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Definition of Christianity
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Posted 5/22/14
It depends on how strict we have to be with this word. From an outsider's perspective many will include JW and Mormons and other groups which deviate from a basic and historic orthodoxy into the umbrella of Christendom for the sake of a definition. If they take that further than that and insinuate that some of the beliefs of the Mormons are Christian, then they open themselves up to harsh criticism.

It is clear within history that there is a general trend of theology of interpreting the bible which all of these groups argue from, starting in the second century. The Idea Jesus is God was not invented at Nicaea in 325 but is present within the fathers as early as Ignatius, Melito of Sardis, Iraneaus, Polycarp and others continuing onward throughout the centuries. Yes this doctrine was progressively defined but the orthodox (meaning those that can at least agree with Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus if not by confessing those creeds then by the faith which coincides with it) has maintained its dominance throughout the centuries and certainty has survived unlike, gnostics, montanists, Saebelians, Origenists and whomever we can think of.

From a purely Christian theological view of things, this is important in identifying the true Christian. We would expect the true Christian faith to persist and not be totally wiped out, not wither and die like some of those groups did. So we basically are left with these branches of what could be called Christendom. Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism (Mainly Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican and radically reformed) as well as the Assyrian church of the east. Any other group is really quite suspect, mainly for it being new, be it Hebrew roots, Gnostic types, health and wealth gospel, Mormons and JW.

So I'm fine with someone considering (if they want to insist) that JW must be Christianity, but we are going to have a problem here in merely talking. Because once you compare JW to the majority of those whom confess themselves to be Christians, calling JW Christians won't make a whole lot of sense. One could say that the gnostics were Christians but then why call them Christians and confuse the wording when you can call them gnostics and better convey what you actually meant? It's about using words appropriately, not the word itself.

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Posted 5/27/14

Iconodule wrote:

It depends on how strict we have to be with this word. From an outsider's perspective many will include JW and Mormons and other groups which deviate from a basic and historic orthodoxy into the umbrella of Christendom for the sake of a definition. If they take that further than that and insinuate that some of the beliefs of the Mormons are Christian, then they open themselves up to harsh criticism.

It is clear within history that there is a general trend of theology of interpreting the bible which all of these groups argue from, starting in the second century. The Idea Jesus is God was not invented at Nicaea in 325 but is present within the fathers as early as Ignatius, Melito of Sardis, Iraneaus, Polycarp and others continuing onward throughout the centuries. Yes this doctrine was progressively defined but the orthodox (meaning those that can at least agree with Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus if not by confessing those creeds then by the faith which coincides with it) has maintained its dominance throughout the centuries and certainty has survived unlike, gnostics, montanists, Saebelians, Origenists and whomever we can think of.

From a purely Christian theological view of things, this is important in identifying the true Christian. We would expect the true Christian faith to persist and not be totally wiped out, not wither and die like some of those groups did. So we basically are left with these branches of what could be called Christendom. Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism (Mainly Reformed, Lutheran, Anglican and radically reformed) as well as the Assyrian church of the east. Any other group is really quite suspect, mainly for it being new, be it Hebrew roots, Gnostic types, health and wealth gospel, Mormons and JW.

So I'm fine with someone considering (if they want to insist) that JW must be Christianity, but we are going to have a problem here in merely talking. Because once you compare JW to the majority of those whom confess themselves to be Christians, calling JW Christians won't make a whole lot of sense. One could say that the gnostics were Christians but then why call them Christians and confuse the wording when you can call them gnostics and better convey what you actually meant? It's about using words appropriately, not the word itself.


Well put.
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Posted 5/30/14 , edited 5/30/14

mdmzero0 wrote:

I think my statement is simply this: religion, correctly interpreted or not, has simply been used as a tool to control, subjugate, or otherwise create undesirable social/political/etc. outcomes. From the crusades to today's "Holy Wars" - religion has always been the tool and the motivator for many undesirable outcomes.


