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oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 05:44 AM
Is there a way to accurately tell if a person is a Christian or not?

These are some of the things I've gathered to let you in on my thinking.

-A Christian is a follower of Christ.

-A Christian is not immune to mistakes, misinterpretations and deceit.

-A Christian is always able (has the capacity) to distinguish right from wrong?

-A Christian does not have to lead a sinless life.

-A Christian is known by his/her fruits.

-A Christian will not Always act in a Christlike way

-A Christian can learn more about God, Christianity and Life, Knowledge of these things is not instantly bestowed on a Christian.

-A Christian can be wrong on doctrine and still be a Christian*

-A Christian has a personal relationship with God, unique to every individual.

-A Christian communicates with God, but there is no standard method for how this may this will occur.

-Blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin.

*barring that Christ is God and savior, and that he died for our sins and you gotta repent.

-Alex Murphy II

gpmosely
Nov 23rd 2008, 06:56 AM
The honest answer is nope. There is no accurate way whatsoever to tell if someone is a Christian.

Why? Because only God knows our hearts.

Some may say- yes! By looking at the fruits of the spirit and how they act etc...my response to them are, well there are also a lot of good actors in the world who can act all day long that they are good christian people but they themselves deny Christ in private.

YET you can have the people who are rough and act all tough but be the most genuine Christian people you will ever meet.

daughter
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:26 AM
Is there a way to accurately tell if a person is a Christian or not?

Good question!



Q: A Christian is a follower of Christ.

A: "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

Q: A Christian is not immune to mistakes, misinterpretations and deceit.

A: I will keep looking to find scripture which speaks to this directly...

Q: -A Christian is always able (has the capacity) to distinguish right from wrong?

A: See above. My feeling is that I keep messing up, but when I do, it's my fault. I'm thinking of the verses about deception of "even the elect, if that were possible..." Which implies both impossibility, but also severe deceptions being hammered on people.

Q:-A Christian does not have to lead a sinless life.

A: A Christian absolutely has to TRY to lead a sinless life. If we "make the grace of God into licentiousness" then we're not following Jesus.

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

"With Man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

In other words, we have to be as righteous as Christ to get into heaven... and we just can't do it. Fortunately, He gives us a way to enter into the kingdom of heaven... we have to enter through HIM, and cling to Him as our righteousness and hope.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


Q: -A Christian is known by his/her fruits.

A:-Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


Q: -A Christian will not Always act in a Christlike way

A:-But they will repent, and return to the right way. Example, Peter, when he stopped eating with Gentile believers in Christ, even after his vision on the roof top. God sent him Paul, to rebuke him, and Peter repented, and returned to his first works.

Read all of Hebrews Twelve for this, but specially verses four till eleven.

Q: -A Christian can learn more about God, Christianity and Life, Knowledge of these things is not instantly bestowed on a Christian.

That seems to be common sense, but can't think of a Bible verse immediately which speaks to it.

Q:-A Christian can be wrong on doctrine and still be a Christian*
As you say below, obviously depending on the doctrine. Jesus is the Son of God. As He says, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."

Q:-A Christian has a personal relationship with God, unique to every individual.

A: - God formed each individual in their mother's womb, counts the hair of their heads, and before they were born their every day was numbered. Christians are written in the book of life. Lots of Scriptures to support this.

Q:-A Christian communicates with God, but there is no standard method for how this may this will occur.

A: No standard method, (just look at the variety of ways in which prophecies and dreams occur in the Bible) but only one way. Even Jacob, when he dreamt of the ladder, with angels travelling up and down it, was in fact dreaming of Jesus. He says at His trial, "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man"

Q:-Blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin.

A:- More precisely, "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit." Jesus says that "whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, that can be forgiven Him, but whosever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, that shall not be forgiven Him, either in this world, or the world to come."



Okay... apologies for the KJV speak, if it's not what you're used to. It's what I find easiest to remember. Apologies also if the quotes aren't perfect.

Here's hoping some others will come and offer other scriptural evidences on this thread, so we can all learn.

