Who is a Christian?

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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:45 am

Prismatic,

The term 'believed in Jesus' has deep implications [not solely interpreted], since Jesus is only the son and intermediary, it has to encompass the imperative faith and belief in God, thus surrendering of one's will to God, entered into a contract with God and to comply with every word of God [via Jesus] to one best ability.


Then explain why Jesus said the criminal dying next to him on the cross would join him in heaven? He didn't fulfil the strict requirements of what you claim to be a QED argument. All he did was to believe/have faith - and he was saved. From my perspective, the BIble is not consistent enough to make an argument that defines a Christian conclusively.

Re “saved/enter heaven" upon believing in Jesus is only with reference to something like be given a passport or visa to another country but there is no guarantee one can enter the country automatically without being subject to the respective immigration processes and authority. If the immigration authorities discover any new knowledge the person has not comply to its laws s/he may be deported instantly.


I don't believe this analogy reflects the New Covenant. Where did you get this idea of Christianity from?

A person can sincerely and easily declare his belief in Jesus Christ, but subsequently be overwhelmed by his selfish desires and commit the greatest sin and many critical sins later. Example, the pastors who were caught as pedophile, adulterers, rapists, killers, etc. Are they saved/will-enter-heaven just because in their earlier years and are acknowledged by the congregation that s/he has believed in Jesus?


I think that sincerity is the hallmark of Christianity, obviously too. It is propounded by pastors (rightly or wrongly) that if a person sincerely believes in Jesus, the desire to sin will disappear. I don't believe that people who commit the sins you mention will “enter heaven”, but if they repent and sincerely believe in him, their sins will be forgiven. The entire thrust of the NT is faith, not laws or rules like the OT, so I'm not inclined to argue that obeying a set a strict of rules is the mark of a Christian or defines one. From my perspective, Christianity is a state of being, rather than strict accordance to doctrine.

One thing we can infer with certainty is, in principle, these sinners had already broken their covenant and contract with God upon their committing the serious sins.


I have heard pastors propound the opposite – that sin does not break the New Covenant, since it is founded on the principles of love and forgiveness, not law and punishment.

Note

Matthew 19:24 "I'll say it again-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"


Thus there is still a lot of work to be done by a 'Christian' after the initial believing in Jesus, surrender one's will to God, and complying with God's words to qualify one for a passage to heaven with eternal life.


Hmm, the meaning of that statement is clear, yet you've interpreted something which strikes me as being quite far from what it actually means or intended. It seems as though you're inferring your claimed QED conclusion from every source you quote. How many meanings do you think that statement has, just the one that confirms what you believe?

That is hand waving about nothing.
You can tell me where I am wrong and where I agree, I will take steps to correct it. I have been doing that with feedback from others over the years.


I think its a bit more than that, but subtlety is seemingly lost with you. Considering the nature of our discussions, why would I get into a debate with you about where I think you are philosophically/epistemologically right or wrong? The thing is, you claim to be open to discussion about this, but the outcome is so predictable I wouldn't bother. Also, I'm not qualified in philosophy, so it isn't really my place to tackle you on those grounds, but I think as we discuss/debate my points of view will come to the surface, so it will be apparent where I think you're wrong.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:55 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

The term 'believed in Jesus' has deep implications [not solely interpreted], since Jesus is only the son and intermediary, it has to encompass the imperative faith and belief in God, thus surrendering of one's will to God, entered into a contract with God and to comply with every word of God [via Jesus] to one best ability.


Then explain why Jesus said the criminal dying next to him on the cross would join him in heaven? He didn't fulfil the strict requirements of what you claim to be a QED argument. All he did was to believe/have faith - and he was saved. From my perspective, the BIble is not consistent enough to make an argument that defines a Christian conclusively.

Re “saved/enter heaven" upon believing in Jesus is only with reference to something like be given a passport or visa to another country but there is no guarantee one can enter the country automatically without being subject to the respective immigration processes and authority. If the immigration authorities discover any new knowledge the person has not comply to its laws s/he may be deported instantly.


I don't believe this analogy reflects the New Covenant. Where did you get this idea of Christianity from?

It is from common rationality based on taking the whole Bible into context.

Re the criminals or any other initiated Christians, what if they subsequently continually committed genocides on Christians and others, commit all sort of evils and sins. Will they still be able to go to heaven just merely based on their initial belief in Jesus Christ?

A person can sincerely and easily declare his belief in Jesus Christ, but subsequently be overwhelmed by his selfish desires and commit the greatest sin and many critical sins later. Example, the pastors who were caught as pedophile, adulterers, rapists, killers, etc. Are they saved/will-enter-heaven just because in their earlier years and are acknowledged by the congregation that s/he has believed in Jesus?


I think that sincerity is the hallmark of Christianity, obviously too. It is propounded by pastors (rightly or wrongly) that if a person sincerely believes in Jesus, the desire to sin will disappear. I don't believe that people who commit the sins you mention will “enter heaven”, but if they repent and sincerely believe in him, their sins will be forgiven. The entire thrust of the NT is faith, not laws or rules like the OT, so I'm not inclined to argue that obeying a set a strict of rules is the mark of a Christian or defines one. From my perspective, Christianity is a state of being, rather than strict accordance to doctrine.

Sincerely is not critical. God being omnipresent and all powerful is well aware of the state of the believer.

Yes it is state of being conditioned upon baptism, surrender to god and entering into a covenant with God explicitly or implicitly.

At any time, the person do not comply with the specified critical terms of the covenant, he is no more a Christian.
Of course a person can ask for forgiveness and re enter into a covenant with God, but what is critical here is the existence of the covenant, renewed or otherwise agreeable between God and the believer.

So my point is whatever the case, the ultimate for one to be a Christian, one has must enter into a covenant with God to surrender his will and comply with God's words.

One thing we can infer with certainty is, in principle, these sinners had already broken their covenant and contract with God upon their committing the serious sins.


I have heard pastors propound the opposite – that sin does not break the New Covenant, since it is founded on the principles of love and forgiveness, not law and punishment.

In principle, if one do not comply with the critical terms, then the contract or covenant is null and void. Thereafter one has to start a new covenant.