Yes. Those who persecuted and sent Jesus to the Romans to be crucified were very religious people. Religion is of man and not of God; There is an important distinction to be made between God Himself (who demands faith in Him, not faith in some religious system or certain religious figures) and the imperfect and sinful men who do things in the name of God.



Why? Because religion relies on one thing- faith. It implicitly states that you must trust, rather than think for yourself. Listen to what others tell you, not what you yourself observe or think. Trust in the church or religious figures. This core premise of religion makes it very, very, easy to abuse, and it has and continues to be so abused.


Religion does not rely on faith at all but dead, man-made codes that defeat the spirit of the Law. Those who are religious think that merely following codes would "make them holy" (sanctify them) and please God when it is nothing further than the truth. Religion is actually the opposite of faith. Those who were religious (i.e. did things out of custom, out of habit, and / or worst of all, for outward appearances just to make themselves appear pious to others around them) glorify themselves and not God. Who do the religious trust? They trust themselves only... They obey their own ideas of what is good and not God's.

Those who place their "trust" in a religious system display zero faith in God.
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Posted 5/30/14

nanikore2 wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

I think my statement is simply this: religion, correctly interpreted or not, has simply been used as a tool to control, subjugate, or otherwise create undesirable social/political/etc. outcomes. From the crusades to today's "Holy Wars" - religion has always been the tool and the motivator for many undesirable outcomes.


Yes. Those who persecuted and sent Jesus to the Romans to be crucified were very religious people. Religion is of man and not of God; There is an important distinction to be made between God Himself (who demands faith in Him, not faith in some religious system or certain religious figures) and the imperfect and sinful men who do things in the name of God.



Why? Because religion relies on one thing- faith. It implicitly states that you must trust, rather than think for yourself. Listen to what others tell you, not what you yourself observe or think. Trust in the church or religious figures. This core premise of religion makes it very, very, easy to abuse, and it has and continues to be so abused.


Religion does not rely on faith at all but dead, man-made codes that defeat the spirit of the Law. Those who are religious think that merely following codes would "make them holy" (sanctify them) and please God when it is nothing further than the truth. Religion is actually the opposite of faith. Those who were religious (i.e. did things out of custom, out of habit, and / or worst of all, for outward appearances just to make themselves appear pious to others around them) glorify themselves and not God. Who do the religious trust? They trust themselves only... They obey their own ideas of what is good and not God's.

Those who place their "trust" in a religious system display zero faith in God.


So... one is faith in the system created by man known as "religion" and the other is faith in "God" as interpreted by man? I fail to see reason in any path.
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Posted 5/30/14

mdmzero0 wrote:

So... one is faith in the system created by man known as "religion" and the other is faith in "God" as interpreted by man? I fail to see reason in any path.


God wasn't "reasoned" or "interpreted" into existence, by anyone or anything.

There is no reasoning anyone into or out of believing in anything; That's simply not how belief works. See "The Will To Believe" by William James.
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Posted 5/30/14

nanikore2 wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

So... one is faith in the system created by man known as "religion" and the other is faith in "God" as interpreted by man? I fail to see reason in any path.


God wasn't "reasoned" or "interpreted" into existence, by anyone or anything.

There is no reasoning anyone into or out of believing in anything; That's simply not how belief works. See "The Will To Believe" by William James.


You are simply having blind faith in something that cannot be seen, proven to exist, or reproduced in any way. Believe what you want, but don't be surprised when I don't believe the same things.
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Posted 5/31/14

mdmzero0 wrote:

You are simply having blind faith in something that cannot be seen, proven to exist, or reproduced in any way. Believe what you want, but don't be surprised when I don't believe the same things.


Of course. That's not how belief works.
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Posted 5/31/14

nanikore2 wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

You are simply having blind faith in something that cannot be seen, proven to exist, or reproduced in any way. Believe what you want, but don't be surprised when I don't believe the same things.


Of course. That's not how belief works.


