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J. K.

"Christian" is a useless term

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The term "Christian" is almost meaningless. Although there is only one Church - the body of Christ, essentially the avatar of Jesus - there are many, many denominations, groups, movements, and belief systems. One person who calls himself Christian may actually have diametric beliefs to another Christian. All of this can make it difficult to discuss Christianity without identifying specific beliefs and influences.

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Considering there seems to be roughly 30,000 "sects" of Christianity (versions? Like Lutheranism..) and neither can agree on anything and even fight one another over what one is the "right" one then yes, the very term "Christian" is meaningless.

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I disagree, there are things most Christian sects have in common; most are based on teachings of the Bible, most believe Christ died for the sins of all mankind, most believe he died on a cross and most believe he rose from the dead after 3 days. Disagreement seems to be in the details. Like the baptism, some sprinkle, some immerse. Take ducks, you got mallards, wood ducks, canvas backs and many others, but they are still ducks. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like duck it is a duck.

You all have more in common than Earth base faiths (Pagan). We don't even have a sacred book in common, but yet we can get together and worship in common. I think the main problem Christian sects is they are not tolerant of each others differences. In Pagan paths we learn from each others differences and embrace our diversity. Buddhism has a lot of different sects and beliefs, but they are all still Buddhist. For the most part they are tolerant of their differences. Y'all just need to learn to agree to disagree and play nice.

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Is the term "human" equally useless simply because there are many groups with differing characteristics?

The fundamental characteristic of "Christian" is the belief is Jesus Christ as "saviour and/or Son of God". Taking that as is, the term is perectly adequate.

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I disagree. Being a Christian separates you from other religions. There are many Islamic and Jewish faiths as well, but it's human and handy to call someone a Christian, Jew or Muslim. As a Christian I believe in Christ as the son of god. this separates me from Muslins who believe in the Prophet Mohamed who believe Christ was only a prophet. I think your just stirring the pot for a reaction.

Edited by Chooky88

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I disagree, there are things most Christian sects have in common; most are based on teachings of the Bible, most believe Christ died for the sins of all mankind, most believe he died on a cross and most believe he rose from the dead after 3 days. Disagreement seems to be in the details.

Some of the disagreement is about the role of Jesus in "salvation". Some churches take away from His role, and others add to it. Any kind of change denies the point of Him being the sole source of salvation. There are some highly visible churches/denominations that do just that. I prefer not to be lumped together with those churches, because I think it is inaccurate to label them as Christian. (And Chooky, I would definitely be stirring the pot if I named those groups, which I won't do.)

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I disagree. Being a Christian separates you from other religions. There are many Islamic and Jewish faiths as well, but it's human and handy to call someone a Christian, Jew or Muslim. As a Christian I believe in Christ as the son of god. this separates me from Muslins who believe in the Prophet Mohamed who believe Christ was only a prophet. I think your just stirring the pot for a reaction.

So Muslims are also Jewish?
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So Muslims are also Jewish?

Muslims believe Jesus was merely a prophet.

A lot of Jews don't acknowledge Jesus as prophet, son of god, or messiah, while some do.

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Muslims believe Jesus was merely a prophet.

A lot of Jews don't acknowledge Jesus as prophet, son of god, or messiah, while some do.

That's not what I asked.

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I believe this is because Christians tend to extract the things they like from the New Testament and dump anything they don't like.

This "flexibility" has made Christianity extremely popular. The religion used to be against rich people because Jesus had very strong opinions against the rich, but with a little selective editing most sects now completely embrace anyone regardless of how much money they have in the bank.

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So Muslims are also Jewish?

No Muslims are not Jewish.

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This is an interesting thread, although I'm not sure if the OP is accurate in using the word "useless." Perhaps "imprecise" or "too general" could substitute. Chooky 88 in post #5 made the point that the groupings "Christian," "Jew" and "Muslim" all have numerous sub-groupings. Over history some sub-groups have waged wars against others, up to and including the present day. Even Buddhists in Myanmar have witnessed the development of a 'purist,' intolerant sect which has attacked Muslims violently. Most are familiar with the bloodshed occurring within Islam between Sunni and Shi'a and others. Not all branches of the Jewish faith get along famously.

In fact, in today's USA we could equally say the terms "Republican/Democrat/capitalist/socialist" and even "moderate" and "centrist" are useless, in the same meaning as the OP would have it. Republicans who still negotiate with Democrats are often labelled "RINO"s, ("Republican in name only"), as one telling example. Eugene Debs' socialism was not the same as that of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Philanthropic capitalists who donate above and beyond tax advantages are different than those who accumulate wealth in offshore accounts and avoid much if not all tax liability.

The number of threads I've read (since joining UM in February of this year) which use "Christian" with too broad of a brush have been many. In the US we're still learning not to generalize in conversation about "men," "women," "gays," "lesbians," etc. etc. It will be awhile before we become more discriminating when referring to religious affiliation and belief.

Edited by szentgyorgy
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Some of the disagreement is about the role of Jesus in "salvation". Some churches take away from His role, and others add to it. Any kind of change denies the point of Him being the sole source of salvation. There are some highly visible churches/denominations that do just that. I prefer not to be lumped together with those churches, because I think it is inaccurate to label them as Christian. (And Chooky, I would definitely be stirring the pot if I named those groups, which I won't do.)

