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Defining Christianity

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posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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reply to post by Vicky32
 


You wrote to Benevolent:

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

But isn't the purpose of this thread to establish WHAT christianity is. And now you prematurely refer to a christianity not defined as yet.



edit on 8-6-2011 by bogomil because: typo




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
No one argued????


No one argued about the definition of Christianity.


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.


You didn't document anything. You gave me a link to search through. I did that and didn't find what you asserted. You ran no errand for me. You made up something and then didn't back it up. If I am wrong, show me. Show me where Christianity is defined in that thread and where someone argued with the definition. That was your claim and I'm only asking to see it myself.



Either way, it is for those who profess to be Christians to define their own faith.


See, there? Something we can agree on! So, why are you (and Wiki) trying to define it for everyone?



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.


But you think you are qualified to define Christianity for everyone who professes to be Christian. Are you also talking about Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Gnostics as "non-Christians"?



The point no one seems to see (except Vicky... thanks!) is that Christians are unable to talk to each other here.


You are absolutely able to talk with each other! No one is stopping you. But this isn't an exclusive club. You cannot keep certain people from discussing their beliefs on subjects.



Look at the moderator's posts at the top of the Religion section, esp. the "givens".


Again, I go to where you send me and don't find what you say is there. There is nothing called "givens" there. What are you talking about?
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edit on 6/8/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil

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.


Well, you and I might find some humor in what Acrux posted, but it would be quite offensive to most christians. I had this weird idea that there was a true motive to define biblical christianity in this thread. Guess I was wrong.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified
Well, you and I might find some humor in what Acrux posted, but it would be quite offensive to most christians. I had this weird idea that there was a true motive to define biblical christianity in this thread. Guess I was wrong.

Well put. And it won't hurt to repeat the motive often:

Topic: Defining Christianity

Source: Wikipedia, ostensibly an acceptable neutral one

Question: Should this definition be adopted for use in ATS to facilitate discussion in some kind of rational manner?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
Again: I posted a definition of Christianity from a neutral source, Wikipedia. Pass or fail? Adopt for use in ATS or not?


The definition passes for me just fine. But that's just for me. As far as adopting an "official definition" of Christianity to use on ATS, it's a huge FAIL. If each person is free to define who they are, I have no desire to tell them that they cannot use a certain word.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


A vote for making Christianity undefinable as far as ATS is concerned, got it.

I need to look up how to make a poll...



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by Vicky32
A branch, maybe, but as you know, they don't fit the definition Sabre Truth quoted.


How do Gnostics not fit the definition? I don't know much about them at all. But I thought they followed Jesus Christ.


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


But "all the rest" is not included in the original definition that Saber gave. JW are similar to "mainstream" Christians. But Christians, all the same.



Please, do mention all the other, stranger things Mormons believe.


There is nothing in the original definition that Saber gave that contradicts these other "stranger" beliefs.



By careful editing, you make them seem closer to Christianity than they really are...


I didn't edit anything. That was an exact quote.


I put sic there because 'different than' is not just an allowable dialectical variant but 100% wrong, sorry, it irks me very badly...


Yes, I know. You're called me out on it before.
You're right. It's a habit not likely to be broken but feel free to go after my grammar.



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.


But the definition doesn't exclude any of these "crazy" beliefs." If I say I have on a red dress and you find out that my red dress has ruffles, buttons, is too short and shows too much cleavage, and the shade is slightly different FROM your red dress, that doesn't mean that I no longer have a red dress on. It's just a different style.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


A vote for making Christianity undefinable as far as ATS is concerned, got it.

I need to look up how to make a poll...


The idea of a democratic thread appeals to me. What about choosing the most competent person to formulate a definition. Is that part of the democracy?



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


You wrote:

["How do Gnostics not fit the definition? I don't know much about them at all. But I thought they followed Jesus Christ."]

In spite of some effort of making gnosticism into a christian subsect, it's not. There's a gnostic group completely free of Jesus etc. existing to this day.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by bogomil
In spite of some effort of making gnosticism into a christian subsect, it's not. There's a gnostic group completely free of Jesus etc. existing to this day.


Ok. So I'd have to say that the Gnostics who don't believe in Jesus are not Christians. But those who do, are. From what I've read today, at least some Gnostics have Christianity in their belief systems.

Gnostic Christianity



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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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.