Like I said above... good question!

markinro
Nov 23rd 2008, 12:31 PM
Is there a way to accurately tell if a person is a Christian or not?

These are some of the things I've gathered to let you in on my thinking.

-A Christian is a follower of Christ.

-A Christian is not immune to mistakes, misinterpretations and deceit.

-A Christian is always able (has the capacity) to distinguish right from wrong?

-A Christian does not have to lead a sinless life.

-A Christian is known by his/her fruits.

-A Christian will not Always act in a Christlike way

-A Christian can learn more about God, Christianity and Life, Knowledge of these things is not instantly bestowed on a Christian.

-A Christian can be wrong on doctrine and still be a Christian*

-A Christian has a personal relationship with God, unique to every individual.

-A Christian communicates with God, but there is no standard method for how this may this will occur.

-Blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin.

*barring that Christ is God and savior, and that he died for our sins and you gotta repent.

-Alex Murphy II

1. Who is Alex Murphy ?
2. A mere man cannot define who is a christian and who is not.

MATT 16
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

ServantofTruth
Nov 23rd 2008, 05:17 PM
I believe if every page of the bible were laid out side by side in a huge open space, with a 'You are here' sign and a pointing arrow - you'd be in 2 Timothy chapter 3: verse 5.


Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.

You even say it yourself. :spin:

We all like some bible verses, the trick is to read the whole book. :) SofTy.

Tanya~
Nov 23rd 2008, 05:58 PM
Hi Oscar,

There is a way to know if someone is a Christian. Jesus told us what that was...


John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
NKJV

Dani H
Nov 23rd 2008, 07:22 PM
A Christian is a person who uses Jesus Christ as their point of reference for all they do.

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:15 PM
The honest answer is nope. There is no accurate way whatsoever to tell if someone is a Christian.

Why? Because only God knows our hearts.

Some may say- yes! By looking at the fruits of the spirit and how they act etc...my response to them are, well there are also a lot of good actors in the world who can act all day long that they are good christian people but they themselves deny Christ in private.

YET you can have the people who are rough and act all tough but be the most genuine Christian people you will ever meet.


fer sure, thanks GPMosley

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:21 PM
Good question!



Okay... apologies for the KJV speak, if it's not what you're used to. It's what I find easiest to remember. Apologies also if the quotes aren't perfect.

Here's hoping some others will come and offer other scriptural evidences on this thread, so we can all learn.

Like I said above... good question!

Thanks for addressing each one of those statements daughter. Those are some things that I've gathered throughout my time here and felt pretty confident that they were scripturally sound...but I look forward to your findings on the contentious statements, sure to be good stuff.

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:31 PM
1. Who is Alex Murphy ?
2. A mere man cannot define who is a christian and who is not.

MATT 16
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

C'mon, Alex Murphy is Robocop, and as everyone knows Robocop II was an allegory that explored deep seated questions of humanity, moral absolutism vs moral relativism and identity, Its a thinking man's movie.

anyhow thanks for your contributions.


nuke!

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:37 PM
I believe if every page of the bible were laid out side by side in a huge open space, with a 'You are here' sign and a pointing arrow - you'd be in 2 Timothy chapter 3: verse 5.


Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.

You even say it yourself. :spin:

We all like some bible verses, the trick is to read the whole book. :) SofTy.


I don't quite understand what you are getting at here. Maybe you could elaborate a bit for me to clear things up.

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:41 PM
Hi Oscar,

There is a way to know if someone is a Christian. Jesus told us what that was...

John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
NKJV


thanks tanya, what does it mean to love another as Jesus loved us? I mean what does that entail?

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 09:43 PM
A Christian is a person who uses Jesus Christ as their point of reference for all they do.

this is an interesting thought Dani, could you elaborate on this thought a bit, maybe flesh out some examples as well.

Tanya~
Nov 23rd 2008, 10:05 PM
thanks tanya, what does it mean to love another as Jesus loved us? I mean what does that entail?

