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Defining Christianity

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posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by Kharron
So by this definition of Christianity, USA is not a Christian country at all. But that's not gonna stop anyone from saying it is and calling themselves Christian. They're just really lying to themselves - plain and simple.


Lying to God also.

Lovelly Post, Kharron, Thank you.




posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by Kharron
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


I think that to truly be considered a Christian you have to not only believe in Jesus but must ADHERE to all of the teachings of Christ, without fail.

This is a great downfall of Christianity and from my time studying it, the way it is taught and practiced here, creates a LOT of issues. Basically, in America you are taught that all you have to do to be a Christian and be saved is to accept Jesus into your heart and you're set. You can do this as a serial killer who accepts Jesus on his/her electric chair. Nothing you do, be it unethical or immoral, matters if you accept Jesus afterwards. Many people have accepted Jesus and truly believe he existed and was who the Bible says he was, but they don't really follow many, if any, of his teachings.

I agree, there is much teaching that has been misguided or deliberately false for far too long. Though many people can be forgiven for ignorance and not thinking things through, the teachers and preachers are to be held to a higher standard and will bear responsibility for their failure to be consistent with the teachings of Jesus. I did a whole book on that called Nicolaitan: Power and Control in Christianity. In another book, Reconciled: Finding Our Way Back to Jesus, I focused on the core message of the gospel and what a life lived consistently with that message should be. Salvation is all about being reconciled to God, not "fire insurance", and if someone is reconciled they will live like God matters and want to please him.



So by this definition of Christianity, USA is not a Christian country at all. But that's not gonna stop anyone from saying it is and calling themselves Christian. They're just really lying to themselves - plain and simple.

Definitions really do matter, though many want to make the one for Christianity so pliable that it becomes generic and meaningless. You've seen in this thread how hostile most are to any attempt to clarify, as it is deemed arrogant, though they reserve the right for themselves to make it stretch to fit anything they want. Insisting on a narrow def. is no worse or different than insisting on a ridiculously ambiguous one. As I mentioned to someone else, I personally would choose a much more specific def., but here in ATS I'd be happy just to be able to start with the Bible. But that was too much to ask, and I've given up trying.



This hypocrisy is what gets most of us agnostics and atheists to resent religion as a whole. Yes, there are real Christians out there, real believers of any faith, and I will welcome them all into my home and treat them as my own brother, but unfortunately they are the quiet ones and the real public image of Christianity has been hijacked by the unethical and self-serving fakers.


Of course, Christianity has no exclusive dibs on hypocrisy; every belief system has its own. Even atheists and agnostics can be hypocritical, esp. when pointing the "mean" and "judgmental" finger at us in a very mean and judgmental manner. But we rarely get an honest chance to speak in our defense. While no one can condone the blatant materialism, sexual deviancy, and hierarchical control, surely there is room for people being at varying levels of spiritual growth. But instead we are required to be perfect and inhuman at all times and are not cut any slack. I would challenge any of our critics to live under the same relentless spotlight. In any debate between Christians and non-Christians, it is always the Christians on the witness stand, and it would be good and fair to turn the tables for a change.

All any of us Christians here really want is half a chance to speak and explain.



posted on Jun, 8 2011 @ 11:12 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

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

It's complex! Gnostics came, and come, in many different flavours, some of them Christian, and use scriptures such as Pistis Sophia and 'Thunder, Perfect Mind'.
Most believe in 'gnosis', (knowing), and that the soul has to have this gnosis or it will be lost. Gnosticism is often, as a result, elitist...
Elaine Pagels has written extensively on Gnosticism, it's fascinating, but it's not mainstream Christianity. In the epistles, a writer, possibly Paul but more likely the author of 1, 2 and 3 John, says (I am paraphrasing), "Antichrist is anyone who does not believe the Christ came in the flesh" and the reason he says that, is that Gnostics specifically did not believe he came in the flesh! At base, Gnostics believe(d) that the flesh is irredeemably evil. (Hence the practices of the Cathars in mediaeval France, they were Gnostics)

edit on 9/6/11 by Vicky32 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by SaberTruth
It appears that ATS will not allow or condone Christianity being defined at all, seeing that a moderator has spoken.

