I am a Christian. What does that mean?

JuLeah - posted on 05/28/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I am a Christian.
I don’t know what that means and never know what to do with it when someone announces to me that they are of that faith.

I know that a Christian means one who follows the teachings of Jesus. My Uncle, who identifies as a Christian, tells me there are very few Christians in the world.

Most people, he tells me that call themselves Christian, don’t actually follow the teachings of Jesus. They do what their mister, preacher, priests tells them to do and that person may or may not have their own bias /discrimination caught up into the equation.

Remember, Christians owned slaves and used the bible to justify that. The name of Jesus has been used to start wars, segregate by race, and justify the beating/death of anyone who doesn’t fit the mold.

So, when people say, “I am a Christian”, what are we to assume? What information does that actually give us about you?

The only thing you can assume when I say, “I am a Jew” is that I am not a Christian. There are as many different ways to believe as a Jew as there are Jews.

For the most part I can let this issue go, except when someone says, “I am a Christian, but…” I know that whatever comes next is likely going to piss me off.

Not long ago a man told me he ran towards the sounds of a fight because he felt someone was in trouble. The person being beaten was Trans. It was 5 to 1.
This man yelled at the ones doing to beating to ‘punch once for him’ and walked away. He said, “I am a Christian, but I have my limits”

That is not what Jesus teaches. I have made a point of reading Jesus’ words and have no objections. If all Christians actually did what he taught, this world would be a better place. Jesus didn’t hate and didn’t promote fear. So, why do Christians do so in his name?

Okay, that is another question and maybe off topic. I really want to know what people wish me to assume when told, “I am a Christian”

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[deleted account]

To the OP, you are right in that a Christian is a Christ follower.

Dana, maybe this will help?

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works so that no one may boast."

Basically we are all sinners. Jesus was the only perfect person...who was also God himself. No one deserves Heaven because of our sins. We deserve death. Everyone. The only perfect person, Jesus, died in our place. That is the gift the verse is speaking of. He died so we don't have to...instead we will go to Heaven when we die. And all we have to do is accept that gift.

HOWEVER, one result of accepting the gift is that it changes your life. Evidence of faith is how you live your life. James 2:18-20 says, "But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Also, I like this quote. I was told by some fellow COMers that it's not accurate. But I still like it because it reminds me that my actions do speak very loudly...as Barb just mentioned...and Kati said something similar a few posts up.

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle, That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

[deleted account]

Yep, my first paragraph is ALL it takes. Nothing more and nothing less.... It's the belief that makes someone a Christian or not. The 'lifestyle' TENDS to follow as a result of the belief, but I screw up on a daily basis. If the way you live made you a Christian.... the only human in the history of humans to ever be a Christian would be Jesus. NO ONE can live a perfect Christian lifestyle. Striving to do that is great, but achieving it is impossible.

[deleted account]

Well, since you asked directly, I'll answer. Yes, it's what the Bible says. I'm of the belief that you can't cherry pick what you believe out of the Bible...you've got to take the harsh stuff with the rest of it. I'll probably catch crap for that answer...but there you have it.

Tah - posted on 05/28/2011

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I believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as my Lord and savior, I have confessed it with my tongue. I believe his word..the bible is true and that men who wrote it were men inspired by God and not authors of descriptive and colorful fables! I believe Peter said that, I may be mistaken. I believe he died for my sins and rose again 3 day later and none come to the father but by him. That he is the way the truth and the light...I am a Christian.

[deleted account]

I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (and God too... Trinity). He came to Earth and died for our sins and rose again. I confess w/ my mouth Jesus as Lord.

I may not have worded it perfectly, but THAT is what makes me a Christian. That's all it takes. I do TRY to live my life the way Jesus wants me to, but I do that because I am a Christian. How I live my life doesn't MAKE me a Christian.

I hope that made at least a little sense.

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Deborah Ridgely - posted on 09/11/2013

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I am in the same boat with you, JuLeah! I have found that when someone tells me they are a Christian, I usually ask more questions to get them to clarify what they believe and what that means to them. Too many people think they are Chriatians because of growing up with a church background, but either don't truly believe it, or have believed lies. The best measure is if they believe the bible and especially the gospels and are living it out as best they know how. And if they are open to instruction from the Word of God, and are following Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes time to know whether or not you can trust that someone is truly in the faith.

