Interesting Question

“What would you call a Christian whose Christianity is almost no more than a belief in God, that his name is Jesus, that Jesus loves him, died for him and he loves Jesus in return… but has almost no regard for tradition or orthodox and who has doesn’t regard the bible as a true source of God and who doesn’t value the idea of empirical information but only personal inspiration from God himself?”

That was a question asked in a Christian forum I frequent. I am really interested in hearing how anyone reading this would answer it. I won’t reveal what I answered in the forum thread right now, or how the question author views himself. I would just like to hear how others would respond.

Thanks!

 

17 responses to “Interesting Question

  1. Born, this questions is really confusing. The wording is just odd.

    1. Who believes that the Bible is the source of God and what does that mean anyway? God is the source of God, not a book. That sounds like superstition to me…and idolatry.

    2. Emperical evidence? That means something is provable by experimentation. It depends on evidence and must be observable by the senses. Christianity is not provable. You can make good arguments for it, you can look at the scripture…but you can’t prove anything. None of us were there at the foundation of the world, we weren’t there during the history of Israel, we didn’t see Jesus nor his miracles, we can’t prove that anyone has ever been to heaven or hell, no one has ever seen God except those who saw Jesus, yet we can’t PROVE he existed….we are blessed because even though we don’t see Him, we believe. Even though we can’t see Him, we love Him. The Bible is not “emperical” evidence and I’m not sure why that was included in this persons question either. Yes, we believe it is a book of truth…but it’s based on faith given to us by God and that is not provable.

    3. I have almost no regard for tradition myself other than what I can prove from scripture, so I suppose we could all wonder what you would call someone like me. The Jews were rebuked for holding the traditions of men above the traditions of God…so again, another mute point in this guys question. Traditions, like it or not, are always changing. The traditions that we are told to hold to has to do with what is already written in scripture. Not what we have chosen to make tradition. Tradition does not equal truth.

    4. No regard for orthodoxy….what is orthodoxy? Is catholicism orthodox? How about Greek Orthodox? Anglican? Coptic? Baptist? Presbyterian? Lutheran? Christianity has been developed since day 1 of the church and not everyone agrees about such simple things as 1. baptism…how to do it or what it means 2. The Lord’s supper…how to do it or what it means 3. How to do church 4. Should a man be the head of the church or should Jesus Christ be the head of the church…. 5. Can you lose your salvation 6. Free will or not?…7. the sign gift? still around or not? I think orthodoxy is a loaded term and it includes lots of man made tradition….so not sure that is a helpful question to ask either…unless orthodoxy is what is found in the scripture…which is what I consider true orthodoxy. I understand that there are folks out there who don’t like that and they get bugged when people tell them that they believe the Bible but question men. It’s just not acceptable to say that your creeds are in the Bible which it too bad.

    5. ONLY RELIES ON DIRECT REVELATION FROM GOD HIMSELF…now that’s a problem. How can this person test anything? How can he know if the revelation is from God…or just his own imagination? He can believe anything he wants…and no one can tell him he’s wrong. He believes what is right in his own eyes. This is how leaders of cults are born. This is how so many different christian sects occur. By God’s providence, He left us with the scriptures that are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. I’m not sure how someone could claim to be a christian, but not believe the Bible as it is a book in which the volume is written about Christ.

    6. ” What would you call a Christian whose Christianity is almost no more than a belief in God, that his name is Jesus, that Jesus loves him, died for him and he loves Jesus in return”…well, you can say that all Christians believe this, but not all who believe this are christians. I see no mention of forgiveness of sins in this statement…and that’s another problem. I see no mention of the Father nor the Holy Spirit and I’ve noticed lately, that there are people claiming to be christians who refuse to believe that God is 3 in 1. I guess an example would be the teaching of TJ Jakes…but there are also others who accept the Father as God and the Son as God, but not the Holy Spirit (I got a lecture from one of these fellows about my heretical belief in the trinity). Still others love Jesus but they don’t think he’s God. I also didn’t see that the question addressed sin. It just said, believes Jesus died for him…WHY did Jesus die for him? I mean, you gotta know your a sinner and that there is no other way, outside of Jesus Christ, to be reconciled to God because of your sin.

    I can’t tell you who God has saved and hasn’t. BUT, the Bible says this…
    “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” and yet, why would you believe that if you don’t believe the Bible? I guess a person who believes this way is at the very least inconsistant but if God has truly saved them, they will come around to the truth. However, if God hasn’t saved them…they are nothing more than “spiritual” which isn’t worth much. All we have to go on is that we will know a christian by their love and their profession of Christ, keeping in mind…that no lie is of the truth.

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    • First of all, I need to tell you that I met the young man on these forums and he was arguing that he was an atheist but an atheist doesn’t necessarily NOT believe that God exists. He apparently grew up in church (I think a charismatic one), left and is now a believer again. However he does not trust the scripture and believes less of it than when he was professing atheism. I said that to let you know that I have known him online for a couple of years, at least.

      My first response (THE first response) was: “Young, immature, and probably confused.” His response to that was “well seeing as how I’m not young, I can spank you in most conversations and I’m sometimes more mature I think you’re wrong.”

