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What Is The New Testament Definition Of "Christian"

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If someone wants to point their finger at me and say because I do not believe the same way that they believe I am not a Baptist, Catholic, or any other church that is okay with me.

But if they want to point their finger at me and say because I do not believe the same way that they do, I am not Christian then they would be wrong.

Edited by Anijen

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But should they just take people at their word? If you really believe someone isn't following Christ, is it compassionate to just let them be?

Yes, especially if they want me to let them be, because it's none of my business and it's none of your business either. But if anyone says they follow Christ, I'll believe them. I may not think they have an entirely correct understanding of Him, but that doesn't mean I won't accept them as a fellow disciple. Again, this is what our critics don't understand. Having some things wrong in your understanding of Jesus does NOT mean you are following the "wrong Jesus." Not even our non-Christian brothers and sisters who serve God according to the light He has given them are necessarily following the "wrong gospel."

Edited by altersteve

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Yes, especially if they want me to let them be, because it's none of my business and it's none of your business either. But if anyone says they follow Christ, I'll believe them. I may not think they have an entirely correct understanding of Him, but that doesn't mean I won't accept them as a fellow disciple. Again, this is what our critics don't understand. Having some things wrong in your understanding of Jesus does NOT mean you are following the "wrong Jesus." Not even our non-Christian brothers and sisters who serve God according to the light He has given them are necessarily following the "wrong gospel."

So you'd be happy to accept someone saying they follow Christ even when they may be following a false Christ? What was the point of Jesus' warning in Matthew 24:24?

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect

By what you just said above you clearly don't care if someone is following a false Christ. In fact it seems like you would happily support them as long as they said the name 'Christ.'

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So you'd be happy to accept someone saying they follow Christ even when they may be following a false Christ? What was the point of Jesus' warning in Matthew 24:24?

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect

By what you just said above you clearly don't care if someone is following a false Christ. In fact it seems like you would happily support them as long as they said the name 'Christ.'

I most certainly did NOT say I "don't care if someone is following a false Christ." I don't believe anyone is following a false Christ if they say they follow Him. In other words, if they say they follow Christ, then they follow the same Christ I follow -- and regardless of the things they have wrong, they still follow the same Christ I follow. Having an understanding of Him that is less than 100% correct does not preclude them from the great privilege of calling themselves a disciple of the Savior. How many times do I have to say that?

And, in my opinion, Christ was talking about people who claim to be a Christ (Messiah). That, to me, is a "false Christ."

Edited by altersteve

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I most certainly did NOT say I "don't care if someone is following a false Christ." I don't believe anyone is following a false Christ if they say they follow Him. In other words, if they say they follow Christ, then they follow the same Christ I follow -- and regardless of the things they have wrong, they still follow the same Christ I follow. Having an understanding of Him that is less than 100% correct does not preclude them from the great privilege of calling themselves a disciple of the Savior. How many times do I have to say that?

And, in my opinion, Christ was talking about people who claim to be a Christ (Messiah). That, to me, is a "false Christ."

So if someone says they are following a person who claims to be Christ they are following a false Christ, but if they say they are following Christ then they are? How do you distinguish between a false Christ and the real one?

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You have missed my point. Jesus said all those things in the monotheistic background where Jehovah was worshipped as the one true God.

I think it needs to be pointed out however that no where does Jesus describe God as the trinitarians do.

So if your point is that one must understand God as Jesus describes Him in the NT to be Christian, then Trinitarians, who espouse a contruct of God that did not exist until centuries after Christ's death, also are not Christian.

To be a believer in Jesus you must believe that he is the one true God of the OT. The God that said there are no other Gods beside Him.

LDS do.

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So if someone says they are following a person who claims to be Christ they are following a false Christ, but if they say they are following Christ then they are? How do you distinguish between a false Christ and the real one?

If a person was claiming to be Christ I would certainly have my doubts short of the Holy Spirit testifying to me that He had returned to the earth.

Its a good think the Latter-day Saints aren't following a person. We follow the resurrected Christ, the one written about in the New Testament.

I'm very interested to see the logical conclusion of your posts. Perhaps you can tell us of a person claiming to be Christ today who has followers then we can tell you if we believe they are Christian. This hypothetical and word twisting "are Mormons really following Christ" nonsense is getting tedious.

You could just come out and define the characteristics of the Saints that disqualify them from being Christian in your opinion and we can let you know if those characteristics are truly those of the Latter-day Saints or discuss if they are characteristics that Christ Himself used to disqualify people as His disciples?

