Category Archives: Christianity

Where Were You?

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?

“Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?

“Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?

“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts
or given understanding to the mind?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?

“Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?

(Job 38 ESV)

My Rock and My Fortress

Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.

O LORD, what is man that you regard him,
or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days are like a passing shadow.

Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down!
Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
send out your arrows and rout them!
Stretch out your hand from on high;
rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to you, O God;
upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
who gives victory to kings,
who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
Rescue me and deliver me
from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

(Psalm 144 ESV)

A Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV)

To Be A Christian: Conclusion

***This is the conclusion of my To Be a Christian debate with Trevor Blake.The terms can be found here, Blake’s opening here, my opening here, Blake’s response here, my response here, and finally Blake’s conclusion here. If you enjoyed the debate, please consider donating to Samaritan Purse.***

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Final Arguments

To be a Christian is to love Christ, to repent your sins, and to obey him by loving others. That is all that is needed to be Christian.

Throughout the debate Trevor has argued that Christians must understand and explain every detail of theology or the entirety of Christianity can be ignored. Christianity does not work like that.

Christianity is Christ, everything else is details. It is true faith in Christ that saves, nothing else.

Belief is necessary, understanding is not. The only theology one has to accept to be a Christian is the Nicene Creed, a rather simple document containing rather simple statements. Other more complex theology may be helpful (or it may be hindering), but it is not necessary for a Christian to know or to understand. Christianity is neither a complex nor elite religion, it is the good news of salvation for the masses.

As for the No True Scotsman in the Sky, God defines good. God is good. To talk about good apart from God is non-nonsensical babbling.

Trevor brags how his knowledge of the scriptures is greater than mine, and it might be so, but it is irrelevant. What use is knowledge without understanding?

This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matthew 13:13-15 ESV)

What use is understanding without wisdom?

Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:20-33 ESV)

What use is wisdom without practice? He that hears the Word but does not put it into practice is no better off than he who does not hear the Word.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:22-25 ESV)

Trevor struggles with finding the median point between specificity and generality, thinking this is a fault of mine or of Christians in general. Instead, he must realize there he is looking for a median that doesn’t exist. One must see both the forest and the trees at once to build a house: seeing only the former one knows only a green sea of leaves from which no house can be built and seeing only the latter one wonders how it can possibly be enough wood to build a house.

He claims I contradict myself “from one sentence to the next“, showing only that he sees not the forest. One cannot declare a house impossible after viewing only two trees, while blinding oneself to the trees behind them.

But Trevor is correct in that if he understood the scriptures he would believe. Trevor believes “men do what they do, then use rationality to rationalize what they did,” yet he does not apply that to himself here. In pride he thinks himself wiser than men and so blinds himself.

Wisdom cries out, but he refuses to hear; he closes his eyes and in the darkness sees only foolishness. To become wise, he must first become a fool. He boasts of winning, yet the only prize worth having he does not humble himself to pursue.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31 ESV)

As for natural rights, they do not exist; there is only justice and mercy. Man is a sinner deserving naught the just damnation he so desperately pursues, his only hope is the mercy of Christ.

So, humble yourself, open your eyes and see, repent your sins, and beg Christ for His mercy for the Kingdom of Heaven draws near.

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Self-Review

I think I held up well in the debate. I can not think of any arguments that I would have liked to have made differently. Whether I won or not is up to the audience, but I have a feeling it will probably line up along religious lines, as ‘who won?’ questions in debates usually do. Personally, I will have considered it a win if even one person is drawn closer to Christ.

I did try to work on my rhetoric, while trying to avoid personal attacks or insults, I think I succeeded. There were some writing errors and dropped sentences that usually plague my work, but there were less than usual as I did because I did do more self-editing than usual.

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Thoughts on the Debate Format

I think a bit more time between each response would have been helpful, especially given that I stick to a posting schedule. I found myself barely squeaking by within the 5 days; a full week would have been better.

One more opportunity for response (so: Opening, Response, Response, Conclusion) might have allowed for a more thorough flushing out of ideas.

I think simultaneous posting would have been better, so we were each responding to one post. For my opening I was unsure if I should respond to Trevor’s opening or not and for my response I was unsure if I should just respond to his opening, or to both his opening and response. So either simultaneous posting, or defininf exactly what to respond to before hand. Another problem, was that by going second I got a significant advantage, especially in such a short debate, in by being able to reply to more of Trevor’s side, while Trevor is not even going to be able to respond to my conclusion within the confines of the debate.