      Thinking I might have been a bit harsh I explained further:

      “Young’ in the faith compared to 30 years or so. ‘Young’ compared to 60+ years alive. Whatever. Your ‘spanking’ comment is almost funny. Tradition, when derived from accurately interpreting scripture, is good. What is/has been part of orthodox Christianity through the centuries is also important for us. Denying the clarity, inspiration and authority of scripture is the mark of an immature believer, open theism, and postmodern emergent types. It is also fraught with problems for any believer. thinking that ‘personal’ inspiration (whispers in your ear or whatever) speaks of extra biblical revelation (especially when the little whispers contradict what has been written) is extremely dangerous. We are told to not go beyond what is written. Little whispers are often just our flesh or spirits other than the Holy Spirit. The only way you can confirm them is to compare them with what has been written. If you don’t trust what has been written you might be swimming in a very large pickle jar.”

      He responded:

      “I asked what it’s called not what it means to you, not what it implies, not what it causes, not what it does, not why it happens, not whether its wise, not whether it’s true, not what Jesus said, not what the bible says, not what you think.. do I need to continue?”

      My reply:

      “This is a test, right?

      “What would you call a Christian whose Christianity is almost no more than. . .”

      If that’s not asking the opinion of everyone who reads it, I’m Elmer Fudd.

      I’ve also told the folks in the thread that 20 years ago I WAS this young man and I wish someone had come along side to set me straight about a few things sooner than they did. In fact, there weren’t many who did. Read the Bible enough and things break through by God’s power.

      So that’s where it stands at the moment. There are a couple of others who challenge his self-proclaimed mature spirituality, with the same results.There are also a couple of professing Christians who just pat him on the back for his ‘deep’ thought.

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  2. WOW! That was an interesting interraction. I wasn’t aware that there were A-thiest who are Theists. Huh.

    At first I thought maybe you were talking about another Joel Osteen type hybrid or an emergent. I would have never guessed.

    Well, I thought your answers were pretty clear and concise. I would agree.

    So this was a question that HE was aking people or just a general question that someone else asked?

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    • I’m sorry, I missed the charismatic part. I’m curious as to why he chose to keep the charismatic part of his faith…or the direct revelation from God but threw out the scriptures? That’s really inconsistant.

      Usually, when I think of athiests, I picture folks with some sort of rational as to why they believe the way they do. They present some sort of science and human reason. But this guy isn’t doing that. He’s all over the place. I mean really, what reason does he have for loving the person jesus that he calls god? What reason does he give for even believing that? I thought the whole basis of athiesm is “Prove it”? A good athiest would know that personal revelation is not proof.

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      • In some ways he’s no different than many believers these days who believe that ‘Jesus and me is ALL I need’. I know that one. I think we need the good traditions and we need to hold to the orthodox beliefs of the Christian faith. The only way I have found to do that is to stay in the Word, believing it’s authority and truth going in. If I didn’t, why read it at all?

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        • “The only way I have found to do that is to stay in the Word, believing it’s authority and truth going in. If I didn’t, why read it at all?”

          There’s no other way. I just figure either I believe it…or I don’t. And if there is reason to doubt any of scripture, then it all needs to be thrown out. It doesn’t seem reasonable to have it any other way. As you said, if you don’t believe the scripture is the authority, why read it at all…and why believe it? Why believe that Jesus is God? Why believe that he died for you? Why love Him?

          I was wondering, do you know if this fellow believes that Jesus rose from the dead? I saw that he believes that Jesus died for him, but I can’t tell if he believes the resurrection. Do you know if he believes that people need to be saved from sin? I’m just curious. I’m not understanding this idea of being a theistic atheist…

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          • I haven’t asked that specific question, but I see no reason to believe otherwise. I’m more concerned about his ‘issues’ with the authority of scripture. He even started one thread in which he said that there was no sin that could not be forgiven, even when faced with Jesus saying otherwise.

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            • Hmmmm. I’ve read on blogs where people dismiss the Pauline books of the NT but they accept the rest despite scriptures like 2 Peter 3:15. I’ve met people who believe the Bible but they believe other religious books too and so they try to make a religious quilt for themselves and kind of pick and choose what they like from each religion. There’s a kind of disconnect when dealing with things that contradict in all the different books, but somehow they are able to justify believing that everything is true. Then there are those who think scripture is not complete or that is has been so messed up by men (despite all the manuscript evidence to the contrary) that it can’t be trusted. An interesting group is the Quakers who place what they say is the Holy Spirit above scripture and use the spirit to test what’s written in scripture rather than what’s written to test the spirit. I see the same kind of problems in charismaticism. Well Born, I’m stumped. I don’t know what you would call this fellow.

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  3. i would have answered that the ‘christian’ was not truly born again, but only deceived (self or otherwise) into believing he was. false converts fill our churches who have no more interest in Christ, God’s Word, and His Church than they do which pair of socks they will wear that day. and what fills me with horror and complete sadness is that our christian ‘ghettos’ falsely called ‘churches’ today are not only complacent, but ‘complicit’ in this state of affairs. what a blight on our current ‘theology’ of evangelism and discipleship.
    -mike

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