Um, that's' how some beliefs work. Some people will believe in anything that can make sense to them, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Even though it is seen as a joke by some people, others they have the belief that a giant spaghetti being created the universe or other absurdly seen things.
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Posted 5/31/14

EPwatcher wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

You are simply having blind faith in something that cannot be seen, proven to exist, or reproduced in any way. Believe what you want, but don't be surprised when I don't believe the same things.


Of course. That's not how belief works.


Um, that's' how some beliefs work. Some people will believe in anything that can make sense to them, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Even though it is seen as a joke by some people, others they have the belief that a giant spaghetti being created the universe or other absurdly seen things.


Are you sure that's a genuine belief instead of a cynical example that was concocted to make a non-point?
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Posted 5/31/14

nanikore2 wrote:


EPwatcher wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

You are simply having blind faith in something that cannot be seen, proven to exist, or reproduced in any way. Believe what you want, but don't be surprised when I don't believe the same things.


Of course. That's not how belief works.


Um, that's' how some beliefs work. Some people will believe in anything that can make sense to them, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Even though it is seen as a joke by some people, others they have the belief that a giant spaghetti being created the universe or other absurdly seen things.


Are you sure that's a genuine belief instead of a cynical example that was concocted to make a non-point?


Considering people believe in much more silly things than this, some people in this religion probably do believe in this.
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Posted 5/31/14
I see this exclusion of specific denominations as elitism. It's similar to saying you're not an otaku if you dislike Evangelion. I think if you want to identify as Christian, that ought to be your right. But Christians exclude Jehovah's Witnesses (who reject the pagan holidays), Seventh-Day adventists (who keep the Sabbath on the same day the bible says to), and Mormons (notoriously kind and altruistic, I would describe the majority I have met as being farmore Christ-like than your average Christian). They also exclude me, for believing in evolution, supporting gay marriage, and pointing out all this stuff.
Posted 6/1/14 , edited 6/1/14

BlueOni wrote:


mdmzero0 wrote:

True, but I fail to see how good examples of religion "cancel out" all the bad that has come because of it. I understand why religion formed and became an integral part of humanity, but I no longer believe religion is necessary. The most logical reason religions formed is simple: they started as a way to explain that which we did not know, and became a way to control and gain power. I no longer see a reason to explain away what we do not know- because we already know most of what religion tries to explain, and we know that religion got it wrong.


We've veered pretty far from the thread topic, which is a discussion on what the core tenets of Christianity are. With that in mind, I will say that theology is far more than cosmology and metaphysics, and it is the philosophical (particularly the ethical) branches which have the most impact these days (at least in the developed world as a collective). And while it's fine to engage the ethical stances of various religions, one must do so with attention to the fact that religious ethics cannot be painted with a broad brush and must be engaged as clusters or individuals. One must also keep in mind that divine command theory is not the sole basis of religious ethics.


it's still a tool then. it's all down to time and situations, there is no transferring of blame involved. damnation seems like a common theme with all those who bump heads. that's all. Christianity is necessary simply for it has sustained. you can't kill out a character that puts on a good show.
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Posted 6/1/14 , edited 6/1/14

severticas wrote:

it's still a tool then. it's all down to time and situations, there is no transferring of blame involved. that's all. it's necessary simply for that reason. it might just evolve again.


I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say.
Posted 6/1/14

BlueOni wrote:


severticas wrote:

it's still a tool then. it's all down to time and situations, there is no transferring of blame involved. that's all. it's necessary simply for that reason. it might just evolve again.


I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say.


you're both not wrong but you re essentially pointing out that the bible and the christian teachings for example are a tool.
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Posted 6/1/14

severticas wrote:

you're both not wrong but you re essentially pointing out that the bible and the christian teachings for example are a tool.


Sure they are, I don't deny that. What I'm basically saying is that religious ethical frameworks ought to be examined individually or as substantively similar groupings rather than taken as a global collective.
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