Derailment thread for any and all derailments

annabenedetti

Well-known member
Thanks for sharing that. I would agree that these are various understandings from a variety of denominations on how someone might become a Christian, as you said "how it happens", but I'm really hoping to unlock what you a believe a Christian is. I'm sure we could wrestle back and forth between behavior and belief, on what makes someone a Christian, but how does God define one? What makes them different from non-Christians from His perspective? Are they someone who has had a change of mind, a change of behavior, or do they also have a change of nature? And, if a change of nature, what change(s) took place.

A change of nature, as well as of mind and behavior. But that doesn't make them error-proof or sin proof, unless you're a Christian who also believes a Christian can't really sin.

Now a question for you. If Lucifer can fall from heaven, where there is only perfection, what's to keep a Christian with even a changed nature from committing the very worst of crimes?
 

OZOS

Well-known member
A change of nature, as well as of mind and behavior.
I agree there is a change of nature and mind, as also the Bible would confirm.

Since we both agree that the behavior of Christians is no better than anyone else, what change in behavior is necessary to qualify someone to be a Christian?

Now a question for you. If Lucifer can fall from heaven, where there is only perfection, what's to keep a Christian with even a changed nature from committing the very worst of crimes?

I'm fairly certain that the Bible does not speak of angels being created in the image of God or that they exempt from rebellion.
 

annabenedetti

Well-known member
I agree there is a change of nature and mind, as also the Bible would confirm.

Since we both agree that the behavior of Christians is no better than anyone else, what change in behavior is necessary to qualify someone to be a Christian?
Not everyone agrees the behavior of Christians is no better than anyone else, thus the No True Christian fallacy.

Behavior hopefully follows nature and mind. It doesn't, quite frequently. That doesn't mean someone's no longer a Christian.

I'm fairly certain that the Bible does not speak of angels being created in the image of God or that they exempt from rebellion.

Why? Why would there be anything less than perfection in heaven, with God? Otherwise, what's the point in wanting to get there?
 

OZOS

Well-known member
Not everyone agrees the behavior of Christians is no better than anyone else, thus the No True Christian fallacy.
Are you saying that a Christian cannot be defined? What do you mean by "no true Christian fallacy"?

Are you also saying that a Christian will have better behavior or not? I'm confused by your response.

Perhaps I did not ask my other question correctly. I'll try again, but first let me preface it with us not making any conclusions about someone being a former Christian, but rather if there is an indicator, a standard of behavior that must be reached as evidence of a Christian. Because I'm not familiar with your view on the Bible, I don't know if you would be interested in reading the apostle Paul's discussion on this, but it's spelled out rather clearly in the latter part of Romans 2:17-29

Why would there be anything less than perfection in heaven, with God? Otherwise, what's the point in wanting to get there?

I was just responding to the comparison between men and angels. I'm certain that God has made a way for perfection in heaven, but that there was a time when many angels rebelled. I don't believe that will be possible when God's ultimate plan is fulfilled. I'm certain that those who have already been made perfect will dwell in a perfect heaven.
 

Hilltrot

Well-known member
There's a photo of the KKK meeting in a Protestant church. Not the local chapter of the atheist's society or the local mosque, or the local synagogue or even the local Catholic church. It's history (and current events), and you can't change history by saying they're not Christians.
And that's finding out you're Catholic make your viewpoint understandable. Catholics are tribal like you are. So, when you see people in a church, you assume they are Christians, much like only Catholics are in a Catholic church (except for the historical monuments), only Muslims are in a Mosque, and only Jews are in a synagogue.

However, for me, Christians aren't defined by sitting in a pew, accepting a creed, saying magical words, giving to a church, or the like. Most of that is simply membership in a country club.

So, for me, saying that the KKK meetind in a church building aren't Christians isn't rewriting history like it would be for those who have a tribal mindset.
 

annabenedetti

Well-known member
Are you saying that a Christian cannot be defined?
The problem is: by whose definition? You may not consider me a Christian because I'm a Catholic, but others would. I do. I've read enough arguments between non-Catholic Christians to know this is a problem amongst yourselves too.

What do you mean by "no true Christian fallacy"?

As a riff on the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Are you also saying that a Christian will have better behavior or not? I'm confused by your response.

No I'm not, there's no guarantee they will have better behavior because they're Christian. Just a hope that they would.