‘To Be a Christian’ was a rather broad topic; a more focused topic may have allowed for a more focused debate.

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On the Comments

I thought there would be more comments on the debate then there actually were. I guess I overestimated the . One thing I did note for future debates is that the comments can potentially impact the debates, especially if the debate goes longer than ours did. I think in future debates, the debaters should discuss whether comments should be opened or closed.

Here’s a few responses to the comments:

I am not a Catholic. Even if I was, I was specifically trying to avoid a sectarian view of Christianity, and I was avoiding taking a stance on controversial theological topics. I was trying to display what Lewis referred to as Mere Christianity.

I forgot to tell Blake to to edit his misspelling as Exfernal asked.

In response to Exfernal’s question I did not address the issue of the paternal grandfather of Jesus. I will briefly do so now.

The most common belief is that the two different genealogies are due to one being Joesph’s and the other Mary’s (even though it is claimed as Joseph’s due to cultural factors) . Another belief is that one was Joseph’s direct line, while the other was the royal line. Another thing to consider is that Jewish genealogy is not always direct, generations are sometimes skipped depending on the purpose of the genealogy.

Whatever the exact reason for the discrepancy, the more important thing to note is that many early Christians were Jews and would have been knowledgeable of Jewish genealogical traditions, yet they did not reject the Gospels due to the discrepancies between the two genealogies, so the differences were something that would have made sense to and been accepted by Jews of that time.

To Be a Christian: Response

***This is part of an ongoing debate I am engaging in with Trevor Blake. The terms can be found here, Blake’s opening here, my opening here, and Blake’s response here. If you are enjoying the debate, please consider donating to Samaritin’s Purse.***

Trevor has started by outlining what Christianity is and is not. He does this by pointing out there are two heads to the two first churches, many denominations, many interpretations, and many heresies and false religions with the obvious, but unstated, implication they can’t all be right and therefore are all wrong. Of course, any truth will be interpreted differently and incorrectly. Just because men can only see the platonic shadows on the wall does not mean that the object whose shadow is being cast doesn’t exist. Assuming there is no Truth because man can not fully and perfectly comprehend the Truth is to put far too much faith in a people who can not even fully understand their own minds.

I will ignore his jab at Martin Luther as even he admits that it is invalid.

In his strongest argument he implies that because the Biblical canon was not settled until the fourth or fifth century and because the Catholics and Orthodox have a few historical and wisdom books in their canon that Protestants do not accept, the Bible can not be trusted. As one would expect there to be disagreement on canon as those who can only see the shadows may disagree. Despite this disagreement, the canon was fixed and there is a remarkable agreement among Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox as what constitutes the New Testament, ie. Jesus’ life and teachings and the early church. Those Old Testament works upon which we disagree do not alter the Christian message. Also, note that a claim of non-canonicity is not the same as a claim of untruthfulness, only a claim that the book is undeserving of inclusion in the New Testament.

But, it could be argued that despite the churches agree on the NT canon, the majority of the OT canon, and that those works not fully accepted do not change the fundamental Christian message, how can we know this canon is correct, given the many debates over what should be included? Trevor implies that because of historical disagreement the canon may be wrong. For this, we simply have to check our presuppositions. If one believes God exists and sent His message to the world, would it not be reasonable to deduct that he ensured that the correct message reached the world? If one believes in the Christian God, then believing that He would make sure His word was triumphant in His church only makes sense.

He then mentions a few ‘contradictions’ in the Bible. Some of them only need a passing mention as interpreting poetic language like ‘the four corners of the earth’ as a scientific thesis or condemning a non-mathematical text for rounding diameter and circumference to significant numbers is just silly in a way that shouldn’t even need explaining. Although, it is possible that Blake believes newspapers are lying whenever they print stories about $3-billion government programs.

Trevor stands on better legs when he condemns historical texts for inaccurate historical counts. Given that 58 is the example he states in his opening, I’ll examine that. He uses the KJV, so I’ll use that too here.

And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister: and Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five. – 1 Chronicles 3:19-20

There are obviously 8 names there, not five, but the objection misses one key thing: “:”. A colon is used to start an enumeration. After the colon there are five sons. Before the colon there are two sons followed by a daughter. There are two different lists of the sons of Zerubbabel seperated by a listing of a daughter and a colon. The list being counted as five has five. Why there are two lists, I’m not sure, although I’d guess it would have to do with Zerubbabel having sons by different wives, but there is no innumeracy here. Trevor just missed the colon.

