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Old 03-13-2002, 08:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar:
I'm not xian
and why refer to it as that? last i checked, "xian" is not a word to show religious affliation.
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Old 03-13-2002, 08:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes:
and why refer to it as that? last i checked, "xian" is not a word to show religious affliation.
If you read my last post I apologized for saying that. It is a short form like xmas(christmas)



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Old 03-13-2002, 10:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar:
If you read my last post I apologized for saying that. It is a short form like xmas(christmas)

[/B]
Well, the x could mean

-the shape of a cross, the symbol of salvation
-the Greek letter Chi, the first letter in the Greek spelling of Christo
-x, for people who want Christ to have nothing to do with Christmas

I think those are all the possible interpretations.
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Old 03-13-2002, 10:42 PM   #19
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"X" = "Christ" in Greek.

Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes:
and why refer to it as that? last i checked, "xian" is not a word to show religious affliation.
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Old 03-13-2002, 11:12 PM   #20
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Apology accepted, Ravenstar.

Melon, no surprises, but I disagree on a point or two:

Quote:
Faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, who lived, died, and was resurrected.

Period.
That seems insufficient, compared to what I listed. Specifically on the issues of WHY Christ died and to what degree we are to follow His teachings.

After all, Satan believes that Christ is the ressurected Son of God.

Quote:
The "silent" Christian, to me, is the liberal Christian, who generally rejects all that legalism and has more of a personal faith, but is so tolerant that they have no problem with non-believers. Then, of course, it is those right-wing Christians who insist on evangelism to the non-believers, but carry all that legalistic baggage, coming across as a cult member half of the time. As one of those "silent" Christians, I find myself disgusted by many of the actions of the conservative Christians, so I can only imagine what non-believers must think!
I don't believe that "right-wing Christians" alone insist on evangelism:

* Matthew 28:19 ("teach all nations")
* Mark 16:15
* Acts 1:8

Further, Acts and the Epistles document the fact that the first Christians preached extensively; we should probably follow suit.

Most importantly, there's the implication that the Gospel message itself motivates evangelism. Great Commission aside, the New Testament also teaches these three truths:

* Man is doomed on its own (Romans 6:23).
* Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6).
* We are to love our neighbors (John 13:34).

(There are, of course, other verses; I list just one as an example.)

If those three statements are true, it follows that we should preach the Gospel to everyone.

(And, as an aside, I'm not sure what happens when faithful Buddhists die. I like to hope they too find God, but I still believe that that is only possible through Christ, whether or not the Buddhists are cognizant of Him. At any rate, such a hope is less certain than the Christianity itself; and such a hope is not an excuse to avoid evangelism.)

I admittedly don't follow the commandment as well as I should, but that doesn't invalidate the Great Commision: Christ explicitly teaches it, the Apostles followed it, and the basic tenets of Christianity imply it.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 03-13-2002).]
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Old 03-14-2002, 04:33 AM   #21
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If there is any grey area, melon and Bubba will disagree. It seemed as though melon just gave a succinct answer, whereas Bubba was more detailed.
I've noticed a lot of born again Christians feel this great need to include the prefix 'born again' when naming their beliefs. Maybe that's what Lilly was getting at.
?
Dunno, I'm religionless.
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Old 03-14-2002, 05:01 AM   #22
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My own thoughts...

If someone asked me how to become a Christian, I don't know that I'd even talk much about faith. I am more interested in the tangible. The here and now. I think that if someone is pursuing communion with god (or God), and that there is evidence of that pursuit in the way they live their life (however difficult or impossible said evidence may be to quantify), then they are a believer, or a Christian, or whatever they prefer to be called. And whether they smoke, drink or cuss is irrelevant to me, 'cause I do most of that stuff.

I also believe that some Christians are really working against themselves by using what I call "Jesusspeak." I respectfully disagree with the use of such terms as "Born Again," "The Great Commission," "redemption," etc., and even the term "sin." The use of these terms is not a huge issue with me but I have to say, I'm sure there are people reading this thread who have no idea what any of this stuff means, and indeed, who are likely put off by the use of such terminology.

Getting back to the issue at hand, I don't know that I have the answer to the question "How does one become a Christian?" It's not a black and white issue for me; hence, I'll probably be redefining my answer forever. I try to be a good person.... that's all I can do.
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Old 03-14-2002, 07:01 AM   #23
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If i believe that the universe was created from a ball of noxious gases 9 billion years ago...
If i believe in evolution and continuing evolutionary theory...
If i believe that christ existed and lived and died...
If i am unsure in my mind whether or not JC was actually born to a virgin and actually resurrected from the dead and is actually the son of god...
If I follow Christ's actions and commandments (accepting that this is contradictory to my being unsure about the above points)...

