How should I know when I meet a Christian?

These days it seems that the vast majority of people I run into that claim to be Christians simply are not..

What are they anyway?

Simply a person who attempts to live a good life?  Really, this is a pathetic definition of the most apologetic variety, in such a case every religion and even the irreligious (of which I count myself as one) contain Christians.  I think for now this type definition can be dismissed as so watery it has lost all import.  There is also the logical back-step (modus tollens) that those who are not Christians are not trying to live a good life.  This section make up most of the people that want to argue with an Anti-Theist, for the life of me I can not understand this as they ought know they are simply to pathetic to argue with.  I liken this to the spiritual person who wishes to argue for the existence some sort of intangible ethereal energy of some kind, it is impossible to argue against something so lacking, so why bother.

Maybe someone whom dogmatically believes in God, the Christ and the life ever-after? This is I think the weakest definition one ought to accept as being worthy of discussion.

Or is it the person that believes that the bible is the unalterable and unfalsifiable word of God, that gives total acceptance of a vast conglomerate of creeds set out with the greatest exactitude imaginable, and as such lives their life in every tiny detail according to it? What we are talking about here are Crusaders, or let us face it the Christian equivalent to the Muslim Jihadists we see on the news these days.

iDikko

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38 thoughts on “How should I know when I meet a Christian?

  1. I actually don’t understand why people need to announce they are Christian. Why is that something that needs to be said? When we lived in Georgia, there was a fish shop on the way to Macon, it was called The Christian Fish Shop. I always wondered if the fish they sold were super special fish or only Christians could come in and buy the fish, or you could buy one and feed a dinner party of twenty. That has always puzzled me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m not sure there is a good answer, but my idea of a good Christian is someone who only brings up the subject, when you ask why they are the person they are. Poor answer, I know. But that’s all I’ve got.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The simplest answer begs the question; those who try to lead a Christ-like life. Even if they don’t know the words of Jesus or even know the religion. All practice or belief that leads people to be kind and good and generous is equal in this respect.

    Love is the law.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The issue there is that the implication that in order to be Christian one must live a Christ-like life, automatically means that members of other religions are not good people..

      Being ‘Christ-like’ is weird anyway, another idea I shall flesh out in the next week or two, but for now I will assume we agree that to do that one must do good and be of the best moral character..

      Which boils the subject to ‘is Christian, therefore Christ-like living, therefore good person’.

      So reversing the argument we get ‘is not Christian, therefore not Christ-like living, therefore not good person’.

      This idea that non-Christians are not moral or good people is illegitimate and I’ll have non of it whatever..

      iDikko

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You don’t read as well as you write. I never said anything about people being right or wrong in their beliefs and practices. It’s about innate human goodness, in which I DO believe, more than any thing else. In order to believe in that, though you first have to believe in yourself, and that is a life’s work.

        I have been a student of comparative religions for decades. I don’t believe in organized religion, only in the human spirit, the beauty of being alive, and the recognition that, with all it’s flaws and heartache, this world is still a beautiful thing to be alive in. Light and laughter and love!

        I ask that you try to set aside your own biases so that you can look without anger tinting the view. There is a time and a pace for anger; save it for when it is truly needed.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I don’t think not being a Christian means there is no good/Love in a person. I think nearly every person has plenty of love to give. Deciding to give it to everyone, even the ones who are not being lovable is the path. And plenty of non Christians do this, too. I think there is room for everyone in heaven, which some Christians would like to tell me means there is no place for me. I do not believe them when they say this. Why would a loving deity create a universe with the idea most of the people who ever live in it are to be doomed by him? It’s short sighted.

        We don’t have to agree with others in order to love them. I’ll admit there are times it sure would help!, but it isn’t really necessary.

        It’s like this: Someone might have a jacket with the name of their school on it. The jacket keeps them warm. They might have learned great stuff in that school. But lots of others have jackets. Lots of others have knowledge, whether it came from a school or not. Because your jacket is different than mine makes it no less warm or comfortable. Because your beliefs are different than mine makes them no less beneficial. We do not all have to walk the same path and sing the same song to recognize we are all the same and appreciate others for their paths and songs.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Anyone can be a good or moral person and not be a Christian. Christianity is a belief that is lived out. Its not words but a life lived for God. Many say they are Christians but aren’t. Its seems to be something they tack on to their description of themselves. Christianity is not religion which is man made. Its a life of faith and love that few live out. Too many are trying to fit into the world and not be different.