The above pastors view is ridiculous, i.e. a person can commit genocide, ask for forgiveness, then start a new contract, commit another genocide the next week and doing the same again till on his final days then ask for forgiveness, according to you, in principle he will go heaven with eternal life?
What sort of God will agree to such a thing?

Note

    Matthew 19:24 "I'll say it again-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

Thus there is still a lot of work to be done by a 'Christian' after the initial believing in Jesus, surrender one's will to God, and complying with God's words to qualify one for a passage to heaven with eternal life.


Hmm, the meaning of that statement is clear, yet you've interpreted something which strikes me as being quite far from what it actually means or intended. It seems as though you're inferring your claimed QED conclusion from every source you quote. How many meanings do you think that statement has, just the one that confirms what you believe?

There may be other meanings but my understanding is a rich man is exposed to loads of potential to sin, pride, greed, or ruthless killings using his money and power, etc.
Thus there is no guarantee a rich man will go to heaven merely based on his initial declaration of belief in Jesus.

That is hand waving about nothing.
You can tell me where I am wrong and where I agree, I will take steps to correct it. I have been doing that with feedback from others over the years.


I think its a bit more than that, but subtlety is seemingly lost with you. Considering the nature of our discussions, why would I get into a debate with you about where I think you are philosophically/epistemologically right or wrong? The thing is, you claim to be open to discussion about this, but the outcome is so predictable I wouldn't bother. Also, I'm not qualified in philosophy, so it isn't really my place to tackle you on those grounds, but I think as we discuss/debate my points of view will come to the surface, so it will be apparent where I think you're wrong.

Point is based on available evidences and arguments - in this particular case - I am very confident I am right but I am open to critique.
Instead of thinking and guessing, it would be more appropriate to point out where my errors and omissions are.
My earlier views missed [not wrong] out on the process of baptism [MagJ] and faith [yourself] which I have no problem taking up to reinforce my point.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:01 am

Prismatic,

I'm out, thanks for the discussion.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:51 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I'm out, thanks for the discussion.

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:05 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I'm out, thanks for the discussion.

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.
Certainly you must have encountered people who think that they will respond to sound arguments, that they are open-minded, but you decide that they are not really open-minded, or not nearly as much, when it comes to ideas dear to them, as they think. Now you are getting feedback from Fanman that you are not open-minded - to more or less summarize a part of his response to you. IOW you have a bias, as we all do somewhere in our evaulation abilities of our own ideas, and that bias is making you think you are rebutting things when you are not and are open when you are not to sound arguments. I have the same reaction to you as he does around a couple of your core ideas. You cannot see where you are making leaps in your arguments, even when this is pointed out well and carefully to you. This happens. I know I have been like this on certain issues. But repeatedly saying that you would respond to a sound argument if it came up means very little. Even very smart people can have huge blind spots when certain ideas and certain lines of reasoning are dear to them. You'll either consider this feedback or you'll continue to be certain that you would recognize and acknowledge a sound argument, since you know you have an open mind, so any failure to convince you must be the fault of others. Their positions must be wrong, their critiques of your position must be wrong. Etc. That you have modified your position in reaction to other people demonstrates that on occasion you can modify your position - though in the years of seeing your posts, I see very little core change. Of course you no doubt think that's because you are right. But perhaps you are actually able only to objectively evaulate arguments that do not threaten core ideas of yours. That deal with small facets and details. I have to say I have the same reaction he does. That might affect you or it might not.

But there's something rather naive-sounding about saying, basically, well, if you made good arguments I know I would change my mind. We know already that you think that. Everyone thinks that. Saying it becomes an assertion that you could know this, and that is doubtful. We sure all hope we are like that. It sure seems that way, to just about everyone.

Who is going to say....I know this is true, but I doubt I would recognize a damning critique because my mind is closed. So there might be one, but I will never see it.

It's odd you not knowing that we already know you think you are open to change and purely rational.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:10 pm

Prismatic,

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.


Are you aware of what this statement implies?

In consideration of this entire discussion/topic (and other topics), not just your dialogue with me, it sums up your attitude quite nicely. I'm just not sure if you realise that!


---

Excellent post KT. I'm not just saying that because we share a similar perspective on some of the points. It made me reflect.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:33 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I'm out, thanks for the discussion.

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.
Certainly you must have encountered people who think that they will respond to sound arguments, that they are open-minded, but you decide that they are not really open-minded, or not nearly as much, when it comes to ideas dear to them, as they think. Now you are getting feedback from Fanman that you are not open-minded - to more or less summarize a part of his response to you. IOW you have a bias, as we all do somewhere in our evaulation abilities of our own ideas, and that bias is making you think you are rebutting things when you are not and are open when you are not to sound arguments. I have the same reaction to you as he does around a couple of your core ideas. You cannot see where you are making leaps in your arguments, even when this is pointed out well and carefully to you. This happens. I know I have been like this on certain issues. But repeatedly saying that you would respond to a sound argument if it came up means very little. Even very smart people can have huge blind spots when certain ideas and certain lines of reasoning are dear to them. You'll either consider this feedback or you'll continue to be certain that you would recognize and acknowledge a sound argument, since you know you have an open mind, so any failure to convince you must be the fault of others. Their positions must be wrong, their critiques of your position must be wrong. Etc. That you have modified your position in reaction to other people demonstrates that on occasion you can modify your position - though in the years of seeing your posts, I see very little core change. Of course you no doubt think that's because you are right. But perhaps you are actually able only to objectively evaulate arguments that do not threaten core ideas of yours. That deal with small facets and details. I have to say I have the same reaction he does. That might affect you or it might not.

But there's something rather naive-sounding about saying, basically, well, if you made good arguments I know I would change my mind. We know already that you think that. Everyone thinks that. Saying it becomes an assertion that you could know this, and that is doubtful. We sure all hope we are like that. It sure seems that way, to just about everyone.

Who is going to say....I know this is true, but I doubt I would recognize a damning critique because my mind is closed. So there might be one, but I will never see it.

It's odd you not knowing that we already know you think you are open to change and purely rational.

Note my points are not original, they are adapted from philosophical 'theories' for various philosophers [note I have mentioned many] and other reliable sources. Therefrom I have made various inferences.

However I made it a point to ensure I am not psychological blinded like the majority of dogmatists.
I made it a point to practice self-criticisms of my own views before I present them to others.

