Who is a Christian?

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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Tue May 07, 2019 4:48 pm

Content deleted due to double post.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 07, 2019 5:21 pm

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

If what you claim or believe as stated above is a genuine reflection of how you've conducted your discussions, why are your interlocutors withdrawing from philosophical discussion with you?
It's not how he's conducted the discussions. See the OP and the use of the word, for example, 'must' then also 'objective'.

Calling Serendipper's position crazy does not, to my mind down with what Betrand Russell says. It is the kind of speech utterly ruling out the position someone disagrees with.

An example of a response to an arguement of mine...

Your argument is terribly wrong.


In response to you - who actually writes in the spirit of what Bertrand Russell said and get punished for it ......

You only "think" which is very subjective and not objective.


But I fear at best pointing this out will only get at they style. IOW Prismatic certainly could have posted more politely in response to arguments he disagreed with. But that is only one part of the problem. He determines what is objective, often with an appeal to an authority. Other people do not determine what is objective. One post I made with a variety of arguments he referred to as shallow - which seems very confused to me - because, it seems, I did not appeal to authorities. Which kind of misses the point of my criticism which was in part the relation of a non-theist, non-Christian to authorities, but also is part of a continual framing other people's arguments as not appealing to authorities enough, with summations of his own positions as objective.

Fine, he doesn't understand how idiosyncratic his ideas about objectivity are, nor does he address certain issues that are raised.

But the entire attitude is fundamentally that he is objective and would notice an argument that challenged his in some way. We have pointed out that this latter claim seems not to be the case. This has not affected him at all.

I would rather not create a more polite version of Prismatic, because the kinds of impolitenesses above actually serve as strong clues that this is someone who knows he is right in precisely the way Betrand Russell is saying is not a good idea.

One extra irony is that my position is that I don’t think I can determine who is a Christian objectively so I decide to accept other people’s self assessment. IOW I think my position is more in line with the implicit humility in BR’s idea. I am saying that since I cannot determine, given the epistemological limitations I have, I will tend to accept other people’s self-assessments. You, Fanman, also seem more flexible and have a practical and not fixed position. Serendipper was much certain, I think, as Prismatic, not that this makes his position crazy, but we approached the issue from positions that were more cautious about what one can know around this issue, especially as non-Christians. The details of that criticism – him not being Christian - never seem to be understood by Prismatic, but to find now this Bertrand Russell quote presented to you as somehow reflecting his approach is actually galling.

But also funny.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:49 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

If what you claim or believe as stated above is a genuine reflection of how you've conducted your discussions, why are your interlocutors withdrawing from philosophical discussion with you?

So far there only 3 you, KT and Serendipper who disagreed with me in here. The low number is one weak point to support your view but what is more critical is whether you and others have provided justified and sound steady arguments, i.e.

    Serendipper's = anyone can claim to be a Christian based on declaration.

    You = covenant is an element but prefer a wider definition of who is a Christian.

    KT = if not a Christian, then no authority to define a Christian.

Meanwhile I have provided an epistemological, rational, objective and philosophical based definition which should carry weight in this specific philosophy forum. Note, "In Rome, Do What the Romans Do"
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:01 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

If what you claim or believe as stated above is a genuine reflection of how you've conducted your discussions, why are your interlocutors withdrawing from philosophical discussion with you?
It's not how he's conducted the discussions. See the OP and the use of the word, for example, 'must' then also 'objective'.

Calling Serendipper's position crazy does not, to my mind down with what Betrand Russell says. It is the kind of speech utterly ruling out the position someone disagrees with.

An example of a response to an arguement of mine...

Your argument is terribly wrong.


In response to you - who actually writes in the spirit of what Bertrand Russell said and get punished for it ......

You only "think" which is very subjective and not objective.


But I fear at best pointing this out will only get at they style. IOW Prismatic certainly could have posted more politely in response to arguments he disagreed with. But that is only one part of the problem. He determines what is objective, often with an appeal to an authority. Other people do not determine what is objective. One post I made with a variety of arguments he referred to as shallow - which seems very confused to me - because, it seems, I did not appeal to authorities. Which kind of misses the point of my criticism which was in part the relation of a non-theist, non-Christian to authorities, but also is part of a continual framing other people's arguments as not appealing to authorities enough, with summations of his own positions as objective.

Fine, he doesn't understand how idiosyncratic his ideas about objectivity are, nor does he address certain issues that are raised.

But the entire attitude is fundamentally that he is objective and would notice an argument that challenged his in some way. We have pointed out that this latter claim seems not to be the case. This has not affected him at all.

I would rather not create a more polite version of Prismatic, because the kinds of impolitenesses above actually serve as strong clues that this is someone who knows he is right in precisely the way Betrand Russell is saying is not a good idea.

One extra irony is that my position is that I don’t think I can determine who is a Christian objectively so I decide to accept other people’s self assessment. IOW I think my position is more in line with the implicit humility in BR’s idea. I am saying that since I cannot determine, given the epistemological limitations I have, I will tend to accept other people’s self-assessments. You, Fanman, also seem more flexible and have a practical and not fixed position. Serendipper was much certain, I think, as Prismatic, not that this makes his position crazy, but we approached the issue from positions that were more cautious about what one can know around this issue, especially as non-Christians. The details of that criticism – him not being Christian - never seem to be understood by Prismatic, but to find now this Bertrand Russell quote presented to you as somehow reflecting his approach is actually galling.

But also funny.

Note Russell's quote imply one had already dug deep until there is no answers in sight but yet we should not claim the current one is the definite and final answers.

Relative to most serious philosophical work, your view is obvious very shallow and narrow.
In my case, I had obviously dug deep into the issue.
Instead of focusing on the form of 'who is a Christian' or resigning the definition to Christian only, I dug deep into the essence, i.e. the covenant which can be extracted from the Bible and the universal principle laws of contract [agreement, relationships, covenant].
This is what I meant I had presented an argument that is objective which anyone can verify against, i.e. it is not my personal subjective opinions.

You should refute the points of my argument instead of simply insisting I or anyone who is not a Christian cannot define Who is a Christian.

I had mentioned there is a requirement to define who is a Christian in many perspectives, i.e. legal, political, social, cultural, religion, spirituality, philosophy, etc. and the only reliable definition is an epistemological and objective definition.

Btw, I have not stated it yet but we can [in the future] even use Science to assist/support in defining who is a Christian. This can be done by relating the activities of the brain when reading Biblical verses or Christian related images, i.e. isolating the brain activities to what is supposedly only a Christian would react in the brain.
Currently, based on crude brain images, neuroscientists are able to correlate them to who is a spiritual person.

Dr. Andrew Newberg is a neuroscientist who studies the relationship between brain function and various mental states. He is a pioneer in the neurological study of religious and spiritual experiences, a field known as “neurotheology.” His research includes taking brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, in an attempt to better understand the nature of religious and spiritual practices and attitudes.
http://www.andrewnewberg.com/


As you will note, I have the strong proclivity and drive to dig deep, thus I have the sensitivity to note who is groping in the shallows.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed May 08, 2019 7:00 am

Karpel Tunnel,

I agree. I was quite surprised when Prismatic quoted Russell as a reference to how he conducts himself, given the disparity between that quote and what he's actually written here and in other topics. Indeed when people such as you or I adopt the approach that Russell advocated, he shuts them down using terms such as; "ignorant", "shallow", "subjective", "wrong", "crazy" etc., in relation to what we're arguing. I don't believe that Russell advocated that kind of philosophy.

I don't understand why he refers to what you say as being "shallow". When you've explored the issues surrounding this topic in depth. He doesn't have to agree with you, me or Serendipper, but for some reason he arbitrarily decides that our posts are IOW (or in exactly those words) not good enough, as opposed to his, which are sound, and all of the other superlatives he uses to describe what he says.

Then he quotes Russell and says that's what he conforms to, painting himself with glowing terms, as if his posts can't be read. I don't see how he's surmised that after the way he's treated peoples arguments.

