- Religion and Philosophy
What makes one a Christian?
Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you (Matt. 5:44).
Resist not evil: if a man smite thee on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt. 5:30-40).
Avenge not yourselves: rather give place unto wrath: and suffer yourselves to be defrauded (Rom. 12:18, 19).
If a man take away thy goods, ask them not again (Luke 6:29, 30).
Agree with your adversary quickly, submitting even to wrong for the sake of peace (Matt. 5:25; 1 Cor. 6:7).
Labor not to be rich: be ready to every good work, give to those who ask; relieve the afflicted (1 Tim. 6:8; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:16; James 1:27).
Do not your alms before men: Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matt. 6:1-4).
Recompense to no man evil for evil: overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17).
Bless them that curse you; let no cursing come out of your mouth (Matt. 5:44; Rom. 12:14).
Render not evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing (1 Pet. 3:9).
Pray for them that despitefully use you and afflict you (Matt. 5:44).
Grudge not: judge not: complain not: condemn not (James 5:9; Matt. 7:1).
Put away anger, wrath, bitterness, and all evil speaking (Eph. 4:31; 1 Pet. 2:1).
Confess your faults one to another (James 5:16).
Be not conformed to this world: love not the world (Rom. 12:2; 1 John 2:15).
Deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off (Titus 2:13; Matt. 5:30).
Servants, be faithful, even to bad masters (Eph. 6:5-8).
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate (Rom. 12:16).
Owe no man anything (Rom. 13:7,8).
In case of sin (known or heard of) speak not of it to others, but tell the offending brother of the matter between thee and him alone, with a view to recovery (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1).
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Matt. 22:37).
Pray always; pray with brevity and simplicity; pray secretly (Luke 18:1; Matt. 6:7).
In everything give thanks to God and recognize Him in all your ways (Eph. 5:20; Prov. 3:6).
As you would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt. 7:12).
Take Christ for an example and follow in his steps (1 Pet. 2:21).
Let Christ dwell in your heart by faith (Eph. 3:17).
Esteem Christ more highly than all earthly things; yea, than your own life (Luke 14:26).
Confess Christ freely before men (Luke 12:8).
Beware lest the cares of life or the allurements of pleasure weaken his hold on your heart (Matt. 24:44).
Love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt. 22:39).
Exercise lordship over no one (Matt. 23:11).
Seek not your own welfare only, nor bear your own burdens merely, but have regard to those of others (Phil. 2:4; Gal. 6:2).
Let your light shine before men: hold forth the word of life. Do good to all men as ye have opportunity (Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:16; Gal. 6:10).
Be blameless and harmless, as the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15).
Be gentle, meek, kind-hearted, compassionate, merciful, forgiving (2 Tim. 2:24; Titus 2:2; Eph. 4:32).
Be sober, grave, sincere, temperate (Phil. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:13; 5:8).
Speak the truth every man with his neighbor: put away all lying (Eph. 4:25).
Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men (Col. 3:23).
Be watchful, vigilant, brave, joyful, courteous, and strong (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:6-10).
Be clothed with humility; be patient toward all (Col. 3:12; Rom. 12:12).
Follow peace with all men (Heb. 12:14).
Sympathize in the joys and sorrows of others (Rom. 12:15).
Follow after whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseful (Phil. 4:8).
Refrain utterly from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, covetousness, wrath, strife, sedition, hatred, emulation, boasting, vainglory, envy, jesting, and foolish talking (Eph. 5:3,4).
Whatever you do, consider the effect of your action on the honor of God's name among men. Do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31; 3:17).
Reckon yourselves dead to all manner of sin. Henceforth live not to yourselves, but to him who died for you, and rose again (Rom. 6-11; 2 Cor. 5:15).
Be zealous of good works, always abounding in the work of the Lord, wearying not in well doing (Titus 2:14; Gal. 6:9).
Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16).
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 3:8; 4:6).
Obey rules; submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake (Titus 3:1).
Be holy in all manner of conversation (1 Pet. 1:15, 16).
Give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully (1 Tim. 5:14).
Pisean282311 asked a question in the forums:
How do you define true Christian?
This hub started ages ago, but it suffices for this questions response, so here it is.
How do you define true Christian?
By degrees!..... With Christian equating to someone who believes Christ was who He said He was...
The 'entry level' is fulfilled in John 3:16-19 and hangs on the word 'whosoever' as in totally non conditional, so whosoever agrees with these scriptures can validly claim the title Christian.
By definition a Christian is someone who believes in Christ and the commandments Christ made, the current benchmark seems to be adult confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, and is loosely based upon the most famous biblical verse:
John 3 16-19.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The operative word of course is whosoever, which clearly defines that being a Christian is non exclusive and available to anyone, or 'whosoever', but equally it's limited to 'whosoever' accepts what is written.... "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
So joining Christian society is relatively simple to anyone who can accept the scriptures as valid, and for most of those who profess a Christian faith, that can be the limit of their involvement with Christ, though they may progress to hold position in Churchianity, they may never progress further with Christianity.