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  4. Having Buddha nature, being Christ-like, practicing what you preach, following the golden rule;
    Is all the same kind of thing, I think, with variations on the theme. Christ was a rabble-rouser and a trouble maker. I like that about the man. Believing in miracles is besides the points he was said to have made. As are the things the Buddha was said to have done. The workings of goodness are central to the practice of any religion/spiritual practice and in the life of any person with the desire to be a good, ethical, loving, giving part of the world.

    It’s the journey between the cradle and the grave that is important, not the beginning and the ending.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sure his folks didn’t think he was good when he got caught up in discussions with the beards in the temple and failed to come home as expected. Of course, later in life as a young man, there was the glorious routing of the moneychangers in the temple. Angry, angry Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your assumption that as a christian I am automatically dismissing others and their faith is false. To me each person has a right to a belief, even atheism, and that belief is just as valid as mine. Why, because I can’t prove mine, and neither can you. To assume that to be one negates all others is wrong. Just as you can believe in science and god and the same time. I also don’t think that it is my place to tell someone they aren’t christian or whatever they chose because their faith is not identical to all the others. We are all unique and see the world differently. Religion is our attempt to explain the unexplainable, so we all have different versions. If there is a god, I doubt he cares what we call him or how we referred to ourselves. I would say all religions strive for goodness, yet there is no one definition to that either. We all are born into unique situations, sometimes those situations lead to actions we term bad, sometimes they don’t, sometimes we have the power to change our situation. So to me, goodness is doing the best you can with what your given.

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    1. I am an Erisian Taoist; I believe in Happy Chaos/Happy Order which is represented by The Hodge/The Podge.

      Yes, I think one needs to have laughter in one’s attempts to put together life-ways that lead to greater good.

      I also call myself a christian pagan. No capital C; no organized affiliation. just take heed of the words in red while taking into consideration all the translations that have occurred over the centuries.

      Pagan meaning of the common people. The Tao is a path. The way of the tao is learning how to move through life with balance and consideration.

      Rabid atheism is just as offensive to me as rabid theism. Taoism is not religion; I am not a Buddhist. Taoism is a philosophy and a way meant to help one choose how to live.

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  7. Ah, but you are forgetting one of the most prevalent types of Christians in today’s society, at least here in the good old USA. The “Political Christians”. Those people, especially the far right wingers, who do everything they can to act exactly opposite to the actual teachings in the Bible, persecuting people based on their regions, gender identity, sexual preference, age, race, nation of origin, etc, and when they are called on the hypocrisy of claiming to be Christian, they scream bloody murder that “they” are the ones being persecuted by everyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the post. I enjoy your stuff.
    Here’s my take on it. Thanks for reading my thoughts on your post.
    Two types of “Christians”

    1. Warning: incoming person who doesn’t get what being a Christian is all about. “Hey there, y’all; I’m a Christian!!!”

    2. “Are you a Christian?”
    “Sure. Why do you ask?”
    “I don’t know for sure… You just seem like you have a lot more hope than most people I know. Tell me about your hope.”

    Since I am a Christian, honestly, I would rather have someone bring up the second conversation with me rather than me bring up the first one. Number 2 conversation seems so much more in line with the spirit of 1 Peter 3:15. It’s supposed to be done with gentleness and respect.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I’ve asked myself the same question – but only when others profess it themselves. It should be simple …’I believe there is a Saviour named Jesus’ who died and was risen etc. In fact because of the sheer number of religions (with different practices ) whose members identify themselves as Christians it this is the only commonality. Christianity therefore can be seen as a subculture with a microcosm of clans or groups that create and follow traditions that stem from the greater idea.Therefore one’s declaration might not quite match the other.Its not unlike other titles we bestow on ourselves to allow to feel we are
    a part of a larger group (Feminists…??). For those who use it to separate themselves or their lifestyles from others let them have at it. I have no such need.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Here’s my beef with Christ.

    I’m okay with everything described about him in the Bible. I mean, no more or less okay than I am with all the rest of the stuff in the Bible, really. Dad was God, Mum was a virgin (except she was married and isn’t that, you know… dodgy?), did miracles, liked lepers and whores blah blah.

    Up on a cross for three days. Died. Was taken down. Came back to life…

    And then what?