Jesus put it like this:

Matt 7:12
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
NKJV

It means treat others the same way you would want them to treat you, otherwise known as the Golden Rule.

Paul wrote:

Rom 13:10
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
NKJV

And this:

Col 3:12-14
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
NKJV

In another place he describes the characteristics of love in more detail:

1 Cor 13:4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails.
NKJV

Love truly never fails. Whenever one is acting in love, there is no failure in that at all. Christians can sometimes fail in how well we love one another and when we do, we forgive one another and press forward, seeking to grow in our love for one another.

An outsider looking in can see that the Christians, even though we are imperfect and at different places in our growth and understanding, have love for one another.


I could go on but this should give you the idea.

markinro
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:23 PM
C'mon, Alex Murphy is Robocop, and as everyone knows Robocop II was an allegory that explored deep seated questions of humanity, moral absolutism vs moral relativism and identity, Its a thinking man's movie.

anyhow thanks for your contributions.


nuke!

Do you get your moral/social beliefs from a fictitious movie character ? Did he make these statements in the movie ?

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:33 PM
Jesus put it like this:

Matt 7:12
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
NKJV

It means treat others the same way you would want them to treat you, otherwise known as the Golden Rule.

Paul wrote:

Rom 13:10
10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
NKJV

And this:

Col 3:12-14
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
NKJV

In another place he describes the characteristics of love in more detail:

1 Cor 13:4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails.
NKJV

Love truly never fails. Whenever one is acting in love, there is no failure in that at all. Christians can sometimes fail in how well we love one another and when we do, we forgive one another and press forward, seeking to grow in our love for one another.

An outsider looking in can see that the Christians, even though we are imperfect and at different places in our growth and understanding, have love for one another.


I could go on but this should give you the idea.


I must say Tanya, This seems a little broad for my taste, even contrary. I mean "Christians can sometimes fail in how well we love one another"...really what is the meaning of this statement?

Christians will always love one another, but they will not always love one another properly? If there is a right and wrong way to love, an ideal, then is improper love still Christian love? When observing a Christian how will I know that they are a real Christian who is just loving wrong, and not a fake christian who is also loving wrong? Will I see them eventually stop loving the wrong way, or will they continue to make mistakes or fall short of the ideal?

How can love be the measure of a Christian if a Christian can get it wrong?
All I see here is that a Christian will try to live up to a Christlike ideal, but will not necessarily achieve that ideal state.

Dani H
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:47 PM
this is an interesting thought Dani, could you elaborate on this thought a bit, maybe flesh out some examples as well.


That means yourself stops being the focus point of everything, and you look to Him as your example for how life is to be lived. Which is why people who are really Christians all of a sudden worry about, and struggle with, sin and anything that is displeasing to God, because everything Jesus did was to please the Father, and Him alone. People who are really Christians can no longer sin comfortably like they used to, because the Sinless One lives within them and stirs them up to follow Him. :)

oscarkipling
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:48 PM
Do you get your moral/social beliefs from a fictitious movie character ? Did he make these statements in the movie ?


I wouldn't say that I get my moral or social beliefs from the Robocop movies (especially not Robocop 3), but I can say that TV,movies,literature, art and video games have provided a catalyst for thinking about moral and social questions, I think at thier best, these mediums will pose interesting questions and force the observer to to evaluate thier beliefs ...heck at thier worst they can lead to he same sort of appraisals.

haha no I don't believe Robocop said made any of these statements in the movies.

oscarkipling
Nov 24th 2008, 12:01 AM
That means yourself stops being the focus point of everything, and you look to Him as your example for how life is to be lived. Which is why people who are really Christians all of a sudden worry about, and struggle with, sin and anything that is displeasing to God, because everything Jesus did was to please the Father, and Him alone. People who are really Christians can no longer sin comfortably like they used to, because the Sinless One lives within them and stirs them up to follow Him. :)

Do you think that this is something that can be reliably observed by another person?

also, does this mean that a Christian knows what is right and wrong in every situation?