As to the first on the list, where 3629 from Joshua 15:32, Wesley’s commentary explains succinctly:

Twenty nine — Here are thirty seven or thirty eight cities named before; how then are they only reckoned twenty nine? There were only twenty nine of them, which either, 1. properly belonged to Judah; the rest fell to Simeon’s lot; or 2. Were cities properly so called, that is, walled cities, or such as had villages under them, as it here follows; the rest being great, but unwalled towns, or such as had no villages under them.”

As for the second, where 1514, John Gill explains:

Either one of them was no city strictly called; or

Gederah and Gederothaim is put for Gederah or Gederothaim, so called, possibly, because the city was double, as there want not instances of one city divided into two parts, called the old and the new city. So the conjunction and is put for the disjunctive or, whereof examples have been given before.

I believe that is sufficient for my point, when one is listing names and the count does not match the number of names correctly, which is the more likely explanation, someone writing the history of their people can’t do basic counting and nobody reading his accounts corrected him, or either one city had two names or a named place was not a city proper?

We visited three cities: Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, Manhattan, New York, and Boston. 35

Trevor then makes the common (among atheists) mistake of judging morality by his own human moral compass. By what right does he decide slavery is immoral? How can someone who believes man is literally the accidental arrangement of carbon, water, and electricity (to grossly oversimplify) by chaotic forces impute any moral value to the actions of said sacks of carbon?

This is the center of the fallacies of his argument: he rejects absolute truth, implicitly imputes truth to his own morality, uses this morality to condemn Christianity and Christian morality, then criticizes Christianity because “It means what the believer wants it to mean”. The argument is flawed, and these flaws are easy to see when they are stripped to their essence, not (just) because his specific points are wrong, but because he has not checked his basic beliefs.

Either God is and His word is Law, or God isn’t and there is no Law.

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We can move on to Trevor’s second statement.

He mentions the Gospel of Thomas; I have already dealt with the canon above.

He calls God a liar as He supposedly says prophecies will fail, yet, when we review the verse, we see only incomplete gifts or the doctrine of cessationism.* He brings forth the charge again, in one case calling the Lord a liar when the Lord hands an evil man over to the lying spirits of false prophets and the other where a charge of deceit is brought against the Lord due to the lies of false prophets. The lesson from these verses is not ‘God lies’, but rather God will deliver you to false prophets should you refuse to heed His words. If you reject the Truth, why wouldn’t He hand you over to lies?

Here Trevor once again condemns God as monstrous by his own standards of morality. Does not God have the right to harden the heart of His own creation when His own creation rejects Him? By what right does Trevor deny God this right?

As for those unreached by the Gospel, the Bible is mostly silent and not very explicit. The Bible is clear: Man is a sinner and damns himself to the punishment he rightly deserves. None enter hell undeserved. As well, Christ is the only way to heaven, and only through His unjust mercy can man be with God.

Yet Paul does write:

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:12-16 ESV)

As well, Peter stated, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him…” and Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Even among those who may not have heard of Christ by name, if they seek Him and follow the natural law written in their heart, they will find Him.

As for babes, have they followed the natural law written into their own hearts, and is not God a God of mercy?

Trevor then rips a verse out of its immediate context to call Him a liar once again. When not sundered from the following verses it is clear Paul is not referring to a physical, temporary resurrection, but an eternal ressurection. Christ was the first to be eternally resurrected, come the judgment we shall be so as well. The resurrection of Lazarus and the others were but temporary, they still died. They were still under the curse of Adam.

Trevor then enters into Trinitarianism, where he argues that God does not exist because we can’t understand Him. I guess he would argue that man does not exist as Mr. Escherichia Coli does not understand man. If man could fully understand the the fullness of an infinite God when man does not even fully understand his own mind, we could scarcely call the being God, now could we?

He then argues that because God demanded man not change His laws, that God Incarnate is not allowed to change said laws. This is self-refuting. As for fulfilling the Law, the Law was a tool so man could know God, now man can know God directly; the Law is not destroyed, only added to.

Trevor then argues that because Christians are given the use of Christ’s power from Christ that Christ is not special because Christians using Christ’s power can do as Christ does. Strip away the rhetoric and the argument is once again self-refuting.

