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Originally posted by Sundancer
Seems to me believing in god gives you a licence to kill, steal, lie,
have sex with children, do drugs, get drunk, and whatever else you
choose as long as you say your prayers every night. So why do I always
hear people say "he or she is not a real Christian"?
If there was a religion designed by the devil to deceive the common
man wouldn't it be Christianity?
The bible started off as a compromise by committee of the scriptures from the various Christian sects to form a single orthodoxy.
The vast majority of Christian factions splintered off from that orthodoxy to have various differing bibles in multiple different languages and translations.
Not to mention that the bible is so vague to begin with that any particular interpretation you glean from it will justifiable in your eyes, but heretical to others.
Indeed, from my experience, very few (if any) Christians truly even strive to exemplify the archetype character they've assembled - let alone can lay claim to being Christian in the sense that a historic (if he existed) Christ actually lived.
I would wager at least 75%+ of the faith are only Christian due to the "get out of hell free" card that it gives them - and they abuse it.
A substantial %'age of the rest are only Christian because they get something out of it... like an ego boost or money in the case of the Evangelicals.
Not to mention the "perks of prayer". At least in my area of the world, I notice many people pray to beseech a favor from God on their behalf - be it to win a war, save a loved one, or win the lotto - or they pray to kiss up to god in hopes of reinforcing that aforementioned hell dodge. Many only pray simply out of tradition or ritual. Rarely does anyone seem to pray out genuine admiration, humble appreciation, ardent gratitude, or love for their chosen deity.
What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?
Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead.
But someone will say: 'You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.' You believe that God is one; you do well.
Even the demons believe—and shudder.
Do you want to be shown, you foolish fellow, that faith apart from works is barren?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son, Isaac, upon the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness'; and he was called the friend of God.
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone, as we said a short time ago.
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead [cf. Jas 2:14-24, 26]
One can easily say they have faith, and keep on living life as they please...does this mean that faith alone gets them on the side of God?
I don't think so.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
"Confess" means to say the same thing about something as someone else does (Gr. homologeo; cf. 1 John 1:9). In this context it refers to saying the same thing about Jesus Christ as other believers in Him do. It is an
acknowledgment of one's faith in Christ. Obedient Christians in the early
church made this confession verbally and in water baptism, as we do today
(cf. Matt. 28:19-20).
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Originally posted by Sundancer
Here's a brief summery of the answers given so far.
Most people who answered this post believe your actions are an important part of being saved, along with your belief that Christ is your savior. Others believe your belief that Christ is your savior alone will get you into heaven. Many believe you don't have to worship in a church to be a "real Christian.
It gave me a fresh and more positive look at Christianity.
Thank you all.
Originally posted by whatukno
reply to post by Sundancer
Depends on who you ask
If you ask the Phelps family, they will say they are real Christians.
If you ask Pat Robertson he will say he is a real Christian.
If you ask the KKK they will say they are real Christians.
Anyone sensing a trend here?
It's a religious ideology, in that general ideology there are splinter groups that twist those general beliefs to their own idea of what a Real Christian is.
Originally posted by laura petrie
From what I have observed on this world, those who say that they are true Christians are often not.
Those who doubt that they are, that they will not be able to do enough good to ever reach that title, are the ones who are true Christians.
Originally posted by Blue_Jay33
Actions determine who real Christians are, not words or even a persons beliefs.
Once saved always saved, is a huge dogmatic lie.
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of G-d, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The Nicean Creed:
- We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
- By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];
- Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;
- He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;
- From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
- And in the Holy Ghost.
7. But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
The Apostles Creed (United Methodist Church version)
- I believe in God the Father Almighty,
- maker of heaven and earth;
- And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
- who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
- born of the Virgin Mary,
- suffered under Pontius Pilate,
- was crucified, dead, and buried;
- the third day he rose from the dead;
- he ascended into heaven,
- and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
- from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
- I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- the holy catholic church,
- the communion of saints,
- the forgiveness of sins,
- the resurrection of the body,
- and the life everlasting. Amen.