Tanya~
Nov 24th 2008, 12:09 AM
I must say Tanya, This seems a little broad for my taste, even contrary. I mean "Christians can sometimes fail in how well we love one another"...really what is the meaning of this statement?

What I means is that when Christians do something to hurt another Christian, there is a process we're supposed to follow, to restore the relationship. Forgiveness is part of love. It's like in your family, you love one another right? And sometimes family members do things that hurt another, but steps are taken to restore the problem, you fix it, and you still love each other. If we seek the restoration that still counts as loving one another, even though we are imperfect in our love and sometimes do hurt one another.

Jesus said that everyone would know we are His disciples by our love for one another. When someone on the outside looks at Christians and sees the love there (even though we're imperfect), that is how you can know we are His disciples. If someone claims to be Christian yet engages consistently in behavior that says anything but, then you can't tell really, if they're a Christian or not even if they may say the right words.


1 John 4:20-21
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
NKJV



Christians will always love one another, but they will not always love one another properly? If there is a right and wrong way to love, an ideal, then is improper love still Christian love? When observing a Christian how will I know that they are a real Christian who is just loving wrong, and not a fake christian who is also loving wrong? Will I see them eventually stop loving the wrong way, or will they continue to make mistakes or fall short of the ideal?

You can still tell. My point is that as humans we make mistakes. You might say or do something that hurts another person, or get angry without cause or whatever. But love seeks the reconciliation. So even in our imperfection, the love can still be seen. You should be able to tell. It is a consistency in the person's character that you can observe. Even if we make a mistake, that mistake is recognized as out of character and the person who makes the mistake immediately feels convicted and seeks to correct it. Go into the other forums on the board and observe how the Christians treat one another. Some of them, you can tell by how they speak, love other Christians even when disagreeing. Some of them don't seem to be loving at all. You can discern, based on what Jesus said, which people are disciples of Jesus.


How can love be the measure of a Christian if a Christian can get it wrong?
All I see here is that a Christian will try to live up to a Christlike ideal, but will not necessarily achieve that ideal state.

I think you're looking at it as if there is an expectation of absolute perfection. That perfection will be attained at the Resurrection, but in the meantime there is a character that is evident in a Christian that is not evident in others. The person is characterized by love.

Think about how you have been treated on this board, by those who have been interacting with you. Have people treated you the way they would want to be treated (as anyone would)? And if you are a member of another message board that isn't a Christian board, do you notice a difference in the general atmosphere of how people treat one another and people who are in disagreement?

oscarkipling
Nov 24th 2008, 03:23 AM
What I means is that when Christians do something to hurt another Christian, there is a process we're supposed to follow, to restore the relationship. Forgiveness is part of love. It's like in your family, you love one another right? And sometimes family members do things that hurt another, but steps are taken to restore the problem, you fix it, and you still love each other. If we seek the restoration that still counts as loving one another, even though we are imperfect in our love and sometimes do hurt one another.


Jesus said that everyone would know we are His disciples by our love for one another. When someone on the outside looks at Christians and sees the love there (even though we're imperfect), that is how you can know we are His disciples. If someone claims to be Christian yet engages consistently in behavior that says anything but, then you can't tell really, if they're a Christian or not even if they may say the right words.

1 John 4:20-21
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
NKJV


You can still tell. My point is that as humans we make mistakes. You might say or do something that hurts another person, or get angry without cause or whatever. But love seeks the reconciliation. So even in our imperfection, the love can still be seen. You should be able to tell. It is a consistency in the person's character that you can observe. Even if we make a mistake, that mistake is recognized as out of character and the person who makes the mistake immediately feels convicted and seeks to correct it. Go into the other forums on the board and observe how the Christians treat one another. Some of them, you can tell by how they speak, love other Christians even when disagreeing. Some of them don't seem to be loving at all. You can discern, based on what Jesus said, which people are disciples of Jesus.


