A Christian is……

It’s a personal journey with others.

 

In Jesus, the Gospel and Other Essentials of the Christian Faith I gave the basics of the Christian faith. Before that I asked What is the Gospel? Readers commented with further suggestions and opinions that were great.  I truly appreciate those comments.  Keep them coming.  Like I’ve said, I’m in the process (and it is really turning out to be a process) of Questioning Faith.  This is all going some where, I think and I thank all of you who are indulging me in this endeavor.  I trust my journey is edifying to others.  That is kind of the point of posting these posts.  That and I realize that I need all the help I can get.

It occurs to me that however important the essentials of the faith are, they are not all required in order to claim to be a Christian.  A Christian being a person who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and is therefore “Saved”.  Really, to get the ball rolling, one needs only to accept the divinity of Jesus Christ and to place one’s faith in the Gospel.  The Gospel being that Jesus lived, died for all sins, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.  Trust in the absolute validity of that and you are saved.

The rest of the essentials and quite a few nonessentials that are more preferences than anything else serve to teach the believer who God is, who the Church is and how one is to live a life accordingly.  But basically, everything needs to point to the Big Two of the divinity of Christ and His Gospel.  Nothing else truly matters simply because those are the only things that have salvific consequence.

Christianity boils down to the Gospel, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, Love God with your entire being, and others as your self.   That is what a Christian is.

I submit that anyone who gets that right will have a transformed life that will positively  impact everyone he or she meets, the community, and even the world for Jesus and His Kingdom.

And yes, as I began to say in The Trivialization of Jesus there is much that is commonly considered “Christian” or the “Christian life-style” that I have purposely not mentioned because I am not sure that they really matter.  Which is to say that I am convinced that they don’t.

But enough of what I think. What do you think about this?

God Bless,

Christopher

 

 

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5 thoughts on “A Christian is……

  1. I agree with you as well, but I would like throw out one qualification for you and your readers to think about, and that is on what it means to be “saved.” For most of Western Christianity the concept of salvation runs something like this: “Human beings sinned. In order to be reconciled with God we must make up for these sins. We are unable to (or it is extremely difficult to) do this on our own, so Jesus was crucified in order to take the punishment for our sins and reconcile us with God.” In Eastern Christianity we see salvation less as a crime/punishment scenario and more as a sickness/healing one. Christ died not in order to take our punishment for us, but in order to heal the sickness (death) which was a result of sin, and salvation is a continual thing: we must constantly turn to God to ensure that we’re with him in His Kingdom.

    I like how you pointed out summary of Ten Commandments, because I think it’s something extremely important to keep in mind. We should love God with all our heart, and love others as our selves. This is what I think the key to all salvation is. Jesus, being God, is to be loved with our heart the same way as the Father and the Spirit. Everything else – Baptism, Eucharist, Chrismation, icons, candles, incense etc. – should be things used to help facilitate and express this love!

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    • Good points. I remember studying Eastern theology in my seminary days and thinkinking that it was “softer” than the Western Church. I don’t mean that in a dergatory way at all. Just as you pointed out in the crime and punishment vs sickness and health scenario. It seems to me that both are vlid poits of view. The crime and punishment idea understands the legal nature of sin whereas the sicknes and health speaks to the personal effect of sin in the world and our lives. The what in the first case and the why in the second, if you will. On a relational plane of thought, we would do well to remember the why, I think.

      Thanks

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      • Its funny that you should say you thought Eastern theology was softer, as Orthodoxy is sometimes called the Marine Corp of Christianity in its practice due to all the fasting, prostrations, and responsibility placed on the individual! I know what you mean though, it’s certainly not as “harsh” in the way it views human nature. It’s sad that there’s this this schism in Christian theology since, as you said, both views are (mostly) two sides of the same coin.

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