Once on board, most believers will gravitate to one of two positions, agreeing that 'once saved we are always saved' or living as what I call 'probationer', where the believer is unsure whether they will be or are saved, and consider that they may 'miss the mark' in the final judgement.
In my opinion 'whosoever' precludes this, but equally I do place the emphasis on the word 'once' for I have met many folk who claim belief, yet in reality have not made good their faith.
But In Ephesians we are told to come to the 'fullness of Christ' which is expected of believers who are in discipleship to Christ, with disciple relating to those who follow the disciplines of Christ, i.e. obey His commands.
Now obviously if one becomes a Christian by simply believing, then one can reason that one becomes more of a Christian if one enters discipleship, rather than just believing, then getting back on with your life.
Then again, Christ tells His disciples that 'These things and greater, you will do in my name' and as we are talking about what would classify as miracles here, then we can assume that in the name of Christ, we can also expect to see miracles occur, so there is another level of attainment to reach when one has passed the entry point, entered discipleship and progressed towards the fullness of Christ, doing these things and even greater in His name.
Perhaps the most significant thing that Christ accomplished was to defeat ALL the power of the enemy, including death, which we can never actually attain to as none of us are actually ever going to be perfect.
It was His sinless perfection that achieved victory over death, we could never manage that, however He did make provision for us to defeat death, and He did this by clothing us in His righteousness, in order that when we stand before God, we will be seen as righteous by this masking, and accepted into Gods eternal pleasure.
So let us assume that one has made a profession of faith in Christ, and perhaps been infilled with the Holy Spirit, then studied to be approved, and by doing so attained a reasonable grasp of the tenets of Christ..... then the proof becomes in the visible obedience to the words of Christ.
Any reasoned examination of history will show that the Crusades were hardly the best presentation of Christian faith in action, and nowhere is Christ found endorsing the killing of those who oppose Him, so in either ignorance and fear, or having been demonised in themselves, the Crusaders proved they were not actual Christian believers.
Fortunately not many returned from their Crusades, so our bloodline is less tainted than it may have been.
I say ignorance or fear, because back then the Roman Catholic Church held sway, and had decided that mere laymen were inadequate to read or study the words of Christ, hence the normal believer was reliant upon his 'betters' to tell him what he should do for Christ.
As his 'betters' were mainly masonic knights fully inveigled into that Satanic organisation, it's small surprise that they led their peasants into the Holy land killing all that they found before them, including many Christians who did not subscribe to the Western Church version of Roman Catholicism.
So I think it's safe to discount Crusaders as our heritage.
Moving onward, we find the Roman Catholics doing a fine job of killing anybody who strikes up a personal relationship with Christ through the word, and desires to move in the Holy Spirit in defiance of the hierarchy. Obviously as the populace were not allowed access to bibles, which were in any case written in Latin, those accused of heresy and subsequently murdered were clergy who had realized that Christ spoke differently from the established church, and refused to recant on what they discovered from their exploration of what Christ said.
Along comes Luther, a loyal Catholic priest, who realizes that Grace is a key factor in Christ's commandments, and pins the tail on the donkey, or at least his thesis in the door posts of his church... Strong local support from Germanic Princes save his life, and a new branch of Catholicism is created, which becomes a new church when the Catholics reject Luther.
From there onward we see division after division and end up with 31,000 versions of 'the truth' all devised by folk who truly thought they had defined correctly what Christ was really saying to His church.
The fact is that Christ never started a 'church' as we know it, the church was His body of believers, individuals who joined together in unity to carry His name to the nations and to obey what Christ commanded, not what man devised from His commandments.
Realising this is a sad day for most believers, because they are then faced with rejecting their doctrines devised by man, to follow the commands made by Christ, which invariably still leads to being called a heretic by your (former) church brethren, who desire the safety of conformity over the freedom (and dangers) of living Christ's commands as best you can.
It is relatively easy to be a believer within a defined church structure, which is why most folk gravitate to a church that fits their level of commitment.
Living 'outside the gate' means having to work daily to pick up that cross and follow Christ's commands, and to do that whilst being viewed by those who once loved you, now seeing you as a heretic for your non conformity.
It means having to keep focussed on the goal, for you no longer have your folk praying for your protection, and indeed they may be making soulish prayers against you.
So deciding that all that is required to understand Christ's commands is a plain old common dictionary, is a heavy decision, for ultimately one will begin to see the contradictions that have occurred in traditional churches.
No one has all the truth, but all the truth is there to see, if you obey Christs commands and not the desires of men.
I propose that the commands given by Christ are our creed, anything not provided by Christ may well be good advice, but is only as good as the person who added the words.
For those of you who will be aghast that I may be inferring that not every word in our King James bibles are divinely inspired, fear not, my King James is still my constant guide and light to my feet, but where man has added to Christ, I may agree to differ.