Edited by KevinG

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Now a few examples from Isaiah; they are all from chapters 40-48 where God is challenging men with their false Gods to realise the truth about His existence as the only real God.

Isaiah 43:10

“Ye are my witness, saith the Lord, 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.”

Before God there was no God formed and there shall be none after Him. The clear message that God is communicating is that He is the only God.

If you try to twist this and say ‘well technically gods could be formed during God’s existence’ then you miss the entire point of the passage and the thrust of Gods words in this verse.

Isaiah 44:6&8

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God ...Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

This time the all knowing God declares that He knows of no other Gods.

Isaiah 45:5

I am the Lord, [Jehovah], and there is none else, there is no God [Elohim] beside me.

Again the God of the OT, (Jehovah or Elohim or Adonai all used to refer to God) declares that there is no God beside Him

Oh, goodie. Taking statements of preeminence and trying to make them statements of exclusivity.

Nothing we haven't heard before, ad nauseum. :beatdeadhorse:

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So if someone says they are following a person who claims to be Christ they are following a false Christ, but if they say they are following Christ then they are? How do you distinguish between a false Christ and the real one?

Okay, you're clearly not paying attention. So I'm going to say this one more time:

No matter what you may or may not have wrong in your understanding of Jesus Christ, I will still accept you as a fellow disciple of the Savior if you say you follow Him. And I believe He will look past your misunderstandings and accept you as His disciple too.

Clear enough?

Edited by altersteve

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Objections;

In the previous thread that spawned this thread someone quoted a number of OT passages (Deut 10:17, Joshua 22:22, Dan 11:36) that speak of God being the 'God of gods' as if this somehow demonstrates that God is in actual fact just one God among many gods.

To interpret these verses in this way clearly contradicts the verses I have quoted in my previous posts and misses two important things

They don't contradict the verses you quoted at all.

If God is the God that we worship, then the existence of other gods does not-in any way-make the statement that there are no other gods before God untrue.

The fact that there are millions of mothers in the world does not contradict me when i say that i have no mother before my mother. As far as it matters to me, as far as my world is concerned, as far as my reality-there is only one mother in the universe. Even though i myself am a mother now, even THAT does not diminish the role or place of my mother in my life.

That is as it is with God. Those verses do not suggest that "God is just one of many Gods". They teach that God is THE God of gods. Unique to us in all of existence.

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You could just come out and define the characteristics of the Saints that disqualify them from being Christian in your opinion and we can let you know if those characteristics are truly those of the Latter-day Saints or discuss if they are characteristics that Christ Himself used to disqualify people as his disciples?

We should warn him in advance that any attempt to exclude Latter-Day Saints will also exclude other groups that both he and us would agree are Christian.

So, let the spinning, contortion, convolution etc begin.

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Okay, you're clearly not paying attention. So I'm going to say this one more time:

No matter what you may or may not have wrong in your understanding about Jesus Christ, I will still accept you as a fellow disciple of my Savior if you say you follow Him. And I believe He will look past your misunderstandings and accept you as His disciple too.

Clear enough?

As an added bonus if you are incorrect we will provide the Temple ordinances by proxy so you can accept the authorized Gospel and return to the presence of Christ and the God the Father.

Which is a decidedly more Christian attitude than the Evangelicals who have decided to judge me as a hellbound cultist.*

*true story, I'll tell you about the ugly incidents some time.

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You are right that the real Jesus Christ is the only saviour. The point you are missing is that Jesus himself taught specific things about his own identity that are

So how do you know if you are following the real one? As I was leading up to in my previous posts the real one spoke in the context of the monotheistic Jewish religion, affirmed the teachings of the OT and presented Himself as the one true God of the OT. If your Jesus isn’t that Jesus then you follow a false Jesus – even if you think you are obeying other commands of his.

Great. So LDS are Christian, per the your criteria, since we believe that Jesus is the one true God of the OT. :good:

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The NT revelation of God would suggest that the us is a reference to Father, Son and Spirit. Who do you think it refers to?

LDS believe it refers to the same Beings.

It's just interesting that your beliefs concerning God force you to ignore the plurality of the statement in favor of an extra-biblical interpretation of who God is, while you attempt to prove LDS are not Christian because we don't accept who the bible claims God is.

It's a bit ironic (to put it nicely).

