Author Topic: What is a Christian?  (Read 2661 times)

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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What is a Christian?
« on: March 06, 2013, 03:26:38 PM »
I've heard many Christians describe what a Christian is, but I don't think I've ever heard an atheist's definition.  So what do you guys think?  What is a Christian?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 03:28:22 PM »
Someone who declares himself a christian and believes in a version of the christian deity, even if it is one of his own making.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Don_Quixote

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 03:37:22 PM »
Christians have many definitions and each of them will spew that they are the OneTrueChristians. For me it's only a person who declares himself/herself christian for following Jesus' teachings and/or denomination.

Offline Tonus

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 03:46:22 PM »
I think that it's someone who believes that Jesus Christ is real, and that he sacrificed his human life to buy humanity out of spiritual bondage.

Offline Dante

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 03:49:27 PM »

Someone who declares himself a christian and believes in a version of the christian deity, even if it is one of his own making.

Nailed it.

What is a Christian?

I'd be quite interested to hear your version. I'd also like to hear your versions from other christians that you found issue with.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Online bertatberts

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 03:49:47 PM »
Anyone of the 2.2 billion people who believe in the jesus and god of the bible.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 03:53:18 PM »
So then theoretically Satan himself could become a Christian by declaring himself such?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 03:54:14 PM »
So then theoretically Satan himself could become a Christian by declaring himself such?

Satan, assuming he exists, is a christian. He believes in the existence of the christian deity.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 03:59:36 PM »
So then theoretically Satan himself could become a Christian by declaring himself such?
Only if he existed, anyhow isn't satan a fallen angel, so technically a believe in jesus, thus a christian. So yes. For the former and the latter reason. Oh unless you think satan is shaitan the muslim devil then it would be a no.
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 04:08:31 PM »
How do you derive this definition?  And what makes it correct?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Tonus

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 04:09:51 PM »
So then theoretically Satan himself could become a Christian by declaring himself such?
That's a good point.  Satan obviously believes in the existence of the Christ, as he would likely have seen him in heaven, and he interacted with him while Jesus was on Earth.  The question is whether he'd accept that Christ's death redeemed humanity or not.  Makes you wonder... what if he'd simply refused to do his part ("wound him on the heel") and Jesus hadn't been sacrificed?  He'd already shown an aptitude for not playing by the rules, after all.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 04:16:28 PM »
If there is a satan, he doesn't have to believe. He knows. Big difference.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline One Above All

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 04:19:02 PM »
How do you derive this definition?  And what makes it correct?

I derive it from the fact that there's no concise way to determine whether someone is a christian or not. Self-declared christians are no different from everyone else.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 04:41:18 PM »
So then theoretically Satan himself could become a Christian by declaring himself such?
That's a good point.  Satan obviously believes in the existence of the Christ, as he would likely have seen him in heaven, and he interacted with him while Jesus was on Earth.  The question is whether he'd accept that Christ's death redeemed humanity or not.  Makes you wonder... what if he'd simply refused to do his part ("wound him on the heel") and Jesus hadn't been sacrificed?  He'd already shown an aptitude for not playing by the rules, after all.

Then Jesus would still be here.  I guess Satan was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Quote from: One
I derive it from the fact that there's no concise way to determine whether someone is a christian or not. Self-declared christians are no different from everyone else.

So what about what the founder himself said?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 04:48:58 PM »
So what about what the founder himself said?

The Bible contradicts both reality and itself, not to mention the fact that it allows for very different interpretations.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 04:59:50 PM »
In what way did Jesus contradict himself?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline One Above All

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 05:02:38 PM »
In what way did Jesus contradict himself?

Given that Jesus=God, how about the fact that he tells people not to commit murder, then orders the murder of several groups of people?. That's just one of many contradictions. If you want a full list, use Google.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 05:13:05 PM »
Jesus didn't leave us an example of how to be God.  He left us an example of how to be  human.  Isn't that correct?   
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2013, 05:14:23 PM »
Also, as per my signature, I don't think Jesus is God.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2013, 07:16:00 PM »
Asking an atheist to define what a christian is invites problems. Not because we are ignorant, but because christians themselves keep reinventing every aspect ofthe religion, and we have no way to keep up. I daresay we have yet to have two christians show up here who would agree on every aspect of their faith. We can't know the answer of believers themselves can't do it.

Luckily there is no need for accuracy. It is like arguing over which shade of red Santa's suit is. The specifics aren't important. They are simply variations on a myth.