Obviously after putting in so much effort, it is very naturally to have a bias towards one's own current position.

Btw, it is very typical and normal within a philosophical forum to mention the need for sound argument and obviously I am looking forward for the strongest possible arguments to counter my arguments to either for me to reinforce my argument or change my views.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:34 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I'm out, thanks for the discussion.

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.
Certainly you must have encountered people who think that they will respond to sound arguments, that they are open-minded, but you decide that they are not really open-minded, or not nearly as much, when it comes to ideas dear to them, as they think. Now you are getting feedback from Fanman that you are not open-minded - to more or less summarize a part of his response to you. IOW you have a bias, as we all do somewhere in our evaulation abilities of our own ideas, and that bias is making you think you are rebutting things when you are not and are open when you are not to sound arguments. I have the same reaction to you as he does around a couple of your core ideas. You cannot see where you are making leaps in your arguments, even when this is pointed out well and carefully to you. This happens. I know I have been like this on certain issues. But repeatedly saying that you would respond to a sound argument if it came up means very little. Even very smart people can have huge blind spots when certain ideas and certain lines of reasoning are dear to them. You'll either consider this feedback or you'll continue to be certain that you would recognize and acknowledge a sound argument, since you know you have an open mind, so any failure to convince you must be the fault of others. Their positions must be wrong, their critiques of your position must be wrong. Etc. That you have modified your position in reaction to other people demonstrates that on occasion you can modify your position - though in the years of seeing your posts, I see very little core change. Of course you no doubt think that's because you are right. But perhaps you are actually able only to objectively evaulate arguments that do not threaten core ideas of yours. That deal with small facets and details. I have to say I have the same reaction he does. That might affect you or it might not.

But there's something rather naive-sounding about saying, basically, well, if you made good arguments I know I would change my mind. We know already that you think that. Everyone thinks that. Saying it becomes an assertion that you could know this, and that is doubtful. We sure all hope we are like that. It sure seems that way, to just about everyone.

Who is going to say....I know this is true, but I doubt I would recognize a damning critique because my mind is closed. So there might be one, but I will never see it.

It's odd you not knowing that we already know you think you are open to change and purely rational.

Note my points are not original, they are adapted from philosophical 'theories' of various philosophers [note I have mentioned many] and other reliable sources. Therefrom I have made various inferences.

However I made it a point to ensure I am not psychological blinded like the majority of dogmatists.
I made it a point to practice self-criticisms of my own views before I present them to others.

Obviously after putting in so much effort, it is very naturally to have a bias towards one's own current position.

Btw, it is very typical and normal within a philosophical forum to mention the need for sound argument and obviously I am looking forward for the strongest possible arguments to counter my arguments to either for me to reinforce my argument or change my views.

That you have modified your position in reaction to other people demonstrates that on occasion you can modify your position - though in the years of seeing your posts, I see very little core change.

Note I started discussing in philosophical forums since a VERY long time ago.
Initially I have to make a lot of changes to my views [some which are naive and stupid] to the extent of becoming a non-theists after being a theist for a VERY long time.
Since then and by the time you have read my posts I have polished up my views to ensure there are no holes [to the best of my abilities] in my arguments. You will note I do not participate actively in areas which are not my forte or having competences.

Recently, there a few [in the other forums] who had provided very strong arguments to my views, e.g. Fooloso4 and HereandNow [you're familiar with them] who had dug deep into the philosophy of Kant, Heidegger and others.
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:51 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.


Are you aware of what this statement implies?

In consideration of this entire discussion/topic (and other topics), not just your dialogue with me, it sums up your attitude quite nicely. I'm just not sure if you realise that!


---

Excellent post KT. I'm not just saying that because we share a similar perspective on some of the points. It made me reflect.

There is no need for any sensitivity in the above. I did not state your previous counters are not valid except they are insufficient to to change my views. Note I accepted your point re faith.
I was merely stating the obvious as in any philosophical forum.
I should have stated, if you have subsequent sound arguments then we can trade, i.e. discuss.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Anne Elphabet » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:13 am

Although I understand what you’re saying, what about Christian new comers who haven’t accepted Jesus into their hearts yet? God is good. He judges us righteously.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:03 am

Prismatic,

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.


Me,

Are you aware of what this statement implies?

In consideration of this entire discussion/topic (and other topics), not just your dialogue with me, it sums up your attitude quite nicely. I'm just not sure if you realise that!


Prismatic,

There is no need for any sensitivity in the above. I did not state your previous counters are not valid except they are insufficient to to change my views. Note I accepted your point re faith.
I was merely stating the obvious as in any philosophical forum.
I should have stated, if you have subsequent sound arguments then we can trade, i.e. discuss.


Sensitivity? You effectively stated that none of my arguments in this topic are sound, that would make it seem as though you want to illicit a strong reaction, given the nature of philosophy forums. In my view you're entitled to think that, even though I feel that you're denying some salient points. The problem is that you conversely believe every argument you made in this topic is sound. You think that your points equate to a QED conclusion, because of this, it is likely that every counter-argument provided or view that differs from yours, not just by me, is going to be deemed as not sound by you (as they have been), which I don't agree with and feel is a bad intellectual policy.

It is very unlikely that you will recant on your position or change your perspective and give up what you feel is QED, once you feel that you've achieved it. For me this discussion is not only about arguments and counter-arguments, but also discussion. As I've stated, I think this topic is interpretive, but you're propounding that your arguments are QED, whilst claiming that any arguments that disagree with yours are not sound, which (to me) means that you're claiming that your interpretation is the prevailing or entirely correct one QED, and that others interpretations which disagree with yours are not sound – which not only implies things about you personally, but also makes it problematic to have a discussion/debate with you.

A Christian being defined by having faith is a moot point, you can't disagree with that... If that's the only valid point I made then God help me! [-o<
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:10 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

As I had mentioned many times, the currency within this forum is sound arguments.
If you have them, then we can trade.


Me,

Are you aware of what this statement implies?

In consideration of this entire discussion/topic (and other topics), not just your dialogue with me, it sums up your attitude quite nicely. I'm just not sure if you realise that!