From now on, I'm going to define atheism however I want.


Are we having fun yet?

It's making me crazy!
I would have thought that the definition (from the Wiki) was basic and broad enough to be quite uncontroversial... How could I have been so wrong?

Vicky



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 12:36 AM
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His name was not Jesus, it was Jmmanuel...and he was not betrayed by Judas Iscarioth...he was betrayed by one of the house of IHARIOTH - JUDA. Judas was Jmannuel most beloved and trusted friend through his life journey.

Those who read the book of life, the christian bible, are reading a twisted and manipulated version of what once was written.

DO NOT TAKE ALL THINGS FROM IT LITERALLY BECAUSE IT IS NO LONGER A LITERATE VERSION OF WHAT WAS TOLD.



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 12:37 AM
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Originally posted by Kharron


Everything we do, everything our economy is based on is un-Christian. And yet the whole country considers itself Christian. We wage wars, we murder innocent people everywhere (this cannot be denied) and yet every President and politician finishes their speech with God Bless America. If they believed in God and really were Christian, would they be in those positions, doing what they do - absolutely and certainly no, they would not.

So by this definition of Christianity, USA is not a Christian country at all. But that's not gonna stop anyone from saying it is and calling themselves Christian. They're just really lying to themselves - plain and simple.



I would agree (as an outsider...) I am not comfortable with the idea of countries being Christian at all! Countrie should be secular, and the people Christian as they choose. It's very important that it's a choice, and not socially mandated or it becomes not real.
Vicky



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 12:43 AM
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Originally posted by Trueman

I have seen catholic priests guiding meditations, forbidden or not. I used to have meditations with a group (all christians), twice a week. Nobody got excomulgated or exorcided so far. Thanks anyway.
edit on 8-6-2011 by Trueman because: (no reason given)

My Anglican priest (a woman) used to do the same thing. No consequences whatsoever! Meditation is an Anglo-Catholic thing in fact, as a perusal of many devotional books will show.
Vicky



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by Vicky32

Originally posted by Trueman

I have seen catholic priests guiding meditations, forbidden or not. I used to have meditations with a group (all christians), twice a week. Nobody got excomulgated or exorcided so far. Thanks anyway.
edit on 8-6-2011 by Trueman because: (no reason given)

My Anglican priest (a woman) used to do the same thing. No consequences whatsoever! Meditation is an Anglo-Catholic thing in fact, as a perusal of many devotional books will show.
Vicky


You're right sister. People assume meditation was invented somewhere around Asia, just because they made it popular. Meditation wasn't invented at all.



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 03:51 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


You wrote:

["While no one can condone the blatant materialism, sexual deviancy, and hierarchical control, surely there is room for people being at varying levels of spiritual growth."]

But instead of ranting about some of it, it's much more effective to create functional alternatives. And besides, why is 'sexual deviancy' included together with materialism and hierarchy. Another semantic trick, where your personal phobias or OT fanatism nonetheless shines through.

Quote: ["In any debate between Christians and non-Christians, it is always the Christians on the witness stand, and it would be good and fair to turn the tables for a change."]

Christianity has had two thousand years to show what it goes for, and now the last resort is the persecution gambit.

Quote: ["All any of us Christians here really want is half a chance to speak and explain."]

So DO start the explaining instead of all the evasive maneuvers, pretense of never demonstrated competence, self-declared 'winning' and try to get rid of the mini-führer complex.



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 08:57 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


www.abovetopsecret.com...

I have a thread on how the holiadys and a few other things were also created to be anti-Pagan/Druidic in roman times, and also for easy conversion.

F+S

edit on 6/9/11 by Solsthime331 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 09:03 AM
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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?


[/e

ANSWER

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (year 2000 version), global Christianity had 33,820 denominations with 3,445,000 congregations/churches composed of 1,888 million affiliated Christians.