---

Prismatic,

My point was specifically relating to some of your interlocutors deciding to withdraw from philosophical discussion with you, and that if you adopted the approach that Russell advocated, why would that be the case?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 08, 2019 9:10 am

Fanman wrote:Karpel Tunnel,

I agree. I was quite surprised when Prismatic quoted Russell as a reference to how he conducts himself, given the disparity between that quote and what he's actually written here and in other topics. Indeed when people such as you or I adopt the approach that Russell advocated, he shuts them down using terms such as; "ignorant", "shallow", "subjective", "wrong", "crazy" etc., in relation to what we're arguing. I don't believe that Russell advocated that kind of philosophy.

I don't understand why he refers to what you say as being "shallow". When you've explored the issues surrounding this topic in depth. He doesn't have to agree with you, me or Serendipper, but for some reason he arbitrarily decides that our posts are IOW (or in exactly those words) not good enough, as opposed to his, which are sound, and all of the other superlatives he uses to describe what he says.

Then he quotes Russell and says that's what he conforms to, painting himself with glowing terms, as if his posts can't be read. I don't see how he's surmised that after the way he's treated peoples arguments.

---

Prismatic,

My point was specifically relating to some of your interlocutors deciding to withdraw from philosophical discussion with you, and that if you adopted the approach that Russell advocated, why would that be the case?

I quoted Russell's i.e. philosophy do not go for definite answers but the questions.

I did not insist mine is an absolute definite answer, that is why I am waiting for counters to my argument.

Note Russell's quote is leveraged upon sound philosophical arguments.
Your's, KT's and Serendipper's as they are, are not sound arguments, how can I accept them.

If you agree the covenant is imperative in defining who is a Christian as the most rational and objective basis, but at the fringes there are 1 to 10% of so-claimed Christian who don't give a damm with the requirement of a covenant, I can agree with that.
However those who do not accept the covenant are termed pseudo-Christians and not genuine Christians.

However KT and Serendipper's argument are not sound.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed May 08, 2019 5:03 pm

With all due respect, Prismatic. I think that to continue philosophical discussion with you would be a waste of time. Or put in a way that you would understand, have more cons than pros. Ironically, as you said to me in another topic where I questioned you, I don't think that you're up to it. Which is of course going by what you've written - not my personal opinion of you, because I think you're a clever person, albeit not as clever as you think.

Given the nature of your arguments and the fact that they can be read here and in other topics, your attempt to describe yourself as according to the Russell quote, seems quite ridiculous. I have no idea why you did that, but if your understanding leads you believe that your conduct is in accordance with the quote, then I don't believe there is anything fruitful to be had in continued discussion. I will probably respond as you respond, I just can't resist it. But as for anything topic related, I don't really have anything else to say to you.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 09, 2019 6:41 am

Fanman wrote:With all due respect, Prismatic. I think that to continue philosophical discussion with you would be a waste of time. Or put in a way that you would understand, have more cons than pros. Ironically, as you said to me in another topic where I questioned you, I don't think that you're up to it. Which is of course going by what you've written - not my personal opinion of you, because I think you're a clever person, albeit not as clever as you think.

Given the nature of your arguments and the fact that they can be read here and in other topics, your attempt to describe yourself as according to the Russell quote, seems quite ridiculous. I have no idea why you did that, but if your understanding leads you believe that your conduct is in accordance with the quote, then I don't believe there is anything fruitful to be had in continued discussion. I will probably respond as you respond, I just can't resist it. But as for anything topic related, I don't really have anything else to say to you.

It is your discretion to participate or not.

I had modulated my ego long ago not to be bothered with being more clever or intelligent because such thoughts are detrimental to the self.

As I had stated, what is relevant is the currency in this philosophy forum is sound justified arguments and I will participate as long as they exist or needed.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 09, 2019 8:16 am

Prismatic,

I had modulated my ego long ago not to be bothered with being more clever or intelligent because such thoughts are detrimental to the self.


I'm not going to criticise you on a personal level, but this is not apparent, and does not come through in what you write, quite the opposite in fact. Its essentially the same as what you did with the Russell quote. You are aware that what you write provides clues about your character, right?

As I had stated, what is relevant is the currency in this philosophy forum is sound justified arguments and I will participate as long as they exist or needed.


From your perspective maybe. From my perspective there is no “currency” here, and whether you agree or not intellectual ability is a key factor in producing sound arguments about complicated issues. So in my view (rightly or wrongly), the fact you claim that your arguments are sound and others arguments aren't, means that indirectly, you're claiming to be more intelligent or more accomplished than the interlocutors who disagree with you. Or to use your analogy, that the counter-arguments are without the required “currency”. So by your reasoning, if sound arguments are the “currency” here, then you're a very rich man. Whilst those of us who disagree with you are without the "currency" needed in this forum, and thus poor, but that is clearly not the intellectual reality.

Now, you don't have to accept that the counter-arguments are sound, but if you are going to claim that, then you have to show why they aren't, which I don't believe you have done (perhaps you could show an example?). There are issues that you haven't dealt with, for example the criminal who died next to Jesus and was accepted into heaven. I don't believe you can reconcile that point to meet your criteria, because it demonstrates biblically that a person does not have to comply with your criteria in order to be a Christian, and it is a moot point that only Christians can enter heaven (post the New Covenant). With these kind of inconsistencies (within the BIble), and the fact that the religion itself as a whole cannot decide decisively “who is a Christian” I don't understand why you believe that you can, and QED no less.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 09, 2019 9:29 am

Fanman wrote:
Now, you don't have to accept that the counter-arguments are sound, but if you are going to claim that, then you have to show why they aren't, which I don't believe you have done (perhaps you could show an example?). There are issues that you haven't dealt with, for example the criminal who died next to Jesus and was accepted into heaven. I don't believe you can reconcile that point to meet your criteria, because it demonstrates biblically that a person does not have to comply with your criteria in order to be a Christian, and it is a moot point that only Christians can enter heaven. With these kind of inconsistencies (within the BIble), and the fact that the religion itself as a whole cannot decide decisively “who is a Christian” I don't understand why you believe that you can, and QED no less.

If you have counter arguments then I will respond.

Basically the definition of 'who is a Christian' I introduced is valid because I had argued that is the fundamental and a basic definition.

In the case of the criminals, note Jesus stated,
    Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’

In this case, this is a last minute situation near death, as such there is no time for the criminals to consciously entered into terms as stated.
Being all-powerful and omniscient, knowing the fact of the 'criminals', God has made an exception in this case on last minute plea from Jesus.
According to the NT, this is two exceptions among the > 2 billion Christians.

Even then in this case, the covenant is implied, i.e. the criminals were not forced to go to heaven, at some point to Judgment Day they would have to agree with God's offer to go to heaven, i.e. implying a covenant with God, thus a Christian.

What if the two criminals were to insist and yell to God and Jesus, "F... You we are atheists we don't want to go to heaven."

This has to be an exception because otherwise all criminals would be forgiven even though they have not claimed to be Christians and had not entered into a prior covenant with God.
Otherwise God would have seen to permit people to commit whatever they want, the worst up to genocides repeated and still are able to get to heaven.

If that is the case, there is no need for Jesus and God to deliver the John 3:16 verse.

Therefore my definition of who is a Christian with the imperativeness of covenant [implied or otherwise] still stands.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 09, 2019 1:38 pm

Prismatic,

Basically the definition of 'who is a Christian' I introduced is valid because I had argued that is the fundamental and a basic definition.


Or in other words a definite answer... :icon-rolleyes:

In the case of the criminals, note Jesus stated,
Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’


You didn't mention this part:

Luke 23:39-43 NIV

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Which I don't believe you can reconcile with this (your argument/criteria):

1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.

3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God to obey the words of God via a believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospels of the NT.


The criminal did not fulfil anything stated in your list of criteria.

In this case, this is a last minute situation near death, as such there is no time for the criminals to consciously entered into terms as stated.
Being all-powerful and omniscient, knowing the fact of the 'criminals', God has made an exception in this case on last minute plea from Jesus.
According to the NT, this is two exceptions among the > 2 billion Christians.


That's not what the Bible says, and I don't see how you can argue for God, interpret precisely what he does, or know how and why he chooses to do what he does. Also, it is strange that a non-theist would try to interpret God and with added precision, in order to justify a position. How do you know this case is an exception, because of the criteria of your argument, surely not? The case of the criminal supports the view that only faith is necessary to enter heaven. Can you provide a reason why I should not take this kind of case (with the criminal) as a rule? The NT doesn't specify "who is a Christian", I thought we had established that? Go on, put your theologian hat on again.

