What Does A Christian Look Like And Act Like To You?

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Babs Hunt, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. I am a Christian...well lately even I hate that word, but I am a folower of Christ, believer in the God of the Bible and one who believes the Bible is God's Word..and the Truth we all should live by...not just because God says so...but because I've tried it both ways and found it better God's way and so much easier. I think that's why God decided to come down to earth as Jesus. I think after He realized we human beings He created just didn't understand how to be "Holy" or understand what to do with that "free will" He gifted us with...He had to come down to earth and see what was so hard about what He was asking of us. Once He did that in coming down to earth just as He created us "in our mother's wombs" and meeting the World as an innocent babe...I think our heavenly Father saw earth and heaven are two different planets when it comes to understanding what His best is for us.

    Yet when He came to earth as Jesus...He walked in my shoes and yours. And I don't care if the Bible seems to make Him perfect...I think they left out a lot of the story. Like when Jesus went in the "bars" and mingled with those there...did He not have a drink? He probably did since wine was a staple back then. But did He get drunk...well since God's Word speaks about not getting drunk...probably not but I do believe He enjoyed a bit of the fruits of His creation. And when He told those who wanted to stone to death the woman who had commited adultery: "He who is without sin cast the first stone" even if He had not ever acted on sexual attraction...He was the one who gifted us with it...to use within marriage which He also created. The Truth is God invented everything...but I believe He may not have realized that the only thing which could not be perfect was us human beings...and then again if He had created us to be perfect...we wouldn't need the only one who can teach us to be that way. And once our heavenly Father saw that we humans couldn't get that straight...He came down and gave His life so through Him we could be perfect in His eyes.

    Now days there are a lot of people who call themselves Christian and yet they may or may not seem like a Christian to others. Take Donld Trump for instance...is he a Christian? Outward behavior doesn't always point the fact that he just might be. But then if we look at King David in the Old Testament, his outward behavior doesn't look very Christian like either After all he lusted after a married woman, slept with her and got her pregnant,and then fixed it so her husband would be killed so her could marry her. Yet God himself said David was a man after His own heart and God loved David very much.

    Christians come in all shapes and sizes, and they may or may not do things another person thinks is christian like. Like drink alcohol, get angry, etc. Christians are not perfect people...they are just forgiven people who have chosen to put their faith and trust in God and Jesus and God's promises in His Word the Bible. They still make mistakes, and fail to live up to christian standards because they are not just christians but human beings too just like everyone else. When they ask Jesus into to their hearts, His Spirit then indwells them and helps them to grow more Christ like, but this is a process that will go on until Christ comes back and finishes perfecting them. In the meantime, and as long as they are also human beings they will have days that they seem no different from those who don't claim to be Christian. God looks at their hearts to see whether they are really His children or not. And as they grow in Christ their lives usually show the Fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This fruit in a Christians life takes time to ripen so you might meet a Christian who isn't always kind, isn't always peaceful, doesn't always have self-control, etc. The are in a growing process and that process takes time just like growing real fruit takes time to ripen. Christians aren't perfect but their Savior Jesus is and stands before our heavenly Father for us so that we can be called beloved sons and daughters of God.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I don't think you can tell, with any certainty, as Christians will be found in different stages of their walk with God. Many never progress much beyond the barely converted stage and, although I don't really know what God is going to do with them in the end, it's probably not for me to judge whether or not they are a Christian.

    As human beings, we do make such judgements, although we may not voice them. I have opinions of people, within or without the church, as to whether or not I believe they are truly Christians, but I recognize that I may be wrong on both ends of the scale.

    We are told that the gate leading to salvation is narrow, that the road is difficult, and that few will find it, so I think it's fair to say that not everyone who believes himself to be a Christian is truly on the right path.

    There is also Matthew 7:21, in which Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

    Later in that passage, Jesus says, of these people, that He will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws."

    From these, and other passages, it seems clear to me that there are many people who are attending church regularly, as Christians, who are not truly such, even those who have called upon the name of Jesus. There are those, to be sure, who know that they are being deceptive, but I suspect there are many others, perhaps the bulk of them, who believe that they are Christians, yet they are not.

    So if it can be difficult even to know if you are yourself a Christian, how much more difficult can it be to judge the spiritual state of others.

    The Amish do their best to live their lives in the manner in which they believe God would approve of them, yet they do not make a claim to salvation. One of the tenets of the Amish faith is that they do not take their salvation for granted, or base it upon one emotional experience.

    In Philippians 2:12, the Apostle Paul writes, "So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

    It is important to understand here that he is writing to those who are members of the Christian church at Philippi, a congregation that he established, yet he admonishes them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.