Can i still be a christian?
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:
If i am unsure in my mind whether or not JC was actually born to a virgin and actually resurrected from the dead and is actually the son of god...
If I follow Christ's actions and commandments (accepting that this is contradictory to my being unsure about the above points)...
Can i still be a christian?
I believe that if you are unsure of the above things about Christ, you are not a Christian, because it doesn't have anything to do with what you do, but rather your belief, faith and trust in what was done for you by the Lord Jesus.



[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 03-14-2002).]
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem:
If there is any grey area, melon and Bubba will disagree. It seemed as though melon just gave a succinct answer, whereas Bubba was more detailed.
I've noticed a lot of born again Christians feel this great need to include the prefix 'born again' when naming their beliefs. Maybe that's what Lilly was getting at.
?
Dunno, I'm religionless.
my question is why does religion do this? I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here, logical discussion has never been a problem, but why is it that people feel a need, the whole world over, to blatanttly defy others' beliefs. I mean, alright I'm getting totally off topic here so go ahead and ignore me if you'd like, but I've been studying the Middle East lately, as many people have I'm sure, and I cannot comprehend why the 3 major religions in that area are so incredibly intolerant of eachother. Even the groups within the religions. Why can't people just accept what other people believe and live their lives in peace? I personally think as Ive said before that all religions go back to one God...why argue the details? People become so possessive of the tiniest little aspects of their belief that they feel the need to violate their own morals just to protect them...
it just blows my mind. I think if everyone could just step back and look at the situation reasonably they'd see how ridiculous it is. But that's so impossible
ahh whatever, excuse my rant.

how do you become a Christian pub crawler? I'm not actually sure, I was raised in the a Presbytarian Church from the time when I was 4, when I was baptized so that's how it went for me. The biggest thing is believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior, oh yes and practicing tolerance, I think. But then again I was never confirmed because I'm not sure about the Church, so I'm sure my answer is all wrong.



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Old 03-14-2002, 11:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by BabyGrace:
but why is it that people feel a need, the whole world over, to blatanttly defy others' beliefs. I cannot comprehend why the 3 major religions in that area are so incredibly intolerant of eachother. Why can't people just accept what other people believe and live their lives in peace? I personally think as Ive said before that all religions go back to one God...why argue the details? People become so possessive of the tiniest little aspects of their belief that they feel the need to violate their own morals just to protect them...
You're right, BabyGrace, people should be more "tolerant" of other people's beliefs, if "tolerance" means not beating each other up or insulting people for their beliefs.
However, there is indeed a reason why people (regardless of what faith they are) try to convert people. It's to share the good thing you feel God has given you. Think of it this way; if someone gave you an unlimited supply of money, and told you that there was enough for everyone in the world to have as much as they want and no one would ever run out, wouldn't you run and tell everyone you knew, so that they could share in it? I don't think you would hoard it all yourself, would you? That's why people evangelize.
Also, the reason Christians, Jews and Muslims "argue the details" is because each one of our religions says that it is the ONLY way to God. Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me", and there are other claims as to Christianity being the only way. People of the Muslim faith think theirs is the only way, also. Same with Judaism. That's why it's impossible for every oen of us to be right. Based on these claims, if Christianity is right, Islam and Judaism are wrong. If Islam is right, Judaism and Christianity are wrong. And so on. That's why the details must be discussed. It is a quest for absolute truth.

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Old 03-14-2002, 01:31 PM   #27
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Angela:

Certainly, melon and I disagree on a LOT of issues, but I doubt that either of us are doing just to be contrary, just to pick a fight with the other.

Melon's definition was more succinct, but I also think it was *too* succinct. I think one should make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.

Let's say that I defined a square as "having four sides, all the same length, meeting at right angles" and Melon defined a square as simply "having four sides." In that example, Melon would have overgeneralized: he would have defined quadrilaterals; while that does include squares, it also allows for rectangles, rhombuses, etc.

Likewise, I think Melon's definition is too simple in that it doesn't mention human failings, obedience to Christ, etc.

pub crawler:

I agree that using specialized terms is useless when talking to a non-believer. If I were talking to a non-believer, I'd probably avoid the word "sin" and say something like this:

"God created each of us with a specific purpose - to follow Him and have a personal relationship with Him. Rather than create robots, He created us with the ability to choose Him or our own selfish ways. The problem is, we have all chosen to be selfish, time and time again. We have separated ourselves from God. He demands a level of perfection that we cannot reach on our own, regardless of how good we try to be. We've burnt the bridge between us and Him, and we can't build it back."