Even then in this case, the covenant is implied, i.e. the criminals were not forced to go to heaven, at some point to Judgment Day they would have to agree with God's offer to go to heaven, i.e. implying a covenant with God, thus a Christian.


I don't see how the covenant is implied in this case. The new covenant allows people to enter heaven, but in this case, what was said that between Jesus and the criminal which makes you believe that? Jesus promised heaven to the criminal, he didn't say that the criminal would have to perform anything as your criteria does, as someone would do with a contract/agreement. I can't believe that you're actually applying this criteria that you formulated/extrapolated. Where did you get this idea re: Judgement Day from, isn't this something of your own making? I haven't heard of anything like that being stated in the Bible?

This has to be an exception because otherwise all criminals would be forgiven even though they have not claimed to be Christians and had not entered into a prior covenant with God.
Otherwise God would have seen to permit people to commit whatever they want, the worst up to genocides repeated and still are able to get to heaven.


An exception to what rule, your criteria? If the Christian God exists, we cannot know precisely who he will forgive.

If that is the case, there is no need for Jesus and God to deliver the John 3:16 verse.


The Bible is inconsistent. It says anyone who believes in Jesus can have everlasting life, trying to rationalise that into categories is problematic, creating an argument that holistically defines a Christian is almost impossible IMV, when there are such inconsistencies with the authority. The other choice is to refer to what Christian authorities say, but if you ask across denominations, you are going to find very different answers.

Therefore my definition of who is a Christian with the imperativeness of covenant [implied or otherwise] still stands.


To you maybe, but I do not believe that you have shown that by what you argue above, you've actually shown how inconsistent, vague and difficult "who is a Christian" is to define. If you have to attempt to interpret God, you may as well be chasing the wind with an argument based upon that interpretation. This case of the penitent thief (as described in the Bible) shows that fulfilling your criteria is not necessary to enter heaven and therefore be a Christian. Even with our theologian hats on, we cannot know how many other cases there are where this type of situation has occurred, and God/Jesus has permitted people to enter heaven - we can only refer to the Bible for a reference.

I'm going to stop saying this "not responding" thing, let's just see what happens #-o.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 09, 2019 10:40 pm

Prismatic,

Basically the definition of 'who is a Christian' I introduced is valid because I had argued that is the fundamental and a basic definition.


If your definition/criteria were as you claim “fundamental and basic”, they would define “who is a Christian” in all cases, but I believe it has been adequately demonstrated that they don't. Therefore, your argument is not sound on that basis. If you had argued that your criteria defines some Christians I wouldn't necessarily agree, but I wouldn't or perhaps couldn't debate it either, because it does, I believe, possibly describe some Christians. You can reject the liberal view due to your personal bias towards a more conservative definition, but you cannot refute the idea that only faith is necessary to enter heaven, since faith is a or perhaps even the fundamental requirement for a Christian, and is shown, for example, in the case of the penitent thief or John 3:16.

- More so than your idea of strict adherence to a covenant (which more describes the OT). With the new covenant, a person can stray from the words of God, sin and come back to God like the prodigal son, without any of the rituals that were necessary with the old covenant, whereas you believe that doing so would make the new covenant void (like breaching the terms in contract law), and if the person returns to God then the contract is restarted (which doesn't seem right if God knows all, because he'd know the person is going to repent), but if a person has faith their perceived connection to God is never broken, because they believe, and according to John 3:16 they'd still be granted eternal life. No doubt you will appeal to extreme cases, but this is not just my opinion, I believe you'll find it is supported by almost any Christian source you can appeal to. I don't think you'll find anything supporting the view that if a Christian sins, the covenant is void and then restarted if they repent, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri May 10, 2019 7:23 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Basically the definition of 'who is a Christian' I introduced is valid because I had argued that is the fundamental and a basic definition.


Or in other words a definite answer... :icon-rolleyes:

In the case of the criminals, note Jesus stated,
Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’


You didn't mention this part:

Luke 23:39-43 NIV

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


Which I don't believe you can reconcile with this (your argument/criteria):

1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.

3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God to obey the words of God via a believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospels of the NT.


The criminal did not fulfil anything stated in your list of criteria.

In this case, this is a last minute situation near death, as such there is no time for the criminals to consciously entered into terms as stated.
Being all-powerful and omniscient, knowing the fact of the 'criminals', God has made an exception in this case on last minute plea from Jesus.
According to the NT, this is two exceptions among the > 2 billion Christians.


That's not what the Bible says, and I don't see how you can argue for God, interpret precisely what he does, or know how and why he chooses to do what he does. Also, it is strange that a non-theist would try to interpret God and with added precision, in order to justify a position. How do you know this case is an exception, because of the criteria of your argument, surely not? The case of the criminal supports the view that only faith is necessary to enter heaven. Can you provide a reason why I should not take this kind of case (with the criminal) as a rule? The NT doesn't specify "who is a Christian", I thought we had established that? Go on, put your theologian hat on again.

Even then in this case, the covenant is implied, i.e. the criminals were not forced to go to heaven, at some point to Judgment Day they would have to agree with God's offer to go to heaven, i.e. implying a covenant with God, thus a Christian.


I don't see how the covenant is implied in this case. The new covenant allows people to enter heaven, but in this case, what was said that between Jesus and the criminal which makes you believe that? Jesus promised heaven to the criminal, he didn't say that the criminal would have to perform anything as your criteria does, as someone would do with a contract/agreement. I can't believe that you're actually applying this criteria that you formulated/extrapolated. Where did you get this idea re: Judgement Day from, isn't this something of your own making? I haven't heard of anything like that being stated in the Bible?

This has to be an exception because otherwise all criminals would be forgiven even though they have not claimed to be Christians and had not entered into a prior covenant with God.
Otherwise God would have seen to permit people to commit whatever they want, the worst up to genocides repeated and still are able to get to heaven.


An exception to what rule, your criteria? If the Christian God exists, we cannot know precisely who he will forgive.

If that is the case, there is no need for Jesus and God to deliver the John 3:16 verse.


The Bible is inconsistent. It says anyone who believes in Jesus can have everlasting life, trying to rationalise that into categories is problematic, creating an argument that holistically defines a Christian is almost impossible IMV, when there are such inconsistencies with the authority. The other choice is to refer to what Christian authorities say, but if you ask across denominations, you are going to find very different answers.

Therefore my definition of who is a Christian with the imperativeness of covenant [implied or otherwise] still stands.


To you maybe, but I do not believe that you have shown that by what you argue above, you've actually shown how inconsistent, vague and difficult "who is a Christian" is to define. If you have to attempt to interpret God, you may as well be chasing the wind with an argument based upon that interpretation. This case of the penitent thief (as described in the Bible) shows that fulfilling your criteria is not necessary to enter heaven and therefore be a Christian. Even with our theologian hats on, we cannot know how many other cases there are where this type of situation has occurred, and God/Jesus has permitted people to enter heaven - we can only refer to the Bible for a reference.

I'm going to stop saying this "not responding" thing, let's just see what happens #-o.

The above is an exception and you cannot use this exception to deny the criteria I had listed on 'who is a Christian' is not valid.

Objectively we have to rely from testimony of Christ and the apostles as in the Gospels.
The point is, this case is an exception because there is only one time where Jesus was crucified on a cross along with two 'criminals'.

To the Romans Jesus Christ is also a 'criminal' as with the other two 'criminals' albeit the crime and accusations may not be the same.
As I had argued this is an exception and even then I argued there is still an agreement, i.e. covenant [albeit not the same as the normal Christian] between God and the so-called 'criminals' before they are allowed to be enter heaven.

Note exceptions to any contracts are very common.
In general, e.g. in sports an athlete may have to go through the process to be eligible to enter into a contract with an organizer to be a participant.
However there are provisions of wild cards cases where athletes who did not qualify through the normal system are give exceptions to enter into a contract to participate in the last minute.
Some students may not qualify to be a student to enter [contract with] a university through normal channels. But there are always exceptions in special circumstances.

Thus the "criminals" who so happened to be along side Christ is the exception.

There is no way a all-wise God will allow such exception where criminals can go to heaven. If this is the general rule it will be a bad precedent and damage God's integrity.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri May 10, 2019 7:32 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Basically the definition of 'who is a Christian' I introduced is valid because I had argued that is the fundamental and a basic definition.