Trevor then argues that because 72 apostles were given extraordinary instructions, protections, and powers, that God is a liar because these protections do not apply to Trevor as well. I wonder if Trevor also refuses to wear footwear or greet people on the road?

This is why it is important to read verses in their immediate context and in the context of scripture as a whole.

In his penultimate paragraph, Trevor mentions failed prophecies which are only failed in his mind. The kingdom of God did come to the disciples in the disciples’ lifetime in the form of Christ’s resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. As for the prophecies of the end times, they only fail if you define such phrases ‘shortly’ and ‘at hand’ in a particular manner**. Peter warns against taking just such an approach:

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:1-10 ESV)

Finally, Trevor criticizes my opening statement because I did not go into the specifics of theology. The specifics aren’t needed for salvation or to be a Christian, only the basics do. Christianity is not an intellectually elite club excluding all but those gifted with the ability to understand deep theology, it is the good news of salvation for the perishing.

By discussing matters of theology Christian intellectuals can gain greater knowledge of and insight into the nature of God and His works, but the illiterate cobbler needs this not. The humble cobbler doesn’t need to understand the differences between limited and unlimited atonement or grapple with the particularities of the ransom, Christus Victor, and satisfaction theories of atonement to be saved, all the cobbler needs is to repent and throw himself on the mercy of Christ. Thank God for His mercy that we only need see the outlines of the shadows on the wall to be saved and not the perfect forms themselves, or we’d all be damned.

And if Christ does not require specific theological knowledge and views to save, who am I to demand that a Christian hold to such particular views?

So, to all my readers trust in Christ, repent your sins, and be baptized, for the kingdom of the Lord is at hand, and He will be faithful and just and cleanse of your unrighteousness.

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* Once again, I am not entering into a debate over the finer theological points of cessationism.
** Not dipping into eschatology here either.

To Be a Christian: Opening Statement

***In the interest of improving our rhetorical skills, I have agreed to debate Trevor Blake on the topic of “To Be a Christian”. Trevor has posted the terms of the debate at his site. He has also posted his opening statement. The following is my opening statement. For those of you who follow the debate, we encourage a donation to Samaritan’s Purse.***

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What does it mean to be a Christian?

There are over two billion people, coming from all races and nationalities, who call themselves Christian. These two billion have subdivided into countless denominations, organizations, and sects each having their own interpretation of what being a Christian means. In some cases, these sects even deny that other sects are deserving of the title. In an oddity of this modern age, some Christians dislike calling themselves such, preferring such terms as ‘Christ-followers’.

Despite the vast array of interpretations of Christianity, the heart of being a Christian is very simple: Christ. It is found in the word itself, Christian is literally translated as ‘belonging to or following Christ.’ To be a Christian is to belong, in heart, mind, and soul, to Christ.

For a brief period of human history, God took on the flesh of His own creation and sacrificed Himself on a cross so that man may not perish but live forever with God. To be a Christian is to accept Christ’s gift of sacrifice and to be reconciled to God.

What does it mean to be reconciled?

We must start at the beginning. Man was created in the image of God, he was imbued with a soul, to live with God in paradise, but man rebelled. He chose pride, to be wise in His own eyes, to sin. God is a God of justice; He can not abide sin, so man was cast from paradise, from God’s presence, and cursed to work the ground. Man was cut off from God.

But God had a plan for redemption. Two thousand years ago, He sent Himself, His son, Jesus Christ to earth. Christ was born of a woman and lived life as a man but did not sin. As an adult, he was innocent, yet was unjustly executed. He became a sacrifice; His blood became the payment* for man’s sins, so that man’s sins may be forgiven.

Christ died, but He did not stay dead. Three days later, He arose from the dead, conquering death itself. By Christ’s death and resurrection, man’s sins had been paid for and he was no longer a subject to death, eternal life could be had again.

By repenting of His sin, man could, by Christ’s sacrifice, once again be right with God. This is reconciliation, to be made right with God. A Christian is simply one who has been reconciled to God through Christ.

That is the basic Christian message: Christ.

To be a Christian is to put your hope in Christ’s resurrection.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:12-28 ESV)

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What is required to be a Christian?

Belief in Christ and the repentance of sins. Baptism is the outer sign of this belief and repentance.**

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What do Christians believe?

Christian beliefs are divergent on many issues, hence why there are so many differing sects and denominations, but all Christians of all denominations hold to the Nicene Creed. Any who opposes this creed would not be accepted as a Christian by most Christians.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son];*** who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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What are the commands for the Christian?