Soooo.... you and your Church are the only Christians in the world? You don't see that as being rather petty and intolerant. That is like me saying Wiccans aren't Pagans only Reformed Druids are Pagan because Wiccans believe things that are different from what Pagan Druids believe. Wiccans follow an Earth base religion, Druids follow earth base religion we just go about it in different ways. I went to a doings at a park with one of my Wiccan buddies. On the way there we talked about our religions. There are many differences in them. When we got to the park as we walked the trail at one point we stopped in a lovely spot and said "This is our faith, this is our sacred book" and said a prayer to the Earth together.

I think you have lost the message Christ was trying to give of love and the hope of an after life.

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Soooo.... you and your Church are the only Christians in the world? You don't see that as being rather petty and intolerant. That is like me saying Wiccans aren't Pagans only Reformed Druids are Pagan because Wiccans believe things that are different from what Pagan Druids believe. Wiccans follow an Earth base religion, Druids follow earth base religion we just go about it in different ways. I went to a doings at a park with one of my Wiccan buddies. On the way there we talked about our religions. There are many differences in them. When we got to the park as we walked the trail at one point we stopped in a lovely spot and said "This is our faith, this is our sacred book" and said a prayer to the Earth together.

I think you have lost the message Christ was trying to give of love and the hope of an after life.

I don't make a claim of exclusivity for myself nor for the local church I attend. I have known hundreds of people who share my beliefs. If I am exclusive, it is believing that the Bible is God's word. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." I am neither petty nor intolerant; instead I must accept those words. Jesus claimed the exclusivity.

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I agree with szentgyorgy, imprecise is a better term. Saying you're Christian only implies that you hold a few key beliefs, and even then there are some offshoots that reject those. Christian Deism, for instance, rejects miracles and the ressurection.

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The term "Christian" is almost meaningless. Although there is only one Church - the body of Christ, essentially the avatar of Jesus - there are many, many denominations, groups, movements, and belief systems. One person who calls himself Christian may actually have diametric beliefs to another Christian. All of this can make it difficult to discuss Christianity without identifying specific beliefs and influences.

We have enough cults as it is, you can not just start giving a different name to them just because one does not believe in putting Marmite on their toast before 7 in the morning!

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There are Christians who say certain other Christians are not Christians, and this creates problems for Christians, but non-Christians don't worry about it much.

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Who are these Christians saying this about other Christians, how can we identify them?

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I don't make a claim of exclusivity for myself nor for the local church I attend. I have known hundreds of people who share my beliefs. If I am exclusive, it is believing that the Bible is God's word. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." I am neither petty nor intolerant; instead I must accept those words. Jesus claimed the exclusivity.

Then maybe rather than saying others who don't share your belief system aren't Christians say you are not Christian and call yourself something different like Bible-ist. How do you actually know what Jesus said, in the end he didn't actually write anything down and it appears to me to be hearsay. If you look at the actual history of the book it has been radically changed even after Council of Nicea. I think the Coptic Christians are really the only ones who have the history to be on a line of being the first Christians, so I would say they are actually the only "real" Christians.

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Then perhaps I should be an "I-am-the-way-and-the-truth-and-the-life-ist."

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Iatwattatli, now that could catch on J.K.

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Iatwattatli, now that could catch on J.K.

Sounds Welsh or Botswanan to me. . .---oops! There I go again, pigeonholing and compartmentalizing my fellows!

I believe the search for exactitude and comprehensiveness in defining human religio-spiritual beliefs/classifications is an eternal one.

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Sounds Welsh or Botswanan to me. . .---oops! There I go again, pigeonholing and compartmentalizing my fellows!

I believe the search for exactitude and comprehensiveness in defining human religio-spiritual beliefs/classifications is an eternal one.

Its just the initials, saves wasting time on long and ridiculous names.

As for the search, I can`t be assed, I do not have an eternity. :passifier:

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The term "Christian" is almost meaningless. Although there is only one Church - the body of Christ, essentially the avatar of Jesus - there are many, many denominations, groups, movements, and belief systems. One person who calls himself Christian may actually have diametric beliefs to another Christian. All of this can make it difficult to discuss Christianity without identifying specific beliefs and influences.

Ah but it is a broad church. One can follow Christ using many models of belief and behaviour, just as there are many types of " Australian". "Christian" can be used to separate from all "Non Christian" and is thus useful, in doing this.

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I don't make a claim of exclusivity for myself nor for the local church I attend. I have known hundreds of people who share my beliefs. If I am exclusive, it is believing that the Bible is God's word. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." I am neither petty nor intolerant; instead I must accept those words. Jesus claimed the exclusivity.

I read that and what I get is:

I am the way = follow the path I took in life and it will lead straight to God.

I am the truth = what I tell you is true, the path of my life is true

I am the life = the path I took and the words I spoke will enact the true "life" God wishes for man within him.

No one comes to the Father but by me = you need to learn what I knew, walk the path I walked into comprehension, to reach the Father.

All in all, he is showing us through his teachings how to come to the Father. I do not read it as worship of him is the way to the Father. So many people will simply pray to and worship Jesus while going about their lives as they have always done thinking "I pray to Jesus = job done". This doesn't ring true to me, we need to be paying attention to what he said, what he did and why he did those things - we don't need to pray to him, except for more teaching and guidance, we need to comprehend what he was trying to teach us about the nature of Truth and Life. It is his teaching which is the path, he speaks of himself as the product of his teaching in action.

I come to this because I consider that he was first and foremost a humble man - he did not act to bring power to himself but to personify the Glory of God on earth. I believe others can also personify this glory - so did he, apparently.

Matthew 5:5-9

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Edited by libstaK
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