If your definition/criteria were as you claim “fundamental and basic”, they would define “who is a Christian” in all cases, but I believe it has been adequately demonstrated that they don't. Therefore, your argument is not sound on that basis. If you had argued that your criteria defines some Christians I wouldn't necessarily agree, but I wouldn't or perhaps couldn't debate it either, because it does, I believe, possibly describe some Christians. You can reject the liberal view due to your personal bias towards a more conservative definition, but you cannot refute the idea that only faith is necessary to enter heaven, since faith is a or perhaps even the fundamental requirement for a Christian, and is shown, for example, in the case of the penitent thief or John 3:16.

- More so than your idea of strict adherence to a covenant (which more describes the OT). With the new covenant, a person can stray from the words of God, sin and come back to God like the prodigal son, without any of the rituals that were necessary with the old covenant, whereas you believe that doing so would make the new covenant void (like breaching the terms in contract law), and if the person returns to God then the contract is restarted (which doesn't seem right if God knows all, because he'd know the person is going to repent), but if a person has faith their perceived connection to God is never broken, because they believe, and according to John 3:16 they'd still be granted eternal life. No doubt you will appeal to extreme cases, but this is not just my opinion, I believe you'll find it is supported by almost any Christian source you can appeal to. I don't think you'll find anything supporting the view that if a Christian sins, the covenant is void and then restarted if they repent, but I could be wrong.

My argument is sound and rational.

The critical point is being who is a Christian is not confined to time on earth but applicable to eternity in heaven.

The case of the criminals are an exception only in form.
In substance, the criminals still have to agree with God basic expectations to enable them to enter heaven as Christians.
If they have entered heaven as Christians, then they must an implied agreement [covenant] with God.
They could not have agreed as atheists or idolaters to enter heaven.

The difference is only in form, i.e. due to the exceptional last minute circumstances, they did not enter into a covenant to surrender to God and comply with the covenanted terms as in the Gospels here in Earth.

Being a Christian is not limited to time on Earth but it is eternal thus they will have a covenant to comply with the covenanted terms in heaven.

Note there are many cases of people in a terminal situation who had entered into a covenant with Christ and God. In these terminal cases, they would not have the time to love their neighbors, enemies and give the other cheek on Earth as stipulated in the gospels.

Nevertheless, a covenant is still implied.
Note I stated the imperative of the covenant [as emphasized] has a 70% weightage on who is a Christian.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Fri May 10, 2019 7:47 am

Prismatic,

The above is an exception and you cannot use this exception to deny the criteria I had listed on 'who is a Christian' is not valid.


As I asked, but did not receive an answer, an exception to what rule?

The case of the criminals are an exception only in form.
In substance, the criminals still have to agree with God basic expectations to enable them to enter heaven as Christians.


Where did the penitent criminal do that?

Nevertheless, a covenant is still implied.


Where?

---

Maybe (hopefully) someone will weigh in and deal with what you're saying in full, but I feel that those are the pertinent points.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:41 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

The above is an exception and you cannot use this exception to deny the criteria I had listed on 'who is a Christian' is not valid.


As I asked, but did not receive an answer, an exception to what rule?

As exception to the general practices.
Being along with Jesus at exactly that same time [2000+ years ago] during his crucifixion is an exception. This is not repeated at all.

The case of the criminals are an exception only in form.
In substance, the criminals still have to agree with God basic expectations to enable them to enter heaven as Christians.


Where did the penitent criminal do that?
As I had stated the agreement is implied otherwise God would not have given them a passage to heaven.
Surely God would not allow the criminals to heaven, if they had not agreed but instead kept shouting at God "F.. off, we are atheists, mind your own bloody business.'

So it is implied that the "criminals" agreed with God via a covenant from that point till eternity as a Christian in heaven.

Nevertheless, a covenant is still implied.


Where?

---

As explained above.

Maybe (hopefully) someone will weigh in and deal with what you're saying in full, but I feel that those are the pertinent points.

Given your exceptional case, whilst the "criminals" were not Christians during their lifetime, but being granted a passage to heaven as a Christian has to be eternal and thus supported by a covenant that is eternal.
A Christian who is in heaven still have to be covenanted with God in according to the covenanted terms stipulated by God. Surely a Christian in heaven cannot behave as he likes it?

Regardless of whether one is a Christian on Earth or in heaven, there is a binding agreement, i.e. a covenant between God and the Christian.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Fri May 10, 2019 10:16 am

Prismatic,

As exception to the general practices.
Being along with Jesus at exactly that same time [2000+ years ago] during his crucifixion is an exception. This is not repeated at all.


What I mean is, how can you know that God/Jesus has not, in a future case from what we're discussing here, accepted a criminal into heaven who does not fulfil your criteria? Given that he did so on this occasion, what is prohibiting him from doing so again?

As I had stated the agreement is implied otherwise God would not have given them a passage to heaven.
Surely God would not allow the criminals to heaven, if they had not agreed but instead kept shouting at God "F.. off, we are atheists, mind your own bloody business.'

So it is implied that the "criminals" agreed with God via a covenant from that point till eternity as a Christian in heaven.


Maybe I wasn't clear enough? As according specifically to the scripture denoting the case of the penitent thief, what did he agree to, implied or otherwise, and what did he actually say that leads you to believe that? Can you quote him as doing so? It is clear as day that this case does not fulfil your criteria, and I don't think there is a reason to argue that God/Jesus has not accepted people on a similar basis, so I don't think that your argument, that this case as an exception, is correct.

Given your exceptional case, whilst the "criminals" were not Christians during their lifetime, but being granted a passage to heaven as a Christian has to be eternal and thus supported by a covenant that is eternal.
A Christian who is in heaven still have to be covenanted with God in according to the covenanted terms stipulated by God. Surely a Christian in heaven cannot behave as he likes it?

Regardless of whether one is a Christian on Earth or in heaven, there is a binding agreement, i.e. a covenant between God and the Christian.


You go from a non-theist to a theologian in one statement, fan-diddly-tastic.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat May 11, 2019 3:46 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

As exception to the general practices.
Being along with Jesus at exactly that same time [2000+ years ago] during his crucifixion is an exception. This is not repeated at all.


What I mean is, how can you know that God/Jesus has not, in a future case from what we're discussing here, accepted a criminal into heaven who does not fulfil your criteria? Given that he did so on this occasion, what is prohibiting him from doing so again?

As I had stated the agreement is implied otherwise God would not have given them a passage to heaven.
Surely God would not allow the criminals to heaven, if they had not agreed but instead kept shouting at God "F.. off, we are atheists, mind your own bloody business.'

So it is implied that the "criminals" agreed with God via a covenant from that point till eternity as a Christian in heaven.


Maybe I wasn't clear enough? As according specifically to the scripture denoting the case of the penitent thief, what did he agree to, implied or otherwise, and what did he actually say that leads you to believe that? Can you quote him as doing so? It is clear as day that this case does not fulfil your criteria, and I don't think there is a reason to argue that God/Jesus has not accepted people on a similar basis, so I don't think that your argument, that this case as an exception, is correct.

Given your exceptional case, whilst the "criminals" were not Christians during their lifetime, but being granted a passage to heaven as a Christian has to be eternal and thus supported by a covenant that is eternal.
A Christian who is in heaven still have to be covenanted with God in according to the covenanted terms stipulated by God. Surely a Christian in heaven cannot behave as he likes it?

Regardless of whether one is a Christian on Earth or in heaven, there is a binding agreement, i.e. a covenant between God and the Christian.


You go from a non-theist to a theologian in one statement, fan-diddly-tastic.

Personally I DO NOT believe God exists as real. God is an impossibility.

However in this case of who is a Christian I have to discuss within the Framework and System of Christianity which has to accept that God exists are real.
So it is not my personal view rather I am arguing from the perspective of a Christian [which I personally am not] within the Framework and System of Christianity.

How do I know Christ will not accept any one or a criminal who do not fulfill my criteria?
How do you know Christ will accept future criminals?

As I had stated the case of the criminals along with Jesus on the cross has to be an exception as directly reported by the apostles. So this is objective based on what is reported in the NT. Note my argument is empirical [relatively], i.e. based on what is stated in the Gospels, espistles, acts and relevant verses from the OT which all genuine Christians accept as true.

