Christ follower or "CHRISTIANS" - Which one are yo

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Not on your terms

Postby eric731 » Sat May 19, 2007 8:50 pm

The Christ Follower in the video tries to imply that he is holier than the "Christian" because he comes to God as he is and not as religion would have him. Yes, that is a good thought. But make no mistake, God desires us to come to Him on His terms, not ours. There is "one way" to God through Christ. Old Testament screams how God likes his worship. In the New Testament, it confirms the "one way" to God.

Both individuals were trying their best to live for God. Let's not slam the "Christian" because his way is "old", "traditional", or dorky. But as long as we are coming to Him on His terms and striving to live a life excellent for Him, he will tweak us to make it a more pure worship.

Count me in as "Christian".


-Eric
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Re: Not on your terms

Postby bn2bnude » Sun May 20, 2007 12:40 am

eric731 wrote:The Christ Follower in the video tries to imply that he is holier than the "Christian" because he comes to God as he is and not as religion would have him. Yes, that is a good thought. But make no mistake, God desires us to come to Him on His terms, not ours. There is "one way" to God through Christ. Old Testament screams how God likes his worship. In the New Testament, it confirms the "one way" to God.

Both individuals were trying their best to live for God. Let's not slam the "Christian" because his way is "old", "traditional", or dorky. But as long as we are coming to Him on His terms and striving to live a life excellent for Him, he will tweak us to make it a more pure worship.

Count me in as "Christian".


-Eric


Maybe because I sympathize with the "Christ-follower" I don't see him as holier, just more laid back and less religious. You are right, however, it is not a very complimentary toward the "Christian". Many of the videos like this are made, not to change someone grounded solidly in their faith but to contrast with the way the average un-churched person thinks a Christian is.

Personally, I think the stereotype of the Christian these days hits too close to home many times. If that is the case, it is also quite a ways from the radical life that Jesus want's us to live.
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Postby Strandloper » Sun May 20, 2007 3:11 pm

bn2bnude wrote:
Strandloper wrote:...and if I am to be condemned for it..


I apologize to you if my posts appeared condemning... I didn't mean it that way.


Hi, bn2bnude –
this note of yours seems to have slipped past me at the time. I certainly didn’t have the impression that you were condemning me. But plenty of others have done so – and you probably have been, too, both by unbelievers and by people with an excessive attachment to some other variety of Christian belief.
I do believe that we stand together here, however.
Shalom,
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Postby Jon-Marc » Sun May 20, 2007 4:00 pm

Why do we have to separate the two? Why can't we be a Christian AND a Christ-follower without being "holier than thou"?
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Postby bn2bnude » Sun May 20, 2007 5:11 pm

Jon-Marc wrote:Why do we have to separate the two? Why can't we be a Christian AND a Christ-follower without being "holier than thou"?


I'd suggest that it is a couple of things. First of all, I think it is a matter of styles.

Consider the blind men who Jesus healed. I once saw a play where they discovered each other and argued that one method of healing wasn't the right way because it didn't happen to them.

There are a bunch of people out there on both sides of this topic who are unwilling to let God work in someone elses life differently than the way he is working in theirs. The so-called "worship wars" as well as the difference between charismatics and non-charismatics show this well.... These are just a couple of examples.

Secondly, I believe that you can (and there are many) who are both Christ Followers and Christians. The difference between the terminology and the reason I have largely abandonded the term "Christian" when I describe myself is that baggage that comes with the term Christian. Depending on how far back we choose to go (and I'll go only the last 20 or so years), Christians have become more publicly judgemental and condeming to those they are supposed to be ministering to. Examples of this I think of while I write this are the whole "Christian Right" movement in politics.

There is baggage that comes with a Christ follower label, however. Maybe not the quantity but the quality. Like the Jesus People of 30 years ago, there is a lot of distrust of motives. Some of this seems to come from a lack of look of establishment and lack of a common theology (the whole Emerging movement is one of the examples here).
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Postby Jon-Marc » Mon May 21, 2007 11:28 am

Pardon my inability to understand the difference--particularly with the exaggerated example in the video that is so ridiculous as to be laughable. I am a Christian who is a Christ follower. I am not the "holier-than-thou" person shown in the video, and I have never seen anyone who goes to that extreem.
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Postby jochanaan » Mon May 21, 2007 5:37 pm

Jon-Marc, it's the difference between a "real" Christian and a real Christian. A "real" Christian might go to church three times per week, give 10% or more of his gross income to the church, obey all the Ten Commandments and various other church edicts--and still not know Jesus personally; a real Christian in the sense we understand does know Jesus. One practices a religion--the other accepts a relationship.