    So, while I admittedly do just the opposite much of the time, perhaps it is better, rather than to concern myself with trying to figure out who else may not truly be a Christian, to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling.

    In recent years, at least in this part of the world, it is easy to be a Christian. But I have a friend from the Philippines who worked in a hospital in the United Arab Emirates for several years, and he made the point that people in the Arab countries don't identify themselves as Christians unless they truly are, much as in New Testament times.

    I have attended several churches and, in each of them, there have been people, often the bulk of them, who don't seem to do anything with their Christianity beyond attending services on Sunday. They're not bad people in the sense that they aren't robbing liquor stores or murdering people in alleys, they are good to their children and are responsible citizens; but they are, on the surface, no different than the majority of atheists, for whom much the same can be said.

    In saying this, I am in no way implying that I am any better than they are. I have been a Christian for many years, yet I have done little with it. Oh, I've done a lot of reading. My library will match that of many church libraries. I've attended Bible college, and I have stepped forward to serve in various ways in the church. But I can't say that the majority of my time is spent doing whatever it is that God might have me do if I were listening more closely.
     
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I'm not religious but growing up I considered myself to be Catholic and not Christian, for some reason I always thought of Christians as all those other religions, like Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. I guess if I found religion again it would naturally be Catholic. Out of all the religions that's the one that feels right to me.

    A few years ago I was looking to join a church here mainly for the social aspect and I tried a few nondenominational ones but the ones near my house were too big, wanted something smaller. For whatever reason it's either Catholic or non denominational. Don't feel comfortable in the others.
     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:16-21 NKJV


    I started thinking about this topic question because I have heard so many people say about others lately: "Well they can't be a Christian, because they don't act like one, talk like one, etc. And many people don't think they want to be a Christian because they think they have to be perfect like God. And I started this tread on this topic because I wanted people to know that Christians aren't perfect...it is Jesus who dwells within us that is perfect and teaches us how He wants us to live, etc. But this is a process even for those of us who want with all our hearts to know, love, and serve Him more than we want anything else in life. Even when we have asked Jesus to forgive our sins and to live within us and teach us how to live God's way....we still are human beings who can't be perfect like God.

    You are right @Ken Anderson that even as Christians we are all on different steps as followers of Christ. I'm not a Bible Scholar, but I do study the Bible and I believe what God says in His Word. Jesus said in John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life; and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life." Jesus assures me of my salvation in this verse and many others...but is is not something I take for granted...it is something I have faith in and believe because Jesus told me I could be assured of this. How sad it must be if we cannot believe Jesus means what He says just as God does. Do I believe you can turn your back on your salvation...yes I do. But it is not God taking it away from you...it isI a decision you make with that free will God gifted us with.

    As long as I am in this human body I will not be perfect but I will be saved and Jesus living within me will continue to teach me His ways, etc. I can't really judge whether another person is a Christian or not nor do I want to. That is between them and God. But I can do what Jesus asks His followers to do...and that is share Him with those who don't know Him. I can plant seeds in their hearts and pray that they bloom. And I can share God's Word with people too...even if it is through a song, or a healing Scripture, etc. As a servant of God I do listen for the Holy Spirit's direction and wisdom. And I do my best to serve Him faithfully every day of my life. That's all any of us can do.

    I started this Tread because Christians look the same as other people on the outside maybe, but on the inside they are not the same because the Holy Spirit lives within us...growing us into what God always intended His beloved sons and daughters to be. We are not just flesh and blood...we are spirit too because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I have assurance in my salvation because Jesus told me I could have that assurance once I surrendered my life to Him. I have done that and as God's beloved daughter I know that His Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And one day I will be in eternity with Him and Jesus.

    Others can have that same assurance too. It is not about being religious. It is about relationship. I have a relationship with God my Father and Jesus my Savior. It is just like any other relationship I have with those I love. I spend time with them, talk to them, learn as much as I can about them, and show them my love...as they show me theirs. God is not religion or a denomination...He is our Creator and heavenly Father who loves us and wants His family to love Him too.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Assurance-of-Salvation/
    Here are the biblical assurances God gives us about our salvation.
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    "What Does A Christian Look Like And Act Like To You?"

    The thread, and it's posts, are way too convoluted and extensive for me to understand and comprehend adequately. So, to answer the OP: A Christian "looks like", and "acts", in no way different during my interactions with one, than a Non-Christian might be expected to look or act.

    Frank
     
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  6. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Somebody once told me that I "didn't look like a vegetarian." That left me wondering exactly what I was supposed to look like - big floppy ears, perhaps? Flippancy aside, the same rule applies here. I have no religious beliefs and as a humanist, all people look like human beings to me. Sure, people behave and act in different ways, good or bad. Most of us occupy a large middle ground of mixed goodness and badness, with a few people at the extremes, irrespective of their beliefs.
     
