Am I a Christian?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by usernamed, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Hello everyone. Thanks for letting me join your website/forum for discussions.

    I have read the words of and I believe in the truth he has given me through his words of Jesus.
    I do not subscribe to Paul and cannot defend him.
    I do not attend a church or worship at a church.

    Am I a Christian and why?
    Thank you anyone for reading and answering my question.
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Why do you ask?
     
  3. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Hi RJM Corbet.

    It might help me to understand how other people percieve my faith in Jesus only. Since denominational Christianity includes Pauline doctrines and excludes certain books deemed Apocryphal (that might otherwise of included inspired and prophetic books for example that could be Esdras i&ii, Enoch Thomas etc), it would be difficult to know where I am in regards to the Christian faith as a whole. If say the answer is a resounding NO that might help me to understand Christianity is defined by Paul and not by Jesus?

    What do you say I am?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I've got no clue.

    I think being a christian is determined by your belief and connection to Christ.

    I'd say who am I or anyone to judge but judge is what we do! I've run onto plenty of people who claim to be christian that don't act very Christian (my understanding) don't act very Christ like.

    But I am not the one that makes that decision. Tis to me between you and yours.

    Do your best to do you.
     
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  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    May I ask what you reject about Paulism? Everything? Or just parts of it?

    You have come to the right place for apocrypha. This site has the best collection of apocrypha online:

    https://www.interfaith.org/christianity/apocrypha/

    Unfortunately the Gospel of Thomas entry is incomplete, however.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  6. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    @usernamed

    If you are rejecting the Pauline injunctions about head coverings in church, and against homosexuality etc, I agree that Jesus made no comments or judgements on such things. The words of Christ would seem take precedence?
     
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  7. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Thanks Wil.
    I know quite a few people who are Christian and I have come to like alot of their qualities as people, my only reservation is very few of them have ANY knowledge of their faith, some tell me they are "saved" because they have been told they are which I find difficult to get my head around. Alot of Christians have no idea about basic Christian concepts and I suspect they enjoy the social interaction of the gathering more than reading and perhaps understanding the times we live in or the serious nature of the biblical narrative (with regards to our presentation to choices that will have eternal consequence).
    I read my bible, trying to gain as firm a grasp of the root of it's message and teaching as possible and I'm finding it quite lonely putting it into practice.
     
  8. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Yeah sure, I find Paul highly problematic.
    It was only after years of contradicting myself using Paul's testimony during casual debates or while trying to defend Christianity amongst some hostile members of my family who are staunch atheists, I finally made the effort to research the historic record (biblical and secular) and the early church, taking a more practical approach to Jesus' instructions that I discovered the reasons why I couldn't defend Paul properly.
     
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  9. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    I agree.
    I now fully believe Paul is the last test regarding obedience to God (Yahweh).
    However, while I have my beliefs I still find my ability to express how I came to them difficult to relate with Christians, hence I'm still not fully convinced in my own mind what to make of Christianity as a statement of faith. I also find that there is a racial element that is evident throughout both testements that are close to impossible to discuss openly to length anywhere due to the emotional nature of modern society which has a highly moderated concept seemingly at the cost of simple reciprocation of integrity in discussions (as I abhor racist provocations and heated slanging matches).
     
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  10. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    If Christian doctrine is not to your liking, but you still believe in the God of Abraham and his prophets, then there are many alternatives, ancient and modern, within these parameters... why insist on the Christian label?

    I couldn't make sense of the paragraph about race. Squeamishness about Jews? Or the opposite?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  11. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Me neither. I'm ready to bet that @usernamed is talking about American evangelical Christianity?

    @Cino lives in Germany, after what appears to be an upbringing in eastern Buddhist countries. I live in England after living most of my life in Africa. So perhaps we see things from a bit different angle than many Americans do?

    I actually think American evangelist-type Christianity with its insistence on Bible literalism -- and its recent white supremacist overtones -- is damaging and turning people away from the work of Christ.

    edited ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Christ often taught by paradoxical opposites? He at first refused to heal the woman because he said he was sent only for the lost sheep of Israel, and then he healed the Roman centurion's servant saying he had not witnessed such faith in all Israel.

    In one place he says: those not against me are for me. In another place he says: those not for me are against me.

    The New Testament is full of such paradox. Truth obviously can't be simply boxed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    One has to bear in mind that the Gospels and the Epistles are two different things.

    The Gospels were written for the illumination, education and edification of their audience, in one way or another they are a biography of Christ.