[deleted account]

Assume that they are what they say they are, christian. It isn't hard. If they don't act christian then you let them deal with it when they meet their maker. Don't take things so seriously and personally and for the love of god if you can't get over it then turn around and walk away.

[deleted account]

Thanks, Sara!

So, I have a question? Are you of the belief that all non-Christians will go to hell just because we don't believe?

Barb - posted on 05/28/2011

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I was raised christian, schooled christian and then married christian. When i divorced and started seeing the actions of christians i decided i didn't want to be in that group.

It's always actions that tend to speak louder than words. If people truly believed and had faith their actions would show it.

sing it with me "if you love him and you know it than your life will surely show it, if you love him and you know it clap your hands"

Rosie - posted on 05/28/2011

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the controversy is because MAN has put their own spin on what is acceptable or not, and has done the very human thing to judge. somehow in all the teachings in the bible people seem to be confused as to what to do (insert sarcasm) lol. it's full of inconsistancies, and i think they just get so damned confused and don't know what to do.
however, i found it to be very clear that to be a christian all you have to do is believe in god.

[deleted account]

That doesn't make them right though. Christians screw up and have faulty views on things just as much as nonChristians.

I don't think you are rambling. Just struggling to understand something and, unfortunately, I don't have all the answers for you. I WISH I did though.

[deleted account]

But what does it mean if you're Christian? It doesn't JUST mean that you believe. If all it meant is that you believe in something then there wouldn't be so much controversy surrounding religion. Just my opinion though. To a lot of people being a Christian somehow gives them the right to judge and be free from judgement.

Am I just rambling?

Rosie - posted on 05/28/2011

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well you have to BELIEVE that jesus died for your sins and then you will be a christian. not just think it dana, lol.

[deleted account]

Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead? Do you confess w/ your mouth that He is your Lord?

THAT makes you a Christian. Not just 'thinking' you are. You can say you think you're a Christian, but if you don't truely believe my first paragraph.....

Rosie - posted on 05/28/2011

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when i was a christian what made me one was ny belief that god sacrificed his only son for my sins. if i believed that i was saved, and would join god in heaven when i died. the ONLY way to god was through believing in jesus.

god knows we were all sinners. let me repeat that, he knows we are ALL sinners. "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of god". he doesn't expect us to be perfect, or live wonderful christlike lives. he wants us too, but knows that it isn't possible to be like him.



anyway, that was my whole take on christianity. i get really irritated when i hear others judging and condemning people for the way they live their life when they are clearly not following the bibles teachings to a "T" as well. also, another reason i am not a christian anymore.

[deleted account]

"How I live my life doesn't MAKE me a Christian."

So what you believe makes you a Christian? I'm confused...

Amy - posted on 05/28/2011

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There are very few christians. A lot of people call themselves that because they go into a building every so often. I don't know too much about jewish religion. I just don't. I've read the bible and to actually follow what Christ did and act that selflessly....I don't think anyone beyond a few actually deserve to be called christians. What, mother theresa was selfless and gave up all to help others....who else???? Not many.

I don't know what people want us to believe when they say that. I read the bible, i love a lot of it. I believe a lot of it. I don't actually call myself a christian and people make fun of me for it. But, you agree with what christ said. Uh, yeah...but I'm one of those who falls short of the glory of God. No way could i follow that example. I could try, but wow...total selflessness. Sometimes I go make my coffee before I start breakfast for the family. I take a longer shower than normal for ME time. I'm human. I have faults. I swear. I sure haven't given up all I own to help others. I don't know. Maybe people just want to let you know they're generally decent? Who knows. I know a LOT of people who aren't "christian" that are some of the best people in the world. I agree...sometimes I jsut get frustrated and confused.

Love Eddie Izzard's stuff on the crusades. We kill you in the name of jesus!! but....we believe in jesus too. uh....you do? hm....well. we're already here....youtube it if you get bored. Seriously, religion confuses me. The bible and teaching of jesus make sense, but religion confuses me.

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