Of course, that's the bad part of being an atheist. If I ever get hung for not being a believer, it isn't likely that I'll get a chance to find out which version of christianity is doing me in. Oh well.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline carstensenscott

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 07:20:18 PM »
One who believes that the sacrificed blood of christ has washed away their sins to gain entrance to heaven. Many variations follow. That is the crux.

Offline bgb

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 07:54:31 PM »
A christian is an ever evolving can of SPAG.
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline Willie

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 11:49:56 PM »
How do you derive this definition?  And what makes it correct?
Practicality. Way too many cases of self-proclaimed Christians thinking that their own variant is the only "real" Christianity. Most of these can be rationalized, if not justified, by cherry picking the right scriptures. I just accept that they are all Christians, even if they don't accept each other.

Sometimes we see multiple conflicting definitions in play even from the very same people. Consider a man who believes in only an impersonal creator god, but rejects the God of the Bible, and who considers Jesus an admirable philosopher, but rejects the virgin birth, the miracles, the trinity doctrine, and all other claims of Jesus' divinity or supernatural nature.  If you ask whether such a man is a Christian, most Christians would say no. Unless, of course, they're arguing that this is a Christian nation and trying to claim Thomas Jefferson as one of their own.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2013, 12:48:46 AM »
A christian is someone who claims to be a christian... nothing more, unless you wanna throw adjectives in there...

Offline Fiji

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2013, 02:07:54 AM »
^^ I second that, Gawd. Even just bringing the bible into it creates massive problems. Which bible after all? I've come across sites that list several hundred different bibles, and that's not just different translations. Some of them adhere to the council of Nicea, many don't. IIRC, even the Rumanian Catholic church includes texts in there that the Roman Catholic church doesn't consider canon. And I've come across Christians who reject the old testament wholesale and Muslims who accept Jesus' divine nature[1] ... wow, check out the can of worms I just opened.
 1. after all, while the quran says Jesus is just human, it also says Allah is the source of the gospels and has a habit of contradicting itself at every turn ... cherry picking isn't just a christian prerogative
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Offline Eddie Schultz

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2013, 02:35:01 AM »
In my brothers view, he says a Christian is one who knows that there is only one way to get to "god", and that is to believe in him without doubt. If others who claim to be Christian, believe Evolution to be how we came to be over time, they can NOT be true Christians.

No matter the evidence I show him, he will not doubt his "god", there for he is playing it safe, as he has admitted to me.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2013, 04:18:18 AM »
I've heard many Christians describe what a Christian is, but I don't think I've ever heard an atheist's definition.  So what do you guys think?  What is a Christian?

Lord knows (if you'll excuse the pun).  I've lost count of the number of people who have said "I'm a Christian", but who have significantly different beliefs to the next and previous people making the same claim. 

Also, as per my signature, I don't think Jesus is God.

I know a lot of Christians would therefore make the case that you are NOT a Christian.  Would you agree with that, or not?  As an atheist, I would have thought that assuming the divinity of Christ was a fairly basic tenet of Christianity - hence the problem we have actually knowing what's what. 

If the people who claim to follow Christ disagree on who is and is not a Christian, what chance have WE of correctly identifying who's what?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline The Gawd

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2013, 07:17:28 AM »
I've heard many Christians describe what a Christian is, but I don't think I've ever heard an atheist's definition.  So what do you guys think?  What is a Christian?

Lord knows (if you'll excuse the pun).  I've lost count of the number of people who have said "I'm a Christian", but who have significantly different beliefs to the next and previous people making the same claim. 

Also, as per my signature, I don't think Jesus is God.

I know a lot of Christians would therefore make the case that you are NOT a Christian.  Would you agree with that, or not?  As an atheist, I would have thought that assuming the divinity of Christ was a fairly basic tenet of Christianity - hence the problem we have actually knowing what's what. 

If the people who claim to follow Christ disagree on who is and is not a Christian, what chance have WE of correctly identifying who's what?

But this is exactly why the ONLY definition of being a christian, is saying one is christian.

The divinity of Jesus is a late development in christianity. I wanted to say someone who follows Jesus, but no one on this planet does because being Jesus-like is so contradictory its impossible. Plus I havent seen anyone pass the test that hes laid out by moving mountains and drinking poisons and being okay, plus healing people with a touch.

Lets use Occam's Razor and carve away all the extra shit,  what do all the christians that come here have in common? They say theyre christian, and thats it.

Offline su27

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Re: What is a Christian?
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2013, 07:20:25 AM »
Well based on the New Testament, any xenophobe with anger management problems and huge ego can easily qualify as Christian following a path of Jesus :)