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  7. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    I agree Frank and I guess from the original question we wouldn't really know a true Christian as they may act and behave in any way known to man, but if they are a true follower, insofar as they have absorbed their belief into their psyche/heart/soul whatever that may mean, then they are a true Christian. I accept that unless someone confirmed to me, as a few members on here do, that they have a unique/direct relationship with God, I would not be able to tell the difference by their behaviour alone.

    I would only add that as obviously Christianity is not the only religion/faith, I see no reason to believe that it is the right one, any more than many others that live by similar principles and have their own holy books which they follow, and their belief that they are accepting their God into their heart, similar to how true Christians do.
     
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  8. Lara Moss

    Lara Moss Very Well-Known Member
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    I remember this from a long time ago so I searched for it. I found another too so I'll post them both.
    They express what my answer would be to this question. They're similar.

    I+am+a+christian+i+saw+this+on+my+facebook_c719dd_4768682.jpg 273875221060474476_ogxnoxyx_f.jpg
     
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  9. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Okay, you asked so here goes.
    Christians look like a preacher on tv telling people they will assure themselves a place in heaven if they just keep sending money.

    Christians look like the fools who do send money and talk about how great that preacher is. Jim jones and his followers are an only slightly more extreme version of this.

    Christians are business owners who flaunt their religion to gain peoples trust and charge higher prices because they know that fellow Christians will be sure he is giving them the best deal.

    Christians are people who refuse to listen to other opinions about the bible and just tell me "you're going to hell" if I don't believe the same as them.

    Christians are people who believe that everything in the bible is true ( though most of them haven't read much of it) and depend on others to interpret what it says instead of deciding for themselves.

    Christians are always telling all sorts of "feel good" stories, none of which are true, but they are told as if they happened to them or someone they know. This includes many religious "quotes" that they actually believe came from the bible but are not found in the bible.

    And finally, one that is in the news a lot. Christians insist that the 10 commandments be displayed on public buildings everywhere,
    Although they are free to post them on their own property, they never do.

    In my years on this earth I have seen all the above, much of it in my own family. I hope I don't make anyone mad with this post but it's refreshing to get to say this. I wouldn't get the first sentence out among my family, except my wife, before they would tell me I'm going to hell and walk away.
     
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  10. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    When Jesus Christ walked this earth He didn't look any different from you and me and there were lots of people who thought He didn't act any different either. Yet He was God incarnate. You won't see a fleshly difference in Christians because the difference is in our hearts and in our spirits. It is also in our belief and faith...which you can't see either. True Christians can recognize each other though because they do share the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who gives us "eyes to see", "ears to hear," and a "heart that recognizes" their sisters and brothers in Christ.

    Just as there were so many in Jesus' time that didn't believe He was God's Son...much less our Savior and Redeemer...there are just as many now days who don't believe this. Yet He proved it over and over again with His miracles, and His death and resurrection. God isn't real to many people either and yet there is proof all around us that He does exist. So even if God came down right now and stood in front of you...if you don't believe that He even exists...you would not recognize Him. So how can a person recognize a Christian? Well they can't in most cases although some think they can by the way people act. Even some Christians don't recognize each other because they allow their flesh to overcome the Spirit that indwells them. We who are Christians often act in our flesh too because our flesh is still part of us and we let that flesh control us instead of being obedient to the Holy Spirit. This is where those who say they aren't Christian have a problem with believing those who are Christian...really are! That's because all Christians are works in progress. Each day of our lives the Holy Spirit within us is changing our flesh to spirit so we become more Christ like..more in the image of God. But this process has a different speed for each Christian, depending on how much we fall back into our flesh instead of living in the spirit. We hear Him teaching and guiding us but we still hear our human flesh calling to us too...and sometimes we listen to our flesh even though we know we should be listening to the Spirit. The more we surrender our flesh to the Spirit the easier it becomes to leave that flesh behind and the more Christ like we become. It is our "inner man" (or woman) that is changing, and it is our hearts that are changing as we believe, trust, and put our faith in God. So other human beings may not recognize true Christians, even some Christians may not recognize each other because their "eyes, ears, and hearts" are still in the flesh. The important thing is that God recognizes His beloved sons and daughters because when He looks at each of us He either sees His beloved Son Jesus Christ standing before Him...or not.

    "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

    "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God---children born not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:12-13

    "Once the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives within you He will, by that same Spirit; bring to your whole being new strength and vitality. Romans 8:11

    "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ." Romans 8:16

    "My sheep (Christians) listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand." John 10:27-28
     
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  11. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    @Terry Page and @Sheldon Scott, I agree with most of what both of you say.

