What Faith Group Distinction Are You?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Faithfulservant, May 5, 2006.

  1. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    In the past few days I believe that this has been a bit of an issue and after reading a website about the topic I became curious as to what ppl consider themselves. Im asking this mostly because Im curious about everyones answers... The catergories are a bit general.. feel free to post something else if you dont fit in that box.

    Fundamentalist / Conservative / Evangelical Christian groups can generally be characterized as believing that salvation is a free gift of God. It is received by repenting and asking for forgiveness of sin, and trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior. They define Christianity as a personal and living relationship with Jesus Christ. They believe the Bible is God's inspired Word and is the basis of all truth. Most conservative Christians believe that hell is a real place that awaits anyone who does not repented of their sins and trust Jesus as Lord

    Mainline Christian groups are more accepting of other beliefs and faiths. They usually define a Christian as anyone who follows the teachings of and about Jesus Christ. Most mainline Christians will consider the contributions of non-Christian religions and give value or merit to their teaching. For the most part, mainline Christians believe that salvation comes through faith in Jesus, however, they vary widely in their emphasis on good works and the affect of these good works on determining their eternal destination.

    Liberal Christian groups agree with most mainline Christians, and are even more accepting of other beliefs and faiths. Religious liberals generally interpret hell symbolically, not as an actual place. They reject the concept of a loving God who would create a place of eternal torment for unredeemed humans. Some liberal theologians have abandoned or completely reinterpreted most of the traditional Christian beliefs.
     
  2. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    i am a devil worshipping Christian:D

    i think i fall somewhere between Fundamentalist / Conservative / Mainline / but independant too. I think i am liberal also but i mean that in terms of i want to show others a lot of mercy so that i obtain mercy.

    definately not Evangelical.

    i think hell is a real place because the spirit goes somewhere but i feel people send themsleves there & not God. & then to keep them from continuing to torment all the other people, God eventually just zaps them out of existance. but i am not real sure how that will work except that i know God is not going to allow those who hate others to continue treating people badly in the next life.
    i wonder if the Lake of Fire is not what we think it is because i dont believe God will torment anyone, (they torment themselves) but rather some kind of extermination along with the works of the devil. not sure & i dont worry about that end cause i aint going there...i am going to be with Jesus.

    i want to say fundamentals but people treat that like it is a naughty word:rolleyes: . but like those ridculous doctrines where babies go to hell & limbo if they are not baptised & they die-i reject all that kind of stuff.
     
  3. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    Fundamentalist Bible Thumper. Somewhat independent cause I take no church doctrines to heart. Evangelical and definately Apologetic.

    I believe hell is a real place but I dont think about it much I prefer to concentrate on the good stuff cause thats where I will be.

    yes Bandit Fundamentalist is a naughty word but you are probably 4/5 the way to a fundy.)

    And Bandit look up the word Evangelical you are most definately. ) not the preaching but look at definition 1
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    While we discussed quite heavily in the litteral v. liberal christian thread and as I started that I felt it obligatory to put my belief on my sleeve...so I'll requote it at the bottom
    here are we defining mainstream as 'accepting' ie those Hindus, Bhuddists, Athiests, Muslims, that don't accept Jesus...aren't going to hell?
    When I posted the following less than two months ago...I felt I was liberal according to the world...by the above definitions...I have moved mainstream!
     
  5. truthseeker

    truthseeker New Member

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    I went to a Religious Studies panel last night at California State University Long Beach. Dr. Piar said something that struck me - something to the effect of christian liberalism (not capitalised) being an American thing. Mainly because American character is individualistic and we're more likely do not follow an institution but do that which is more satisfying for us, even if that is incorporating the ideology of other religions.

    By the definitions that Faithfulservant has given, I would be between Mainline and Liberal Christian. While faith in Jesus is my salvation, I'm careful to understand that everybody doesn't need faith in Jesus to feel that life is good or to have a more defined life. Also, as I believe God is the creator of ALL things, should there be a literal hell (in the fundamentalist sense), then I am led to believe that God would have created that. I am not into reinterpreting Christianity (contrary to popular belief), but I am more into studying the root so that I can best understand the little bit that we have of the 'words in red'.
     
  6. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I find, by these definitions, I am surprisingly fundamental/mainline, but I know I also hold a whole lot of ideas that are considered liberal. They just weren't brought up in this particular post.

    Fundamental:
    I agree with everything there, with the exception that I do not think hell is a literal place. I think hell is a state of being, as is heaven. And like Bandit, I think we send ourselves to hell. People choose to keep themselves separate from God (and thus in hell). I will add also that I do not think I can know who is going to hell. It's worth saying. It is one thing to say that I fully have faith that salvation is only by the Grace of God, given to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To say that I am saved by my relationship with Christ, the results of which is my sincere effort to apologize for my sins and try to better myself. It is another thing to say that I know anyone who doesn't do this is going to hell. To me, that is claiming that I know another person as well as God knows them, that I know the mind of God. This has been a huge barrier between my own beliefs and those of most of the fundamentalists/evangelicals I know (and I know quite a few, believe it or not!). I have seen people who define themselves as fundamentalists and evangelicals scream at people and wave banners about how X group (homosexuals, abortionists, atheists, insert problematic group here) are going to hell. For me, that's over the top- it's presumptuous and arrogant and very unloving and unChristian. I am also not an evangelical in the sense it is normally meant. I do not evangelize with words unless someone asks me or I feel very certain that the Spirit is calling me to share, which is a rarity. I do try to live in a way that is a testimony to my relationship with Jesus.

