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A question to all: Am I a "Christian"?

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posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 01:21 AM
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a reply to: OptimusSubprime


My first point would be that if you are indeed a Christian, then you shouldn't care what anyone else thinks. You should only care what God thinks.

What God thinks doesn't matter two hoots.

In my country, today, mosques and churches are being trashed by Buddhist mobs. Muslims and Christians are being attacked, sometimes murdered. The evil cretins who do these things don't care what God thinks. They care what name you have, where you went to school, whether pulling your pants down reveals a circumcised or uncircumcised penis, whether you can recite the Buddhist gathas word-perfect or not. And most of all, how you are identified in the electoral register, which (with the complaisance of the government) they use to seek out their victims.

Is God going to lift a finger to protect these Christians (and Muslims)? You know the answer. When the smoke has cleared and the bodies and the rubble have been cleared away, God will have been seen and heard to do nothing but maintain his customary invisibility and silence. And the believers still living will talk about how the dead were 'martyrs' to their faith and are even now being rewarded by dwellings in Paradise. Instead, they should be shaking their fists at Heaven, asking why the God in whom they placed their trust has failed them so.

As Nietzsche astutely observed, Christianity is slave morality. The code of conduct it propounds is one that will help a slave to survive longer and cope better with the daily cruelties and deprivations to which he is subject. People who care what God thinks are basically trying to second-guess a Great Slavemaster in the Sky. Who almost certainly doesn't exist, anyway.




posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 01:31 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs


Father Spong

Aha! Not just Episcopalian, but Anglo-Catholic! Most Anglicans, whether High Church or Low, would say 'Bishop Spong', but Anglo-Catholics sometimes go for the Catholic salutation, 'father'.

Lots of smells and bills and fancy vestments in the churches where you worshipped as a child? Did you grow up and go to Sunday School in New England, by any chance?


edit on 22/6/14 by Astyanax because: of carillons, chasubles and incense.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 06:33 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

If I were to walk into your life and present myself with these attributes - what would you 'label' me as?
I think the term would be: a lapsed Christian.
So, technically, Christian, but in need of an update.
If I said you were not "saved", then I would be expressing a belief in salvation by correct theology.
I am of the opinion right now in my study of the nature of the Christian experience, that your sharing right now makes up for your lack of formal church attendance.



edit on 22-6-2014 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Sounds to me like you had a terrible childhood. I am sorry that your Mom never told you what Church was really about and instead tried to make you someone who she felt would reflect her well. My Mom as I was growing up would always tell us to go to church because we were a reflection of her. She finally understands that Church is not a building, but the Body of all Believers. You wanted to say you fit into the category because you were baptized before you were to young to make the choice, which makes no sense to me. What makes you a Christian is having had a personal talk with God. You tell him(and believe) that you are a sinner and always will be, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and make you clean through his sacrifice for us. Tell God you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is how one is born again friend.




JOhn3
3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever [d]believes will in Him have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.


Where do you fit? You have never been born-again. You also deny Christ before man therefore the Bible says He will deny you before the Father.

Now does that mean I believe as of this moment you are at risk of Hell? Yes, but Hell imo is eternal separation from God. If God is just, and gave you free will, then how can He justify forcing you into His presence for eternity? If you don't want God in this life, why would you want Him in the next?



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

You also deny Christ before man therefore the Bible says He will deny you before the Father.
The text goes like this:
Matthew 10:32-34
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

(2011 NIV)
Jesus was giving instructions to his disciples to go out to the towns within the former boundaries of Israel to preach the gospel of the Kingdom.
This is a bit of parable, where the meaning is that "Israel" rejecting Jesus as their Prince was going to bring the final annihilation of whatever was left of that former kingdom.
My point being that this should not be taken as applying literally to individuals.
I realize that modern pop-culture religion likes to reverse it to mean that they are saved because they give a declaration of belief before people, usually other Christians.
That is just wrong and you need to pray to God for wisdom to understand true salvation.
edit on 22-6-2014 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:46 AM
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I'm finding all of your answers to be very interesting.

I want to point out a few things, and wonder if they will change any of your thoughts/comments:

I did not say whether or not I WANT to be a Christian.

As I clarified earlier, I did not say I DON'T BELIEVE in God. Actually, I see "God" in everything.

I didn't ask "what should I do?"

And also: I am actually pretty comfortable with my position, while at the same time I didn't state how I 'categorize' myself, either.

Honestly, it's been quite interesting to read all of your responses and thoughts. I don't feel helplessly lost, and I didn't ask for "instructions" on how to be 'saved.' Your responses have come across with a variety of themes:

How-to guidance; pity/disappointment; simple legalism; semantics; cultural views; comparative approaches, and others.
One more question for you all:

Did this exercise cause you to think about your own views, and how they are assessed - by yourself AND contrasted as to how they might be assessed by others?