But the definition doesn't exclude any of these "crazy" beliefs." If I say I have on a red dress and you find out that my red dress has ruffles, buttons, is too short and shows too much cleavage, and the shade is slightly different FROM your red dress, that doesn't mean that I no longer have a red dress on. It's just a different style.


Well said BH. And you are correct. Though I must say the above definition is marginal for the literalists among us. It does fit with a broader stroke of the pen.

ST. I retract my nay vote. As said above, it is very broad. But liveable. And literalists and liberalists alike can define their "style" within the context of a thread if need be.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Klassified
ST. I retract my nay vote. As said above, it is very broad. But liveable. And literalists and liberalists alike can define their "style" within the context of a thread if need be.


Fair enough. It's the "outer limits" I'm hoping to put in focus, not the degree of precision within them.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
It's the "outer limits" I'm hoping to put in focus, not the degree of precision within them.


Very direct and simple question.

Are you including Mormons as Christians?
JWs?
Gnostics?
Unitarians?
edit on 6/8/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 

The reason that gnostics were considered heretics by many in the church comes from their lack of emphasis on the two main key points of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While many gnostics seem to believe in Jesus and believe that he was a very important figure, perhaps even deity to some, they do not focus enough on the the importance of the death and resurrection. Gnostic which means "to know" (something like that) instead tends to focus on some secret knowledge or teachings that Jesus brought to them. Some of the books such as the Gospel of Thomas indicate that Jesus was just a teacher of wisdom. This wisdom is supposed to teach us how to get from the human world of flesh to a level of the spirit world.

Gnostics are closer to believing the teachings of Kabbalah than Christianity in that they focus more on attaining this new spiritual level through knowledge than attaining it simply by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Christians will focus on the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God (The only Son of God the Creator) who fulfilled the prophetic teachings in the Tanakh.
edit on 8-6-2011 by dbates because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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I should also emphasize that the Wiki def. includes the Bible as we know it to be the authoritative text; that is, beliefs that reject the standard Bible would not be considered Christian. Therefore, if this were adopted, it would mean that the Bible is a valid and authoritative source and cannot be dismissed; i.e., in a Christian discussion people can't say "who cares what the Bible says, it's corrupt/assembled by Constantine/mangled" etc.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by dbates
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 

The reason that gnostics were considered heretics by many in the church comes from their lack of emphasis on the two main key points of Christianity. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While many gnostics seem to believe in Jesus and believe that he was a very important figure, perhaps even deity to some, they do not focus enough on the the importance of the death and resurrection. Gnostic which means "to know" (something like that) instead tends to focus on some secret knowledge or teachings that Jesus brought to them. Some of the books such as the Gospel of Thomas indicate that Jesus was just a teacher of wisdom. This wisdom is supposed to teach us how to get from the human world of flesh to a level of the spirit world.

Gnostics are closer to believing the teachings of Kabbalah than Christianity in that they focus more on attaining this new spiritual level through knowledge than attaining it simply by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Christians will focus on the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God. (The only Son of God the Creator)
edit on 8-6-2011 by dbates because: (no reason given)


Thank you dbates. You beat me to it, and said it better than I could have. I concur with your assessment.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Very direct and simple question.

Are you including Mormons as Christians?
JWs?
Gnostics?
Unitarians?


Who **I** am including is irrelevant here; the question is whether such groups meet the Wiki's criteria. It should go without saying that any text or teaching that blatantly contradicts the Bible would not meet that definition.
edit on 8-6-2011 by SaberTruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by dbates
 


Thank you, dbates. As I said, I didn't know about them except for what I read today. And although the death and resurrection isn't mentioned in the OP's definition, the text (the gospels) is mentioned and they include the death and resurrection... I didn't know specifically what excluded them from being Christian as defined in the OP.

As I said, I do not favor ATS adoption of an official definition of any word, however. It's just not something that can or should be controlled.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
Who **I** am including is irrelevant here; the question is whether such groups meet the Wiki's criteria.


I wanted your opinion. You don't have to answer, though.




It should go without saying that any text or teaching that blatantly contradicts the Bible would not meet that definition.


Modern Christianity contradicts the bible. The bible contradicts itself. I don't accept your statement.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Again, this is an attempt to take Christianity discussions in ATS out of the realm of "nothing is knowable" and into the realm of rational discourse. If every word in the English language has to go up for a popular vote, we're all wasting our time. Freedom is not license.



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