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If you cherry-pick from Christ's teachings, are you still a Christian?

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DetlefK Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:22 PM
Original message
If you cherry-pick from Christ's teachings, are you still a Christian?
My question is, what defines a Christian?
Does it mean, living according to his teachings?
Or is it enough to create an idol, call it "Jesus Christ(TM)", and declare your intentions to be divine teachings?

If somebody says, he is a Christian, you should ask him: "What makes you think so?"
Does he forgive his enemies?
Does he love his neighbor?
Does he care for the poor and needy?

Or does he declare the hatred for homosexuals and other religions and the oppression of women to be the core teachings of the whole bible?

Is it enough, to call your idol "Christ" to count as a Christian? Or does it take more?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. Who is a true Scotsman? n/t
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. This guy.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think that was the issue between The Church and Protestantism.
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. There are about thirty
Christian churches in the small town where I live. I imagine they all cherry pick and think they are the true Christian church.
This is why religion is a ridiculous foundation for any government.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
22. How about strange women lying in ponds distributing swords?
King Arthur: I am your king.
Peasant Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you.
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Peasant Woman: Well, how'd you become king, then?

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis the Peasant: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. Theoretically, you could be an Atheist Christian
Since being a Christian literally means to try and emulate Jesus Christ
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atreides1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. Central to the Christian faith is love or Agape.
Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. "Christian" derives from the Greek word Christ, a translation of the Hebrew term Messiah.

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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Doesn't "agape" refer to a kind of masculine, brotherly love...
...that can also refer to the male homosexuality that was common in the classical world?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. That's Phileo, root of the name for Philidelphia
Agape is unconditional love

Which is kind of a face, especially since God is said to love man with agape love, yet he's quite content to send a lot of us to hell. Some love!
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The Wielding Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. It is amazing that the only ones who angered Jesus were the money changers, yet
these modern day Christians idolize those who profit without conscience.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I too am amazed at the disconnect between "Christians" and Christ.
The more activist Christians want to post the punitive Ten Commandments everywhere, but never even mention the gentle Sermon On the Mount. As you point out, they ignore the "money changers" lesson and adopt political positions that heavily favor rich people and giant corporations.

On one level, I guess a person is a Christian if they say they are, because who else is in a position to judge that? But when "Christians" are seen to routinely violate the teachings and example of their supposed Lord and Saviour, I do find myself wondering on what basis they assign themselves that label.

A question: Is this strictly a contemporary American phenomenon, or has a link between Christianity and far-right-wing politics also emerged in other places and times?
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You make an excellent point.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yup. All of them cherry-pick.
First, JC's teachings and what are written in the canonical gospels cannot be the same thing. There are parts of the gospels that are simply known to history to be later fabrications.

Confining our consideration to what the canonical gospels say, they are contradictory and contradict ordinary practicality. It is simply not possible to live by them without starving to death.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. The Chaser's War on Everything: Do you Believe the Bible is True?
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 02:34 PM by Ian David
The Chaser's War on Everything: Do you Believe the Bible is True?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95hH1H5qK08


CNNNN: Holy Homosexuals
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ziECzNKhM&feature=rela...


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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nothing's perfect when man has a hand in it.
A good church will constantly preach the ENTIRE Gospel, not just a few religious buzz words mixed into a self-help seminar. It's not a political party, nor a multi-level marketing scheme. There are good churches and good Christians out there. More than you'd ever care to believe.

It's easy for outsiders to stand around an cast blame. Just like the mob that was going to stone that poor woman before Jesus stepped in on her behalf. It was all fun and games until they had to consider themselves in the equation. Go ahead and stand outside the Church and judge those who struggle to walk in their Christian life. We will all be judged according to the judgement we pass on others.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. Jesus was an apocalyptic Jew. If you want to be more like Jesus, become an orthodox Jew, because
he wasn't a Christian.
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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Where did he say...
that one must convert to Judaism? I can't seem to find that one anywhere.
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mysuzuki2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Matthew 5?
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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Try again.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. Excuse me? He was a rabbi. He thought the Sadducees and Pharisees got the OLD Testament
wrong. Only he knew how to properly interpret the OLD Testament. Get it? There was no New Testament. He said he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. You should know that. He was very much a Bible-thumping (OLD Testament only) kinda guy. A Jewish Rabbi with strong belief in Apocalyptic prophecies a la Daniel. Read your Bible.
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. And, he celebrated Hannukah. So there. nt
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. He didn't.
But that sermon on the mount that everybody likes to cite starts off with saying that the righteous were blessed.

He didn't define righteous apart from the OT law. He spoke; his audience understood him. Very few modern listeners pay attention to this because it's so damned inconvenient: They cite Jesus quoting to love one another, and many say that this is the greatest commandment. In fact, that commandment was just *like* the greatest commandment, which was love to God; embeeded in love for God is seeking justice and righteousness. That justice is important--where justice is also not independently defined from the OT--is woven throughout both OT and NT; but many now say how important mercy, but have no need for mercy (except to save people from other people's wrong-doing).

