It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Defining Christianity

page: 1
6
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:02 AM
link   
One thing no one here will deny is that there is a vast number of people claiming to know what Christianity is. From conversations here and elsewhere it is clear that almost any belief or practice can be asserted as "the real Christian faith". But to quote a line from The Incredibles, "When everyone is super, no one will be"; when everyone or every idea can be asserted as "Christianity", there is no point in calling it such. As long as this situation persists, any and every "Christian"-themed topic here will devolve into a mush of philosophies from every angle, derailing every one of them from the start.

So what we need to do is stop making "Christianity" the catch-all religion everyone loves to either endorse or hate, by appealing to a source no one will claim is biased toward a traditional or orthodox view: Wikipedia--


A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. "Christian" derives from the Greek word Christ, a translation of the Hebrew term Messiah.[1]

Central to the Christian faith is love or Agape. Christians also believe Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, the Son of God, and the savior of mankind from their sins.[2] Most Christians believe in the doctrine of the Trinity ("tri-unity"), a description of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which retains the monotheistic belief of Christianity's Abrahamic heritage through an ineffable confluence. This includes the vast majority of the churches in Christianity. A minority of Christian churches are Nontrinitarians.

I think that's a fair definition to work with. It is broad enough to accommodate the many differences of opinion about specific Bible teachings, yet narrow enough to keep it distinct from a thousand other beliefs. Given these parameters, it follows logically that any philosophy outside of them must not be a Christian one and should not co-opt the name. To do so is disingenuous and the very definition of antichrist; the Greek prefix "anti" means not only "against" but also "in the place of, an impostor". So a belief outside of this definition is an attempt to subvert and replace. If that is not the intent, then such a belief should adapt a different name.

With this starting point it may now be possible for those who meet the definition above to actually converse with each other on what flows from it, without having to continually deal with beliefs that are anti-Christian. We will also be able to direct questions at Christians or ask questions of Christians without a kaleidoscope of competing philosophies getting in the way. One must know what a word means before it can be either defended or debunked.




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:59 AM
link   
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


Certainly an admirable aspiration, also for non-theists who find it confusing to oppose some 34.000 different bible-interpretations, if and when such bible-interpretations are the basis of invasive missioning.

But in spite of the good intentions here I doubt, that much good will come out of it. Last time such a 'true christianity' was suggested, there was some additional points, which probably would p*ss off some christians. E.g. a dress-code.

And that has been typical of the christianities from day one. There are always some points to quibble on, and to my knowledge most of the major branches of the christianities have excommunicated or heretic-declared each other some time.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:00 AM
link   
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


Is there a big problem with people who aren't Christians using the word to describe their beliefs? If so, I hadn't noticed it. I wonder if you could give me an example of a person's beliefs that wouldn't fit with the definition, yet they call themselves Christian. Like you said, the definition is pretty broad and would cover anyone who follows the teachings of Jesus, which is a wide variety of people.

I don't see Muslims, Jews or atheists calling themselves Christian. So, who is using the word that shouldn't be?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:08 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by SaberTruth
 

Is there a big problem with people who aren't Christians using the word to describe their beliefs? If so, I hadn't noticed it. I wonder if you could give me an example of a person's beliefs that wouldn't fit with the definition, yet they call themselves Christian. Like you said, the definition is pretty broad and would cover anyone who follows the teachings of Jesus, which is a wide variety of people.

I don't see Muslims, Jews or atheists calling themselves Christian. So, who is using the word that shouldn't be?

Start here and note that the OP was "why do Christians eat apples", then the ensuing rabbit trails wherein every wild philosophy is eventually imposed on it. The definition in the OP here is questioned there, with a demand to know who gets to define Christianity.