That said, I think it's fine for fellow Christians to use such specialized terminology - not to create a clique or to distance themselves from non-believers, but because it is generally easier to use the specialized terms:

It's easier to say "sin" than "disobedience and separation from God". It's easier to say "the Transfiguration" than "the miracle where Moses and Elijah showed up talking to Jesus." It's easier to say "the Great Commission" than "the commandment to go and preach the gospel."

I'll be happy explain any unfamiliar terms, but I think I can use these terms without causing too much damage.

zoomerang II:

I believe I agree with 80sU2isBest that belief in Christ as the resurrected Son of God is necessary. That's certainly not a criticism; I would just suggest that you reflect on whether Christ actually is what He said He is.

BabyGrace:

I would say that people aren't entirely intolerant, that the vast majority of people in this country believe that Christians, Jews, and Muslims should live and let live.

(Also remember: the predominantly Christian United States sent military aid to Somalia and the fomer Yugoslavia for the sake of Muslims.)

That said, we are not arguing details. We are arguing the very core of our beliefs. Even if we do believe in the same God (something I'm not entirely sure is the case), Christians believe Jesus Christ is the ressurected Son of God and the source of our salvation and Muslims believe He is merely a prophet.

That sort of gulf CANNOT be reconciled. It's not comparable to the differences between Christian denominations, which debate Transubstantiation and how to baptize; it's far too crucial. The two religions are ULTIMATELY incompatible.

80sU2isBest:

Good posts.
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Old 03-14-2002, 05:24 PM   #28
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Bubba, arguing on a fundamentalist level does nothing to a liberal Christian, by definition. I know I have argued on a fundamentalist level in the past (part so I could get my point across to conservative Christians, part for my own amusement and knowledge growth), but it certainly doesn't change my views on the Bible and 2000 years of Christian tradition, which I don't think is infallible.

pub crawler asked for a survey, and I gave my personal response, which is quite succinct. I do not think there is some long list of requirements to get the title of "Christian," but, without belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, then the title doesn't apply to you (hence the word "Christ" in "Christian").

As for that long list of supposed requirements (the one that makes me laugh is the one that I am supposed to believe I have "human failings," implying I'm evil), I don't think that all Christians have to share it.

As for the reference to Satan, you are playing semantics games. You know exactly what I mean: the only general requirement for Christianity is true faith in God and faith in Jesus. The rest of morality depends on conscience and the specific denomination you belong to, but those aren't "Christian" requirements.

I do respect others beliefs in this thread, including yours, but I do not share them. It is that simple. With that, I believe that, because of the strict requirements that conservative Christianity has placed on being a Christian, it has driven away far more potential converts than it has attracted. For those here who think that all Christians are like the fundamentalist "Bible Belters," I can assure you that that is wholly incorrect. There are plenty of liberal Christian sects, but they don't televangelize, nor scream of "fire and brimstone" on street corners, nor do they cast the first stone on non-believers.

I assure the "skeptics" of Christianity that if you sincerely have believe in Christ, but are rejected by the legalism of more conservative sects, there is still a place for you in it, even if it means that I have to found my own Christian denomination to do it.

Melon

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Old 03-14-2002, 05:30 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem:
If there is any grey area, melon and Bubba will disagree. It seemed as though melon just gave a succinct answer, whereas Bubba was more detailed.
I've noticed a lot of born again Christians feel this great need to include the prefix 'born again' when naming their beliefs. Maybe that's what Lilly was getting at.
?
Dunno, I'm religionless.
Angela: Yep, that's exactly what I was getting at. I just have such a negative connotation to being 'born again' though I'm not sure quite why.

melon: Thanks for the info on infant baptism, I didn't know some of that, and I find it really interesting.

zoomerang: To me, you are a Christian if you believe in Christ, as I previously stated. But, I don't know what some more educated people think about it...'cos I don't know for sure.

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Old 03-14-2002, 06:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
I do respect others beliefs in this thread, including yours, but I do not share them. It is that simple. With that, I believe that, because of the strict requirements that conservative Christianity has placed on being a Christian, it has driven away far more potential converts than it has attracted. For those here who think that all Christians are like the fundamentalist "Bible Belters," I can assure you that that is wholly incorrect. There are plenty of liberal Christian sects, but they don't televangelize, nor scream of "fire and brimstone" on street corners, nor do they cast the first stone on non-believers.
I couldn't agree with you more. I think a lot of it has to do with people characterizing Christianity based on the USA. It's not the same Christianity I grew up with half a world away. It's not the only way.
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