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Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Babs Hunt, Mar 13, 2016.
You are kidding, right?
terry..I respectfully disagree with you. The definition of a "true Christian" will change depending on who you ask.
Babs.. I totally agree that people using religion for personal gain are a real piece of work. I don't blame people for getting disgusted with "Christians" like this..and those sincerely following their faith are condemned by not only non-Christians..but by other Christians from the endless divisions of churches...
I think Tammy Faye Baker and her husband were ones I remember. I did feel sorry for her in the end though when she was dying of cancer. Is her ex husband out of jail?
Yeah, in a manner of speaking; I meant it facetiously, and thought that would show. Or, maybe it did! Frank
We should put you in the hot seat next, wether you want to or not.
It's hard being a Christian in today's World...but for me there's no going back.
It's really hard to tell when people are being facetious sometimes..cause you can't hear tone or see a smile..but thank you for clarifying...I thought you were kidding
Good . I guess by this point in life,I don't care whether people approve of my beliefs or not...they are just part of me.
That's the way it should be. We all don't believe the same thing but we shouldn't judge others. We can talk about it and have conversations and opinions but don't disrespect others. That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it.
The correct viewpoint for a Christian, I believe, is that Christians are not citizens of this world, but of the kingdom of God. Taken to its natural conclusion, I would do as many other Mennonites do, and not take part in the things of this world, such as politics, voting, serving in the military, or other government offices. I don't go that far, but I see that as a failing on my part.
I do think that people ought to be able to recognize mature Christians by the way they live their lives. There is no immediate or automatic transformation that comes about at the moment a person asks Christ into their life. The new Christian still experiences all of the temptations that he faced prior to conversion, and the ones that are the most tempting will probably even be greater. Christians generally give into these temptations from time to time, because we're not perfect, but we should become more like Christ as we mature in our faith.
I disagree, in some respects, with those who argue that, due to our sinful nature, Christians are incapable of obeying the will of God. Repeatedly, we are told to be Christlike. Jesus is held up as the standard that we are supposed to ascribe to, and I don't believe that God would hold us to an impossible standard.
Although I will concede that few, if any, of us ever reach that level of perfection, Christians should be at various stages of their way toward that goal, and some of this should be noticeable to people on the outside.
If you have been a Christian for several years and you are still living your life in the same way that you were before, there is a problem.
Unfortunately, for most people, this is the case. The church has been influenced by the world more than the world has been influenced by it. There are far too many generic Christians who carry the label but who think, talk, and live no different from the non-Christians around them. This includes those who have been baptized, joined a church, attend regularly, and even take part in some of the activities or responsibilities of the church.
It would be easy to say that they were never actually Christians to begin with but, in many cases, they have had the same emotional experience of conversation that more committed Christians have experienced.
Still, I have to think that I have had emotional experiences at political rallies, so I can't help but believe that not every emotional conversion experience will result in a committed Christian, and I can't help but wonder whether such experiences are salvational.
I understand that this is a Mennonite view, but I am a Mennonite, not because I was raised to be a Mennonite, but because I first formed these views, then found the church that most closely identified with them. In other word, I became a Mennonite before I knew what it was called.
I don't believe in the "once saved, always saved" philosophy that I grew up with. It seems to me that there are large numbers of people who were saved, but then chose to do nothing with it. It's not so radically different of a philosophy however, when you consider that there isn't a lot of difference between believing that it is possible to lose your salvation and that of the once saved, alway saved folks, who will simply conclude that the person who has done nothing with their conversion was not truly saved to begin with.
In the end, God will sort it out, but I don't want to live my life in such a way as to depend on that one-time experience for my salvation. Mental gymnastics are required in order to teach the Book of James in a Baptist church. I was in fear of being kicked out of the church when I chose James as the subject of a Bible study series that I taught at the Baptist church in Millinocket.
In the end, there's no point in arguing about whether or not it is possible to lose one's salvation because God is the only one who knows for sure.
A friend of mine spoke about the narrow gate, remarking that too many people who are able to find the narrow gate choose to sit down on the road to salvation, refusing to walk another step.
In saying this, I am not suggesting that I have made the trek, but I pray that if I were to look back, I wouldn't still be able to see the gate.
My oldest brother was a biking fanatic. He has pedaled from Michigan to Colorado and back, from Michigan to Texas and back, up through Maine, Florida, and even Alaska. I went for a bike ride with him once and my butt started hurting at a point where I could still see his house when I looked back. I pray that I have been somewhat better in my Christian walk.
There are things that you should expect to find in a Christian, although in some cases, you might have to know them well in order to see it.
A Christian should hate things that are evil, and a mature Christian should have the discernment or ability to differentiate between that which is good and that which is evil.
A Christian should honor others, looking for things that are worthy of respect even in those who are not honorable. Too often, we spend more time looking for things that we can criticize. I am guilty of this often.
Significantly, a Christian should serve the Lord in a number of ways, including supporting other Christians, making use of opportunities to introduce others to Christ. Paul says that we should be zealous in serving the Lord. Dragging ourselves to church once a week shouldn't be the fulfillment of our Christian obligations.
We should seek opportunities to rejoice. That's a tough one for me because too often things seem gloomy, dangerous, or scary. Facing cancer for the second time in my life, I frequently find myself dreading what might be reasonably thought of as a likely future. I have to remind myself that my time here is not the end of my life.