Prismatic,

There is no need for any sensitivity in the above. I did not state your previous counters are not valid except they are insufficient to to change my views. Note I accepted your point re faith.
I was merely stating the obvious as in any philosophical forum.
I should have stated, if you have subsequent sound arguments then we can trade, i.e. discuss.


Sensitivity? You effectively stated that none of my arguments in this topic are sound, that would make it seem as though you want to illicit a strong reaction, given the nature of philosophy forums. In my view you're entitled to think that, even though I feel that you're denying some salient points. The problem is that you conversely believe every argument you made in this topic is sound. You think that your points equate to a QED conclusion, because of this, it is likely that every counter-argument provided or view that differs from yours, not just by me, is going to be deemed as not sound by you (as they have been), which I don't agree with and feel is a bad intellectual policy.

It is very unlikely that you will recant on your position or change your perspective and give up what you feel is QED, once you feel that you've achieved it. For me this discussion is not only about arguments and counter-arguments, but also discussion. As I've stated, I think this topic is interpretive, but you're propounding that your arguments are QED, whilst claiming that any arguments that disagree with yours are not sound, which (to me) means that you're claiming that your interpretation is the prevailing or entirely correct one QED, and that others interpretations which disagree with yours are not sound – which not only implies things about you personally, but also makes it problematic to have a discussion/debate with you.

A Christian being defined by having faith is a moot point, you can't disagree with that... If that's the only valid point I made then God help me! [-o<

As I had stated, after all the work I have put, there is no reason for me to relax my position [with proviso of no certainty] until there are reasonable counter arguments to my point.

The above principle is critical in my views against the evil aspects of the ideology of Islam which was the original issue.
    Point is the covenant is critical for all the Abrahamic religions [ comprising more than 50% of all religionists].

    The terms of the covenant are stated within the main Holy Texts of the Abrahamic religions, note the Quran for Islam.

    The Quran - contract terms to be complied by all Muslims contain loads of evil elements, including kill non-Muslim upon some vague definition of threats to the religion.

    Therefore all Muslims are contracted to kill non-Muslim upon those ill-defined threats.

At present we have a serious problem of evil with SOME Muslims.
https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/TROP.jpg

To deal with the root cause of the above problem, one of the most effective is to start with the covenant and review the contract terms within the Quran.

Your very loose neither here nor there stance re the covenant will not resolve such issues
effectively. You are giving room for the malignant virus to stay dormant and reactivate its evils wherever the situation allows. Note the recent Sri Lanka terrorists attack where 290 [so far] were killed is highly speculated to be from the Muslim jihadists??
I can bet with such a covenant loaded with evil terms, there will definitely be more of such evil acts to come from the Muslims jihadists.

From the strong stance of the criticalness of the covenant between Allah and all Muslims, the solution to eliminate/reduce the Islamists' evil and violence acts, is to get rid of the evil elements within the terms of Islamic covenant or get rid of the covenant [contract], QED.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby MagsJ » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:24 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Sure, but you suggested asking the Vatican. Why not a Baptist preacher? Why not someone who identifies as Christian but does not like organized religion? A quaker? If you are a Catholic, well, this suggestoin might make sense. But in a context where we are talking about atheists thinking they can decide who are Christians or not, I can't see how taklkng to the Pope helps. I mean how would an atheist know the Pope is right and others who call themselves Chrisitans are wrong?

How did you decide that the Vatican is THE expert? And on what grounds do you rule out other experts?

How does one who is not a Christian decide who is THE authority?

People who are not Christian tend nto to have churches or organizations that are authorities on the subject.

That the Catholic Church was a mess. Why if the people who split off from Protestantism are the real Christians? Or the people who slit off from the people who split off? On whose authority does the atheist decide?

It is in the bible.. I guess that's the authority right there, or one might as well be practising any other religion.. or even a fake religion. Doesn't Scientology ask for allegiance to it's cause by asking it's followers to adhere to many requirements?

Proof of loyalty, proof of commitment, or why even bother? even non-dogmatic religions require expectations from their followers.. or one might as well instead be chatting to one's mates down the pub.


Prismatic567 wrote:
MagsJ wrote:It would be interesting to know the timeline of events and happenings which led up to the sacraments being put in place, to signify one's allegiance to the religion. :-k

I believe the starting point is when God spoke to Jesus Christ and he was technically the first Christian [who need not be baptized] followed by the original-disciples, then the followers of the respective original disciples.

Subsequently whoever is a Christian would have complied with the following;

    1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism
    2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.
    3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God to obey the words of God via the Gospels of the NT.

A child born to a Christian family is implied to be a potential-Christian till s/he is baptized.

Agree on all of the above.. I repeat, as above: proof of loyalty, proof of commitment, or why even bother? even non-dogmatic religions require expectations from their followers.. or one might as well instead be chatting to one's mates down the pub.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get that time back, and I may need it for something at some point in time. Wait! What?

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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:22 am

MagsJ wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
MagsJ wrote:It would be interesting to know the timeline of events and happenings which led up to the sacraments being put in place, to signify one's allegiance to the religion. :-k

I believe the starting point is when God spoke to Jesus Christ and he was technically the first Christian [who need not be baptized] followed by the original-disciples, then the followers of the respective original disciples.

Subsequently whoever is a Christian would have complied with the following;

    1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism
    2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.
    3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God to obey the words of God via the Gospels of the NT.

A child born to a Christian family is implied to be a potential-Christian till s/he is baptized.

Agree on all of the above.. I repeat, as above: proof of loyalty, proof of commitment, or why even bother? even non-dogmatic religions require expectations from their followers.. or one might as well instead be chatting to one's mates down the pub.

I believe most practicing Christians will agree to the above.

What is significant with the Principle of a Covenant is it will protect any Christians or other followers of religion in defending against any evil and violent acts by their fellow believers.

E.g.
A Christian can easily defend and counter against whatever evil and violence committed by the crusades, inquisition, any recent violence by arguing the following;

    1. A Christian is one who had entered into a covenant [contract] to comply with all the terms [to one's best ability] contain in the Gospels supported by relevant elements from the Epistles, Acts, and OT.

    2. The Gospels containing the critical terms of the covenant has overriding maxim of love all even one's enemies and do not contain any verses that condone evils and violence.