There are two primary commands for a Christian: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Love for God is shown by obedience to God:

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

This is almost circular: We love God by obeying Him and we obey him by loving Him. How we show our obedience to and love for God is by loving our neighbours.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love is the command for the Christian. All other commands are but aspects of this one central command.

Love is also the primary fruit of the Christian life.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends… So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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What is the result of not being a Christian?

Eternal death. The non-Christian chooses against God, against Christ and His gift of eternal life. He chooses sin. God will honor his choice and remove Himself from his life.

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Notes:

* I know what exactly happened on the cross and the theology of atonement and justification is complex and disputed. I shall not be entering into that here.
** I also realize the theology concerning baptism’s role in salvation is complex and disputed. Once again, I’ll not be entering into that here.
*** [and the Son] is a disputed theological point. Most Western Christians include ‘and the son’, while Eastern Orthodoc Christians do not.

Dear Dianna Anderson

You recently responded to some criticism we here in the Christian manosphere have pointed your way. There are a few points I would like to make.

First, the most important point:

In their eyes, I was a “slut,” a “whore,” and a “temple prostitute,” as well as a “liar,” and a “deceived, wicked jezebel,” all for having the gall to fool around with someone on a loveseat before I was married to them.

You are not a wicked Jezebel or a false teacher for having pre-marital sex. We all commit sins, which is why Christ died in the first place. Forgiveness can be had by all through repentance.

This leads to the actual reason you are a wicked Jezebel and a false teacher: you do not repent your sins. In fact you do not even state that you probably should repent but are struggling, instead you proudly proclaim no repentance for sin is necessary for you have not sinned, calling your sins holy. Not content even with this, you even go farther by declaring your sins a form of sacrament.

This is what makes you a false teacher. You lead the flock or rather, given that you have been writing these pieces for secular audiences, non-Christians into damnation. Not content to repent, or at least keep your sins private, you publicly flaunt them to draw others away from Christ and his message of salvation.

For the sake of your own soul, please repent your sins and declaim them as sins as publicly as you have previously lauded them.

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With the most important matter out of the way, I’ll note a few other concerns.

Your article is little more than ‘those evil, white, sexist, cishets!’ I must admit I’m kinda disappointed you missed racist, homophobic, transphobic, and classist from the litany of crimethink we have committed. That being said, something more substantial, using reason and the Bible would have been preferable.

Second, we are (mostly) not MRA’s and, in fact, we mostly reject the MRA label. Although we do share some MRA concerns and goals, particularly in the area of family law, a degenerate pro-male liberal modernity is no more desirable than a degenerate pro-female liberal modernity.

Third:

If you are assigned female at birth, you must live with this burden of motherhood and servanthood.

All Christian are called to “the burden” of servanthood. The difference is only in whom they most immediately serve on this earth. As well, not all woman are assigned the burden of motherhood, some, those called to singleness, may be workers for the Lord in other ways, just as some men are not called to fatherhood.

Fourth:

One would think that such a view of women would be checked simply by the idea that identifying as Christian means that we are part of a Body, with one God. Moreover, the Bible explicitly calls Christian brothers to respect their sisters. That seems to be hugely overruled, however, by masculinists’ so-called distress that sisters aren’t doing the same for their brothers.

Christians are to respect their brothers and sisters, yes, but respect requires correcting people on their sin. Calling out sinning Christians on their sin is the respectful and loving thing to do, and sometimes harsh words are encessary to do so, especially in an age where less harsh words have been deprived of their meaning and/or emotional impact.

Fifth:

Conservative Christians need to confront the extremes to which their movement has been taken and the things that are being said in the name of their God. Conservative Christianity and the Christian manosphere have different intentions—supporters of the former ostensibly just want to put the world back on track, while those of the latter are using their theology to fuel explicit hate for women.

Our goal is to put the world back on track as well, we have just realized that the mealy-mouthed liberalism-of-30-years-ago we now call “conservatism” is the wrong way to go about doing so.

Also, it is not about hate. Women have been hurt just as much as men by feminism and progressivism and we wish for them to have godly, happy, healthy lives rather than the unsatisfying lives of loneliness, bitterness, and pill-popping unhappiness they have now.

You yourself missed out on a loving marriage to a man you cared about while following what feminism indoctrinated into you, causing you to feel “totally abandoned and misled by this God”. We would like other young women to not have to go through that as well.