    Also, the more the bible is quoted or scripture or gospel, the less I believe. The bible is what keeps getting in my way.
     
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  12. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Well @Chrissy Page, I don't know why the Bible keeps getting in your way of believing but it goes along with believing in God and Jesus since it is God's Word and how Christians get to know who He is, etc.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    As a Christian though, that would be like saying that I love life but food and water really puts me off.
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Than maybe I'm not a Christian and yet I'm not an atheist.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I wouldn't think of answering that question for you.
     
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  16. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    I have known a number of folks who were raised very religiously, who decided after adulthood to decry their instilled religious beliefs. For several, that direction caused them mental confusion, I could sense it. Their childhood experiences were interfering with their new-found beliefs.

    In my case, questioning my folks about the neighbor family constantly talking about going to church, their response was simply, we do not attend church, but you are free to do so. Ask them, and they will be glad to take you along with them. Well, they had a daughter my age, head taller than me, a domineering girl who was dislikable, to me. I thought it over, and decided against the idea.

    Frank
     
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  17. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That's the issue for me, Babs....I'm not convinced it's God word. Science gets in my way.
     
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  18. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    @Sheldon Scott. A lot of these "Christians" you have talked about would be to me like the Bible says: "Wolves in sheeps clothing" and not really Christians at all. A true follower of Christ would never try to rip off you or your money. A true Christian will tell you that they believe everything in the Bible is true, they will also be honest enough to tell you they don't understand some of it theirselves but have faith that if God said it...then they believe it. A true Christians does like to share how God has been good to them, how He has kept His promises, and answered their prayers...they will also share with you the trials and sorrows they have gone through too. You are right that some Christians don't read their Bibles very much...some of them just let the Preacher's read it for them and tell them want they want to hear. But there are plenty of true Christians that do read their Bibles often, some even daily. They want to know what God has to say to them even when they aren't in Church and they find comfort, peace, and plenty of wisdom in the Bible.

    I have met a lot of those same so called "Christians" that you have during my lifetime Sheldon...but instead of turning me off to God it only made me open my Bible more and see if these people were true Christians or not. You can't always tell who is a true Christian...but if you know God's Word and Him...you won't have very much trouble knowing who isn't a true Christian.

    I don't blame you for hating "False Christians" but that isn't the only kind there is in the world. And I hope you aren't blaming God for what these people have done because they chose to be this way with their free will and certainly were not taught to behave this way from God's Word. I hate when someone is not who they say they are too. But what I also hate is that many who say they don't believe in God never even studied His Word or asked Him to show them He is real. They believe in astrology, aliens, psychics, etc. They take the word of a scientist, or any other human being...without even giving God's Word or Him a chance. And if I've made anybody mad by saying this all I can say is the same thing you said Sheldon...it's refreshing to get it off my chest too.
     
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  19. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    God doesn't need to convince you @Chrissy Page. He lays all the proof out in His Word and in everything He created and lets you make up your own mind. And if you have read and studied the Bible and still aren't convinced then your free will gives you the freedom to believe in whoever and whatever. But that doesn't mean what you choose to believe is the truth.
     
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  20. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I never said I knew the truth, I don't. Nobody does, they may think they do but they don't. There are tooo many so called truths out there to choose from...


    I don't know where you see Gods word layed out, Babs?
     
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  21. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Truth is different things to different people @Chrissy Page that is for sure. But there is truth and everyone has to decide for theirselves what is truth to them. After God laid out the evidence in His Word and in so many things in my life and surrounding me I knew that His truth is truth to me. I know it and I have no doubt about it at all. It's not true that nobody can know the truth. It is true that many peope believe in different truths.

    I see God's Word laid out in truth because my eyes are opened to His Truth...maybe like your eyes are opened to seeing Science as truth?
     
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  22. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    And someone will say the same thing about their religion, that it's true for them and they have the same conviction that you do, yet they are of a different religion. So then there are 2 Gods or even more. One person's truth isn't any truer than someone else's.
     
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  23. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    It's for sure that one day we will all know the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Until then I guess we'll just have to love each other and respect each others' beliefs in what the truth is.
     
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  24. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I do believe that, Babs.:) And I do respect other peoples beliefs, always have.
     
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  25. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    I believe that anyone with strong Christian beliefs would have just as strong Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or any other faith if that is the way they were raised. Those who think the bible is the word of god would just as sincerely think the koran or any other book is the word of god. Most people stay with whatever religion they were taught as children. These days more and more people are beginning to decide for themselves after leaving getting out on their own in this world.
     
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