To me this implies that a Christian always does what they are supposed to or at least That a christian always attempts to reconcile/forgive... even if this is true, how much time can pass between offense and reconciliation? must it be instant, or can it take some time, a long time? If you find a Christian in the time between offense and reconcilliation are they still a Christian? Are they an immature christian? It seems like you are saying that a Christian can be known by their reaction time, which is fine if thats what you believe, but it does not jibe with the ideas of growth and maturity in christ..imo.

it is the interactions i've observed on the other subforums and some conversations with users here that planted the question in my mind.



I think you're looking at it as if there is an expectation of absolute perfection. That perfection will be attained at the Resurrection, but in the meantime there is a character that is evident in a Christian that is not evident in others. The person is characterized by love.


hmm, I don't know how you got that impression. If there were an expectation of absolute perfection then you would know Christians absolutely because they would be the perfect people. I think that the fact that there is no expectation of perfection, no standard level of minimum christian maturity, that even a Christian can be confused, mistaken and sinful, even a Christians love can be imperfectly implemented...these things lead me to believe that it is difficult at best to determine if a person is a Christian or not, and the less data you have on a person an accurate determination becomes exceedingly difficult.



Think about how you have been treated on this board, by those who have been interacting with you. Have people treated you the way they would want to be treated (as anyone would)? And if you are a member of another message board that isn't a Christian board, do you notice a difference in the general atmosphere of how people treat one another and people who are in disagreement?

well, you guys rank in niceness below young composers forum but well above Hip-Hop central

Tanya~
Nov 24th 2008, 04:15 AM
To me this implies that a Christian always does what they are supposed to or at least That a christian always attempts to reconcile/forgive... even if this is true, how much time can pass between offense and reconciliation? must it be instant, or can it take some time, a long time?

The Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Because of this, when he does something wrong, he gets convicted by it, and it bothers him. When a Christian sins, if he ignores the prompting and doesn't clear up the situation, it is very likely that he will begin to experience the chastening of God who is a Father to us. He corrects us to lead us to do what is right, just as a dad who loves his kid will correct him to steer him right.



If you find a Christian in the time between offense and reconcilliation are they still a Christian?

Yes.


Are they an immature christian?

Not always. Even a mature Christian can need correction. We're all growing as long as we're here.


It seems like you are saying that a Christian can be known by their reaction time, which is fine if thats what you believe, but it does not jibe with the ideas of growth and maturity in christ..imo.

I'm not saying a Christian is known by his reaction time. Jesus said that those who are His disciples are known by a particular characteristic. Even the most immature Christian can have this characteristic.


it is the interactions i've observed on the other subforums and some conversations with users here that planted the question in my mind.

I would expect you've seen some who don't qualify by Jesus' standard, and some who do. If you were to consider a particular person and read all their posts, you would be able to tell if they have this essential character trait or not. You would of course have to judge by the whole picture, not one event or one situation. Because a very loving person can have a bad day, and a generally nasty person can occasionally act like a decent human being. Look at the whole picture.


the less data you have on a person an accurate determination becomes exceedingly difficult.

I think that is true, and some people are more attuned to other peoples' characters than others. Some people have no discernment whatsoever. But it is still true that love is the defining characteristic of those who are truly disciples of Jesus, that is, those who are following Him.


well, you guys rank in niceness below young composers forum but well above Hip-Hop central

A community that has the diversity of membership and wide range of discussion topics like this one should be compared to another that is similar but not specifically Christian. I don't think a young composers forum would apply.

Having said that though, I know and agree with you that there are some here who don't pass the acid test. But I wonder what would happen if you chose the most contentious thread you could find on this board, and start a thread on that same topic in another community that isn't Christian but has a diverse membership like we do? It would have to be a topic that would be just as controversial in that other community as it is here. It might be an interesting exercise.

Dani H
Nov 24th 2008, 05:43 AM
Do you think that this is something that can be reliably observed by another person?