    That was it for Jesus? “Thanks, man, you’ve done your bit, now off you go?”

    What happened to the rest of his life? Did he decide that he’d had a raw deal for the first half and went off to quietly live away from all the caffuffle? Clearly he didn’t hook up with any of the apostles once the fuss had died down. Or maybe they didn’t want to hook up with him again? Did he carry on doing magic and stuff, but everyone was bored of it by then? Did he marry? Have kids? When did he die for the final time? What happened to him?

    And what does it say about the Bible that no-one bothered to write this down? And what does it say about Christians that they never, ever seem to ask this question. He came back from the dead! Woohoo! Enough about that guy – we’re all saved!

    This central religious figure, who people will kill and die in the name of, who (apparently) saved us from all our sins (yet we still go to Hell?), and the book that claims he’s the son of God can’t even be arsed to include a brief biography of what happened next?

    “Live like Christ”? Broken origin story, enormous suffering, flighty friends and then anonymity? If you want to, sure. I’m kinda happier doing my own thing, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. By the time Jesus came, it did not mean a lot to be a descendant of Abraham and an “Israelite.” I think “empty shell” is a good description of religion (all religions have a form of idolatry in-built, be it statues or jihad or a “place” they worship). Religion is a man-made artifice that tried and tries to capture something that can’t be captured or legislated (so I don’t argue about whether gay marriage should be or not be. Should extramarital sex be legislated, too?). The Bible, when read with a curious heart and mind, becomes a gate we can see through when the Holy Spirit is inside us, otherwise it’s empty words, and bars–and when people see bars they run. Little do they know that this kind of stereotyping (seeing the bars instead of through the bars) is exactly what makes them dead. The word “Christian” NOW means what “Israelite” or “Jew” meant when Jesus came. And Pew researchers and other “intellectual sources” in America lump evangelists and true born-agains together: again, this is false measurement. You will know them by their fruits: peace, love, patience, salt (the ability to speak the truth regardless of the persecution that follows) and the ability to do God’s will (even heal diseases) whether it is legislated or not: that is the meaning of following Christ. Anyone, no matter their “religion,” who doesn’t admire Jesus Christ and what he did and accomplished (which the Holy Spirit shows us when we receive it) is someone who is jaded beyond hope. I choose hope!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Here is my 2 cents. (Probably worth less than this, but it’s what ‘they’ call it)

    Nobody can be perfectly who they wish to be. We all disappoint ourselves, and often. We fall short of our noble intentions all the time. Christian or not, I think we do this. If you hold any of us to a standard of personal perfection, you will see nobody will pass muster.

    My belief is that Christ taught us compassion and love for others as. We are called upon to love others as we love ourselves. We fail. Yes, we fail constantly, every day. Hopefully we also succeed. When, last night, I helped a client out to load her car and we were done she asked if she could hug me because I was so nice. I admitted I had wanted so much to hug her but had not wanted to even ask and push myself on her in such a way. Or a couple of weeks ago at the dentist when I offered to give an elderly couple of patients who were there with an out of town daughter not knowing how to get back for the follow up appointments necessary for the father – his wife asked me which church I go to and followed up with “Because you sure are doing what the church is teaching.” All I did was offer a ride to some people who had no way to get to the doctor when their daughter was back home states away. Shouldn’t any human being be willing to do such a simple thing for another?

    It was the nicest compliment I have ever received. Not because nobody has ever been more charming with me, but because someone could feel the love I try daily to put out into the world in any way I can find.

    For the record, I do not attend church. My family is full of church-goers. Lots of them go to one with a pastor who is my relative. And I think what he teaches is vile, and not at all loving. I will only attend at the special request of my grandmother to honor her. Otherwise, I frankly refuse to show my support to a place teaching hatred. It makes me sad there are children in my family learning from these individuals. I am constantly reminding my own (older) children what I think is and is not ‘from God’ when so many Christians say things like “God told me that guy is wrong because…” I remind them Christ never would have stood beside us and pointed out the faults of others.

    We were told the greatest of our commandments is to Love God with all our being and love others. Loving others includes being in service to them, because isn’t that a lot of what love is?

    Boiled down to the simplest form I think it is for us to express gratitude and love as much as we are able.

