This thread is an outcropping of a conversation had elsewhere that threatened to turn into its own rabbit trail. So, here is the official trail for our discussion, and I hope others will join in.
We were discussing discipleship, and specifically, what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I'm copying our conversation here so we can continue it:
Back in the first century ... well, all throughout the history of Christianity, really, being a disciple of Jesus meant you were willing to die for the Savior and suffer horrible persecutions up to and including martyrdom. I do not consider a child to be able to make such a weighty decision. Perhaps this is where you and I differ in our assessment of things.
I do think you have pointed out the difference in our views.
Personally I prefer a more modern...? perhaps... definition of disciple. Many I know who hold your view believe there were only 12 disciples of Christ
disciple:One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.
I see a disciple of Jesus Christ, specifically, to be one who is willing to take up the cross and follow Him. And following means being willing to give our life to the one who gave His life for us. So I guess I take it to be more narrow, because Jesus already defined those who could, and could not, be His disciples, specifically (Luke 12 and Luke 14).
There were more than 12 disciples during Jesus' time, out of who He named His original 12 apostles (Luke 6:13). I consider myself such (disciple, not apostle) in that narrower sense of the word. I have embraced His teachings, I have received Him as Lord, I have surrendered to Him as Master, I have entered into His death and resurrection and understand that martyrdom is a very real part of the picture, and I am ready for that, if He so chooses. I have been baptized and have denied myself and forsaken all sin and any and all attachments, to "come, follow Me." And I've lived out the reality of it in my personal life with the decisions I've made thus far (which I won't get into now), and so I can say this with confidence.
To me, it's more definitive than "Christian" because the definition of that seems to wafer around depending on whom you ask.
I don't disagree with any of that, but I think there is a lot more to being prepared.
I do think it is very limiting for one to attempt to define another as a "Christian" or not. I need not convince you nor fit your definition in order to be a Christian. (Not that you have said or insinuated such to me )
There are certainly adults who are not capable of grasping such a weighty decision, yet by your standards since they are of age they meet the requirement.
There have certainly been times when my daughter has shared her understanding of scripture and has provided me insight or understanding I had not realized.
What does it mean, really, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? What does it mean to be a "Christian?" A "believer"? Which would you consider yourself to be? Based on what?