I think so. I have a lot of Christian friends and I can certainly see it within them, by the way they treat other people and the way they deal with life's curveballs. Underneath of it all, there is always hope and that knowledge that a) God is in control and b) everything we deal with is only temporary. I'd like to say that I can see it within myself, but all I see there is my personal relationship with Jesus and the fact that He is, to me, the ultimate reference point for everything in my life. That doesn't make me always loving kind and towards others, because there are still lots of edges to my personality, but it does mean that I no longer have the ability to viciously want to hurt another person or see them destroyed in any way. I can really see, looking back over the past 16 years, how God has worked that change within me.


also, does this mean that a Christian knows what is right and wrong in every situation?

I believe we have the ability to refrain from rash decisions and weigh every situation against the light of the Bible, as well as that witness within ourselves that is of God. I certainly see it in my own life. But ultimately, in every situation, God is in control and sees things that we cannot, and may even veil things because we don't need to know and just need to trust Him. The Bible does say that we know in part, and we prophesy in part. The only person who knows everything, remains God Himself. But we are to walk in the knowledge we have already been given.

oscarkipling
Nov 24th 2008, 08:22 AM
The Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Because of this, when he does something wrong, he gets convicted by it, and it bothers him. When a Christian sins, if he ignores the prompting and doesn't clear up the situation, it is very likely that he will begin to experience the chastening of God who is a Father to us. He corrects us to lead us to do what is right, just as a dad who loves his kid will correct him to steer him right.


OIC thanks



Not always. Even a mature Christian can need correction. We're all growing as long as we're here.


uh huh, I understand




I'm not saying a Christian is known by his reaction time. Jesus said that those who are His disciples are known by a particular characteristic. Even the most immature Christian can have this characteristic.


well, I still don't quite get how the accuracy problem is solved, but I do understand what you are saying.



I would expect you've seen some who don't qualify by Jesus' standard, and some who do. If you were to consider a particular person and read all their posts, you would be able to tell if they have this essential character trait or not. You would of course have to judge by the whole picture, not one event or one situation. Because a very loving person can have a bad day, and a generally nasty person can occasionally act like a decent human being. Look at the whole picture.


I thought no one qualified by Jesus' standard, thats why salvation cant be earned. but yes, of course a person should take the widest sample possible if they want accuracy. I just suggest that it is possible that an extensive enough picture is rarely available for us to evaluate and make a perfectly reliable assessment in every case, given that a Christian could take any amount of time to correct. But I guess that it would be pretty safe to say that generally gracious and kind people who claim to be Christians are likely Christians, and pretty safe to say that a person who is generally temperamental and claims to be a christian is not a christian...It seems this is a pretty good method for figuring out if a person is a christian or not, but it does not appear to be perfectly reliable. Not that I believe there is a perfectly reliable method for judging anything, just more and less accurate ones.




A community that has the diversity of membership and wide range of discussion topics like this one should be compared to another that is similar but not specifically Christian. I don't think a young composers forum would apply.

Having said that though, I know and agree with you that there are some here who don't pass the acid test. But I wonder what would happen if you chose the most contentious thread you could find on this board, and start a thread on that same topic in another community that isn't Christian but has a diverse membership like we do? It would have to be a topic that would be just as controversial in that other community as it is here. It might be an interesting exercise.

you know you make a good point, and I promise I was going to say that it wouldn't be a fair comparison because of the topics discussed here, but I got a phonecall and got distracted...I hate that....but yeah, you go to the young composers forum and start a thread titled "Bach was a Hack" and watch the sparks fly :lol:. anyway contrary to how it may appear here, I avoid controversy and arguments when I can, so I think I'll leave that exercise in the realm of mental exercises.

oscarkipling
Nov 24th 2008, 08:24 AM
I think so. I have a lot of Christian friends and I can certainly see it within them, by the way they treat other people and the way they deal with life's curveballs. Underneath of it all, there is always hope and that knowledge that a) God is in control and b) everything we deal with is only temporary. I'd like to say that I can see it within myself, but all I see there is my personal relationship with Jesus and the fact that He is, to me, the ultimate reference point for everything in my life. That doesn't make me always loving kind and towards others, because there are still lots of edges to my personality, but it does mean that I no longer have the ability to viciously want to hurt another person or see them destroyed in any way. I can really see, looking back over the past 16 years, how God has worked that change within me.