Perhaps I did not ask my other question correctly. I'll try again, but first let me preface it with us not making any conclusions about someone being a former Christian, but rather if there is an indicator, a standard of behavior that must be reached as evidence of a Christian. Because I'm not familiar with your view on the Bible, I don't know if you would be interested in reading the apostle Paul's discussion on this, but it's spelled out rather clearly in the latter part of Romans 2:17-29

I'm not someone who will say former Christian, and maybe that's where the distinction lies. If someone identifies as Christian, I take them at that identification, I don't tell them they're not Christian, Catholics just don't do that, but I've seen Prot/non-Catholic Christians say it many, many times. I don't have a particular standard of behavior that must be reached, I just look at someone's words and behavior and sometimes think they're a terrible ambassador. Not that they're not a Christian, just a lousy example of how a Christian should want to present themselves as a Christian.

I read the scripture, and I'll say right at the outset I can't argue it in a way you might be used to, so there's not much use in going that route. I have a vague understanding of the idea of being circumcised under the law vs. circumcised in the spirit but I'm not going to pretend I'm a Bible scholar. Nor do I think it's necessary for the purpose of this particular discussion.

I was just responding to the comparison between men and angels. I'm certain that God has made a way for perfection in heaven, but that there was a time when many angels rebelled. I don't believe that will be possible when God's ultimate plan is fulfilled. I'm certain that those who have already been made perfect will dwell in a perfect heaven.

Okay. but why wasn't it perfect before the fall?
 

Arthur Brain

Well-known member
A change of nature, as well as of mind and behavior. But that doesn't make them error-proof or sin proof, unless you're a Christian who also believes a Christian can't really sin.

Now a question for you. If Lucifer can fall from heaven, where there is only perfection, what's to keep a Christian with even a changed nature from committing the very worst of crimes?
Along with a third of the angels. I reckon there's some obvious metaphor going on with that but for those who take it literally, why would anyone want to rebel in Heaven?
 

OZOS

Well-known member
The problem is: by whose definition?
God's. I'm not talking about which interpretation is correct, but if you agree that a Christian can be defined. Obviously, the Bible has something in mind when it uses that term. Just as it does for every term, and God has incorporated meaning to the words He speaks.

You may not consider me a Christian because I'm a Catholic, but others would. I do. I've read enough arguments between non-Catholic Christians to know this is a problem amongst yourselves too.
I believe the Bible defines what a Christian is, very clearly, and it has nothing to do with what church a person attends.

As a riff on the No True Scotsman fallacy.
Don't want to to take a detour here, but the "No True Scotsman fallacy" is fallacious.

No I'm not, there's no guarantee they will have better behavior because they're Christian. Just a hope that they would.
I would hope that everyone would have good behavior, and if they don't they should reap what they sow, but this has nothing to do with whether or not someone is a Christian, because, again, many unbelievers far excel in their behavior than those of Christians.

I'm not someone who will say former Christian, and maybe that's where the distinction lies.
Good, because this leads us back to defining what a Christian is, and I'm convinced that truth can be known, even if there are a plethora of ideas about what the truth is. Understanding what a Christian is does not take much study, but I find most people are too lazy to even look, or they simply don't understand what they are looking at, or as the Bible say, they don't have the ability to understand the things of God, because the Spirit of God does not dwell in them.

I don't have a particular standard of behavior that must be reached, I just look at someone's words and behavior and sometimes think they're a terrible ambassador. Not that they're not a Christian, just a lousy example of how a Christian should want to present themselves as a Christian.
The Bible is filled with evidence that a "believer" is identified by what they say they "believe", not by what they do, because no one can do it right, we all fall short. However, anyone can believe God, which is why Jesus said "this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent". Jesus also said that we can know what is in someone's heart by what they say about Him out of their mouth.