Remember, though, that this is a comedy, and comedies tend to engage in hyperbole. Almost no one is exactly like the "Christian" in the videos, and few enough of us are as true as the "Christ-follower." :?
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Postby bn2bnude » Mon May 21, 2007 11:33 pm

jochanaan wrote:Jon-Marc, it's the difference between a "real" Christian and a real Christian. A "real" Christian might go to church three times per week, give 10% or more of his gross income to the church, obey all the Ten Commandments and various other church edicts--and still not know Jesus personally; a real Christian in the sense we understand does know Jesus. One practices a religion--the other accepts a relationship.

Remember, though, that this is a comedy, and comedies tend to engage in hyperbole. Almost no one is exactly like the "Christian" in the videos, and few enough of us are as true as the "Christ-follower." :?


The Holier-Than-Thou attitude can be found on both sides of the argument as well... Neither side immune.

As you read through the Gospels, the people that Jesus lashed out at--the ones that killed him--were the religeous leaders of the day. If you paint the situation with the brush of today's culture, it would be a similar situation. There are leaders in todays church who would, by anyone's standards, be bound for glory. They may, however, be a "Christian" without being a true follower of Christ.

For instance, there is a fellow who brings his congregation to Colorado from outside the state to protest the state's stand on gay rights. Some time ago, both this fellow and a gay rights were both protesting against Focus On The Family on the same day. This group thought Focus on the family was too liberal. Without dragging this strip in that direction as well as trying not to be too judgmental... Jesus hung out with tax collectors (sinners), prostitutes (sinners), etc. He was condemned by the religious leaders of the day for doing so. These same leaders were condemned by Christ for looking good on the outside but being unholy on the inside.

To bring the point around, from a news report, this leader was picked up trying to pick up prostitutes and not for the purposes of evangelism (I don't think I am mixing up the stories but I can't remember the guy's name and wouldn't bring it up even if I did).

As I said up front, neither side of this video has the corner on being "right". What they are trying to do is contrast their church with what the un-churched society thinks a Christian looks like.

I would suggest that Jon-Marc and jochanaan, as active nudists, are in a much better position to reach out to those at their clubs because they don't walk into the situation looking different (in a suit or even close for instance) and condemn those that are participating (especially since we agree that neither are sinning in the process) but by showing the love that God has for these people.
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Postby Jon-Marc » Tue May 22, 2007 4:13 am

I guess I will never understand why we have to choose between being a Christ-follower OR a Christian. I do NOT believe that one excludes the other. It reminds me of the Pharisee in the temple who compared himself with the publican. "I am not like this man." Then he proceeded to brag on how good he was. The publican who simply said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner" went away justified rather than the proud Pharisee. I hope to God I'm not guilty of that kind of pride and self-righteousness. If life has taught me anything, it's that I am still capable of sinning and often do. As far as I know a Christian IS a Christ-follower. If not, then who ARE Christians following?
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Postby bn2bnude » Tue May 22, 2007 7:35 am

Jon-Marc wrote:I guess I will never understand why we have to choose between being a Christ-follower OR a Christian. I do NOT believe that one excludes the other. It reminds me of the Pharisee in the temple who compared himself with the publican. "I am not like this man." Then he proceeded to brag on how good he was. The publican who simply said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner" went away justified rather than the proud Pharisee. I hope to God I'm not guilty of that kind of pridThere e and self-righteousness. If life has taught me anything, it's that I am still capable of sinning and often do. As far as I know a Christian IS a Christ-follower. If not, then who ARE Christians following?


I have heard this put slightly differently from a couple of pastors....

Anything that is not GOD is a non-god. Anything that is a non-god is a candidate for idolitry.

You ask
If not, then who ARE Christians followng


I suspect it may be different for each person or sect. Some follow tradition. I don't know how many times I have seen one form of music condemned because "God would never approve". Or what about communion? It doesn't happen often enough, or it happens too often. How about the version of the Bible you are using? I have been in arguments that say ONLY the Authorized Version should be used.