I believe we have the ability to refrain from rash decisions and weigh every situation against the light of the Bible, as well as that witness within ourselves that is of God. I certainly see it in my own life. But ultimately, in every situation, God is in control and sees things that we cannot, and may even veil things because we don't need to know and just need to trust Him. The Bible does say that we know in part, and we prophesy in part. The only person who knows everything, remains God Himself. But we are to walk in the knowledge we have already been given.

Well thanks for clearing that up for me DaniHansen...bo bansen

Tanya~
Nov 24th 2008, 04:03 PM
I thought no one qualified by Jesus' standard, thats why salvation cant be earned.

I thought we were talking about how someone could know if a person was a Christian or not... not how someone could become a Christian. What Jesus said was that all would know His disciples by their love for one another. These are already saved, and others can tell that they're following Jesus because it can be seen that they love one another.


but yes, of course a person should take the widest sample possible if they want accuracy. I just suggest that it is possible that an extensive enough picture is rarely available for us to evaluate and make a perfectly reliable assessment in every case, given that a Christian could take any amount of time to correct.

A person claiming to be Christian who is not characterized by love isn't following Jesus. They're self-deceived.

1 John 2:9-11
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
NKJV

If a person is hating his fellow-Christian, then you as an outsider can't tell that he is a Christian, and neither can anyone else. Any pronouncements he may make to the contrary are meaningless because Jesus said all would know we are His disciples by our love for one another.



But I guess that it would be pretty safe to say that generally gracious and kind people who claim to be Christians are likely Christians, and pretty safe to say that a person who is generally temperamental and claims to be a christian is not a christian...It seems this is a pretty good method for figuring out if a person is a christian or not, but it does not appear to be perfectly reliable. Not that I believe there is a perfectly reliable method for judging anything, just more and less accurate ones.

Yes, people who claim to be Christian and who characteristically treat others the same way that they would like to be treated, are His disciples. People who claim to be Christian and who characteristically act selfishly are not, because they're not following His directions or His example.



yeah, you go to the young composers forum and start a thread titled "Bach was a Hack" and watch the sparks fly :lol:.

:lol::lol:

Have a good day, Oscar. See ya around.

oscarkipling
Dec 5th 2008, 09:40 AM
I thought we were talking about how someone could know if a person was a Christian or not... not how someone could become a Christian. What Jesus said was that all would know His disciples by their love for one another. These are already saved, and others can tell that they're following Jesus because it can be seen that they love one another.


I just meant that if I were to hold up any person christian or not next to Jesus then all would be found wanting....but it looks like you meant the loving character is Jesus standard for all Christians. so yep I see now.



A person claiming to be Christian who is not characterized by love isn't following Jesus. They're self-deceived.


1 John 2:9-11
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
NKJV

If a person is hating his fellow-Christian, then you as an outsider can't tell that he is a Christian, and neither can anyone else. Any pronouncements he may make to the contrary are meaningless because Jesus said all would know we are His disciples by our love for one another.



thanks that clears that up.








:lol::lol:

Have a good day, Oscar. See ya around.

later gator

9Marksfan
Dec 5th 2008, 12:16 PM
Coming in a bit late here.......


Q: A Christian is not immune to mistakes, misinterpretations and deceit.

A: I will keep looking to find scripture which speaks to this directly...

How about this?

For we all stumble in many things. Jas 3:2a NKJV

And this?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. .........If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. i Jn 1:8, 10 NKJV


Q: -A Christian can learn more about God, Christianity and Life, Knowledge of these things is not instantly bestowed on a Christian.

That seems to be common sense, but can't think of a Bible verse immediately which speaks to it.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Pet 3:18 NKJV


Q:-A Christian communicates with God, but there is no standard method for how this may this will occur.

