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Old 12-27-2001, 07:47 AM   #1
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Born again?

Someone help me out of my confusion please. Can you provide me with a definition of what exactly a born-again Christian is?
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Old 12-27-2001, 08:18 AM   #2
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In my religion we don't use the conception of being born again. But from what I gather from other born again Christians it means that first you were born from your mother's womb. And when your receive Christ into your life your are born again of the Spirit.
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Old 12-27-2001, 10:07 AM   #3
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I think this label has a different meaning for different people. I think some people see it as a negative thing, others don't. I think it is a label placed on conservative protestant denominations more than any others.

The origin of the term comes from Jesus's conversation with Nicodemus (a Jewish Pharisee) in the book of John, chapter 3. He came to Jesus late at night to get the scoop on this guy who was performing miracles. Jesus tells him that "no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." Other, more literal translations say "unless he is born from above". Nicodemus gets all confused, asking how someone can be born a second time. Jesus explains that he is talking about being "born of water and the Spirit". This passage is also home to perhaps the bible's most famous verse: John 3:16.
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Old 12-28-2001, 01:59 AM   #4
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here's a site that breaks it all down:
http://www.greatcom.org/laws/



Quote:
Originally posted by Klodomir:
Someone help me out of my confusion please. Can you provide me with a definition of what exactly a born-again Christian is?
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Old 12-29-2001, 07:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase:
[B]I think it is a label placed on conservative protestant denominations more than any others.

[B]
Not necessarily. They may talk about it a lot because you can grow up in the church and never fully commit yourself to God--surrender (see the diagram in the website disco posted). A devoted protestant wants to be sure he/she practices because he/she has had this conversion experience, not just because of church membership (unlike Catholics).

But the Born Again experience can really happen to anyone, certainly to people unaffiliated with any traditional church or religion. Myself, I was Jewish. There are many congregations that are non-denominational who emphasize the "new life" of being Born Again rather than the traditional ceremony of the mainlines.
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Old 01-02-2002, 05:22 AM   #6
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Do you just decide with yourself that you are born again, or does some sort of ceremony come with it?
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Old 01-02-2002, 05:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hans Moleman:

As a sidenote, there was an interesting sub-culture of the early 1970s that was documented in an anthropological film called "Jesus Freaks." What happened was that you had a lot of hippies who came from non-religious, broken homes and had spent the last few years on one hedonistic binge after another. And all they did, essentially, was substitute their hedonistic binge for a "Jesus binge"--just another drug, essentially. What concerns me was the fact that, like a drug, the "Jesus binge" did nothing to correct the root of their problems. "Jesus" was just a socially acceptable "drug."

Anyway, the above is not me generalizing an entire group.

Melon

Melon,

I'm curious as to what you mean with this statement. I go to church at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, the church credited by Newsweek and Time magazine as the church that God began the whole "Jesus Movement" through. While i am sure many of the hippies that became Christians eventually fell away, I encounter weekly, men and women whose lives have been dramatically altered by the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. I'm curious how you view this movement because I see it as a true revival and an outpouring of God's Holy Spirit.
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Old 01-02-2002, 11:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Do you just decide with yourself that you are born again, or does some sort of ceremony come with it?
For the longest time I was told by my mentors at church that the process of being born again climaxes in a single day i.e. we all have a 'second birth date' eg. 4th January. When my mentor asked me what was the date that I was born again, I couldn't give an answer because it all seemed so gradual (my decision to follow Christ). I suppose he didn't experience it the way I did, so he had a narrow view of it.

People can be born again under various circumstances, not only ceremonies:

1) A person may go to a youth rally or Christian gathering and there the speaker may give what is called an 'altar call' which is an invitation to accept Christ into his life. Whoever accepts goes down to the stage and there will be counsellors at hand to guide them through the 'Sinner's Prayer' which goes something like this: Confessing to God that I am a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification, I do now receive and confess Him as my personal Saviour. This prayer may be paraphrased in simpler language, of course. After this momentous evening, the person is assigned a sort of 'follow up buddy' who meets up with regularly so as to usher him into the Christian brotherhood, or simply to be a friend who answers questions about this newfound religion.

2) A person may accept Jesus Christ as his lord and saviour in the privacy of his own bedroom, on the bus, anywhere. He doesn't have to say the sinner's prayer word for word, it's not that structured a thing.

3) A person may accept Jesus with a friend to help pray with him, for him.