    Mainline:
    I agree with everything here. Except I don't think works get you anywhere in terms of salvation. Salvation is a gift. Works are the result of being saved. Everything I do well, I do only because God has enabled me to do it. If that makes sense. Works (I prefer orthopraxy, or right action) are necessary only in that they are the indication of a deeper transformation that is occuring- a process of becoming more Christ-like as a result of accepting God's gift of grace and developing a relationship with Him. Otherwise, I agree with all said. I accept people of other faiths- not sure what else one would do with them. I appreciate the beautiful texts and traditions that have arisen from all the world's peoples reaching out to God. I do not hold all of them equally useful or valid for my own path, but I appreciate them. And I do define Christian broadly- a Christian follows Jesus Christ. Not sure how else one would define it, honestly. The heart of Christianity is Jesus, his example, teachings, and life/death/resurrection.

    Liberal:
    I do not think hell is symbolic, nor do I think it is literal. I think it is a spiritual state of being. States of being are real, not symbolic. If someone is depressed, they are not symbolically depressed. Yet depression is not a literal place either. It is a state of being, and it is pretty awful (I've been there, done that). That is the best analogy I can generate for hell. It is a state of being separated from, alienated from, without God. I can't imagine how awful that is, since depression was pretty bad and God was one of the few things that gets me through those dark times. So I'd guess hell is... hell. But I don't think there's a literal fiery pit somewhere, no.

    Various liberal practices and beliefs I do/think that fall more or lessoutside mainline Christianity:
    visualization and zen forms of meditation
    I think reincarnation is possible, though not automatic
    I do Druidic rituals for the earth-based holidays (I write them myself, actually), and I thank nature and various nature beings all the time for their provisioning, beauty, etc. I do not worship nature, but I do thank the Earth just as I thank other people who help me. And I try to show respect for nature and the spirits of trees and animals and places because to me, they are people too in a way and not just resources for me to take.
    Peace ceremonies
    I do believe evil exists, but I do not believe in a literal Satan as a fallen angel who is now ruling over the world.
    I don't believe in original sin.
    I think it is most probable that string theory is correct and that there are many worlds and planes of existence, the multiverse.
    I think God spoke to us gentiles not only through the scriptures, but also through creation itself. Math, in some way, seems like a language God used to speak with us, to tell us of His existence.
    I think God is genderless- this is pretty mainline but worth saying. God is also Goddess to me- well, actually it's more like neither God nor Goddess.

    Perhaps that may define more what "liberal" Christianity could look like, given that I've been generally called that, if not heretic! :D Yet, it's funny to me how much I'm in agreement with the other two categories. I guess I tend to think more in terms of:
    Foundation- Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him (I would guess most Christians agree on this?)
    Framing- basic doctrine and ritual (our human interpretations of what we should think about God and the scriptures, and how we should perform it)
    Decor- the details (whether or not a day to God is a 24-hour day in Genesis 1 and 2, whether or not hell is a literal place, what heaven is like, what our resurrected bodies will look and feel like, what the bowls/trumpets/etc. in revelation mean, etc.)

    For me...
    Foundation- essential to being a Christian
    Framing- interesting points of learning and exploring, our ways of theorizing about our experiences with God and focusing those experiences, but differences are not worrisome unless against the teachings of Jesus
    Decor- fun stuff to think about that isn't important to salvation, stuff I can't ever claim to really know but that I have opinions on
     
  7. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    Thanks to all that are posting.. it tells me a lot about ppls belief systems.. I do not put a label on myself and dont expect others to do so as well so something like this gives ppl the opportunity to explain about their beliefs.
     
  8. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Well, according to these definitions I think I'm somewhere on the far left of Liberal..maybe a couple of towns over down a gravel road.

    I'm ethnically a Christian. I believe in the philosophy laid out by Jesus.

    I don't believe in original sin, a literal Satan, a literal hell or heaven, a localized diety, the trinity. I don't believe in the supremacy of the Bible over any other sacred scripture. The Bible works well for some things, the Vedas or Gita for others, the Sutras for others, as well as the Tao te Ching and other works. I try to take into consideration the breadth of human thought and find the points of consensus.

    I don't believe in simple, quid pro quo karma. I believe in reincarnation to this extent: that in every moment we are reborn in the image of our thoughts and deeds.

    I'm very interested in archetypes and archetypal images. I look for universal archetypes in a jungian sense. I believe in synchronicity because I experience it all the time. I'm with Path on the math thing. I have a great interest in sacred geometry.

    I don't worship anything.

    Chris
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Well done.

    v/r

    Q
     
  10. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Like Path of One I see my beliefs represented in all those catagories. My beliefs on hell are also like Path's, and a state of being is just as real and potentially full of anguish as a physical place.

