Originally Posted by Mathman
I wasn't arbitrating, but simply explaining a conversation I had with a friend who calls herself a Christian. By her definition, Christian's study the teachings of Christ - they dont' simply believe that Jesus is the son of God. Thus, you have the debate about who considers themselves Christian.
As for me, I believe there is a higher power, but I just don't know what to call 'it'. In the meantime, I try to treat people with respect and have fun. When I meet a person, my 1st thought is not about their religion or sexual orientation or culture or race. It's about how we interact.
This is just what I am complaining about. No, people do not have the right to arrogate to themselves the authority to issue definitions of words that are in common usage.
Originally Posted by heyang
If a defintion of the word "Christian" is desired, one is to be found in the dictionary.
It is not a matter of someone's "opinion" as to what the word "Christian" means, any more that it is a matter of opinion what the word "peacock" means. It means what it means.
People of all religions sin. That is the great thing about God ...(s)he forgives if you ask. There is no limit to how many times one can be forgiven as long as they are truly sorry. Contrary to popular belief Catholics do not go to confession on Saturday night and then go out get drunk, screw around, rob a bank and start all over again the next week. Grgranny is right about judging......I have trouble with that too. Some people get confused by it though. There are two types of judgment. The first is the final judgment which will be done only by God. The other is judgment as in making the right choices. If you see someone about to jump off of a bridge it is not judging them to tell them they are making a mistake and to try and talk them down. I have problems with religions that say they are the only ones going to heaven. But that is judging on my part...the bad kind.
Christianity to me is not only the belief in Jesus as son of God, but also in His resurrection, the Trinity and His Word, through the Bible. I'm a non-denominational Christian, but I was bought up as Catholic. When it comes to saying whether or not one is Christian, I can only do so for myself, I can say that I am Christian, but I cannot say for others.
I believe that Catholicism is different not so much in the rituals (but they do have Confession, the Pope and a lot more standing in between God and the Believer) but in their idolisation of Mary. Are they Christians? If they think they are, who am I to say differently.
Piel - some Catholics I am sure are just "church" Catholics, Catholics when they are in church, some Christians, Jews etc etc are like this too - I would hope not the majority. As a Christian, I believe I am going to Heaven and others aren't - what others, I can't say, but the Bible (which as a Christian, I believe) states people who do not follow Christ will not go to Heaven. I'm not to say who is a follower and who isn't, that's God's job. I believe all religions have the "if you follow this religion, you will have eternal life/Heaven/something better to come" bit, otherwise, what's the incentive?
doug - as an aside, Hong Kong IS China. It's considered a "special administrative region". I have yet to meet a Hong Kongese person who does not believe they are Chinese. (I live in Beijing).