As such if any Christian [or group] were to commit evil and violence, it has nothing with do with their contract/covenant within Christianity, i.e. with the Christian God.
Therefore these 'Christians' were acting on their own as human beings not in principle as Christians in carrying out any violence. We cannot blame Christianity the religion in this case. The fault lies with the person not the religion.

However, we cannot use the same defense for SOME Muslims who committed terrible evil and violent acts shouting verses from the Quran. In this case, the blame must rest primarily on the religion of Islam itself and not much on the believers.

Therefore tracing to the covenant [ within the Abrahamic religions especially Islam] is a very critical element/concept to setting the path towards the prevention of Islamic evil and violence.
If we can exclude the evil and violent verses from the Quran and covenant, then we will be able to prevent Islamic evil and violent acts.

But the problem is the Quran [with its evil and violent elements] must remain intact and commanded to be immutable [cannot be edited].
So to prevent Islamic evil and violent acts, we have to get rid of the Quran thus the religion - which is quite a task.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:05 am

MagsJ wrote:
It is in the bible.. I guess that's the authority right there, or one might as well be practising any other religion.. or even a fake religion. Doesn't Scientology ask for allegiance to it's cause by asking it's followers to adhere to many requirements?
I donä't think the bible is clear. It leaves room for metaphorical interpretations of just about everything. I as a non-Christian would hesitate to tell someone who says they are a Christian that they are not because I think they must fulfil criterion X. I don't think it makes sense for Prismatic, a nonä-Christian, non-theist to tell people in another religion how to interpret their texts and what they must do to be a member of a religion he is not a part of. He cannot appeal to any authority, since he does not believe in them as authorities. He cannot tell, for example, someone who says they feel Jesus in their heart and love Jesus, but is not baptized that they are not Christian. That person would likely be welcomed in all churches and considered Christian by some religious authorities. He has no position from which to say they are wrong.

Proof of loyalty, proof of commitment, or why even bother? even non-dogmatic religions require expectations from their followers.. or one might as well instead be chatting to one's mates down the pub.
There are non-dogmatic versions of Christianity, or so it seems from the outside. I cannot appeal to any authority, since I am not Christian, to say those groups are not Christian. 'Proof of loyalty' etc. could all be judged in a variety of ways, and Baptism, for example is hardly proof of loyalty. Neither is saying anything at all, even in ritual contexts. We know that many people who are not loyal to Christianity were once baptized. We know in general that saying things in rituals is no guarantee of what we do or feel inside. Grooms have had sex with bridesmaids shortly after taking their marriage vows.

And it sure seemed like Jesus internalized and attitudinalized the Jewish religion in his version that became Christianity.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:44 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
MagsJ wrote:
It is in the bible.. I guess that's the authority right there, or one might as well be practising any other religion.. or even a fake religion. Doesn't Scientology ask for allegiance to it's cause by asking it's followers to adhere to many requirements?
I donä't think the bible is clear. It leaves room for metaphorical interpretations of just about everything. I as a non-Christian would hesitate to tell someone who says they are a Christian that they are not because I think they must fulfil criterion X. I don't think it makes sense for Prismatic, a nonä-Christian, non-theist to tell people in another religion how to interpret their texts and what they must do to be a member of a religion he is not a part of. He cannot appeal to any authority, since he does not believe in them as authorities. He cannot tell, for example, someone who says they feel Jesus in their heart and love Jesus, but is not baptized that they are not Christian. That person would likely be welcomed in all churches and considered Christian by some religious authorities. He has no position from which to say they are wrong.

Proof of loyalty, proof of commitment, or why even bother? even non-dogmatic religions require expectations from their followers.. or one might as well instead be chatting to one's mates down the pub.
There are non-dogmatic versions of Christianity, or so it seems from the outside. I cannot appeal to any authority, since I am not Christian, to say those groups are not Christian. 'Proof of loyalty' etc. could all be judged in a variety of ways, and Baptism, for example is hardly proof of loyalty. Neither is saying anything at all, even in ritual contexts. We know that many people who are not loyal to Christianity were once baptized. We know in general that saying things in rituals is no guarantee of what we do or feel inside. Grooms have had sex with bridesmaids shortly after taking their marriage vows.

And it sure seemed like Jesus internalized and attitudinalized the Jewish religion in his version that became Christianity.

Note I may not be a Christian and is a non-theist, but that should not disqualified me from defining who is a Christian from the philosophical-epistemological perspective.

Epistemology from Greek, Modern ἐπιστήμη, epistēmē, meaning 'knowledge', and λόγος, logos, meaning 'the study of [a certain subject]'[1]) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge.[2]

Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas:
    (1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification,[3][4]
    (2) various problems of skepticism,
    (3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and
    (4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.


Epistemology addresses such questions as:
1. "What makes justified beliefs justified?",[5]
2. "What does it mean to say that we know something?",[6] and fundamentally
3. "How do we know that we know?


The term 'Christian' can be quite a loose term which even the lay-Christians would not be certain whether s/he is a Christian-proper or not.

Since we are in philosophical forum, the critical requirement to decide on 'Who is a Christian' has to be decided on philosophical-epistemological grounds. I have provided all necessary philosophical justifications.

I believe my epistemological approach on who is a Christian has met the above requirements of the 4 areas mentioned above and the 3 basis questions of epistemology.

I have defined who is a Christian as a person who has professed/act to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ [Gospels] via the following criteria;


    1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

    2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.

    3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God [Jesus Christ as intermediary] to obey the words of God via the Gospels of the NT.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:52 pm

Karpel Tunnel,

He cannot tell, for example, someone who says they feel Jesus in their heart and love Jesus, but is not baptized that they are not Christian. That person would likely be welcomed in all churches and considered Christian by some religious authorities. He has no position from which to say they are wrong.


Given what he's stated, I think he may argue that the person is not a Christian on epistemological and philosophical grounds, because they do not meet his rigid definition of what constitutes a Christian. As I stated, I don't think that he's entirely wrong in what he says, because this topic is open to interpretation, but I do question how important his given grounds are in defining a Christian and if they are, as he believes, QED.

I think that one of the major factors to consider here is that Christianity is a religion, which in my view doesn't stand up to the rigours of what we could call “a sound philosophy”, which is one of the reasons it rests upon faith rather than logic. Christianity is for the most part concerned with the inclination of the “heart” and focuses heavily on morality. So if a person is as you say above, they would likely (as you say) be accepted as a Christian, and not just by the church, but by anyone they declared their feelings to. I personally would call anyone who professed to believe in Jesus and lived according to his principles a Christian, even if they didn't fulfil Prismatic's criteria, or take part in any of the rituals.