    Salvation in Christ is a free gift: for everyone. In this life we can choose that salvation and live in the Kingdom of God. I believe that everyone is ultimately reunioned with God.

    Repentance, asking forgiveness of Christ, and trusting in Christ are all part of that salvation we partake in now. You can get real healing and transformation through this path.

    Christianity is a personal relationship with the living Christ.

    The Bible is the testimony of human experience of God among us. It is inspired and protected by the Holy Spirit. It is one of the means God uses to speak to us today.

    I define a Christian as anyone who follows Christ to the best of their understanding and ability. Being 'saved' by Christ can mean different things to different people and it's not up to me to decide if they are right or wrong. My understanding of Christianity includes a respect for traditional doctrine and Christian thought. However, I thoroughly disagree with using doctrine as a reason to bully, threaten, punish or physically harm another.

    Faith without works is dead.

    Many other religions share a lot of the finest moral and ethical principles of Christianity, but clearly the metaphysics and cosmology of different religons conflict. Which makes life interesting.
     
  11. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

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    Greetings Chris,

    After reading all the recent fuss about what it takes to be christian in a bunch of different threads, I thought I would reply here. The thing is, my own beliefs are really close to yours and yet, I don't consider myself christian. I've been raised and baptised in the catholic faith but now, I've drifted from it. The christian ethnicity you refer to stays deep inside me, but that's the main link I keep with it: the culture.

    I guess Faithfulservant will also be interested to read this... what makes you consider yourself christian?

    I hope you won't be offended by the question, this is not my goal.

    Peace,
    Kal
     
  12. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Kal, I'm not certain you read everything...else you wouldn't be asking the question of FS. I'm more that certain FS made his/her position quite clear. I will also point out Kal, that if you are not here asking questions pertaining to Christianity, your views as a non-Christian are not welcome. Is that clear? If it is not then perhaps you need ot re-read the COC. or the sticky at the top of this thread.

    It is all quite simple. This forum is for Christians or those who want to know about Christianity, not those who wish to challenge it...As you pointed out, you gave up your Christianity...therefore you are an enquirer, or a challenger. Please bear that in mind when you post here.

    v/r

    Q
     
  13. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

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    Greetings Quahom,

    Actually, I'm not asking about FS. You're right, her position is quite clear. In light of the debate, I was directing my question at Chris and I was saying that she (FS) would probably be interested in reading Chris' reply. I guess my question wasn't clearly formulated.

    Also, you said we are allowed to ask question about christianity. With the previous clarification, I believe that's what I did : What makes him consider himself a christian.

    Peace,
    Kal
     
  14. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Then by all means ask Chris, Kal. Just don't go after FS. Chris enjoys (I think), explaining his views. FS's are damn near set in concrete.

    Are we good on this?

    v/r

    Q
     
  15. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

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    Again, the question is directed at him. I don't "go after" FS. She'll read his answer if she wants. Where wouldn't we be clear on this?

    If you don't want me to post here Quahom, just say so but please don't search ill-intentions where there aren't any...

    Kal
     
  16. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Your own words:

    Greetings Chris,

    After reading all the recent fuss about what it takes to be christian in a bunch of different threads, I thought I would reply here. The thing is, my own beliefs are really close to yours and yet, I don't consider myself christian. I've been raised and baptised in the catholic faith but now, I've drifted from it. The christian ethnicity you refer to stays deep inside me, but that's the main link I keep with it: the culture.

    I guess Faithfulservant will also be interested to read this... what makes you consider yourself christian?

    I hope you won't be offended by the question, this is not my goal.

    Peace,
    Kal


    My response was appropriate, and concise.

    v/r

    Q
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    hey Kal:)
    i get that often here as well & it is pretty obnoxious. however i would like to comment on your post. i found that interesting that you have the same beliefs as China but dont carry the title.
    it kind of shows how the title does not mean a whole lot. i mean, some of the KKK was Christian & so are some of the white power groups who carry the title.

    there is something more meaningful.

    also, if you ever wanted to walk with Jesus you can & he will be there. You dont have to join a religion to find that.
    i dont think you are being offensive in your question or the point you are making.
    if you ever want to talk about some of these things pertaining to Jesus we can chat here or in private.:)
     
  18. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Kal has a different view point. More so than many. Out of respect for all, I suggest you take this to a different forum...Perhaps the "alternative sections" of the forum might be better suited...?

    v/r

    Q
     
  19. Kaldayen

    Kaldayen Spiritual ronin

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    In this passage, the "this..." should have been written as "your answer to the following question : ". The whole post was for Chris. I think that's even clearer now. You know I'm french Quahom, I really try to be as clear as I can but on a forum, there's always place for misunderstandings. I guess the easier way would have been to write : "Maybe others will also like to read your answer Chris".

    As for my view points, I don't even know them myself so I wonder how you do. Enough rhetoric, let's go back to topic.

    Thank you for your post Bandit :), I'm happy you understood the root of my question.

    Kal
     
  20. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Bien sur, Je le regrette. Certains profitent, et j'étais fâché avec eux...pas avec vous.

    Je m'en fische.

    v/r

    Q
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2006

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