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Christians: Define what makes someone a christian

#41CIA911Posted 8/8/2011 2:48:27 PM
The word Christian is used in the Bible 3 times. Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, the other is 1 Peter 4:16, which, when we read it in it's context and compare scripture with scripture, is where we know that a true Christian must be Born Again.
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-JESUS
SAVES
#42DoGCyNPosted 8/8/2011 4:19:49 PM
The word Christian is used in the Bible 3 times. Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, the other is 1 Peter 4:16, which, when we read it in it's context and compare scripture with scripture, is where we know that a true Christian must be Born Again.

Oh wow, you're right. I didn't know the actual word was used. I need to go read Acts again.
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2 Corinthians 12:7-10
#43the_hedonistPosted 8/8/2011 10:54:55 PM
fudrick posted...
They call themselves christians, they believe in god, they believe Jesus was god. That's a christian in my book.

Why do you say this? I have heard this argument many times (if someone considers themselves a Christian, then they are), but this is not the case for anything else. It doesn't matter if someone considers himself a ventriloquist, it only matters if he can talk without moving his lips. It doesn't matter if one considers himself American, it only matters if he actually holds citizenship. Etc. I think you get the point. For a label to be useful, it should have a real definition.
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Thumbs up for rock 'n' roll.
~The Christian Hedonist~
#44CIA911Posted 8/8/2011 10:56:39 PM
Unless God considers you a Christian, it really doesn't matter at all if you think you're one or not. People calling themselves Christians but aren't are gonna have a really hard day when they realize they aren't being Raptured.
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-JESUS
SAVES
#45fudrickPosted 8/8/2011 11:52:49 PM
the_hedonist posted...
Why do you say this?

Because, as I've said, if you try to define it further than that then alleged christians will disagree about the parameters. Considering the fact that I don't believe in the holy spirit and therefore don't believe that anyone can be a true "born again christian" (at least in the way CIA has explained it to me), that definition is useless to me, and it's functionally pointless even to "bible-believers" because you can never be sure if you or someone else is truly saved.

Cornelious32 posted...
I have heard this argument many times (if someone considers themselves a Christian, then they are)

Except that wasn't my argument at all. You left out the part where they believe in god, and believe Jesus was more than a man. If someone claimed to be christian but also didn't believe in god and believed that Jesus never existed, I obviously wouldn't consider them christian. Why did you feel the need to so blatantly misrepresent my argument?

Cornelious32 posted...
but this is not the case for anything else. It doesn't matter if someone considers himself a ventriloquist, it only matters if he can talk without moving his lips.

If they claim they're a ventriloquist, and regularly attempt to make it look like a puppet was talking with their voice, they're a ventriloquist. They may not be good at it, but still.

Cornelious32 posted...
It doesn't matter if one considers himself American, it only matters if he actually holds citizenship.

This is so much different; there's no document you can have to prove that you're a "true christian." Complete straw man.

Cornelious32 posted...
Etc. I think you get the point. For a label to be useful, it should have a real definition.

Indeed, and I'm saying that the definition I find most fitting is "one who identifies as a christian, believes in god, and believes Jesus Christ was both a real man and more than human."
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#46CIA911Posted 8/9/2011 12:15:41 AM(edited)
because you can never be sure if you or someone else is truly saved.

Not according to the Bible.

II Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

To be "in the faith" as described here means to be saved. Now it is true people can think they are saved, even convince themselves that they are without actually being saved, but that comes from a lack of understanding of what it means to be Born Again. Catholics, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, etc. all convinced of their own salvation, but as God says in the Bible, only a remnant of them will actually be saved. They only trust the verses that prove their own doctrines. They don't search the whole Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture to make sure their conclusions are right. But it is also true that you can know if you are truly saved by examining yourself. And many people do.

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-JESUS
SAVES
#47fudrickPosted 8/9/2011 12:19:40 AM
CIA911 posted...
Not according to the Bible.

I thought you had said several times previously that you can never be completely certain if someone is saved?

CIA911 posted...
II Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

To be "in the faith" as described here means to be saved. Now it is true people can think they are saved, even convince themselves that they are without actually being saved, but that comes from a lack of understanding of what it means to be Born Again. Catholics, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, etc. all convinced of their own salvation, but as God says in the Bible, only a remnant of them will actually be saved. They only trust the verses that prove their own doctrines. They don't search the whole Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture to make sure their conclusions are right. But it is also true that you can know if you are truly saved by examining yourself. And many people do.


So then, considering that there are many people who believe they and others are saved yet you disagree with them, can we agree that you can't ever really be certain if someone is telling the truth about their salvation?
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Best FCs:
GH1: Decontrol | GH2: Jordan, Hangar 18 | GH80s: Because It's Midnite | GH3: One, Soothsayer | RB2: I Ain't Superstitious
#48CIA911Posted 8/9/2011 12:45:28 AM(edited)
I thought you had said several times previously that you can never be completely certain if someone is saved?

You can't be completely certain if someone is saved. Only yourself. I don't believe you can look at another person and know 100% if they are saved, at least not based on their actions, just if they are not saved, and even then it's hard if they show signs. But only that person can examine themselves and know for sure.

So then, considering that there are many people who believe they and others are saved yet you disagree with them, can we agree that you can't ever really be certain if someone is telling the truth about their salvation?

Kind of. It is possible to tell if someone is not saved, because if they exhibit no evidence of Salvation, then they very likely aren't saved. The Bible describes to us the sensation of being Born Again and...they would be showing some signs. That doesn't go for infants or young children though, mentally disabled people, etc. But then there are people who can appear to be saved but really not be. Even an unsaved person can do spiritual work (Like believing in Christ, trusting the Bible, etc.). Because even an unsaved person can appear to be saved, it's impossible, in my opinion, to tell if they really are. Some are obvious though, and those are the ones who do not show any evidence.

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-JESUS
SAVES
#49Ininja2000Posted 8/9/2011 12:55:00 AM
Back in the day people sat down and talked this out, and this is the creed they came up with. (note that the "catholic" church did not refer to the Roman catholic church but rather to the "universal church" as is the actual definition of the word.)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell. [See Calvin]

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.
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For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23