The early OT tradition is that the sacrificial law was fulfilled in Christ and that circumcision was an Israel-only sort of thing. Many of the early Xians were crystal clear on the idea of righteousness in general. In fact, the canonical gospels seem to say that mere physical obedience to the OT law was insufficient: it's one thing to screw your neighbor's wife, that was banned in the OT; it's another thing to think about it or want to do it, that was banned in the NT. Jesus even said that the "weightier matters of the law" were important, but don't forget to tithe your rue (an herb grown in small quantities).

Others weren't clear on the point. The canon goes with the Jewish early Xians, to a large extent; a lot of other groups called themselves Xian, and differed sharply. Now there's a tendency to assume that anybody that says, "I'm Christian" is part of the same tradition, just as they say there's just one Islam. Yet Xians vehemently fought with others they called heretics but which called themselves Xian, just as there are Muslims who think the 9/11 folk were absolutely correct in their Islam while others say otherwise. (It's a fallacy: They shift the definition as needed to keep the same word, even if it means gutting the word's meaning.)

However there are a lot of things--like Hannakah--that aren't clearly part of the Law but which are part of Jewish tradition. It's rather like wanting to be a law-abiding, loyal American citizen: Do you have to like apple pie and hot dogs, or can you continue to make chapati to go with your korma?
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. How about this?
"I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Context is King.
Let's look at the whole story.

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
" 21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.

24 He answered, I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.

25 The woman came and knelt before him. Lord, help me! she said.

26 He replied, It is not right to take the childrens bread and toss it to the dogs.

27 Yes it is, Lord, she said. Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters table.

28 Then Jesus said to her, Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted. And her daughter was healed at that moment. "

So, there you have it. Selectively quoting only a narrow passage is a good way to get context out of whack.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Funny argument.
Jesus refused her twice, and the second time he compared Gentiles to dogs. It was only because this outlander was willing to accept her place as a dog in the grand scheme of things that she, and she alone among her people, received healing for her daughter.

Jesus was not speaking in parable. Jesus was not speaking metaphorically. He flatly stated that he came to earth to save the wayward people of Israel, and no one else (and he healed the Canaanite woman only after she entertained him). So what possible context can be used to change his statement? I don't see it here.
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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. He spent time with Gentiles.
Here's an exchange with a Samaritan woman. She was one of the first people he told who he was. It was quite evident he planned on including everyone in his new Church, the New Jerusalem if you will, from the earliest chapters of the Gospels.

John 4
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacobs well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink? 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

11 Sir, the woman said, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?

13 Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

15 The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water so that I wont get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.

16 He told her, Go, call your husband and come back.

17 I have no husband, she replied.

Jesus said to her, You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.

19 Sir, the woman said, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.

21 Woman, Jesus replied, believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

25 The woman said, I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.

26 Then Jesus declared, I, the one speaking to youI am he.
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. This passage does nothing to refute the problem cited above.
At best, what you've come up with a contradiction. You have yet to deal with the fact that Jesus clearly stated he came only to save the people of Israel.

Of course, we also have yet to deal with the fact that there's no proof any of these writing are more than fiction, nor is there proof Jesus really existed, but then this OP is about scripture...
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dimbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. The best evidence isn't what He supposedly said, it's that He
never during His whole career went out of that little forsaken corner of the world. His Sales Manager Paul was a serious traveler precisely because he was interested in the rest of the world.

It was quickly proven in the market that the customers for Christianity were the pagans. Rule one of sales: don't insult your customers.

Those little odd offish statements in the gospels just somehow escaped the editors in rewrite. Don't pay any attention to them.

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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. +1
:)
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. What a wonderful story.
Substitute "black" for "Canaanite" and tell me how wonderful that story is. Jesus was a racist in this story and no amount of singing, dancing, and flame juggling is going to take that away. He has pity on a "dog" and offers her the crumbs from the table of her masters. Nice. What a gem that guy is.
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
19. It depends who you ask. nt
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
25. I think anyone who sincerely considers themselves to be a Christian is a Christian. nt
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
30. I do it, and I'm an atheist.
So...no?
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
34. ALL Christians cherry-pick "Christ's teachings."
Without exception.
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Ninjaneer Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
35. No.
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 10:23 AM by Ninjaneer
Cherry picking is what results in "moderate Christians". IMHO though, there's no such thing as "moderate" Christians or Muslims, only bad ones. "Moderate" just means that they've decided to discard some of the crazier aspects of their religion due to societal pressures/realizing its BS. When you start thinking for yourself like this, you've already given up majors parts of what makes religion "religion". Thats a slippery slope with atheism on the bottom.
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