What you are proposing that "Christ may do it" somewhere or in the future is merely a guess.

It is only possible if Christ were to return to earth now or in the future and said or do the same thing, i.e. asking God to accept criminals into heaven. Then we need solid empirical evidence in this case.
Even then the situation will inherently involved an agreement by the criminals since atheist [non-Christians] criminals will not agree to the offer by a Christian God or Jesus. Are you implying non-agreeable criminals will be forced into heaven even if they don't want it?
As I had stated even if this is the case, then it would have set a very bad moral principle for humanity, thus encouraging people to be criminals without restraints.

I have already stated the criteria of the covenant carries a weightage of 70%, thus it is the most critical element in deciding who is a Christian.

No matter how whether is on Earth or in heaven, a Christian must have relationship and agreement [implied or explicit], thus a covenant with God for them to be in heaven with eternal life.
This is the principle within the Framework and System of Christianity - nothing to do with my personal and private views.

Note the principle of substance over form.
The special case and circumstances where Jesus asked his Father to accept the "criminals" into heaven is merely a form but the substance has to be the imperative covenant which can be in various forms.

Btw, if I [non-theist] were to be on the cross with Jesus by the side 2000+ years ago then, I would have asked him to mind his own business and get back to his 'Father' on his own if he believed God is real.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sat May 11, 2019 8:16 am

Prismatic,

Reading from the texts, it seems the reason Jesus accepted the criminal into heaven, was because he believed Jesus was who he claimed to be, thus fulfilling John 3:16. If John 3:16 describes who can have everlasting life or enter heaven, then the case of the penitent thief demonstrates that description in action, it is not claimed in the Bible that this case was an exception. Your criteria wasn't necessary in this case, so why would it be necessary in all other cases?

I don't think there is a generic way in which someone becomes a Christian, such that we can define "who is one" by a strict set of criteria that applies in all cases. I have heard a myriad of testimonies of how and why people came to believe in Jesus, all of them different. Maybe such people wouldn't be considered Christians in an official sense, by the clergy of some denominations, but from my understanding of the NT, that is not what matters to Jesus/God, the inclination of the heart seems to be most important to him. As according to John 3:16, how could any denomination reasonably deny that a person is a Christian, if they believe in Jesus?

How do I know Christ will not accept any one or a criminal who do not fulfill my criteria?
How do you know Christ will accept future criminals?


I don't know that he would, but given that he did so on this occasion, I have no reason to believe that he wouldn't do so in a future case. Whilst you view this case as an exception, it could be a precedent.

As I had stated the case of the criminals along with Jesus on the cross has to be an exception as directly reported by the apostles. So this is objective based on what is reported in the NT. Note my argument is empirical [relatively], i.e. based on what is stated in the Gospels, espistles, acts and relevant verses from the OT which all genuine Christians accept as true.


I don't think that the Bible is abundantly clear on the types of people that God accepts. In both the OT and NT, God/Jesus is willing accept anyone if they genuinely believe in him. Even if people disobey him or sin, he forgives them. So I don't see how you can surmise a strict or even consistent profile of the types of people who can be defined as Christians? Having belief in Jesus and the existence of a covenant are a given, because they are the "bridges" between man and God, but from my perspective, everything else is open to interpretation.

What you are proposing that "Christ may do it" somewhere or in the future is merely a guess.


It is more than a guess if it is based upon what he's previously purported to have done. I think we can reasonably claim that things will occur, if they happened before, and we have no reason to believe that they will not happen again.

Criminals repent and become Christians, because as according to the Bible, they will be accepted by God/Jesus despite what they've done in the past, and be allowed to enter heaven. Biblical stories like John 3:16, the penitent thief, the prodigal son etc., give valid reasons to believe that God is accepting of people despite their faults.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat May 11, 2019 9:19 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Reading from the texts, it seems the reason Jesus accepted the criminal into heaven, was because he believed Jesus was who he claimed to be, thus fulfilling John 3:16. If John 3:16 describes who can have everlasting life or enter heaven, then the case of the penitent thief demonstrates that description in action, it is not claimed in the Bible that this case was an exception. Your criteria wasn't necessary in this case, so why would it be necessary in all other cases?

I don't think there is a generic way in which someone becomes a Christian, such that we can define "who is one" by a strict set of criteria that applies in all cases. I have heard a myriad of testimonies of how and why people came to believe in Jesus, all of them different. Maybe such people wouldn't be considered Christians in an official sense, by the clergy of some denominations, but from my understanding of the NT, that is not what matters to Jesus/God, the inclination of the heart seems to be most important to him. As according to John 3:16, how could any denomination reasonably deny that a person is a Christian, if they believe in Jesus?


Note I listed my criteria of who is Christian as follows'

    1. A Christian is a person who has been baptized within the specific Church the Christian belonged to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism

    2. A Christian is a person who had surrendered his will to God.

    3. A Christian is a person who had entered into a covenant with God to obey the words of God via a believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospels of the NT.

I highlighted somewhere, the covenant is the most critical in terms of weightage, i.e. 70% in determining who is a Christian. Therefore if there is no covenant, then the score is only 30% i.e. below 50% to qualify as a Christian proper. I presume you know how weightages work.

If the criminals had accepted John 3:16, then the covenant is implied. John 3:16 is an offer by God via Christ and the acceptance by the criminals would implied a covenant is established. Note the universal principles of contract or covenant in this case.

The criminals situation in this case is an exception since the covenant is established very differently from what most of the Christians would have gone through, i.e. via baptism.

Note I stated 90% of the Christian came through baptism and the wiki article on baptism listed 90% of the denominations practice baptism.
This case of the criminals are the very rare exceptions that comprised the other 10%.

But the point is, it is imperative the covenant must be established to initiate the relationship between God/Jesus and the Christian.


How do I know Christ will not accept any one or a criminal who do not fulfill my criteria?
How do you know Christ will accept future criminals?


I don't know that he would, but given that he did so on this occasion, I have no reason to believe that he wouldn't do so in a future case. Whilst you view this case as an exception, it could be a precedent.

I had already it cannot be a precedent because it is not likely Jesus will be hanged AGAIN on a cross with criminals beside him.
Regardless, the critical point is, a covenant must be established for one to qualify as a Christian-proper.

As I had stated the case of the criminals along with Jesus on the cross has to be an exception as directly reported by the apostles. So this is objective based on what is reported in the NT. Note my argument is empirical [relatively], i.e. based on what is stated in the Gospels, espistles, acts and relevant verses from the OT which all genuine Christians accept as true.


I don't think that the Bible is abundantly clear on the types of people that God accepts. In both the OT and NT, God/Jesus is willing accept anyone if they genuinely believe in him. Even if people disobey him or sin, he forgives them. So I don't see how you can surmise a strict or even consistent profile of the types of people who can be defined as Christians? Having belief in Jesus and the existence of a covenant are a given, because they are the "bridges" between man and God, but from my perspective, everything else is open to interpretation.

As I had stated there can be many ways a person become a Christian, the majority via baptism.
But in all cases and different forms, a covenant must be established.

Note morally, God and Jesus would not accept a repeated offender who committed genocides [killing millions] after each repentance. This would set a precedent for people to commit genocide freely and repeatedly and then ask for forgiveness on his final day so that he can go to heaven with eternal life.

Note if good works is not enough, how can the bad faith of the genocidal killer and other evils doers get to heaven?

Note below;

The Bible is quite clear that our own works do not help merit salvation.
We are saved “not because of righteous things we had done” (Titus 3:5). “Not by works” (Ephesians 2:9). “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
This means that offering sacrifices, keeping the commandments, going to church, being baptized, and other good deeds are incapable of saving anyone.
No matter how “good” we are, we can never measure up to God’s standard of holiness (Romans 3:23; Matthew 19:17; Isaiah 64:6).

The Bible is just as clear that salvation is conditional; God does not save everyone. The one condition for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, faith (or belief) is declared to be the sole condition for salvation (John 1:12; Acts 16:31).
https://www.gotquestions.org/faith-work.html


Fanman wrote:
What you are proposing that "Christ may do it" somewhere or in the future is merely a guess.


It is more than a guess if it is based upon what he's previously purported to have done. I think we can reasonably claim that things will occur, if they happened before, and we have no reason to believe that they will not happen again.