A: No standard method, (just look at the variety of ways in which prophecies and dreams occur in the Bible) but only one way. Even Jacob, when he dreamt of the ladder, with angels travelling up and down it, was in fact dreaming of Jesus. He says at His trial, "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man"

Did you mean a Christian communicates with God or the other way round? If the first, then suely prayer, praise and worship are the three most obvious ways? if the second, then Scripture is the principal way every time - even if there are dreams, impressions, circumstances, etc, all must be tested against the Word, which is the only infallibly reliable standard.....

Finally, you seem to have an amazing respect for Christians and a wholesome desire to learn more - would it not be more accurate for your status to be "No, but I am seeking Christ"? :)

oscarkipling
Dec 6th 2008, 05:10 AM
Coming in a bit late here.......

Did you mean a Christian communicates with God or the other way round? If the first, then suely prayer, praise and worship are the three most obvious ways? if the second, then Scripture is the principal way every time - even if there are dreams, impressions, circumstances, etc, all must be tested against the Word, which is the only infallibly reliable standard.....


Better late than never :thumbsup:


I left your other 2 responses out of this reply because they both make sense to me. This last statement though, is one that I quite often find myself turning over in my head. Now, I have come to believe that much of the confusion involved in understanding certain biblical propositions is due to a lack of knowledge of or a refusal to accept well defined and scripturally obvious christian terminology and axioms. These basic questions for the most part I believe can be addressed by an informed non-believer, but there are other more ambiguous situations that arise... The most prominent in my mind is "Spiritual Understanding". I think this is what you are referring to in with your statement that the word is the only infallible source. To say that the word is infallible is to me a reasonable thing to say, but what I always find troubling is the fact there within the chain of transmission, there is still human fallibility. I am yet to find an explaination for Spiritual Understanding that can address this appearnt weak link without resorting to ambiguity. There seems to be two schools for the most part, the folks who "just know" and the folks who trust in the infallability of the word or a combination of the two in varying degrees. It seems that a some point a person must trust that they are not decieved or confused, that they are correct in their interpretation no matter the percieved source of thier adamant corectness. This would probably be a non issue if the variations on interpreted verse were not so wide amongst what I would consider Christians....or something like that, it just doesnt appear to be a very reliable method, in practice or in theory.





Finally, you seem to have an amazing respect for Christians and a wholesome desire to learn more - would it not be more accurate for your status to be "No, but I am seeking Christ"? :)


well yes, I try to be wholesomely desirous as often as I can, thanks for noticing. You have a good point , I have to think about what the change in status would mean to me on a personal level.

Walstib
Dec 14th 2008, 01:35 AM
Is there a way to accurately tell if a person is a Christian or not

Ask God after you leave your body of flesh. ;)

Speaking from a personal understanding…

-A Christian is a follower of Christ.

Well it certainly is my aim to do so.

-A Christian is not immune to mistakes, misinterpretations and deceit.

I missed the mark a couple times today I think.

-A Christian is always able (has the capacity) to distinguish right from wrong?

Do you mean immediately?

-A Christian does not have to lead a sinless life.

After being indwelt by the Holy Spirit I assume you mean. If I do I am in big trouble.

-A Christian is known by his/her fruits.

By God at least.

-A Christian will not Always act in a Christlike way

I missed the mark a couple times today I think.

-A Christian can learn more about God, Christianity and Life, Knowledge of these things is not instantly bestowed on a Christian.

I would add no one could ever know everything.

-A Christian can be wrong on doctrine and still be a Christian*

Faith does come into the big picture I think. Rom 14:5

-A Christian has a personal relationship with God, unique to every individual.

I am grateful for mine. I was just talking with Him about you.

-A Christian communicates with God, but there is no standard method for how this may this will occur.

Well I guess I could paint a picture to express my thoughts to Him, but I think because He is God he knows them already.

-Blasphemy is the only unforgivable sin.

Whatever “blasphemy against the Spirit” is it is said in the bible


Be happy to clarify any point made. An the honest attempt at humor in places.

Peace,
Joe