I suppose a key question is: Would Jesus accept someone who didn't fulfil Prismatic's criteria, but felt as you described? I don't think we have a reason to believe that he wouldn't. I think the Bible (NT) shows that Jesus would accept anyone who believed in him, if there was such a strict, conservative and universal definition of a Christian, as Prismatic has inferred, why isn't it stated in the NT? One thing we can say about Jesus is that he was liberal, which implies things about the nature of God.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:26 am

Fanman wrote:Given what he's stated, I think he may argue that the person is not a Christian on epistemological and philosophical grounds, because they do not meet his rigid definition of what constitutes a Christian.
He's not a Christian authority. If he wants to argue most would agree with him, it's an argument ad populum, and the popularity is amongst people he considers irrational.

As I stated, I don't think that he's entirely wrong in what he says, because this topic is open to interpretation,
Well, sure. But then a Christian at least can appeal to this or that authority. He can't.



I think that one of the major factors to consider here is that Christianity is a religion, which in my view doesn't stand up to the rigours of what we could call “a sound philosophy”, which is one of the reasons it rests upon faith rather than logic. Christianity is for the most part concerned with the inclination of the “heart” and focuses heavily on morality. So if a person is as you say above, they would likely (as you say) be accepted as a Christian, and not just by the church, but by anyone they declared their feelings to. I personally would call anyone who professed to believe in Jesus and lived according to his principles a Christian, even if they didn't fulfil Prismatic's criteria, or take part in any of the rituals.
Yes, that is my reaction. I am not saying I have determined they are a Christian or that other Christians should accept him or her. I am just saying that it works for me to accept that and I have no grounds to say he or she is not.

I suppose a key question is: Would Jesus accept someone who didn't fulfil Prismatic's criteria, but felt as you described? I don't think we have a reason to believe that he wouldn't. I think the Bible (NT) shows that Jesus would accept anyone who believed in him, if there was such a strict, conservative and universal definition of a Christian, as Prismatic has inferred, why isn't it stated in the NT? One thing we can say about Jesus is that he was liberal, which implies things about the nature of God.
I think you raised the issue of the other guy being crucified getting into Heaven, despite his not having met the criteria. And I agree that a more openended idea of what a Christian is seems justifiable based on the NT. Of course, I cannot appeal to my interpretation of the NT or even the NT. Hell, perhaps Jesus and God consider the NT badly reported stories with problematic conclusions in them. Maybe the only people who are Christians think baptism is heresy.

For me it is a practical issue. I don't lose much, as far as I can tell, accepting people's self-assessment and I recognize I have no ground to disagree with them. If I find they do things that are rather 'unchristian' I can point this out or I can question or wondre if they really are Christian, but that's about it.

The funny thing is that baptised people who ahve surrendered to God have done all sorts of atrocities. And who knows what they actually feel inside or even if they are good at introspection. Perhaps they honestly think they surrended to God, but did not, because they don't know themselves well. People are certainly good at fooling themselves. His criteria seem meaningless to me and fruit of the poisoned tree. That tree being his unbelief.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:58 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Fanman wrote:Given what he's stated, I think he may argue that the person is not a Christian on epistemological and philosophical grounds, because they do not meet his rigid definition of what constitutes a Christian.
He's not a Christian authority. If he wants to argue most would agree with him, it's an argument ad populum, and the popularity is amongst people he considers irrational.

As I stated, I don't think that he's entirely wrong in what he says, because this topic is open to interpretation,
Well, sure. But then a Christian at least can appeal to this or that authority. He can't.

Your stance re 'I must be a "Christian" to define who is a Christian' is very irrational and very unprecedented in a philosophical forum.

Within the intellectual, academic, legal, social, philosophy, all sort of people are qualify in defining 'who is X' as long as they observed the respective rules.
Do I need to be a scientist, politician, actor, carpenter, housewife, CEO, etc. to define who are these respective people?

I mentioned the first evidence of who is a Christian is that of baptism which are carried out on 90% of Christians.
I stated this is merely a form and ritual which do not carry a very strong weightage [say 10%] in deciding who is a Christian.

The more serious consideration of Who is a Christian is a person who genuinely believes in Jesus Christ as son and intermediary of God as imperative.
The above implies [based on supporting verses] the following essence of who is a Christian.

    1. The person has surrendered to God via Jesus Christ.

    2. The person has entered into a covenant [contract] with God [Jesus as intermediary] to obey and comply with the words of God as in the gospels in the NT supported by the Epistles, Acts and the OT.

There are many perspectives in defining who is a Christian and I believe my above approach which is philosophical-epistemological is the most effective.

There is no one absolute definition of who is a Christian. There are many perspectives in defining who is a Christian, e.g.

    1. Personal definition - which you are insisting - the most subjective

    2. Theological

    3. By the respective Christian organizations, Church, etc.

    4. Social- going to church, congregation meetings,

    5. Legal - acceptable by a court

    6. Scientific - this is possible in the future, based on brain activities when a person declares he is a Christian, read the Gospels, the Bible, exposed to images of Jesus Christs, etc.

    7. Economics & Financial - defined re Charity exemptions, etc.

    8. Empirical - by observing what the person is doing and speaking in relation to Christianity

    9. Politics - as propounded by politicians for votes

    10. Cultural

    11. Philosophical - epistemological

I believe the most meaningful and effective meaning of "Who is a Christian" is 11 i.e. philosophical - epistemological.

The worst is no. 1 i.e. yours which the subjective opinion of the individual claiming to be a Christian.

The rest of the definition also has their weaknesses but should work within the rules of the framework. In the case of qualifying for charity exemption, and other government benefits, there would be some legal definition of 'who is a Christian, thus Christians.'


The funny thing is that baptised people who ahve surrendered to God have done all sorts of atrocities. And who knows what they actually feel inside or even if they are good at introspection. Perhaps they honestly think they surrended to God, but did not, because they don't know themselves well. People are certainly good at fooling themselves. His criteria seem meaningless to me and fruit of the poisoned tree. That tree being his unbelief.