    Nobody probably needs to go around announcing to others “I am expressing gratitude and love and doing the very best I can!” because it should be wholly unnecessary. People don’t need to be told you are doing it when you are doing it – because they know – they feel it.

    Sorry I went so on and on in your comments. Somehow it felt right. If it wasn’t, feel free to cut it short or cut it out altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You wrote it very well. Where most miss the mark is by thinking Christianity is a religion. It is not a religion but a relationship. I love Jesus with all my heart. Why? Because He taught me how to love. I love others NOT because I’m a good person, but because He first loved me and showed me what love is. Do I miss the mark? You betcha…all the time. It is because of my failures that I can’t talk people into Christianity. However, it is through my victories that I can show them Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I think the problem in the world (i may be wrong as this is my personal opinion though based on observation) is that Christian are seen as a certain set of supposedly perfect people. There is a huge difference between being perfect and trying to do what you know by belief is right.
    The term Christian has been taken on by many people who do not strive to make a worthwhile effort to do what is right and that is where all this thought about Christians being hypocrites comes from. Its not ideal, but believe it or not our lifestyle is the biggest ministry to non-believers. Some people know this but don’t care; at the expense of others who do try to make an effort to live Christ like lives.
    If someone doesn’t believe in the Bible then it will be hard to explain how they should identify a Christian, because the criteria of is listed in the Bible. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23. In going about this, we need to remember that everyone is not perfect and most people are still trying to fight against the carnal flesh.
    When you meet someone who is fully influenced by the Holy Spirit, i guarantee that you will know. I don’t know how to explain it but i have encountered it.
    The most important thing i must mention is that, If you look to the works on man to bring you closer to understanding God then you are up for a verrrryyyyy long wait. You have to find him for yourself.

    P.S. Christianity is believing that there is a God and that Jesus (God the Son) came and took our place on the cross so that we may be saved through Him and go to live with him on his second return, if we accept Him. (basically)

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I think it was Mahatma Ghandi who once said, “there was only one christian and died on the cross”..most christian evangelists want everyone to turn into doves, when the preacher sounds like a dove but lives like a pig!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. To be a true Christian requires self-sacrifice: laying down your life, your needs and your desires for others, including—but not limited to—people who hate you. It requires unconditional love. It isn’t simply belief. Belief is not enough. There are lots of people who believe and—as you have so rightly pointed out—are huge hypocrites. If a Christian considers him or herself better than others, they have missed the mark.

    I am confident, just in reading your posts, that you and I don’t see eye-to-eye, but I am thankful for your perspective as it is a reminder to me that how one lives their life is far more powerful than what one says. I’d rather people identify me as a Christian not by my words, but by my unconditional love, service and sacrifice.

    I am far from perfect. In fact, I am hugely flawed. What separates me from everyone else is not some self-endowed value, it is my commitment to God every single day, every single moment to discipline myself, to serve Him with everything I am and everything I have. Again, it doesn’t make me better than anyone else.

    Thank you for your insight in this post.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Reblogged this on ufuomaee and commented:
    I’d like to offer up an answer to this question posed by an ‘irreligious’ person, whose blog I recently found. You may read the original post below.

    Hi, dear friend, you seemed to have brushed the surface, but I wish you’d gone deeper. I think you’re quite confused, which is very understandable.

    How would you know if you met a Christian?

    I really do believe it depends on your attitude and if in fact you’re looking for one. When Jesus walked the Earth, many did not know who He was. It was what He said and did that was so authoritative, challenging, inspiring and even shocking.

    People think that if they meet a Christian, they would be left with a warm, happy and nice feeling. The truth is, depending on your relationship with God, you’ll probably feel the way many of those who met Jesus felt – that the person speaks with authority and wisdom, you might be challenged or convicted, you may feel inspired or simply shocked by their perspective.

    In simplicity, a Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes the Testimony of the Bible concerning God and Jesus, who lives according to the teachings of Jesus, and obeys His instructions to make disciples of the world. A Christian is not perfect. Nor a do-gooder. But because they believe they have been saved to do good works, good works will follow anyone who professes to be a Christian.

    Whatever you do, don’t judge Christianity by the multitude of professing Christians. Measure a Christian by Christianity (how much they resemble the humble but wise Christ!)

    For more on this issue, check out my posts Liberal Christians and Who’s On The Lord’s Side. God bless you and lead you to meet real Christians whose testimony will challenge as well as inspire you!

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