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 09:51 AM
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Do I believe in God? No
Do I believe Jesus existed? Yes
Do I believe Jesus was the son of God? No
Do I believe in what Jesus taught? Yes
Do I believe he was crucified? Yes
Do I believe he resurrected? No
Do I believe in the 'Miracles'? I believe some happened but not as a miracle but lack of understanding of science. (i.e Lazarus was probably in a coma)

I was raised Catholic, only attending church when I was little (had no choice) but my beliefs now are too complicated to go into here.

Do I consider myself Christian?

I consider myself Christian in that I believe in what Jesus taught, so that makes me a follower of Jesus right? But I don't believe in anything devine, God like or religious.
edit on Jun565430America/ChicagoSun, 22 Jun 2014 09:56:54 -0500_6645630 by Mister_Bit because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax


Lots of smells and bills and fancy vestments in the churches where you worshipped as a child?

In the beginning, yes - it was a High Episcopal (Anglican) style church. Incense, vestments, votive candle stations, etc.

When we moved to a different state, however, those churches weren't in existence in the area, so we attended regular (less Catholic-like) ones.


Did you grow up and go to Sunday School in New England, by any chance?

No. I was born in the Chicago area, and lived in small towns in the Northwest area; Lake County.

It might be interesting to you to know that my maternal grandmother had been raised Catholic, but she married a man who had been divorced, and so they could not marry in the Catholic Church (she was, that is, excommunicated - because her husband didn't fit). My mom was quite drawn to religion from very early - used to get herself up and dressed and go to church with a real zeal and passion. She taught Sunday School, and that was where my Dad first spied her - bringing her little charges up from the nursery for their blessing during the service (after which she'd take them back down to the nursery).

My dad's mother had died in an accident at home just weeks earlier. He was at the church to talk to his friend, Father Sigman, and when he saw my mom he exclaimed: "That's the girl I'm going to marry." My dad had been raised a strict Lutheran, and he hated it. He had left home to do that wandering youth thing - and then came back to the tiny town to which his mom and her new husband had moved him and his brother from greater Chicago. He hated that small town, too...

while my brothers and I were growing up, he went along with us when we were really young. He stopped going with the family gradually, and eventually only went on Christmas and Easter. As they both got older, he stopped going altogether. Then, since all of us kids had left, it was just Mom. And finally, with all the schisms and changes in the bland American Episcopal parish she'd attended for 20-odd years, she just...drifted away.
And hasn't looked back, except, as I said, in bewilderment.

Now, we are both sort of "students" of the phenomenon of religiosity/spiritual expression. After my dad died, I re-immersed myself in theological study and thought. It will be 4 years later this summer since he's gone. And to be honest, I feel like I'm "getting over" my own interest in religion and its nuances/influences once again. In the meantime, I've read dozens of books by various researchers, theologians, social psychologists, behavioral evolutionary sociologists, spiritual guides, holy texts, historians, analysts, and others.

I know a whole lot more than I did before, and a large part of that is thanks to you all and ATS. But I don't feel any different, really, than I did to begin with. It's been an interesting excursion, to say the least. (My dad died with belief in God but no use at all for religion.)

ETA: I just noticed the 'reason for edit' items you listed. Yep, censors and lots of bells too (carillons).

edit on 6/22/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 10:01 AM
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a reply to: Mister_Bit

I think if you did go into it, I'd just be saying:
Exactly!
I know! Right?
Yes!
That's what I've been thinking!



Thanks for your response. I feel you.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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A response to those who think I might be feeling "tugged", or seem to hope I'll "come around" with a little nudging...

I can feel tugged all I want - but that doesn't mean I can "force myself" to believe things I simply do not believe.
If anything in the last few years, I've learned that maybe it's possible Jesus actually survived the crucifixion, and then exiled himself. If he DID survive the scourging and brief time of 'hanging there', and healed - that itself is enough of a "miracle", I think.

But the thing is: How does one simply "DECIDE" to "BELIEVE" something? I don't seem to have been born with that gene.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 10:41 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

You are Christian if you claim the title and follow the words of Christ...

You don't need to go to church, nor do you need to profess any creed set forth by the early church...

Many who go to church and profess said creed are technically not Christian because they willingly turn their backs on those in need...

It comes down to this... Know them by their fruit...

IF you believe in the words of Jesus... Follow them, and claim the title...

You're Christian


edit on 22-6-2014 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: ccseagull


My dear - I get the feeling you want to counted as saved.

Hm. I could read this several ways...

"counted" by whom?

I personally think I'm doing fine, and have a wonderful afterlife (or several) ahead of me.

"Counted as saved" by others?
Meh.

Like I've said - I don't really care how others judge me or label me in terms of "saved" or "damned."
I just wondered what the readers would have to say if I asked them if they think I'm a "Christian."

edit on 6/22/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb


Sounds to me like you had a terrible childhood.

Really? Well that's a pretty crummy thing to say!

Nope. I was loved, never beaten or abused, had plenty to eat, went to school, my home was a place with books, music, culture, civility, laughter and love. (I fought with my brothers, but, oh well.)