Criminals repent and become Christians, because as according to the Bible, they will be accepted by God/Jesus despite what they've done in the past, and be allowed to enter heaven. Biblical stories like John 3:16, the penitent thief, the prodigal son etc., give valid reasons to believe that God is accepting of people despite their faults.

Note my point above, even good works is not enough for salvation, how can bad faith and evil acts qualify one for heaven.

The Christian God would not stoop so low morally to allow a serial repeating genocidal killer of millions after repenting many times, even if he repented in the last minute, to go the heaven with eternal life.

If a Christian who had sinned and God/Jesus accepted him/her into heaven it must be an exception and God being omnipresent and wise had judged justly on that specific judgment. It has to be case by case situation and judgment.
It cannot be a precedent based on your interpretation, insistent and hope.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sun May 12, 2019 2:06 am

Prismatic,

I highlighted somewhere, the covenant is the most critical in terms of weightage, i.e. 70% in determining who is a Christian. Therefore if there is no covenant, then the score is only 30% i.e. below 50% to qualify as a Christian proper. I presume you know how weightages work.


Generally yes, this is quite a rudimentary principle, but misapplied from my perspective. It is a very idiosyncratic way to look at what constitutes a Christian, but if that's the way you want to go then fine.

If the criminals had accepted John 3:16, then the covenant is implied. John 3:16 is an offer by God via Christ and the acceptanceby the criminals would implied a covenant is established. Note the universal principles of contract or covenant in this case.


Again, this is idiosyncratic. I think that perceiving Christianity through the lens of contract law is not only misleading, but also problematic. Christianity is not as clear-cut as contract law and it certainly isn't “black and white”. Apart from belief in Jesus, Christianity is all grey, which is why there isn't one universal interpretation of it. The new covenant is not like a contract or a legal agreement - it is the sacrifice of Christ, so that whoever believes in him can go to heaven. The covenant is not an actual thing that can be explicit or implied, that binds a person to perform as according it's stipulations, it is the new relationship between God and man. A Christian does not agree to the new covenant, they believe in Jesus. IOW, Jesus is the new covenant.

The criminals situation in this case is an exception since the covenant is established very differently from what most of the Christians would have gone through, i.e. via baptism.


Same as above.

I had already it cannot be a precedent because it is not likely Jesus will be hanged AGAIN on a cross with criminals beside him.
Regardless, the critical point is, a covenant must be established for one to qualify as a Christian-proper.


Obviously I don't mean the exact same circumstance as in the Bible. I'm referring to a criminal who comes to believe in Jesus in a future case, being accepted by God/Jesus, and that since a criminal was accepted on that occasion, we can reasonably claim that it could happen again, because God's concern is the inclination of the heart, not so much the actions that people do.

Note morally, God and Jesus would not accept a repeated offender who committed genocides [killing millions] after each repentance. This would set a precedent for people to commit genocide freely and repeatedly and then ask for forgiveness on his final day so that he can go to heaven with eternal life.


I cannot claim with certainty what God will and will not forgive. I can have ideas based upon the Bible and other Christian authorities, but that is as far as I can go epistemologically. The Bible shows that God forgave all kinds terrible things and terrible people. Therefore there is reason to believe that he will forgive anything if the repentance is genuine, the Bible is not consistent enough to form a certain opinion on this.

You seem to have missed the point in your excerpt where it states that:

The Bible is just as clear that salvation is conditional; God does not save everyone. The one condition for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, faith (or belief) is declared to be the sole condition for salvation (John 1:12; Acts 16:31).


The excerpt doesn't state that anything in your criteria is necessary for salvation. From my perspective, your argument is defeated by the inconsistency of very authority it attempts to stand on.

Note my point above, even good works is not enough for salvation, how can bad faith and evil acts qualify one for heaven.


If good works are not enough to gain a person salvation, and evil acts also don't lead to salvation, how does anyone go to heaven? The answer propounded by Christianity is belief in Jesus or "right belief", not conforming to a set of (your) criteria, which basically amounts to good works. Can't you see that?

If a Christian who had sinned and God/Jesus accepted him/her into heaven it must be an exception and God being omnipresent and wise had judged justly on that specific judgment. It has to be case by case situation and judgment.
It cannot be a precedent based on your interpretation, insistent and hope.


Why are you speaking as though you know what God will and will not do? What is the epistemological grounds for you doing so? I didn't claim that the case of the penitent criminal was a precedent, neither did I insist, or claim that it was my hope. I said that it could be. "Could" is the qualifier, there's no need to put words in my mouth.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun May 12, 2019 4:38 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I highlighted somewhere, the covenant is the most critical in terms of weightage, i.e. 70% in determining who is a Christian. Therefore if there is no covenant, then the score is only 30% i.e. below 50% to qualify as a Christian proper. I presume you know how weightages work.


Generally yes, this is quite a rudimentary principle, but misapplied from my perspective. It is a very idiosyncratic way to look at what constitutes a Christian, but if that's the way you want to go then fine.

That is the principle that is applied to all knowledge objectively.
My definition is based on the core elements that represent who is a Christian.

Meanwhile you are relying on a very wide, looser and expanded definition to capture the widest exception, e.g. the criminals on the cross, then generalize from that specific case. That is more toward a fallacy, i.e. hasty generalization.
Problem is your approach is too rhetorical.

If the criminals had accepted John 3:16, then the covenant is implied. John 3:16 is an offer by God via Christ and the acceptance by the criminals would implied a covenant is established. Note the universal principles of contract or covenant in this case.


Again, this is idiosyncratic. I think that perceiving Christianity through the lens of contract law is not only misleading, but also problematic. Christianity is not as clear-cut as contract law and it certainly isn't “black and white”.

I did not state it is "black and white." That is why I introduced the term 'implied.'
Note all agreements between people or groups of people are reducible to a 'contract.' Even a parent child relationship is bounded by a social contract.
If there is force or coercion, i.e. not voluntarily, then there is no valid contract.

In the case of Christian, God gave humans freewill, thus the choice to enter into a covenant [aka agreement, contract] with God via Jesus to estabslish a personal relationship between God and the Christian.

Apart from belief in Jesus, Christianity is all grey, which is why there isn't one universal interpretation of it. The new covenant is not like a contract or a legal agreement - it is the sacrifice of Christ, so that whoever believes in him can go to heaven. The covenant is not an actual thing that can be explicit or implied, that binds a person to perform as according it's stipulations, it is the new relationship between God and man. A Christian does not agree to the new covenant, they believe in Jesus. IOW, Jesus is the new covenant.

From the Christian Framework and System, Christianity is very objective, not grey.
Note Jesus is not the sole authority. Jesus is merely the son of God, thus God [all powerful] has the final authority. This is objectively reflected in the Bible.

Note a covenant is a divine contract or agreement with its respective covenanted terms that is offered by God and agreed [implied] by the Christian when s/he believe in Jesus Christ's offer as in John 3:16. This imply a covenant and a personal relationship is established.

If one agree within an agreement [covenant, contract] then one is bound to comply with the covenanted terms, else the agreement and contract will be null and void. In any agreement there is no need for 100% conformance to the terms, but both parties can decide to agree where the major term is not compromised.

The criminals situation in this case is an exception since the covenant is established very differently from what most of the Christians would have gone through, i.e. via baptism.

Same as above.

Regardless, a covenant and a personal relationship has to be established between the Christian God and the Christian.

I had already it cannot be a precedent because it is not likely Jesus will be hanged AGAIN on a cross with criminals beside him.
Regardless, the critical point is, a covenant must be established for one to qualify as a Christian-proper.


Obviously I don't mean the exact same circumstance as in the Bible. I'm referring to a criminal who comes to believe in Jesus in a future case, being accepted by God/Jesus, and that since a criminal was accepted on that occasion, we can reasonably claim that it could happen again, because God's concern is the inclination of the heart, not so much the actions that people do.

The criminal case is too specific to allow it to be generalized.
It can only happen again if Jesus reappears and then is hanged on a cross or perhaps in a jail as jail mate to some prisoners on death row.
Other than the above or similar, it is a too far fetched speculation.
Even then, a covenant must be established for the criminals to go to heaven at some point, albeit different from the normal process.