Answer

Here are only a few offshoots of Christianity:

Religion # of members

Catholic 1,050,000,000 Orthodox/Eastern Christian 240,000,000 African indigenous sects (AICs) 110,000,000 Pentecostal 105,000,000 Reformed/Presbyterian/Congregational/United 75,000,000 Anglican 73,000,000 Baptist 70,000,000 Methodist 70,000,000 Lutheran 64,000,000 Jehovah's Witnesses 14,800,000 Adventist 12,000,000 Latter Day Saints 12,500,000 Apostolic/New Apostolic 10,000,000 Stone-Campbell ("Restoration Movement") 5,400,000 New Thought (Unity, Christian Science, etc.) 1,500,000 Brethren (incl. Plymouth) 1,500,000 Mennonite 1,250,000 Friends (Quakers) 300,000



Answer

There are really too many to count because even for the main groups there are smaller offshoots but some of the major ones:

Catholic Orthodox Lutheran Baptist Charismatic Episcopal Mormon Jehovah Witnesses Protestants


This is a complex question. There are several Groups of Christians with many sub groups, and denominations.

The primary classes of Christians are:




• Churches without sacramental Ordination

• ** Protestant
◦ *** Lutheran (Minor Exception)
■ Presbyterian
■ Methodist

◦ Anabaptist
◦ *** Baptists ■ Pentecostals
■ Brethren
■ Amish

◦ Non-Trinitarians
◦ *** Universalists ■ Unitarians
■ Quakers


• Restorationists
• ** Church of Jesus christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) ◦ Jehovahs Witnesses
◦ Charismatics
◦ Christadelphians


• Episcopalian
• ** Anglicans, Episcopal churches, etc
• Catholic
• ** "Roman" Catholic (Western Rite Catholicism)
◦ *** Sedevacantists ■ Those who follow Anti-popes
■ Old Catholics
■ Catholics who Follow the Pope


◦ Eastern Orthodox (under the Patriarch of constantinople)

◦ *** Greek Orthodox ■ Russian Orthodox
■ Serbian Orthodox
■ et cetera

◦ Coptic (Under pope


• Gnostic or Esoteric Christianity

The differences between these groups are vast, and the list of denominations that i have provided is by no means complete. There were at one time believed to be near 100,000 different denominations of Christianity, each of which fell mostly into one of these groups.






Read more: wiki.answers.com...



posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by Solsthime331
reply to post by SaberTruth
 


www.abovetopsecret.com...

I have a thread on how the holiadys and a few other things were also created to be anti-Pagan/Druidic in roman times, and also for easy conversion.

F+S

Thanks!


Ever read Frank Viola's "Pagan Christianity"?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by SaberTruth
 


no i havent but ill look it up and try and find an online version.



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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The Catholic Church goes against everything I have read in the bible, which is why I have turned my back on it, and religion all together.

I have rediscovered my faith, but not in any religion. In my spirituality, and within myself, I know that we have been constantly manipulated. So much blood has been spilled over religions, and in the name of those religions head figures, that religion seems to me to be the "Anti-Christ".

Jesus would have never wanted so many people to be killed by the Church. The amount of people killed by the inquisition makes Hitlers purge look like a fluffy toy.

Mohammed, surely this man would not have wanted the degradation of women, the wars between brothers...the placement of weapons of war on the innocence of children.

The bible states no-one comes before God, why then does Catholicism worship Mary? Why does the bible state that He abides within us? How can we not see the simplicity of this fact? We seek outside of ourselves what is within.

No 'one' is better or worse, we are the same, only in other forms. You are of God, and God is of you. The very existence of him is only possible by our own existence. The maximum power of God at any one time is only in direct ratio to the numbers who have accepted their responsibilities of living within this concept. There was no beginning and there is no end, WE, our God-self, has and will be, forever. We as human kind will only exist in this vibrational form only as long as it takes for us to realise our relationships and our ultimate powers.

So, to define Christianity now....IMO....a cult, based off what originally was the son of Joseph and the Virgin Mary, seed of Gabriel the Angel, who himself was the distant descendant of Guardian angel, Rasiel, guardian of the secret. Jmmanuel (Later called Jesus, Sananda is his current name) came to this earth to teach us the truth of love, life and it's cycle, but unfortunately the teachings were skewed by his own followers, the various different churches and by humanity itself.

Christianity is based on lies. Mohammed was a false prophet, Jesus claims, and was punishment for the various nationalities who beat and mocked him when he was incarcerated.


