Christian?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Reformed

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    How many of you reject being labeled, with the only label you are willing to accept is that of 'Christian'?

    Suppose I want to know what you believe regarding the end times (eschatology); specifically in regards to the return of Christ. Remember now, the only label you are willing to wear is 'Christian'. The conversation may go something like this:

    Me: What do you believe about the end times?
    Christian: What do you mean?

    Me: What do you believe about the return of the Lord? Will Christ return?
    Christian: Oh, yes. I believe Christ will return. But before He returns the rapture will take place.
    Me: The rapture?
    Christian: Yes. Christ will call all Christians to Himself and remove them from the earth just before the beginning of the seven year Tribulation.
    Me: Tribulation?
    Christian: There will be a seven year period when the Antichrist will persecute those people who get saved during that time. Then God will pour out His wrath on the Antichrist, his followers, and those who took his mark.
    Me: What will happen at the end of the seven years?
    Christian: Christ will return with those who were raptured and all those who previously died in Christ. He will set His foot on the Mount of Olives. His enemies will be defeated and He will set up a literal 1000 year reign in Jerusalem.

    Me: Is that the end of the story?
    Christian: Oh, no. At the end of Christ's 1000 year reign there will be a brief rebellion against His rule. This rebellion will be crushed and then the White Throne judgement will take place. Those who died in their sins will be thrown into the lake of fire. Those whose names have been written down in the Lamb's Book of Life will be in His presence for eternity. That is the end of the story.

    Since 'Christian' does not want to be labeled, how would we describe him when it comes to his views of the end times? Well, we cannot call him a Dispensationalist because that is a label. We could say that 'Christian' believes in the pretribulational rapture of the church, a literal seven year tribulation, Christ's visible second coming, a 1000 year reign of Christ, a period of brief rebellion, Christ's final victory, and judgment of the quick and the dead. Imagine having to go into that level of detail every time you discuss your view of the end times, all because you reject being called a Dispensationalist. The same could be said of those who do not want to be called a Covenant Theologian, Arminian, Calvinist, et. al.
     
  2. DHK

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    They didn't call themselves Christians either.
    Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    It was an appellation given to them by their enemies, no doubt out of derision. They called each other "brethren." Formerly they were of that "Way."

    Christians have been called many things throughout the centuries, most of them unwanted names.
     
  3. Iconoclast

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    Another helpful post. Those who argue most against labels for the most part are not confident at all in their beliefs. In fact they are afraid if someone actually questions them they cannot respond biblically...so they hide by complaining about the label so as to cover their defective ideas.:wavey:

    Some very smugly reply....I am a Christian......well so does a Mormon.
     
  4. OldRegular

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    There was a "Know Nothing" political party in the 1800's. This Mr. Christian could be labeled "Know Nothing"! :laugh:
     
  5. DHK

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    Your last statement is telling, so telling that it tells me you should know better.
    For some years I have been a missionary in some third world nations that know little of our culture. After asking me if I am a Christian, many just assume that I am a Catholic, or some ask me if I am Catholic or Protestant, and that is the only difference they know. To them Christianity encompasses any and everyone they meet under the umbrella of Christendom no matter if one is Mormon, J.W., SDA, Catholic, etc. Yes, labels are important. I am a Baptist. But they don't know what that is. They need to be taught--taught that it is a person who bases their faith on the Bible and the Bible alone. After establishing that fact, then salvation can be presented. ("I am a Christian," is a somewhat meaningless statement).
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    DHK

    Thanks for your concern DHK...but in fact I do know better:wavey:

    using labels is not a problem...as soon as you use a label...the next question is could you describe that to me....which allows for gospel interaction.
     
  7. JamesL

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    Can you help me out, honestly?

    Your first sentence makes it seem like you're getting ready to lower the boom in Icon, maybe like on the verge of an infraction, or no more apple pie for him (inside joke for icon)

    Then the rest of your post ends up (at least somewhat) supporting what he wrote-------> ???

    I'm at a loss. Where do you stand in relation to what Icon wrote?

    I, for one, agree 100% with what he wrote.
     
  8. JamesL

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    I think I got it, DHK. More like:
    You should know better than to believe that.

    Rather than:
    You should know better than to accuse the faith of others
     
  9. DHK

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    The statement was made:
    In the OP, "Mr. Christian" didn't want to be referred to as this and that.
    But "Mr. Christian" shouldn't be referred to as "Mr. Christian" because he may as well be the devil in disguise. "Christian" is a meaningless word.
    In fact all the names in the OP are, in one way or another pejoratives.