Note morally, God and Jesus would not accept a repeated offender who committed genocides [killing millions] after each repentance. This would set a precedent for people to commit genocide freely and repeatedly and then ask for forgiveness on his final day so that he can go to heaven with eternal life.


I cannot claim with certainty what God will and will not forgive. I can have ideas based upon the Bible and other Christian authorities, but that is as far as I can go epistemologically. The Bible shows that God forgave all kinds terrible things and terrible people. Therefore there is reason to believe that he will forgive anything if the repentance is genuine, the Bible is not consistent enough to form a certain opinion on this.

You seem to have missed the point in your excerpt where it states that:

The Bible is just as clear that salvation is conditional; God does not save everyone. The one condition for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times in the New Testament, faith (or belief) is declared to be the sole condition for salvation (John 1:12; Acts 16:31).


The excerpt doesn't state that anything in your criteria is necessary for salvation. From my perspective, your argument is defeated by the inconsistency of very authority it attempts to stand on.

Any one can possess 'faith' but need not be a Christian. A Muslim and non-Christian can have faith in his specific religion.
The point is a person must first establish a relationship with God/Christ to be a Christian, then the element of faith will come into the picture as stipulated in the covenanted terms in the NT and elsewhere.
Therefore the above article support my point, covenant first, then faith.

Note my point above, even good works is not enough for salvation, how can bad faith and evil acts qualify one for heaven.


If good works are not enough to gain a person salvation, and evil acts also don't lead to salvation, how does anyone go to heaven? The answer propounded by Christianity is belief in Jesus or "right belief", not conforming to a set of (your) criteria, which basically amounts to good works. Can't you see that?

Note my criteria of 'who is a Christian' do not cover a guarantee of salvation, but merely a promise of salvation by God/Jesus if the covenanted terms are complied with.
But the main point is a covenant, i.e. a relationship must first be activated via a covenant for faith and good works to qualify a recognized Christian for salvation.

Good works is still necessary but it is not the lone criteria that qualify for salvation, thus the need for the underlying "faith".
Note 'faith' here is a very loose term, I see it as covering grace, love of God, reverence, devotion, and the likes.

If a Christian who had sinned and God/Jesus accepted him/her into heaven it must be an exception and God being omnipresent and wise had judged justly on that specific judgment. It has to be case by case situation and judgment.
It cannot be a precedent based on your interpretation, insistent and hope.


Why are you speaking as though you know what God will and will not do? What is the epistemological grounds for you doing so? I didn't claim that the case of the penitent criminal was a precedent, neither did I insist, or claim that it was my hope. I said that it could be. "Could" is the qualifier, there's no need to put words in my mouth.

Your 'could' in this case definitely correspond to 'hope.'

I had argued [epistemologically] your precedent if not, your hope argument is too weak, a near fallacy of hasty generalization.
I insist it is an exception because it is an exceptional case as reported objectively in the Bible, i.e. God's works and intentions.

There is no declaration by Jesus or God that it will be a general rule ALL criminals shall be entitled to salvation regardless of whatever.

If this is the case, it would put a very dark light on the reputation of the Christian God in condoning the worst evil and violent acts where SOME zealous psycho people will turn to commit evil and violent in the belief they can still go to heaven regardless of their crime.
You are promoting such a reality?
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Sun May 12, 2019 9:53 am

Prismatic,

That is the principle that is applied to all knowledge objectively.
My definition is based on the core elements that represent who is a Christian.

Meanwhile you are relying on a very wide, looser and expanded definition to capture the widest exception, e.g. the criminals on the cross, then generalize from that specific case. That is more toward a fallacy, i.e. hasty generalization. 
Problem is your approach is too rhetorical.


I have not strictly defined “who is a Christian”. I have stated my view of what I think a Christian is like, which is not static and open to change. Given that criminals do accept Jesus and become Christians, and that Christianity claims that Jesus can forgive any sin, I don't see why you would claim that the case of the penitent thief cannot happen again?

Let's look at it your way. If the covenant is eternal it means that everything Jesus established is. If part of the covenant is that Jesus allowed the penitent criminal to enter heaven, and there is no change to the covenant, because it is eternal, then why can it not happen again, in a contractual sense?

In the case of Christian, God gave humans freewill, thus the choice to enter into a covenant [aka agreement, contract] with God via Jesus to estabslish a personal relationship between God and the Christian.


So you insist, but I don't believe it works like that. The choice is to believe in Jesus or face an eternity in hell.

From the Christian Framework and System, Christianity is very objective, not grey.
Note Jesus is not the sole authority. Jesus is merely the son of God, thus God [all powerful] has the final authority. This is objectively reflected in the Bible.


Not as according to the Bible, I have previously stated how the Bible and Christianity explicitly perceives Jesus.

Note a covenant is a divine contract or agreement with its respective covenanted terms that is offered by God and agreed [implied] by the Christian when s/he believe in Jesus Christ's offer as in John 3:16. This imply a covenant and a personal relationship is established.

If one agree within an agreement [covenant, contract] then one is bound to comply with the covenanted terms, else the agreement and contract will be null and void. In any agreement there is no need for 100% conformance to the terms, but both parties can decide to agree where the major term is not compromised.


As I stated, I don't believe it works that way, I've stated how I perceive the covenant. So I don't see a need to repeat myself.

The criminal case is too specific to allow it to be generalized.
It can only happen again if Jesus reappears and then is hanged on a cross or perhaps in a jail as jail mate to some prisoners on death row.
Other than the above or similar, it is a too far fetched speculation.
Even then, a covenant must be established for the criminals to go to heaven at some point, albeit different from the normal process.


Then why do criminals accept Jesus and become Christians? What leads them to believe that they can become Christians if not, but not limited to, the story of the penitent thief? Do you think that Christian preachers don't use that case as an example that anyone can have salvation? My argument is not based upon the physical circumstances, it is based upon the principles in the case of the penitent thief. That you cannot understand that is strange for someone of your intellectual ability.

Any one can possess 'faith' but need not be a Christian. A Muslim and non-Christian can have faith in his specific religion.
The point is a person must first establish a relationship with God/Christ to be a Christian, then the element of faith will come into the picture as stipulated in the covenanted terms in the NT and elsewhere.
Therefore the above article support my point, covenant first, then faith.


Where (as you quoted) does it support your point? Do you disagree that faith is the sole condition for salvation? It is stated nearly 200 times in the Bible, doesn't that give it, weightage? :wink:

Note my criteria of 'who is a Christian' do not cover a guarantee of salvation, but merely a promise of salvation by God/Jesus if the covenanted terms are complied with.


I don't understand what this tweak of your argument/position means?

But the main point is a covenant, i.e. a relationship must first be activated via a covenant for faith and good works to qualify a recognized Christian for salvation.


You just stated that good works aren't enough for salvation and quoted a supporting reference. Now you're claiming that good works are necessary to qualify a recognised Christian for salvation. The Bible also argues that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-26).

How would you reconcile that with faith (or belief) is the sole condition for salvation, as you quoted?

Good works is still necessary but it is not the lone criteria that qualify for salvation, thus the need for the underlying "faith".
Note 'faith' here is a very loose term, I see it as covering grace, love of God, reverence, devotion, and the likes.


I don't think that you can establish a consistent position here, because the Bible argues both that good works are necessary for salvation and that they are not, and you have drawn upon both positions, which are conflicting as you can see below:

We are saved “not because of righteous things we had done” (Titus 3:5). “Not by works” (Ephesians 2:9). “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14).

"You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone." (James 2:24).


I don't know what "underlying faith" is? I understand why you say that faith includes those things, because someone who genuinely believes in Jesus does take part in them, but I don't think that faith is a loose term, it has a specific meaning. In this context, it means belief in Jesus, that is not loose from my perspective.


Your 'could' in this case definitely correspond to 'hope.'


No it doesn't. I mean “could” in terms of it being a possibility. If I meant hope, I would of said so.

I had argued [epistemologically] your precedent if not, your hope argument is too weak, a near fallacy of hasty generalization.
I insist it is an exception because it is an exceptional case as reported objectively in the Bible, i.e. God's works and intentions.


What "hope argument" are you referring to? I have stated my meaning and reasons for why I believe the case of the penitent thief is not exceptional. You are inferring something that I have not explicitly stated, and I only meant what I explicitly stated.