Regardless, the point of the OP is to define it, whether you feel it needs to be defined or not. Since AFAIK you make no claim to being one, what do you care anyway? This is a matter for people claiming to be Christians.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:15 AM
link   
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


What makes YOU qualified. We have several resident bible-interpretator extra-ordinaires here on the forum. All with a special method or a special talent; ofcourse better than that of competitors.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 08:49 AM
link   



Excellent, Sabre Truth!
I would agree with that definition... so a really goodstarting point! Good thread!
Vicky



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:00 AM
link   

Originally posted by SaberTruth
The definition in the OP here is questioned there, with a demand to know who gets to define Christianity.


And when someone asks for the definition of Christian, you say:


Originally posted by SaberTruth
Only the Bible can do that,

www.abovetopsecret.com...

You didn't define it at all and no one argued with your definition (which wasn't there).

I have looked all through that thread (and read much of it) and I don't see that definition given at all, much less questioned. Why are you making this up?



Regardless, the point of the OP is to define it, whether you feel it needs to be defined or not.


I do not. But I don't see ONE person in that thread saying they are a Christian, but disagreeing on what it means.



Since AFAIK you make no claim to being one, what do you care anyway?


Oh, religion is one of my favorite topics. I am not religious, but I love to debate and discuss the subject. I'm quite knowledgeable on the subject as I was raised in a very religious home and studied religion my entire youth. I'm not a politician, either, but you'll find me in the politics sections regularly. I'm not gay, but I show up in most all the threads on homosexuality. See how that works? One must not be something to discuss it.




This is a matter for people claiming to be Christians.


Any thread posted on ATS is open to all members. Anyone can discuss the topic.

Observing your posts over the past few days, I see that you are VERY interested in controlling the way a thread goes (even if it's not yours) and keeping people from using words that you don't want them to use. I see you have a hard time reporting what you think is a T&C violation and letting the mods take it from there. You're going to have to get used to that. People are free to post as they wish, as long as it's within the T&C. And there is quite a bit of room for the topic to wander a bit without being considered off topic, which I am thankful for. A discussion naturally wanders, but the mods do a great job of bringing it back around to the subject if it gets too far off.
Relax and just let the mods do their job. You may not agree with them, but they are mods for a reason.

Back to the definition of Christianity, the bible can be and has been interpreted many ways. If someone follows Jesus Christ, which is the basic requirement of Christianity in my mind, and they call themselves a Christian, then in my book they're a Christian. I don't know why you're so concerned about it. No one in that thread called themselves a Christian while professing not to follow his teachings.

And Christian is a WORD. Anyone can use it, whether you like it or not. You can't control that, either. I believe that what people self-identify for themselves should be respected. If someone calls themselves a Democrat, even though my definition may be different, it's really none of my business and not my place to insist they use a different word to describe themselves.

My unsolicited advice to you:
Let go of your need to control a little.
Let the mods do their jobs.
Be yourself and stop worrying about what other people believe or call themselves. You're responsible for YOU. That's all. No one is going to hold you accountable for letting other people call themselves Christians, even though they aren't (according to your definition).



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:02 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


Is there a big problem with people who aren't Christians using the word to describe their beliefs? If so, I hadn't noticed it. I wonder if you could give me an example of a person's beliefs that wouldn't fit with the definition, yet they call themselves Christian. Like you said, the definition is pretty broad and would cover anyone who follows the teachings of Jesus, which is a wide variety of people.

I don't see Muslims, Jews or atheists calling themselves Christian. So, who is using the word that shouldn't be?

The people in question are,from what I have seen: Gnostics, JWs and Mormons...
Vicky



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:23 AM
link   

Originally posted by Vicky32
The people in question are,from what I have seen: Gnostics, JWs and Mormons...


Thank you, Vicky.

Gnostics



Jesus is identified by some Gnostic sects as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth.
...
The Christian sects first called "gnostic" are a branch of Christianity...


JW



The religious beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are in many ways similar to those of mainstream Christians. For instance, Witnesses rely on the authority of the Bible, worship only one God, and trust in Jesus' death and resurrection for salvation.