I read the scripture, and I'll say right at the outset I can't argue it in a way you might be used to, so there's not much use in going that route. I have a vague understanding of the idea of being circumcised under the law vs. circumcised in the spirit but I'm not going to pretend I'm a Bible scholar. Nor do I think it's necessary for the purpose of this particular discussion.
Paul's point is that religious people make behavior or obedience to the Law an indicator of who is and who is not a Christian, but as Paul makes clear, that is a mistake, because if the unbeliever's behavior is better than yours, then he can claim to be a Christian, and you are not. If behavior is the evidence, then anyone who meets a certain standard of behavior could be called a Christian, and that's not what a Christian is. It's not adherence to Law, but a Christian is someone who has a new nature, from what they believe concerning Christ. Those who make behavior the evidence will cause unbelievers to blaspheme God, because they boast of their behavior and condemn others for theirs. Just read any of aCultureWarrior's posts.
 

annabenedetti

Well-known member
God's. I'm not talking about which interpretation is correct, but if you agree that a Christian can be defined. Obviously, the Bible has something in mind when it uses that term. Just as it does for every term, and God has incorporated meaning to the words He speaks.

I believe the Bible defines what a Christian is, very clearly, and it has nothing to do with what church a person attends.
We aren't God obviously, so practically speaking when we see the actions of an individual or a group of people in the news, in current events, in history, we can't sit them all down and have a theological discussion to see where they're at according to very different interpretations of God's opinion of where they're at. We need a shorthand. They call themselves Christian, then what? We depose them on a witness stand? Or we take them at their word?

Don't want to to take a detour here, but the "No True Scotsman fallacy" is fallacious.

It's not a detour, it's the driver of the conversation. You could argue it was fallacious if the definition of Christian is fuzzy enough to be unable to find where 'true' is, so I think I see where you're at on this.

I would hope that everyone would have good behavior, and if they don't they should reap what they sow, but this has nothing to do with whether or not someone is a Christian, because, again, many unbelievers far excel in their behavior than those of Christians.

I agree with the bolded, and not because I'm looking for bad behavior by Christians. But I don't agree on whether it has anything to do with someone being Christian because too often Christians will deny the bad behavior by saying the perpetrator couldn't have been a true Christian. Why don't they just admit that Christians are just as capable of doing bad things as the unwashed heathen?

Good, because this leads us back to defining what a Christian is, and I'm convinced that truth can be known, even if there are a plethora of ideas about what the truth is. Understanding what a Christian is does not take much study, but I find most people are too lazy to even look, or they simply don't understand what they are looking at, or as the Bible say, they don't have the ability to understand the things of God, because the Spirit of God does not dwell in them.

The Bible is filled with evidence that a "believer" is identified by what they say they "believe", not by what they do, because no one can do it right, we all fall short. However, anyone can believe God, which is why Jesus said "this is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent". Jesus also said that we can know what is in someone's heart by what they say about Him out of their mouth.

A believer is quite capable of saying the right things the whole time they're doing the wrong things. Getting back to the beginning of this conversation, do you believe a person can sit in a pew on a Sunday (or whatever form worship takes because a lot of Christians don't do organized religion) and commit a horrendous crime on a Monday? Was he a Christian Sunday, and was he still a Christian Monday?

Paul's point is that religious people make behavior or obedience to the Law an indicator of who is and who is not a Christian, but as Paul makes clear, that is a mistake, because if the unbeliever's behavior is better than yours, then he can claim to be a Christian, and you are not. If behavior is the evidence, then anyone who meets a certain standard of behavior could be called a Christian, and that's not what a Christian is. It's not adherence to Law, but a Christian is someone who has a new nature, from what they believe concerning Christ. Those who make behavior the evidence will cause unbelievers to blaspheme God, because they boast of their behavior and condemn others for theirs. Just read any of aCultureWarrior's posts.

I agree with you regarding "if behavior was the evidence," because I don't believe that, and it wasn't my litmus. I said if a person calls themselves a Christian I take them at their word. I'm taking them at what they say out of their mouth.
 

Arthur Brain

Well-known member
And if it happened once, what's to keep them from rebelling again?
That's why it seems to smack of obvious metaphor. One argument that used to be prevalent on here (and possibly still is) regarded how it would be unfair on the "saved" if God allowed everyone into "Heaven" and didn't consign the "heathen" into hell because paradise could be usurped. Yet, if Lucifer and a bunch of other angels were unhappy with their lot?
 

annabenedetti

Well-known member
That's why it seems to smack of obvious metaphor. One argument that used to be prevalent on here (and possibly still is) regarded how it would be unfair on the "saved" if God allowed everyone into "Heaven" and didn't consign the "heathen" into hell because paradise could be usurped. Yet, if Lucifer and a bunch of other angels were unhappy with their lot?

With that scenario, who knew the heavenly chant would be "Build the wall! Build the wall!"
 
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