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Okay, you're clearly not paying attention. So I'm going to say this one more time:

No matter what you may or may not have wrong in your understanding of Jesus Christ, I will still accept you as a fellow disciple of the Savior if you say you follow Him. And I believe He will look past your misunderstandings and accept you as His disciple too.

Clear enough?

Not really. I want to know how you make a distinction between a false Christ and the real one. That's what I was getting at with me last post.

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As an added bonus if you are incorrect we will provide the Temple ordinances by proxy so you can accept the authorized Gospel and return to the presence of Christ and the God the Father.

Which is a decidedly more Christian attitude than the Evangelicals who have decided to judge me as a hellbound cultist.*

*true story, I'll tell you about the ugly incidents some time.

For example:

"You will go to hell if you believe in the Mormon doctrine."

- Matt Slick

Comments like that disgust me. And I believe they disgust God too.

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Not really. I want to know how you make a distinction between a false Christ and the real one. That's what I was getting at with me last post.

Once again (really?), a "false Christ" is a person, here on earth, who claims to be Christ. I believe that's what Jesus was talking about. I thought my point there was pretty clear.

Edited by altersteve

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I think it's very dangerous to try to define a Biblical term or concept by referring to a modern dictionary definition. Do you use modern dictionaries when defining other Biblical issues? If not, then why would you use it for 'Christian'? It's far more reliable and accurate to use the etymological definition.

Christianos (the greek word) literally means "a follower of Christ."

http://www.biblestud...hristianos.html

So according to that, a Christian is someone who follows Christ, not just someone who claims to follow Christ.

How did Christ define a follower of His?

I think this is a great way to use the bible to define who a Christian is so let's try to focus on this line of reasoning.

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For example:

"You will go to hell if you believe in the Mormon doctrine."

- Matt Slick

Comments like that disgust me. And I believe they disgust God too.

Yeah- and I'm not talking on line discussions or papers. When my wife and I were newly married and she was pregnant with our first child she ran into an old friend and told her about her conversion. The "old friend" proceeded to yell and scream at her in a public concert hall lobby and included such gems as "you are going to hell" and "you are carrying the spawn of Satan in your belly" You could see the spittle flying.

Another time I was accosted on a train because I was reading my scriptures silently to myself and the "gentleman" sitting next to me was offended because they weren't limited to the Bible. He told me I was going to hell and attempted to cast a devil out of me by laying his Bible on my head. When i told him I didn't believe that contention would get us anywhere he chased me around the train car.

These are the "fruits" of those who claim to be able to judge my Christianity. I'm not impressed.

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Once again (really?), a "false Christ" is a person, here on earth, who claims to be Christ. I believe that's what Jesus was talking about. I thought my point there was pretty clear.

So what happens is someone claims to be the real Christ- the Christ of the NT returned to earth here and now, would you just dismiss them as a false Christ?

Edited by djholmess

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So what happens is someone claims to be the real Christ- the Christ of the NT returned to earth here and now, would you just dismiss them as a false Christ?

If the Holy Ghost testified to me that they were the real Christ I would follow Him. I know Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost and would recognize Him by the same power.

John 14:14 I [Christ] am the good ashepherd, and bknow my csheep, and am known of mine.

Now can you skip the silly hypotheticals and get to the details of why or why not Mormons are Christians using real characteristics of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? That would make this discussion much less ridiculous.

Edited by KevinG

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We should warn him in advance that any attempt to exclude Latter-Day Saints will also exclude other groups that both he and us would agree are Christian.

So, let the spinning, contortion, convolution etc begin.

Like who?

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Which is a decidedly more Christian attitude than the Evangelicals who have decided to judge me as a hellbound cultist.*

*true story, I'll tell you about the ugly incidents some time.

NOT SO FAST there buddy.

As the official "devil's right hand man" (as declared by echo, an official representative of Modern American Protestant Christian Evangelicalism) I will not let you in. You will have to find somewhere else to spend eternity.

Edited by Vance

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If the Holy Ghost testified to me that they were the real Christ I would follow Him. I know Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost and would recognize Him by the same power.

Now can you skip the silly hypotheticals and get to the details of why or why not Mormons are Christians using real characteristics of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? That would make this discussion much less ridiculous.

Why are you even intrested, if you distinguish between real Christs and false Christs by your feeling of having recieved a 'testamony of the Holy Ghost' about it why do you care about any verses I might present to demonstrate how LDS worship a false Jesus?

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Like who?

Make your case first, then I/we will point out "who".

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