    You are a Calvinist; a dispie, an Arminian, etc. They are names given by the enemy. After all isn't a Calvinist really just an "Augustinian"? They are all pejoratives in one way or another. So was the name "Christian," originally, and so was Baptist, originally.
    But we do need to define ourselves. We simply have to ask ourselves which is the best way to do that?
    Is "I am a Christian, but..." the best way?
     
  10. Don

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    The opposite is also true. Some hide behind their labels.
     
  11. Reformed

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    Very true. But I am not focusing on the abuses of labels, but simply their effective role at providing definition.

    I am a Christian. But what does that mean? It depends on who you ask. Icon made a good observation. Mormons consider themselves Christians. So, I choose to expand on the term. I am Reformed Baptist (Christian). To evangelical Christians that label (Reformed Baptist) provides insight into what I may believe about certain doctrines and practices.

    Labels should never be misinterpreted as defining the entirety of what a person believes. That would be taking labels to an unhealthy extreme.
     
  12. JamesL

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    I rarely refer to myself as a Christian, whether with or without qualifications. The reason is because of what you wrote, with which I agree - it can mean anything to anybody.

    Just as Bart Ehrman writes in all his agnostic teachings. There were "many christianities" in the early days, just as there are many christianities today.

    So what do I call myself? A believer in Christ.

    Believers understand that it means so much more than "Christian"

    And as I just did in my previous statement, when I know I'm in the company of fellow believers in Christ, I usually contract it to "believer"
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    Probably one of the most ignorant and obnoxious posts ever made on the BB.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    If one wants to know what I believe on anything at all, all one has to do is ask me. I can giver very detailed descriptions and defenses of what I believe without lables that glorify men.
     
  15. Rippon

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    [I corrected your spelling]

    Why are you under the impression that labels "glorify" people? Is the term Baptist self-glorifing?
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    Why is it liberals can never make legitimate comparisons.


    Calvinism, Pelagianism, Arminianism, etc.
     
  17. Salty

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    Please explain / give examples

    You may label me as a DQMTYNT
    (Don't Quote More Than You Need To)
    At least 2 people quoted the entire OP - totally unnecessary-

    I do agree with the OP (and I don't need to quote any of it) Labels are important.

    Example - I drive down Church St in Anytown, USA. I see the following churches:
    1) Anytown Freewill Baptist Church
    2) King James Bible Baptist Church
    3) Open and Affirming Community Church
    4) Southside Unity Church
    5) First Southern Baptist Church

    Based on the "labels" of the above churches, I have a very good ideal of which church I will visit when I am in town.

    Don't you just hate those pesky labels?
     
  18. JamesL

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    Salty (I won't quote you, I promise) - lol

    I think there should be a difference between a body of believers and an individual believer.

    I don't think an individual believer needs to wear a bright orange t-shirt with bold black lettering. I identify myself as simply as I can.

    If someone presses me for an exact designation, it's usually along the lines of what kind of church I attend. I almost always say (jokingly) that I attend Stay Home Baptist. Then I laugh.

    I don't mind getting into the nuts and bolts, and identifiers will come out. But I don't introduce myself with all these "nickel words" attached.

    My dad used to say "Every big word a lawyer learned costs $50.00 worth of schooling, but I wouldn't give you a nickel for 'em."


    A church, OTOH, probably should be identified pretty readily. I've got a pretty easy identifier for churches to stay away from - any church that includes any of the following in their name: God, Christ, Jesus, or any of the various forms of those names

    It's a label, an identifier of false doctrine. If you don't believe me, just look:

    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
    Church of Christ
    Church of God in Christ
    Church of God - Holiness
    Church of God - Prophecy
    Disciples of Christ
    Jehovah's Witnesses
    Assemblies of God

    and there are plenty of others.


    A label on a church building really is helpful in many cases
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Just the mere mention of the word "Christian" sets the atheists to go ballistic .....so I'm fine with that:smilewinkgrin:

    You want to have a deep theological discussion, yea that's fine too. But where I live this isn't the Bible belt. Ive got more Jews and Catholics and Indians and Mussies and Athiests and gang hangers then you can shake a stick at. :laugh:
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    well at least you didn't have any trouble putting two labels on the post lol Isee that as progress!
     

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