Jmmanuel was silent. And they hit him again on the head and he moaned in pain and started to speak. "Verily I say to you, as you beat and mock me, you, too, shall be beaten and mocked. The time will come in five times one hundred years when you shall have to atone for this day. A new man will rise up in this land and whip and persecute you, and you shall have to pay with your blood.

He will create a new cult and have people call him a prophet, and he shall persecute you throughout all times. Even though he will be a false prophet and bring you a new false doctrine, he has great power and will have your race persecuted throughout all time to come.

His name will be Mohammed, and his name will be, for your kind, horror, misery and death, which will be of your deserving. Verily, verily I say to you, his name will be written with blood and his hatred against your kind will be endless. But since he will be a false prophet and bring you a false doctrine, so will his cult eventually be finished, when you kind and his kind will put down the foundation for a bloody ending for this world."

These words caused such fury that they got extremely excited and beat him so brutally that Jmmanuel collapsed. When he had aroused somewhat, they pulled the purple coat from him and put his own garments back on his body and led him away to be crucified.

edit on 19-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by LightAssassin

The bible states no-one comes before God, why then does Catholicism worship Mary?

That's easily answered - it doesn't, no matter how many Protestants think it does.
Explaining Mary




posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 12:05 AM
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reply to post by Vicky32
 


The bible states that you should not submit yourself to repetitive prayers and devotion, but this is exactly what the Hail Marys are.

Nothing in that linked convinced me as to why they worship Mary, when it clearly states, even in these twisted versions of doctrine, that nothing comes before God. There are no exceptions.



posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by LightAssassin
reply to post by Vicky32
 


The bible states that you should not submit yourself to repetitive prayers and devotion, but this is exactly what the Hail Marys are.

Nothing in that linked convinced me as to why they worship Mary, when it clearly states, even in these twisted versions of doctrine, that nothing comes before God. There are no exceptions.

Well you seriously missed the point of the article which is that they do not worship Mary!
Vicky



posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 01:55 AM
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reply to post by Vicky32
 


Have to agree with you here. As an ex-Catholic, I never worshiped Mary. We were taught that she was a hell of an example of humanity, the greatest female in history, but not that she was to be worshiped, merely emulated.



posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 05:12 AM
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Originally posted by LightAssassin
Christianity is based on lies. Mohammed was a false prophet, Jesus claims, and was punishment for the various nationalities who beat and mocked him when he was incarcerated.


Jmmanuel was silent. And they hit him again on the head and he moaned in pain and started to speak. "Verily I say to you, as you beat and mock me, you, too, shall be beaten and mocked. The time will come in five times one hundred years when you shall have to atone for this day. A new man will rise up in this land and whip and persecute you, and you shall have to pay with your blood.

He will create a new cult and have people call him a prophet, and he shall persecute you throughout all times. Even though he will be a false prophet and bring you a new false doctrine, he has great power and will have your race persecuted throughout all time to come.

His name will be Mohammed, and his name will be, for your kind, horror, misery and death, which will be of your deserving. Verily, verily I say to you, his name will be written with blood and his hatred against your kind will be endless. But since he will be a false prophet and bring you a false doctrine, so will his cult eventually be finished, when you kind and his kind will put down the foundation for a bloody ending for this world."

These words caused such fury that they got extremely excited and beat him so brutally that Jmmanuel collapsed. When he had aroused somewhat, they pulled the purple coat from him and put his own garments back on his body and led him away to be crucified.


Please could you provide a direct link to the above external content?



posted on Jun, 20 2011 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by teapot
 


The Pheonix Journals (PDFs/e-books are free to view and download) Journal 2: And they called his name Immanuel - I Am Sananda Chapter 11, page 146 (Mohammad prophecied, but read the whole text so you actually have a foundation to understand these statements)

Regarding worshipping Mary. I sat in a church where the congregation sat around chanting the Hail mary while counting their rosary beads. This went on for many hours. It felt like worshipping to me, and it felt wrong. This was a catholic church in Hindmarsh in South Australia. Just a normal suburban church. I know it was a certain part of the year but it was still against what I had read regarding prayers of that nature.
edit on 20-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-6-2011 by LightAssassin because: (no reason given)



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