not sure you're a christian? post here

Inspired by vanilla’s “christians post here” poll. I was saved as a Christian at the age of 9, but these days I’d call myself a Taoist. Xactly who is a Christian? Are you or have you ever been a sort-of Christian, and what kind?

This thread may get moved to Great Debates, but I’ll start it in IMHO where vanilla’s thread is.

Well, hi.
My post was an attempt to see if FoG was right about christians being a minority here.
Define christian as anyone who believes Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins.
I don’t know anyhting about Taoism (doesn’t it have something to do with Pooh?{book title})
what would a “sortof christian” be?

Well, I guess that I am a sort of Christian. I believe that Christ was the son of God and was sent down to earth by God to help teach people how to become more fully realized. He, along with other people, although he was the only son. In other words, he isn’t the only one who was sent for this purpose. I could name the others but you would probably have no idea who the were. Just some old Indian guys. I also believe in reincarnation etc. Does this make me a “sort of” Christian?

I was saved when I was 4, and lived/believed the Christian lifestyle for 20 years. Last year I gave up my faith and no longer believe. Depending of weather you believe you can lose your Christianity, I might still be considered one, although I don’t think I’m one.

vanilla, I in no way want to mock your beliefs. Please accept my apologies (and let me know) if this is offensive.

Thanks for posting, vanilla. I didn’t know if I, for example, should log in as a Christian for the poll. My beliefs about Jesus are not standard. I can’t state them without turning this into a debate thread. What matters (IMHO) is whether we practice what he preached; although in some cases we (people, I mean, not me and you) are not agreed on exactly what he preached.

(I think it’s shameful how everyone these days is using poor Pooh to grind their axes for them.) Taoism is more a philosophy than a religion.

There is no un-baptism. Some versions of Christianity believe once you have anted-up by being sprinkled, that’s it. e.g. you can be excommunicated from the Catholic church, but that makes you an excommunicated Catholic.

Last I looked, vanilla’s thread is winning over the “non-christians post here” thread by a good margin this morning.

I had no clear idea of what a “sort-of” Christian might be; just anyone who wasn’t sure whether they should log in on the poll. (I might recognise the names of some of those old Indians.)

I think some of the more rabidly fundamental Christian sects insist that you can get unsaved, but I have no details. Aren’t excommunicated Catholics supposed to go to Hell?

It doesn’t matter where this thread goes now, so if anyone wants to argue for their beliefs, please do.


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So you think you might recognize them? Cool, here goes. Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yuketeswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda.

There you go. Recognize any of them? Although I must admit that I wouldn’t be too surprised if you recognized Babaji.

I was raised Catholic and I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe he sent his only son, Jesus, to die for our sins; I try to live a life embracing love and humanity. I was baptised and confirmed. Am I a Chrisitan anyway? I have been told by people who come to my door that I haven’t been saved. Huh? I then smile and say goodbye and close the door. I think old bones show how we evolved. I don’t go to Mass every Sunday. I don’t participate in missions to convert non-believers. Am I a Christian? I await judgement, but not from men and women. I await without fear because I know I am very pleasing to my Father. If I am not pleasing to some men and women, I say ‘Bah’ and wave them off. Like Dogbert…

I believe in God, or A God, most of the time. I go to a mainstream christian protestant church, and was raised in one. But you know, the questions I have that I can’t seim to be assured about all have to do with Jesus. This is where my greatest doubts come in. I wonder if he is just really a metaphor, instead of the actual embodiment of God the father on earth. I don’t believe that the litmus test for getting into heaven is (or should be) accepting him as the savior. Etc etc. For reasons like that, I guess I’m in the “not sure I’m a Christian” category.

I realize that strictly speaking, comments like that mean no fricking way I’m a Christian, but I buy all the rest of it! I think I could believe in a modified view of who Jesus was. So put me down as “sort of.”

I’m sure I’m an *ex-*Christian. Raised Catholic. Put it behind me years ago. No hard feelings. No harm, no foul. :slight_smile:

Yes, and back in college one of the key texts that buoyed me on my way out of the Church was Autobiography of a Yogi (to which book our name-dropping heraldgwena alluded above). Like Jon Anderson of Yes, I may have gotten more out of the lengthy footnotes than the main text. That book’s footnotes were my first introduction to the master metaphysician Shankara and the naked yogini of Kashmir, Lalla. Another footnote inspired the double album Tales from Topographic Oceans. Oh, has this turned into a hijack? Sorry.