    The Epistles, and the Pauline works notably, were written to Christian communities who were wandering off the track, as it were. So the Epistles are, to me, indicators of where 'the rubber hits the road' whereas the evidence of what airy-fairy nonsense some can construe from the Gospels goes without saying.

    Paul can be a an indicator of how quick we rush to judgement. I've seen him selectively quoted so many times, his message being completely misconstrued. But he was a man of his times, and he certainly was a belligerent old battler. Bearing in mind he was a Zealot, which is another way of saying 'hard-right hard-liner', he was a persecutor of Christians and then, after his conversion, became a Zealot for Christ.

    But he did absorb the message. His was the preaching of 'tough love', you only have to read 1 Corinthians to pick that up.

    +++
     
  14. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Hello :)
    Yes. I know about the alternatives thanks.
    The racial elements are shown as clear as day, easy to understand from a viewpoint of basic comprehension, it is just difficult to discuss "race" in any arena (especially online) due to the forces of political demands to prohibit or sensor otherwise normal discussions because of the topic only, people invest heavily in the call to emotion before reasoning out basic precepts in the bible. Here are a few but I am only skimming the surface here: Noah was perfect in his generation (genealogy) Phineas the priest killed a fellow Israelite for clearly defined racial mixing (even translated in some bibles to of been referred to as a "plague" taking as many as thousands), Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah...there is literally tens of references to "racial" tensions offered to the reader...Esau for another example... a long generational "emnity" between Israel and the decendants of the Edomites...
    Every Church is promoting "universalism"(God loves everyone...) when the biblical and historical record (including the world wars) expands on the same "emnity" ... Only to try and discuss such concepts are given over to societal and emotional calls to thwart learning in such areas.
    Jesus said it best:
    " think not that I come to bring peace, I come to bring a sword" which is clearly at odds with Pauline "universalism" doctrines.
    But my point is....try to debate this to length ANYWHERE and it's automatically brought to a swift closure. This is what I have personally experienced....
     
  15. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    Hello Thomas
    Paul says some emotionally pleasing things that give hope to many people but he was not accepted by the early church and his doctrine on salvation and his epistles were not only left out of the early church (for reasons they did not try to hide from anyone) but Paul was actually deemed a heretic. Paul was not given his place in the present theological timeline for around 300 years after Jesus had been executed. There are only 2 Christs mentioned in the bible, Jesus Christ and the anti-Christ. Christianity as a word was not mentioned until Paul came on the scene. Jesus preached the Kingdom to Come so Christianity is not 100% Jesus which begs the question, If Paul required Jesus for his salvation why does Paul have such a large part in the NT? Or to put it another way.... If Paul is a genuine pupil of Jesus' teaching how can he ever be regarded as above Jesus (Paul said he was a teacher, Jesus said he IS the sole teacher as you only have 1 teacher.....so who do YOU believe?)
     
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Oh please! Don't try to fly that one as a call to religious violence!

    The context is clearly that it will cause divisions between those who choose to follow Christ, and with their families and communities. It is the sword of division between the things of this world and the things of Spirit.

    And it was the Christians who suffered violence for their faith. They did not initiate violence.

    The so-called racial Old Testament passages are within the tribal context of the time. The tribe had to be preserved.

    So easy to pull stuff out of context as a rallying call, imo ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019 at 7:45 AM
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  17. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    The truth is what it is.
    The truth does not fear the scrutiny of emotionally driven individuals with opposing theories or nonsense because the truth cannot be changed.
    However peoples minds can be changed, by deceptive concepts, coersion (physical or financial threats to someones security), fear of uncertainties in acceptance (master/slave relationship, popularity of opinion or peer pressure etc) but none of it will ever change the truth, whatever that might be.
     
  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    @usernamed

    I brlieve you will be welcomed here and free to discuss what you like. I do not think you will be shut down as long as you do not advocate violence.
     
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  19. usernamed

    usernamed Member

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    You offered the context for my quotation though, which shows how easy people can be misconstrued as well.
    I simply offered one example of clear evidence of "emnity" in the sword quote, so did you also...ie people do not persecute themselves in the same way if united in one way or another it comes from emnity between two opposing fractions, while it can be violently expressed it can also be simply opinion.
    Our thoughts say alot about what is contained in our hearts.
    I make no rally call and certainly not calling for violence, Jesus IS the avenger.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    I'm struggling to know what you mean. What do you think Christ meant when he said he came to bring a sword?
     

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