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Author Topic: Are American Evangelicals Christians at all?

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Icon 1 posted January 10, 2008 16:49      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree with your edit, CG. It's when they don't change - even after numerous interventions - that stricter measures need to be taken.

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Posts: 3851 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted January 10, 2008 22:36      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to respond with the understanding that my ideal society strictly enforces separation of church and 'Spastic. [Wink]
Originally posted by CrawGator:
Well the problem with turning someone away from the church is that the church really can't and still call itself a christian church because a christian should believe that people can turn their lives around. If a person wants to come to church christians believe the person wants to make the effort otherwise they would not be there. Besides that christians believe that Christ died for our sins. If God forgives us what right have we not to forgive if we call ourselves christian? While their are many variations on what christians believe, no true christian would argue the golden rule or that works are the fruit of faith. In other words your deeds speak louder than your words.

I can only agree with your points because I am an outside observer. However, I must point out that, unless a church enforces its definition of who is or is not a member, they cannot say what we should expect to observe a member's behavior to be. Excommunication need not be permanent and I would very much like to see churches excommunicating those who consistently fail to meet the behavioral expectations of the church. Sure, take 'em back when they've repented and demonstrated the good acts that are valued by theists and atheists alike. Failing to speak strongly against the negative behavior of members is, however, a tacit admission of acceptance from anyone who believes in an absolute ethical framework.


Almost got it right. According to all christain faiths that I know of everyone will be sorted out after death. Not just people who profess Christ.

I would agree with this more, but I accept that there are a great many people (including myself)who do not believe in post-mortem judgement. I agree completely that christians all seem to concur that judgement after death is universal and that judgement prior to death is a bad idea. Except that I have failed to find a christian faith that doesn't engage in some kind of pre-mortem judgement. I also have a difficult time understanding how we might refrain from judgement as it's a powerful survival tool.

Add to that that christians do not perfectly follow the tennents of the doctrine of their religion. In any event, religion is a man made thing concerning Christianity. I personally believe that all of the christain religions interpret the Bible wrong at some point or another. The best that a christian can do is to walk in the light that God gives him. Granted that sounds like a cop out but if a person really is faithful to God they will behave like a christian ought to behave for the most part.
This is the core of my problem- as long as a person can be counted as christian by christian churches they must be called a true christian (to whatever extent a particular person accepts the doctrine of the christian in question to be true doctrine). That is to say that statements about "true christians" ring disingenuous for me. Christians don't have a monopoly on ethics- they seem to suffer from the same character flaws as everyone else. I'm not comfortable with the way christianity-gradients seem to comply with the desirability of associating with a given person. It's been my experience that religious affiliation is the least reliable determinant of behavior.

I agree that makes it difficult for people who don't study the Bible the way a christian is supposed to. Frankly though I have met many people who claim to be christian who study the Bible less that some non-believers I have met. I have also met many people who are not christian that behave more like a christian than some christians I know. Every person grows at their own pace but you would expect someone who has been a christian for a long time to have grown up enough to know how to behave. It's a shame that some do not because it makes all christians look like hypocrites to many non-christians.
This statement would ring truer for me if not for the fact that every christian sect is essentially based upon a different opinion about what is the correct way to study the bible. I'm not here to make claims about what is or is not the correct way to study the bible- I've decided that the best way, for me, is to leave that particular book alone. I say don't worry about apparent christian hypocricy- we are all hypocrites to some extent. We can only live our lives and try to stay away from those who live in ways that imperile our lives.

I refrain from judging the christianity of others- I am not qualified to do so. I suspect that christians are similarly unqualified, but for different reasons. I guess that's my point: Nobody gets to say who is the better christian or who will be saved or damned after death. Those who do so are truly hypocrites.

"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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