Folowers of Jesus are not 'Christians'
by Peter Lounsbury

# 1. 9/29/09 9:38 AM by Jen G - Maysville, WV
I agree that the word Christian is synonymous with people who attend church. Although my belief is that you must accept Christ as your savior, repent of your sins and strive to live a Christ filled life to sincerely call yourself a "Christian" Just my beliefs! I prefer to call myself an evangelical Christian - I dont' know if that describes what I believe anymore clearly but my goal is to have a fulfilling Christ filled life where I am so full of Him that there is no room for anything else.

Editor's Note: Think of it like this Jen...

I just happen to be in Colorado Springs and just got done listening to a radio broadcast from New Life. If you recall that is the "church" that Pastor Ted Haggart was senior Pastor of. That particular local area body of believers has moved beyond the man who sinned very publicly that resulted in his removal from that position. That Church is not a church, it is a Church. It is defined by the assembly of believers, not the man who built the assembly or the building.

The people who go there are not nouns (Christians), they are what the adjectival/descriptive phrase much more accurately describes... followers of Jesus, gathered in a local geographical area as members of the body of Christ.

The problem is, as Albert and many others delight in pointing out, that when you can reduce the reality of the matter to a noun that can be analyzed and judged outside of the true context in which it exists, you have lost the war of words... something that relativists live for. Their perception of reality is relative, so they erroneously believe that if they can destroy the perception of reality by connecting the dots between fallible humans and the faith, that they then have license to redefine God on their terms since it is (in their minds) an improvement. I see the logic, but it is false.

BTW, this is PRECISELY why Albert, BF and others wont debate with me. I cast aside the word games and get straight to the truth of the matter. I refuse to play along with framed debates that have stacked sides and where one side changes the rules as they go along. I go straight to getting the language straight and then proceed to discover the truth, happily accepting any error in belief I may have in favor of the discovery of truth. Because of that they find it IMPOSSIBLE to deal with me. How can you defeat a person in a debate whose position is whatever the truth is? Unless you can defeat the truth, you don't stand a chance.

The major difference between Albert and myself is that he reads things (and is very guarded in what he allows in so to speak) that support a belief he already holds, whereas as I shoot for the truth of the matter. I have long since concluded that the God of the Bible is the one true God, Jesus is His son and that scripture is indeed the very words of God. I am so confident in that position that I can not and will not shy away from any debate no matter how messy it looks like it might become. I have tackled issues such as Creation, the Flood and dozens of others of similarly and seemingly difficult topics and have found scripture to be lacking in nothing in any manner, shape or form. I can and will articulate those things to any and every body who cares to listen, and I love the process of the discovery of truth. No matter how many times I debate a topic, I learn more and appreciate God every single time.

# 2. 9/29/09 1:43 PM by Tekel
Amen! Meanings of words change of course so often pedantic squabbling about words is of little value, but you have made useful distinctions.

My understanding is that "Christians" was at first a negative epithet, "a defamatory or abusive word or phrase." The early Christians called each other "saints," a term also used to mean followers of the Lord in the Old Testament (Romans 1:7 et al. & Deut. 33:2, 1 Sam. 2:9, Ps. 50 et al.

It is much more important that Zion be "the pure in heart" rather than a place.

Editor's Note: The key point to understand what squabbling with folks who have relativistic beliefs about God is that they require that there be no written rules (the Bible), no named God (Yahweh, Jesus, Holy Spirit) and a monopoly on editing the dictionaries.

The reason they fail so miserably in debates is that when you are debating a person with the truth as not only his guide, but as the force that drives his or her beliefs... you can't win unless you can defeat the truth itself.

# 3. 9/29/09 6:43 PM by Michael - Las Vegas
I once heard somebody say "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than sleeping in the garage makes you a car."

Editor's Note: Good one!

I think it is important to de-fang folks like Albert who are like prowling lions seeking whom they can devour by inserting false language, half truths and foolish philosophy and trying to pass it off as the truth. As your example points out, aiming at Christians who ALL confess to be imperfect to the one, and framing your definition of the faith upon the people who fail to achieve what the faith calls for, is the most treacherous type of deception. The reason is that they make the half truths sound logical. That is until you shine the light of truth on them, and that is why I am so quick rebut lies about the faith as I did today.

Darkness is indeed the absence of light, so it is our duty as followers of Jesus to shine the light of truth whenever darkness seeks to creep into any place as Albert attempted to do today.

Great comment, thanks Michael!

For my personal curiosity, have you read The Shack? If so, what did you think?

# 4. 9/29/09 7:56 PM by Michael - Las Vegas
I have not, I'm sorry. What's it about?

Another good quote: "The gospel of Jesus Christ can make bad men good and good men better" (Monson, May 1987). Nowhere in there is a claim of perfection for personal beliefs and practice, only a hope for improvement. Again, "he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24). Nevertheless, the day of perfection we don't expect to see in this life. Until then we are all works in progress.

Editor's Note: Yes we are!

The Shack is a book about meeting God. A fascinating read :)

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