The above is a strawman.
As I had stated "baptism" is merely a form and ritual which do not carry a high % of weight in defining who is a Christian.

The serious Christian is aware God is all powerful, omnipresent and will not dare to fake a surrender to God otherwise he knows he will not get to heaven with eternal life as promised by God [within the covenant/contract] for believing in God and obeying his words and commands.
This is the essential genuine surrender within a covenant with God that I am referring to re Who is a Christian, i.e. in God's eyes and not in the public's eye.

The critical point re Who is a Christian/Muslim/Judaist/Hindu in the impact on the real world is this;
Once the believer has entered into a covenant [contract] with God for a promise of heaven and eternal life in exchange to surrender and obey God's words and command, then, [at the extreme]

    if God's words state, love all, then the believers must love all;

    if God's words state, kill all nons, then the believers must kill all nons.

The only provision within the covenant is one must do the maximum possible up to the best of one's ability [depending on whatever handicap] and it is up to God to judge on Judgment Day.

When God commands to kill all nons as contracted, the most zealous of believers will strive hard to to kill all nons, if not as many as possible, to feel secure they are assured of a passage to paradise with eternal life. It is a psychological game that need to be exposed. This consequence of evil is so evident in real life as committed by SOME zealous believers.

All the above, especially the most evil are grounded on an illusion, i.e. the illusory God. This is why an effective definition of Who is a Christian, thus Muslim, Hindu, etc. is very critical to enable humanity to resolve whatever evils that had arisen and will arise in the future.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:54 pm

Karpel Tunnel,

Yes, that is my reaction. I am not saying I have determined they are a Christian or that other Christians should accept him or her. I am just saying that it works for me to accept that and I have no grounds to say he or she is not.


Likewise. I don't think its my place to tell someone who believes they're a Christian, that they are not one according to a strict definition/criteria that isn't explicitly stated in the Bible. Furthermore, in practical terms, as a non-believer what would I be appealing to in order to substantiate my doing so, my interpretation of a scripture that I don't believe in? Why would they listen to me on epistemological and philosophical grounds, when there's a theological case to make for them being Christian?

I think you raised the issue of the other guy being crucified getting into Heaven, despite his not having met the criteria. And I agree that a more openended idea of what a Christian is seems justifiable based on the NT. Of course, I cannot appeal to my interpretation of the NT or even the NT. Hell, perhaps Jesus and God consider the NT badly reported stories with problematic conclusions in them. Maybe the only people who are Christians think baptism is heresy.


I did, and I don't believe that Prismatic properly evaluated that point and how it applies to the validity of his criteria. I agree that the NT should be viewed as a more open-ended covenant, but with that said there is the threat of an eternity in “hell” if one doesn't believe, so it strikes me as being "passive-aggressive", one of the inconsistencies within the Christian doctrine. I don't even understand why Prismatic is attempting to create a logical treatise on the matter, when the authority is inconsistent in this area.

Prismatic claimed:

I believe the most meaningful and effective meaning of "Who is a Christian" is 11 i.e. philosophical - epistemological.

The worst is no. 1 i.e. yours which the subjective opinion of the individual claiming to be a Christian.


I am wondering, what is the difference between an objective Christian and a subjective Christian? Do you attribute more truth value to one or the other? In terms of who Jesus accepts, what is the difference?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:34 pm

Fanman wrote:Likewise. I don't think its my place to tell someone who believes they're a Christian, that they are not one according to a strict definition/criteria that isn't explicitly stated in the Bible.
Even if it was explicitly stated in the Bible. Maybe they are supported by books not included in the Bible. The Gnostic Gospels, say. The Bible is the product of a lot of groups and individuals. Maybe they messed up. A person says to me: I had a vision of Jesus, and he told me which parts of the Bible are false and which are true. I love Jesus. I am a Christian. On what grounds do I say, No, the Bible is the authority on Jesus. Can I claim that the Bible is divinely inspired?

Let's jump to a scientific belief, since I think Prismatic is using a very odd ad populum argument. Does current neo-darwinism mean that the fittest survive? No, it is those species best adapted to the ecosystem. Not the fittest. Lions are more likely to die out than mice. But more people likely believe in survival of the fittest amongst those who believe in evolution. The majority probably thinks epigenetics smacks of Lamarkianism, if they are that smart, and so would rule it out. We can't go by majority rule to decide the correct positions on many things.


Furthermore, in practical terms, as a non-believer what would I be appealing to in order to substantiate my doing so, my interpretation of a scripture that I don't believe in? Why would they listen to me on epistemological and philosophical grounds, when there's a theological case to make for them being Christian?
Exactly.

I did, and I don't believe that Prismatic properly evaluated that point and how it applies to the validity of his criteria. I agree that the NT should be viewed as a more open-ended covenant, but with that said there is the threat of an eternity in “hell” if one doesn't believe, so it strikes me as being "passive-aggressive", one of the inconsistencies within the Christian doctrine. I don't even understand why Prismatic is attempting to create a logical treatise on the matter, when the authority is inconsistent in this area.
I think it serves a purpose in his jihad against Islam - not that my little ironic poke at him by using the word 'jihad' indicates I like Islam. I can't remember how it all works, but I think he needs to have a specific sense of Christianity to put Islam in a specific context.

Prismatic claimed:

I believe the most meaningful and effective meaning of "Who is a Christian" is 11 i.e. philosophical - epistemological.

The worst is no. 1 i.e. yours which the subjective opinion of the individual claiming to be a Christian.
This isn't a fair representation of my stance and possibly not yours. I am not saying that anyone who claims they are a Christian is a Christian. I am saying that I find it practical to accept this and I cannot have grounds to say they are not. I also cannot say that they are. That is also beyond my abilities.

He is taking a practical reaction as us saying 'this is the criterion that determines if someone is Christian'

When in fact I am saying I have no epistemological grounds to make a ruling. I can however make a decision about how I will act in relation to people who claim to be Christians. And my choice is that I take their claims at face value.