I'm tired. Hope I said it all well?


fors
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Old 01-03-2002, 03:12 AM   #9
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Perhaps I'm generalizing...but "born again" Christianity seems to be the natural pendulum swing from the agnosticism/atheism of the 1960s-70s--just as the 1960s-70s were the natural pendulum swing of the restrictive 1940s-50s. If we aren't careful, we may be laying the foundation for the next pendulum swing back.

As a sidenote, there was an interesting sub-culture of the early 1970s that was documented in an anthropological film called "Jesus Freaks." What happened was that you had a lot of hippies who came from non-religious, broken homes and had spent the last few years on one hedonistic binge after another. And all they did, essentially, was substitute their hedonistic binge for a "Jesus binge"--just another drug, essentially. What concerns me was the fact that, like a drug, the "Jesus binge" did nothing to correct the root of their problems. "Jesus" was just a socially acceptable "drug."

Anyway, the above is not me generalizing an entire group.

Melon

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Old 01-03-2002, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ocu2fan:
I'm curious as to what you mean with this statement.
I would like to reiterate that I'm not trying to generalize my statement to mean that every born again Christian is the way I described in my discussion of the film, "Jesus Freaks." My concern is that *some* people are substituting "Jesus" for substance abuse or whatever their prior addiction was. Or perhaps they are drowning their sorrows not in alcohol, but in "Jesus," but, like alcohol, they are only shoving their problems under the rug without solving them.

Now you may think, "So what?" And that comes the conundrum: what do you do when your "addiction" is socially acceptable? Not solving this, however, does lead to societal repercussions, namely fanaticism. This is a major problem, historically, with the most recent example being the Taliban, which was pretty much "born again" Islam. What always kills me is how these fanatics are never contented with the status quo--they always demand "more." Usually by "more," it is somehow that we are more "evil" than ever, we aren't "doing enough," we're "all going to hell," or, in the case of St. Augustine (a convert himself), creating a mass philosophical and ritualistic structure to Christianity that didn't exist before his time.

But, perhaps to pose another question, is this really "a true revival and an outpouring of God's Holy Spirit" or Satan's attempt to bastardize Christianity in exploiting an innate human desire for salvation?

To reiterate, I am not saying all "born agains" are this way I described above, but I'm sure many people know at least *someone* who may fit the bill above. I'm trying to be as specific as possible, because I know that blanketing an entire group by behavioral traits is always incorrect, so I hope that no one takes offense. This is an honest ideological exploration on my part.

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Old 01-07-2002, 03:29 AM   #11
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Thanks for all your replies! Yes, it made a lot of sense, Foray.
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Old 01-07-2002, 02:32 PM   #12
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DebbieSG, I think you might have misunderstood what I was saying (way back near the top of this page). I definitely don't mean to say that only members of "conservative protestant denominations" can be "born again." I meant to say that the term is often used as a label for people in these types of denominations. For example, someone might say that "Bob Dylan became a born-again Christian," as opposed to a "mainline" Christian or some other alternative.
I don't like that the phrase is used that way, because it makes it sound like it's something unique to certain sects of Christianity, when I believe that it is simply a doctrine taught by Christ.
An example of using "born again" as a label: From reading his last post, I would assume that Melon considers "born again" to mean "fundamentalist", rather than "surrendering ones life to Christ and thereby beginning a spiritual 'new life'". Melon mentions, "the Taliban, which was pretty much 'born again' Islam". Certainly members of the Taliban don't hold to the teaching of Jesus in John chapter 3 (home of the phrase "born again"), so I can only assume that he is using the term interchangeably with "fundamentalist".
All this to say that there are really 2 answers to Klodomir's question. One is the label "born again", which usually is equated with "fundamentalist", and the other is the doctrine of being "born again", which Discoteque's link lays out very well, despite never using the phrase "born again".

[This message has been edited by Spiral_Staircase (edited 01-07-2002).]
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Old 01-07-2002, 11:17 PM   #13
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Spiral, ok I understand you there I think. I don't think the term "Born Again" should be equated with fundamentalism because then it does take on a negative connotation that may influence people's view of the doctrinal Born Again experience. Then again, someone who is Born Again (doctrinally) can be a Fundamentalist...I think they are erring on the side of the Pharisees, but we all have baggage we find hard to leave behind. Anyone who has accepted Christ is Born Again, and if he/she wants to say they are Born Again it shouldn't mean that they are related to any certain denomination, but that they can be found in any denomination. Does that make sense?
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Old 01-08-2002, 01:15 PM   #14
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I agree 100%.
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Old 01-09-2002, 04:16 AM   #15
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Colour me enlightened!
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