I had a "classic, happy, middle-class" childhood. My parents stayed together, and offered us every opportunity to explore whatever we wanted to. We were taught to "look it up!" when we had questions. THAT message sunk in...as well as proper grammar, and the importance of articulate speech.

My mother simply didn't catch on that I wasn't buying it the way she did - since then we've talked about religion and the church for countless hours. NOW she understands the message I heard - and it wasn't at all the message she thought I was hearing. (Namely: worthless sinner who can never do anything right no matter how hard I try.)

She and my dad never TREATED me like that, never told me I was a filthy sinner or doomed to hell.
So far, you're the only one who's told me that - you and others of your variety of worshipper. None of my loved ones or friends EVER did.

But, thanks for your perspective! That's what I was looking for!



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: Akragon


IF you believe in the words of Jesus... Follow them

Well, I do, to the best of my ability - and as I said earlier, I believe his words were to love others: treat them the way we want to be treated. The age-old standard Golden Rule. (As opposed to the Love God AND Love Your Neighbor - but then again, I love the creation, I love the earth and all that live on it. Some people, on the other hand, I could do without, though.)



and claim the title...

No, not really. I don't. Because I'm aware of what that "title" means to others, and it's not really me.

edit on 6/22/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse


Do you believe there is some force structuring the universe, and a part of it is structuring life on earth? Could that force be conceived as what we call god?

Yes, that much I do believe.

I can't go along with we're just DNA-spreading organisms and when we die that's it.
THAT does not make sense to me.

So - I'm a believer insofar as I think we are all connected to something greater than us, and unfathomable. I don't think Jesus was "more" part of God than any of us are, though. He was wise, perhaps an elder soul - who came back to teach, and found mostly dunces around him.

I think most of what he said was "dumbed down", and the good parts (like Gospel of Thomas) were left out - so we don't really KNOW.

Sorry, ricky, for the delayed response. I read your post, and just realized I hadn't remarked on it.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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Why do you ask the question in the first place?



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: Serdgiam

I explained that in the OP. Simply curious - to get some insight into how the group here sees me - how they define "Christianity", and how they see themselves.

Some I suspected would say "yes" because I was baptized into the church and trained up in it...some I suspected would say "no" because I don't (and never did) believe the Nicene Creed or the miracles or Jesus being the only one.
It was sort of a 'poll' to get a feel for how members who hang out here think - not whether I can "join the club."

edit on 6/22/2014 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb


You tell him(and believe) that you are a sinner and always will be, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and make you clean through his sacrifice for us. Tell God you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is how one is born again friend.

Just reviewing your post again.

As for the above? That sounds horrible.
No, I won't do that. See- that IS the message I got, and at the tender age of 8 or so I was already saying, "Wait. What?! NO!"

So - again, it's clear that in your book I'm no Christian. I'm fine admitting my mistakes and feeling remorse/regret, and trying to make amends to those I have let down or hurt -- but I won't trash myself like that. I'll never say I'm a piece of crap. Think I'll just stay born the way I was.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 12:58 PM
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Christ died for our sins. Belief in that is the way to salvation, and it's not enough to just say you believe in it. There has to be real faith in that. Belief in that and acceptance leads to a change in your life, a sense of peace. It changes the way you see things. At least it did for me.

I think you can gain salvation right up until you die, but your admission of faith and request for salvation has to be genuine. So, yes, Hitler could have been saved right at the end, but I don't think God would have gone easy on him at judgment.

If you don't find salvation, I'm not going to say there aren't any other ways to God and eternal life, but I don't think there are many if they exist, and I don't think it's easy. I'm not going to condemn anyone because that's just not my place. Only God can do it, and only He knows for sure. Anyone here who tells you they know, well they don't anymore than they really know if they're saved. I don't even know if I'm saved; I can only believe that I am and hope I'm right.



posted on Jun, 22 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb


You tell him(and believe) that you are a sinner and always will be, and ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart and make you clean through his sacrifice for us. Tell God you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. That is how one is born again friend.

Just reviewing your post again.

As for the above? That sounds horrible.
No, I won't do that. See- that IS the message I got, and at the tender age of 8 or so I was already saying, "Wait. What?! NO!"

So - again, it's clear that in your book I'm no Christian. I'm fine admitting my mistakes and feeling remorse/regret, and trying to make amends to those I have let down or hurt -- but I won't trash myself like that. I'll never say I'm a piece of crap. Think I'll just stay born the way I was.


That's your pride talking, and too much pride is a sin.

Are you perfect? You never, ever do anything wrong? You never, ever do things that hurt yourself or others?

Really?

You and everyone else in the world are a sinner. I'm a sinner. It doesn't have to make me live a life a guilt; it's just a fact I accept. For example, my husband and I were cranky and snapped at each other this morning without reason. It caused hurt feelings. There you go. Sin. We sought forgiveness from each other, and I'll talk to God about it tonight. It is what it is. Accepting that basic truth is not trashing yourself anymore than getting a paper full of red ink is derogatory.




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