It’s not possible to hijack this thread; it bloweth where it listeth, until the mods in their wisdom do move it.

I would recognize Babaji and Yogananda if they showed up at a Dopefest, the other two not, even with nametags.

It tickles me that some fundamentalists say that Catholics are not Christians. What would they be, then, Buddhists? Southern Baptists, in my Sunday School days, looked askance at Catholics for the robes and for praying to Mary and the saints…basically the same things Martin Luther had been upset about. I remember a tract in which a sinister black-skirted priest fearfully acknowledged that one word of faith from the lips of an innocent child (a little girl had just quoted a bible verse to him, probably John 3:16) could destroy all their Popery!
Billy Graham (an aunt used to send us Decision magazine) used to make the point that one can belong to a Christian denomination without actually following Christ. That would apply to probably about 2/3 of churchgoers, though, not just Catholics by any means.
According to Andrew Greeley, at least, practicing Catholics are a pretty fun, ornery bunch, liable to thumb their noses at the Pope if they don’t like what he’s preaching. Those who can’t stay Catholic and keep their sense of humor become sin-haunted moral perfectionists, or get the hell out.

well, let’s see. I believe Jesus’ directive: Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God (goddess, 1st cause, the godhead, Eru Iluvatar, cosmic muffin, the great macrocosmic all) with all your heart. But I’ve deep sixed the rest of the apostles creed. So I’m told that just following Jesus’ most important instructions alone doesn’t make me a christian. It don’t worry me.

And there is another variable in this delightful mix…

… I am referring to the many folks in what I’ll call Industrialized Societies of the European/North American Orbit (and let’s face it, most regulars of this board belong to these) who are vaguely “culturally Christian.” By this I mean that they were raised in households where Xmas was celebrated and a church was visited for weddings and funerals, in a society where nominally-Christian beliefs are considered the “mainstream”(e.g. Xmas and Easter are official holidays, Oaths of Office are upon a Bible) and that though they themselves do not really practice any religion, they (a) are pretty sure they are NOT Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Wicca, or whatever, and view those as “minority” or “exotic” beliefs; and (b) have not conscientiously considered agnosticism or atheism.

I consider myself a Christian as I believe Christ died for my (and all of our) sins, but beyond that my beliefs, or lack thereof depart from what you might call “standard Christian doctrine”. I’m reluctant to call myself a Christian generally, because doing so and leaving it at that implies a lot of beliefs that I definitely don’t share.

It would be pretty unusual for me to refer to myself as a Christian, but to the extent that I (correctly) understand what he was saying, I agree with Jesus of Nazareth about a lot more things than either of us agree with the tenets of Christianity. So perhaps I’m not a Christian and neither was Jesus? Or perhaps instead I am but Christians…oh never mind…

I do not worship Jesus of Nazareth, but I’m inclined to hero-worship him.

I think Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, but not the “only begotten” one, insofar as the rest of us are not “misbegotten” or anything, and insofar as we are all children of God.

I think Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, in the sense of being a specific and special child of God–special due to bearing a message that, I believe, did indeed constitute the word or will of God (see “Sermon on the Mount”, “Sermon on the Plains”). But I believe that Jesus of Nazareth could have gotten kicked in the head by a clumsy camel and died at the age of 9, and if he had, someone else would have borne this message. And, for that matter, they have. He is not the only prophet/messenger/messiah-person.

I think that some crucial part of who he was transcended death. For that matter, some crucial part of Martin Luther King survived his death and is still with us, too. So it is when you identify with and represent something larger than your individual self. I do not, however, think that it was somehow wonderful, holy, or necessary that he get hisself killed off. I view him as a martyr. His death, his loss, and ours, and horrifying to die like that as a result of what he did.

I don’t know and don’t care whether or not Jesus of Nazareth performed supernatural miracles, as the performance of supernatural miracles doesn’t make him worship-worthy, it’s just kinda cool if he could (but I doubt it very very much); I also could care less whether his Mum was once a pregnant virgin or if instead Jesus of Nazareth was the illegitimate child of Mary and some cute Nazarene shepherd or for that matter Mary and some crude Nazarene back-alley rapist.

Attention all religion polling threads! OpalCat has set up an SDMB poll of people’s religion. Please click on her thread, and maybe bump it every once in a while…
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=61388

Click on the link in her thread - it goes to a quick polling URL, fairly detailed in its categories.

"X"cellent. Thanks, Ky’ist.