Mormons



Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. God is His Father just as He is the Father of all people. This is why Mormons believe Jesus is our brother, but God is the Father of Jesus physically as well as spiritually, and so called the Only Begotten of God. Jesus was chosen to be the Lord and Savior of mankind before the world was created.


They all sound like Christians to me. Am I to understand that you and Saber wish to co-opt the word Christian to be used only for your specific brand of Christianity? Catholics have slightly different beliefs than evangelicals, but they are still Christians.

List of Christian Denominations



Catholic
Protestant
Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
Nontrinitarian
New Thought
Jehovah's Witness


(I used the same source as the OP in this thread.)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:25 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
You didn't define it at all and no one argued with your definition (which wasn't there).

No one argued????


I have looked all through that thread (and read much of it) and I don't see

Therein lies the problem. You keep demanding I document everything but when I do you brush it off. That was the last such fool's errand I'll ever run for you.


See how that works? One must not be something to discuss it.

The topic is DEFINING Christianity. Do you offer definitions of other faiths too? Other people's political views? Either way, it is for those who profess to be Christians to define their own faith. By appealing to the Wiki article, hardly a pro-"fundy" site, that's about as close as we're going to get to a definition the majority of the world's professing Christians can accept. I can study other faiths and philosophies and come to my own conclusions about them, but I am not at liberty to tell them how they should define themselves.


Any thread posted on ATS is open to all members. Anyone can discuss the topic.

And they're also supposed to know what that topic is in the first place, and stick to it.




Observing your posts over the past few days, I see that you are VERY interested in controlling the way a thread goes

Your very biased opinion. I see just the opposite; anti-Christians want to overrun and redefine and control every single Christian-themed thread. They're here already, doing it right now. You've already forgotten who started this particular one and why, and you're trying to turn it into yet another round of "we can say anything we want in any thread regardless of the OP topic and disregard any requests they make about what they'd like to discuss". You are free to start any threads you want, but not to impose yourself on any threads you want. In other words, you're doing the very thing you accuse me of doing.



Back to the definition of Christianity,

At last...

the bible can be and has been interpreted many ways.

Off topic. Look at the Wiki def. and keep in mind that I didn't author that page.



And Christian is a WORD. Anyone can use it, whether you like it or not.

Ever heard of George Orwell? One of his wise sayings was that people who are insincere tend to change the meanings of words and do exactly what you're claiming is the right thing to do. Words have meanings, and we can't just change them on a whim.


You can't control that, either.. Let go of your need to control a little.

Methinks thou protesteth too loudly!


The point no one seems to see (except Vicky... thanks!) is that Christians are unable to talk to each other here. Look at the moderator's posts at the top of the Religion section, esp. the "givens".



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:26 AM
link   
Please, let's stop making this another "what's wrong with Sabertruth" rant and talk about the OP. That isn't much to ask.

Again: I posted a definition of Christianity from a neutral source, Wikipedia. Pass or fail? Adopt for use in ATS or not?

If fail/not, then there is no meaning to the word "Christianity" and no point in talking about it.
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: added a thought...



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:37 AM
link   

Originally posted by SaberTruth
Please, let's stop making this another "what's wrong with Sabertruth" rant and talk about the OP. That isn't much to ask.

Again: I posted a definition of Christianity from a neutral source, Wikipedia. Pass or fail? Adopt for use in ATS or not?

If fail/not, then there is no meaning to the word "Christianity" and no point in talking about it.
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: added a thought...

Adopt, I say...
Yes, it stinks that some people simply want to attack you...
Vicky



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:40 AM
link   
reply to post by SaberTruth
 

Defining Christianity




edit on 8-6-2011 by acrux because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:41 AM
link   
I say not. This definition completely passes over the very essence of what christianity is.

Christianity is the adherence to a belief that without faith in the deity and redemptive work of Christ, you are lost forever.

