heathen-- regardless of whether they utilize their Heathenry for things with which I would agree or not.

    Similarly, when someone tells me that they are a Christian, I usually accept this label as accurate just so long as their religion is focused on the personal and philosophical importance of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Christian Church. Such a definition, however, would tend to include Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others who I have been informed are not "true" Christians.
    Labels are only as good as their ability to correctly identify or describe that which is being labeled. You can put a label that reads "banana pudding" on a jar of mayonnaise, but that doesn't make mayonnaise banana pudding. Your qualifier that a religious label should be ascribed to those who self-identify on a "personal or philosophical" level is entirely subjective, but then again, you seem to acknowledge this in the post I initially replied to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Boxing Pythagoras
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Apparently this is true in your own preferred faith as well
    Yep, I think it's true in almost every religion. Of course, I tend to make the same point when I hear Heathens claim that a person or group of people "aren't real heathens." It's especially ironic because many Heathens tend to despise dogmatism in the faith. There are certainly other neopagans who claim that I cannot be a "real" neopagan because I am a philosophical naturalist.

    Personally, I would argue that anyone who self-identifies as "Norse Heathen," and who ascribes serious personal and philosophical importance to the sagas and traditions of pre-Christian Germanic peoples, should be considered a "real" Heathen-- regardless of whether they utilize their Heathenry for things with which I would agree or not.

    Similarly, when someone tells me that they are a Christian, I usually accept this label as accurate just so long as their religion is focused on the personal and philosophical importance of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Christian Church. Such a definition, however, would tend to include Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others who I have been informed are not "true" Christians.

    Leave a comment:


  • 37818
    replied
    A Christian is really only someone whom God has saved (John 1:12-13; 1John 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
    I also find this to be a very interesting question. It's certainly common to hear people claim that Mormons and JW's aren't really Christians, for example. However, I've also heard Roman Catholics who say that Protestants aren't really Christians, and Protestants who say the same about Roman Catholics. I've heard Calvinists who claim that Arminians aren't really Christians. I've heard Young Earthers who say that OEC's and Theistic Evolution proponents aren't really Christian.

    Generally, I consider anyone who self-identifies as Christian to be a Christian-- but, as I am non-Christian, I can understand how this might ruffle some feathers. So, what is the definition of a "true" Christian, and how can I-- as a non-Christian-- tell whether that definition is any more correct than someone else's definition of a "true" Christian.
    Apparently this is true in your own preferred faith as well,

    Source: https://readingheathenism.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/4-real-reasons-heathens-hate-lokeans-by-a-lokean/

    1) The Heathen Community is Notoriously Bad at Social Justice

    It is no secret to anyone, whether they want to admit it or not, that Heathenry has a problem with bigotry. When I first felt drawn to Ásatrú as a religion, it took me nearly a year to give it a try because every time I searched for information I turned up documented evidence of heathens who hate minorities. While there certainly are skinhead groups who co-opt heathen imagery without actually practicing the religion, there are also well-known heathen leaders and authors like Stephen McNallen and Wyatt Kaldenberg espousing views that advocate separatism and exclusion. The AFA, the largest Ásatrú organization in the United States, is so notorious for its racism, in fact, that many heathen organizations in Scandinavia refused to attend a gathering at which they would be present. While many heathens are inclined to say “racist/misogynist/queerphobic heathens aren’t real heathens, just people using our religion for their agenda,” the fact remains that these unsavory figures are everywhere in our religion, particularly in the US.

    © Copyright Original Source

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