There are Christians who worship money. Yes, they say they are following God but they are unwilling to turn their finances over to him. Then there are those who worship pornography or sex.

As I mentioned before, anything that is a non-god is a candiate for an idol.
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Postby minister72 » Tue May 22, 2007 9:16 am

Allow me if I may to help make the distinction more clear for Jon-Marc and add a little to this idea as well. I completely understand the idea that a Christian is, or at least should be a Christ-follower. But the argument is that not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is in fact a follower. Much like the example you gave of the Pharisee who thanked God he was not made like the sinner over there. The contrast Jesus made between the two is the same contrast others are trying to make here as well. The contrast and modern distinction between the two is lending itself toward some changes in terminology definitions.

Another example, or attempt, at this same line of thinking is found in a wonderful book called "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. Don refers to himself as a Christian Spiritualist - one who follows in the footsteps of Jesus in their practice of spirituality (my definition). He does not call himself a Christian nor does he try to defend Christianity. He says he can not defend it because of all the horrible things done throughout history, and even still today, in the name of Christianity.

You are still free to call yourself a Christian. It is surely a difficult thing to have these terminology shifts taking place around you. And I would also concur by the grace I see being revealed in the words of your post concerning yourself and others that you are indeed a Christ-follower.

It seems to me the marks of a Christ-follower are humility, brokenness, grace, forgiveness, compassion, hope, love and an unbending dependance on Christ. I'm sure I missed some, but I see in all the marks honesty with self, others, and God.

Christ's Peace
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Predestination

Postby jimmy » Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:48 am

During the Bible study, the topic of "predestination" came up. We talked about what the Bible says about the topic for about an hour, but the bottom line was that regardless of how we see predestination, it should have little affect on how we live out our lives.


I realize I am posting so late that no one may read my post. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about predestination even though I am Wesleyan because the Bible teaches it. My current thinking is that John and Charles are both in Heaven and are very good friends spending many hours talking to each other.

Since the Bible does teach predestination it is a subject that can not be ignored. On the other hand we are free moral agents and do not lose our free will just because we accept Christ as our Savior and Master of our lives. So how to reconcile the two positions? I believe that both are true, God will never forsake us but we can turn our back on Him and walk away. Thankfully, He will welcome us back as in the Prodigal Son if we seek His forgiveness. To use the argument, "he or she must never have really been saved in the first place" is a logical fallacy called a circular argument.

When Peter wrote that God's will was "...not wanting any to parish but everyone to come to repentance" it is clear that predestination does not mean that some are predestined to hell before they are born. The Bible is fully consistent and if some people were never intended to go to Heaven then 2 Peter 3:9b would contradict the belief that a person can be predestined for eternity in hell.

Jimmy
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Predestination

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:48 pm

I think there is a predestination strip somewhere but, just because it is response to Jimmy...

There was an article in Fig Leaf Forum #129 by "John in Auckland, NZ" called "Our Redemption -- Patch-up or recreation".

In the article, he talks about this a bit with the following conclusion...

Predestination was not for individuals but for groups of people. The Israelites were Gods chosen people (Malachi 1 talks about Jacob being "chosen"). Once that covenant was invalidated and the covenant of Christ was established by his resurrection, we were adopted into that family, being part of Jacob's seed -- not by birth but by being grafted in. At that point we are predestined, elect if you will.

Now, just like Israel, not every person received salvation just because of their linage but by their faith, we also have that opportunity to now become children of God but, it is still our choice.

This is a lot of paraphrasing and interjection on my part but does come to the same conclusion.
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Postby jochanaan » Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:29 pm

Hmmm...Sounds like you've been reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation books, bn2bnude. ;)

For any readers who may be confused, the Foundation series is based on the concept of psychohistory, a science that, while unable to predict the behavior of any single person, gave very accurate predictions of the behavior of large groups of people--at least, of large groups unaware of the science of psychohistory. :? Mr. Asimov speculated that this discipline, while not particularly effective on a world-level, would work best on a Galaxy-sized civilization. But even he realized that some pesky humans might throw monkey wrenches into the smoothly operating gears of scientific discipline. :lol:
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Postby bn2bnude » Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:33 pm

jochanaan wrote:Hmmm...Sounds like you've been reading Isaac Asimov's Foundation books, bn2bnude. ;)


Not at all... Since reading that, I have seen several other theologians that say the same thing.
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