If you want to define christianity, use the bible itself. Since it is the "Word of God"
edit on 6/8/2011 by Klassified because: Better wording



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:41 AM
link   

Originally posted by Vicky32

Originally posted by SaberTruth
Please, let's stop making this another "what's wrong with Sabertruth" rant and talk about the OP. That isn't much to ask.

Again: I posted a definition of Christianity from a neutral source, Wikipedia. Pass or fail? Adopt for use in ATS or not?

If fail/not, then there is no meaning to the word "Christianity" and no point in talking about it.
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: added a thought...

Adopt, I say...
Yes, it stinks that some people simply want to attack you...
Vicky

Thanks... that's one (plus mine obviously) for the Wiki.
(good signature too, Vicki. Gives me ideas!)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:45 AM
link   

Originally posted by Klassified
I say not. This definition completely passes over the very essence of what christianity is.

Christianity is the adherence to a belief that without faith in the deity and sacrifice of christ, you are lost forever.

If you want to define christianity, use the bible itself. Since it is the "Word of God"

I personally agree, but the problem is that people here won't accept any definition from any Christians here. Yet we need some kind of limits on what Christianity can mean.

So that's one not/fail, and the current tally by professing Christians is:
pass/adopt - 2
fail/reject - 2?
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:51 AM
link   
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


Which one? There are about 2 billion versions of it on the planet.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by SaberTruth

Originally posted by Klassified
I say not. This definition completely passes over the very essence of what christianity is.

Christianity is the adherence to a belief that without faith in the deity and sacrifice of christ, you are lost forever.

If you want to define christianity, use the bible itself. Since it is the "Word of God"

I personally agree, but the problem is that people here won't accept any definition from any Christians here. Yet we need some kind of limits on what Christianity can mean.

So that's one not/fail, and the current tally by professing Christians is:
pass/adopt - 2
fail/reject - 2?
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: (no reason given)


Understood. But I am not a christian. I am an ex-christian. I have many years of study in the bible and related texts. I do understand what biblical christianity is, even though I no longer believe in it.
edit on 6/8/2011 by Klassified because: Clarity



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:52 AM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


Jesus is identified by some Gnostic sects as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth.
...
The Christian sects first called "gnostic" are a branch of Christianity...

A branch, maybe, but as you know, they don't fit the definition Sabre Truth quoted.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


The religious beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are in many ways similar to those of mainstream Christians. For instance, Witnesses rely on the authority of the Bible, worship only one God, and trust in Jesus' death and resurrection for salvation.

And then there's all the rest! Similar, is not the same...


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God. God is His Father just as He is the Father of all people. This is why Mormons believe Jesus is our brother, but God is the Father of Jesus physically as well as spiritually, and so called the Only Begotten of God. Jesus was chosen to be the Lord and Savior of mankind before the world was created.

Please, do mention all the other, stranger things Mormons believe. By careful editing, you make them seem closer to Christianity than they really are...


Originally posted by Benevolent HereticThey all sound like Christians to me. Am I to understand that you and Saber wish to co-opt the word Christian to be used only for your specific brand of Christianity? Catholics have slightly different beliefs than (sic) evangelicals, but they are still Christians.

Thank you for graciously allowing that we Catholics are Christians!
Well, I am Anglo-Catholic but close enough really... I put sic there because 'different than' is not just an allowable dialectical variant but 100% wrong, sorry, it irks me very badly...
Co-opt? No. The definition ST quoted is the definition. The cults I mentioned all add quite a lot of crazy.. as anyone who gets deeper into them finds out. I'd go as far as to say that Islam is closer to Christian than Mormonism is!



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 09:56 AM
link   

Originally posted by Klassified
I say not. This definition completely passes over the very essence of what christianity is.

Christianity is the adherence to a belief that without faith in the deity and redemptive work of Christ, you are lost forever.

If you want to define christianity, use the bible itself. Since it is the "Word of God"
edit on 6/8/2011 by Klassified because: Better wording


Acrux' post said that also, but in a witty way.



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join