Even as a Christian, it often feels like this is it. I know that I'm not alone in this, because most Christians fear death. People do, in general. But should we? As a paramedic, I have met some committed Christians who were sufficiently mature in their faith that, even as they faced a likely death, were nevertheless unafraid. I hope to achieve that but, at this point, I still have to keep reminding myself of it.
Christians should care for one another. Unfortunately, the organized church has given much of its obligations over to the government in this respect. God does not tell us that we should give our money to the government so that the government can distribute it as the government sees fit. God tells us that we should support other Christians who are in need, and the example we're given of the early church suggests that charity was not restricted to fellow Christians. Of course, we should support one another emotionally, and in other ways that are not monetary as well.
Christians should be kind in the things that we say. That's a tough one for me because I love arguing, and I like to see that my opponent stays down. I try to control that, but I often fail. I don't know that the debate itself is a problem, but it should be more about discussing issues, and less about beating someone else down with words.
Above being kind in what we say, we should also be kind in what we think. For one thing, if we are thinking unkind thoughts, we will eventually say them. But more importantly, God tells us that if sin is in our mind, it is just as much of a sin as if we had done it. I would like to quarrel with that one, but I probably wouldn't win.
So, whether we are saved at the moment of conversion or whether we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, it's hard to imagine why someone who has accepted the gift of salvation wouldn't want to do something with it, if only to share it with others.
If we step through the small gate, but refuse to walk the narrow road that leads to salvation, are we saved? I don't know.
I think I fit most of those descriptions, Ken except for introducing others to Christ, etc. I'm a darn good person and always try to help others any way I can and I've always been like this. I'm generous, kind and forgiving.
Yet I guess I'm not a Christian, despite all the good I do and try to do. To me that's kind of sad.
Non-Christians certainly can be good people, holding to an ethic that is not dissimilar to the Christian ethic.
It's mainly where it comes from for most of us, in our early years.
Wow Ken, you certainly explained all your opinions well. I find that endless debate over who is right or wrong over bible scripture is tiring..as the bible itself says. I think I am not here to judge who is "really" a Christian. I think no Christian is saintly or perfect..and I don't believe you save yourself by being extra good. This isn't an excuse to to do wrong..but it's a fact to me.
I totally agree that some non-Christians lead far more exemplary lives..are more kind and generous..and show more humility than many professed Christians. I stop at the point where I say this church is right or wrong. I know there are huge apologetic resources and so forth...but I'm not sure how much good that does. I think there are whole forums on religion who do go deep into their differences. But..don't find this helpful myself.
I wouldn't blow out any flicker of faith or belief anyone fosters in regards to Christianity. I think many are raised in a faith that doesn't fit them and they need to find what does..as you seem to have done.
There is no good reason for anyone to get upset over what someone else believes to be necessary for salvation. I know I've come across that before but, of course, if there is anything to it at all, then it's not something that anyone can decide. It's either true or it isn't. No person decides your fate. If they are right, then it really doesn't matter that you believe them to be wrong, and if they are wrong, they are not the one who decides your fate anyhow.
I agree 100%.
Talkin to me? Only one "like" on this post, so far! I liked it, benefit of doubt, or not. Ahhhh, go ahead, "fry" me; I can take it! Frank
I presume that's a yes to the Hot Seat Frank ? I will add you to the list before you change your mind
I was being a bit trite I guess Karen, I was sort of paraphrasing the adage that "It takes an Enlightened being to recognise another Enlightened being" plus if you think you are Enlightened then you are not.
What all true Christians should have in common are:
1. We believe the God of the Bible is the one and only true God who created all things.
2. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and our instruction manual to teach us God's ways and how to live our lives.
3. We know that we are sinners and that our sins have separated us from our God who is Holy and Righteous and cannot exist with unholiness and unrighteousness.
4. We believe Jesus Christ is the Beloved Son of God who was sent by God to bring salvation and redemption from our sins to those of us who believe and receive this free gift from God. We receive this gift by confessing our sins, asking Jesus to become our Savior, and being baptized as Jesus set the example for us to do. We believe Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins, was buried, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God.
5. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells us and teaches and guides our lives and is the power of Christ in us to help us be more like Him and overcome sin and temptation, etc.
6. We believe that when we die to this earthly life we will enter into our eternal life with God.
7. We believe that Jesus Christ will come again and set up His Kingdom where all true Christians will live eternally with God our Father and Christ our Savior.
There are many Christian churches today and though they may have different man made doctrines and traditions...they all should agree on what I have listed above. The sad thing is just like when Jesus walked this earth there is still much argument and disagreement on Biblical interpretation even in true Christian churches and among sincere Christians. To me...concentrating on what Jesus said in the New Testament, especially in the Book of John, keeps everything simple to me. My faith and trust is in His Words..believing as He said that everything He spoke and did was from His and our Father God. There is a saying: "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future." And I do without a doubt...and that is the peace that Christ gives which surpasses all understanding and lets me live my earthly life with an abundance of joy even in times of trial and sorrow.
Christians are followers of Christ and what He taught in the New Testament.
I think there is one thing that even true Christians don't "get" most of the time. Our salvation can never be because of "our righteousness" before God....it will always be because of Jesus Christ's righteousness.