I am wondering, what is the difference between an objective Christian and a subjective Christian? Do you attribute more truth value to one or the other? In terms of who Jesus accepts, what is the difference?
And I cannot weigh in. Though that first question, which I bolded, is really quite hilarious, and it points out the absurdity of this enterprise.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:47 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I think it serves a purpose in his jihad against Islam - not that my little ironic poke at him by using the word 'jihad' indicates I like Islam. I can't remember how it all works, but I think he needs to have a specific sense of Christianity to put Islam in a specific context.

Nope, that is not the point.

It is very explicit in the Quran that Muslims must enter into a covenant with Allah to obey the words of Allah with a promise of eternal life in Paradise. So I don't have a problem with stating a covenant is imperative for a person to be a Muslim.

    19: 87. They [infidels] will have no power of intercession [l-shafāʿata], save [except] him [the Muslim] who hath made a covenant [3HD; ʿahdan;] with his Lord

    9:111. Lo! Allah hath bought [ish'tarā; purchased] from the believers [Muslims] their lives [anfusahum; nafs] and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs they [Muslims] shall fight in the way [sabil] of Allah and shall slay and be slain.
    It is a promise which is binding on Him [Muslim] in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. Who fulfilleth His covenant [3HD: biʿahdihi; promise] better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain [BY3: bibayʿikumu bāyaʿtum] that ye [Muslims] have made, for that is the supreme triumph.

In my discussion with Serendipper, I knew he is not familiar with the Quran so I used Christianity as a easy way to explain the concept of the covenant which is imperative within the Abrahamic religions. In addition, most posters are not familiar with the Quran, so I used the covenant within Christianity as a reference.

I was very surprised with his insistence that any person can be a Christian by merely declaring oneself to be a Christian and following what s/he deemed is appropriate. This is crazy. Note the Children of God claimed to be Christians and they offer sex in exchange for conversion. Are they genuine Christians?

One practical advantage of accepting the covenant [contract] to be a Christian is, it is a good counter for any Christian against the accusations that Christianity and Christians are evil and violent [crusades, inquisition, Salem, etc.].

The point is all Christians has entered into a covenant [contracted] with the Christian God to comply with the terms of the covenant as in the Gospels with relevant support from the Epistles, Acts and the OT. The covenant terms do not include any evil laden elements that condone violence but instead insisting on loving all even one's enemies. Therefore Christianity is never an evil nor violent religion.

Because of its advantage as a defense against accusation by others, the concept of the covenant [inherent in Christianity] would definitely be agreeable by all genuine Christians.

The point is, Christianity is good in this sense, i.e. do not condone evil and violence. If Christians commit evil and violence it has nothing to do with Christianity itself as evident in their covenanted terms. Those Christians who commit evil and violence did it on their own free will and has nothing to do with Christianity per se.

Are you denying my point so that you have room to accuse Christianity per se as evil and violent?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:04 am

Fanman wrote:Karpel Tunnel,

Yes, that is my reaction. I am not saying I have determined they are a Christian or that other Christians should accept him or her. I am just saying that it works for me to accept that and I have no grounds to say he or she is not.


Likewise. I don't think its my place to tell someone who believes they're a Christian, that they are not one according to a strict definition/criteria that isn't explicitly stated in the Bible. Furthermore, in practical terms, as a non-believer what would I be appealing to in order to substantiate my doing so, my interpretation of a scripture that I don't believe in? Why would they listen to me on epistemological and philosophical grounds, when there's a theological case to make for them being Christian?

There will be times where we have to counter certain people who claim they are Christians but they are on the fringes and are cults.
There are those who claimed to be Christians, e.g. Children of God who offer sex in exchange for conversion.
There are many Christian cults and sects who advocate and condone violence.

To counter the above we need to get to the core and essence of who is a Christian by reference to the covenant and the covenanted terms, i.e. the Gospels and other relevant supporting verses from the other books.
The point with the covenant is, a Christian cannot act willy-nilly except by compliance [to the best of their ability] in accordance to the covenanted terms.

In addition, the philosophical-epistemological [i.e. Justified True Belief] is a good counter against accusations of Christianity as evil and violence with reference to the crusades, inquisition, Salem, etc.

Your point of view re Who is a Christian is too loose and has no significant benefits for the genuine Christians. Your view is so open that you are complicit to promote more cults.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:46 pm

Prismatic,

There will be times where we have to counter certain people who claim they are Christians but they are on the fringes and are cults. 
There are those who claimed to be Christians, e.g. Children of God who offer sex in exchange for conversion.
There are many Christian cults and sects who advocate and condone violence.


If someone is in a sex cult, it's pretty obvious that they're not a Christian, qua Jesus. We don't need a set of criteria to fathom that. But, would you actually tell someone who believes they're a Christian (in the Biblical sense) that they are not based upon your criteria, by what authority would you do so?

There will be times where we have to counter certain people who claim they are Christians but they are on the fringes and are cults. 
There are those who claimed to be Christians, e.g. Children of God who offer sex in exchange for conversion.
There are many Christian cults and sects who advocate and condone violence.


So your criteria allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff? You seem dogmatic towards your own inferences.

To counter the above we need to get to the core and essence of who is a Christian by reference to the covenant and the covenanted terms, i.e. the Gospels and other relevant supporting verses from the other books.
The point with the covenant is, a Christian cannot act willy-nilly except by compliance [to the best of their ability] in accordance to the covenanted terms.


What specific terms are you referring to, Prismatic? If they aren't in the NT, they are interpretive.

In addition, the philosophical-epistemological [i.e. Justified True Belief] is a good counter against accusations of Christianity as evil and violence with reference to the crusades, inquisition, Salem, etc.


And theology isn't?

Your point of view re Who is a Christian is too loose and has no significant benefits for the genuine Christians. Your view is so open that you are complicit to promote more cults.


As according to?
Last edited by Fanman on Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:45 pm

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Your point of view re Who is a Christian is too loose and has no significant benefits for the genuine Christians. Your view is so open that you are complicit to promote more cults.


As according to?


and further...benefitting Christians who are more likely to appeal to church, priest and biblical authority as opposed to people who are less likely to do this is not necessarily a good thing. Your view is less likely to produce cults, since people do not need to organize to be considered Christian. Reducing the authority of a very old set of texts - the Bible - and religious leaders, seems vastly more likely to contribute to less inter-religious conflict and less conflict with secular people.

It is also an odd criterion in a philosophical discussion - does your belief benefit more conservative Christians?
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