If this is the case, it would put a very dark light on the reputation of the Christian God in condoning the worst evil and violent acts where SOME zealous psycho people will turn to commit evil and violent in the belief they can still go to heaven regardless of their crime.
You are promoting such a reality?


The reality is that Christianity purports, that because of Jesus, God can forgive any sin. It isn't my place to claim what God will and will not forgive. If I refer to the Bible as an authority then Christianity is right in that sense, but epistemologically it just wouldn't make any sense for me to claim what God will and will not forgive without appealing to an authority.
Fanman
 
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:14 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

That is the principle that is applied to all knowledge objectively.
My definition is based on the core elements that represent who is a Christian.

Meanwhile you are relying on a very wide, looser and expanded definition to capture the widest exception, e.g. the criminals on the cross, then generalize from that specific case. That is more toward a fallacy, i.e. hasty generalization. 
Problem is your approach is too rhetorical.


I have not strictly defined “who is a Christian”. I have stated my view of what I think a Christian is like, which is not static and open to change. Given that criminals do accept Jesus and become Christians, and that Christianity claims that Jesus can forgive any sin, I don't see why you would claim that the case of the penitent thief cannot happen again?

Let's look at it your way. If the covenant is eternal it means that everything Jesus established is. If part of the covenant is that Jesus allowed the penitent criminal to enter heaven, and there is no change to the covenant, because it is eternal, then why can it not happen again, in a contractual sense?[

My main point is, in the present and eternally, a covenant is imperative to establish a relationship with God regardless of the circumstance of how a person became a Christian.

My point was, it is not likely a situation like Jesus being on the cross along with two criminals besides him and Christ asking for their forgiveness from God, will be repeated.

Within the Christian Framework and God being all powerful, [except for contradiction] can do anything its wishes to do in any specific and qualified conditions.
However God will generalize forgiveness to any criminals from a specific example like Jesus with the criminals that happened only during that specific time 2000+ years ago. To generalize would insult God's morality.

In the case of Christian, God gave humans freewill, thus the choice to enter into a covenant [aka agreement, contract] with God via Jesus to establish a personal relationship between God and the Christian.

So you insist, but I don't believe it works like that. The choice is to believe in Jesus or face an eternity in hell.

What's that??
Before a person become a Christian, he could be a non-theist and thus have a choice not to accept the offer as in John 3:16.
A Christian can also exercise his choice to leave Christianity, thus to hell with God's threat of hell.

From the Christian Framework and System, Christianity is very objective, not grey.
Note Jesus is not the sole authority. Jesus is merely the son of God, thus God [all powerful] has the final authority. This is objectively reflected in the Bible.

Not as according to the Bible, I have previously stated how the Bible and Christianity explicitly perceives Jesus.

It is a NT fact, Jesus is the son of God as per John 3:16.
Jesus is only given authority from God.

The criminal case is too specific to allow it to be generalized.
It can only happen again if Jesus reappears and then is hanged on a cross or perhaps in a jail as jail mate to some prisoners on death row.
Other than the above or similar, it is a too far fetched speculation.
Even then, a covenant must be established for the criminals to go to heaven at some point, albeit different from the normal process.


Then why do criminals accept Jesus and become Christians? What leads them to believe that they can become Christians if not, but not limited to, the story of the penitent thief? Do you think that Christian preachers don't use that case as an example that anyone can have salvation? My argument is not based upon the physical circumstances, it is based upon the principles in the case of the penitent thief. That you cannot understand that is strange for someone of your intellectual ability.

As I had stated, whatever ways [as a prisoner or others] a person is converted to Christianity, the covenant is implied.

Any one can possess 'faith' but need not be a Christian. A Muslim and non-Christian can have faith in his specific religion.
The point is a person must first establish a relationship with God/Christ to be a Christian, then the element of faith will come into the picture as stipulated in the covenanted terms in the NT and elsewhere.
Therefore the above article support my point, covenant first, then faith.


Where (as you quoted) does it support your point? Do you disagree that faith is the sole condition for salvation? It is stated nearly 200 times in the Bible, doesn't that give it, weightage? :wink:

Its 200 times in the OT not the NT.
I don't believe faith is the sole condition for salvation.
It is an necessary underlying condition and other conditions stated in the NT are necessary for salvation. God is all powerful, it is up to God to judge.

Note my criteria of 'who is a Christian' do not cover a guarantee of salvation, but merely a promise of salvation by God/Jesus if the covenanted terms are complied with.

I don't understand what this tweak of your argument/position means?

Note when a contract is signed between two parties, in the initial stages the expectations from both sides are based on agreed promises. These promises need to delivered by both parties within the stipulated time. There is no guarantee of the promises because any party can default on their promises due to various circumstances. Got it??

It is the same with the Christian covenant. Upon agreement, God made promises in his offer and the Christian promised to comply with the covenanted terms. If a Christian committed sins that are too unforgivable in the eyes of God, then there is no salvation for the Christian.

But the main point is a covenant, i.e. a relationship must first be activated via a covenant for faith and good works to qualify a recognized Christian for salvation.


You just stated that good works aren't enough for salvation and quoted a supporting reference. Now you're claiming that good works are necessary to qualify a recognised Christian for salvation. The Bible also argues that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-26).

How would you reconcile that with faith (or belief) is the sole condition for salvation, as you quoted?

I stated good works in not enough for salvation but must be accompanied by the underlying faith.
Note it is possible for person indifferent to Christianity to pretend to be baptized, swear all the necessary and be accepted as a "Christian" by a recognized Church. S/he pretended to be a Christian to gain favors like political, recognition, commercial, marriage, etc. then do loads of good works to convince others but sincerely lack the necessary faith required of a genuine Christian. God is all knowing, thus such a 'Christian' will not gain salvation because there was not genuine covenant in the first place.

Good works is still necessary but it is not the lone criteria that qualify for salvation, thus the need for the underlying "faith".
Note 'faith' here is a very loose term, I see it as covering grace, love of God, reverence, devotion, and the likes.


I don't think that you can establish a consistent position here, because the Bible argues both that good works are necessary for salvation and that they are not, and you have drawn upon both positions, which are conflicting as you can see below:

We are saved “not because of righteous things we had done” (Titus 3:5). “Not by works” (Ephesians 2:9). “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14).

"You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone." (James 2:24).

I don't know what "underlying faith" is? I understand why you say that faith includes those things, because someone who genuinely believes in Jesus does take part in them, but I don't think that faith is a loose term, it has a specific meaning. In this context, it means belief in Jesus, that is not loose from my perspective.

I have not agreed to the "faith alone" verse.

Faith is a loose term but can be specific within what is defined in the NT.

Before a person become a Christian, he has to have faith in believing in a God.
In addition he has to have faith to accept the offer re John 3:16.

Once the person become a Christian after the covenant, then he proceed to carry on with his faith specifically in terms of the NT.

I had argued [epistemologically] your precedent if not, your hope argument is too weak, a near fallacy of hasty generalization.
I insist it is an exception because it is an exceptional case as reported objectively in the Bible, i.e. God's works and intentions.


What "hope argument" are you referring to? I have stated my meaning and reasons for why I believe the case of the penitent thief is not exceptional. You are inferring something that I have not explicitly stated, and I only meant what I explicitly stated.

Note my argument why the specific condition of the criminals with Jesus is exceptional.

If this is the case, it would put a very dark light on the reputation of the Christian God in condoning the worst evil and violent acts where SOME zealous psycho people will turn to commit evil and violent in the belief they can still go to heaven regardless of their crime.
You are promoting such a reality?


The reality is that Christianity purports, that because of Jesus, God can forgive any sin. It isn't my place to claim what God will and will not forgive. If I refer to the Bible as an authority then Christianity is right in that sense, but epistemologically it just wouldn't make any sense for me to claim what God will and will not forgive without appealing to an authority.

If Jesus can forgive any sin in any specific conditions, it will be qualified as in the case of the criminals on the cross with Jesus.
I have argued you cannot generalized.
If Jesus forgive any sin, it implied agreement with God and they have good justified reasons to do so, but only when a covenant is in place, earthly or eternally.

I don't believe Jesus and God will portray themselves as so stupid morally to introduce a generalization principle which can be abused. This has to be a necessary assumption since God is claimed to be all-wise.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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