Added rule 15

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otseng
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Added rule 15

Post #1

Post by otseng »

The following has been added to the rules.

15. It is not permitted to say another person or group is not a Christian or call them a cult if the person or group identifies as Christian (this includes Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any group that claims to be Christian).
Last edited by otseng on Mon May 21, 2018 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ElCodeMonkey
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Post #2

Post by ElCodeMonkey »

That's a very interesting rule. The term "Christian" has seemingly become synonymous with "saved" rather than defining a particular set of beliefs. I could easily say I'm a "Christian" because I "follow Christ" in my own understanding despite being atheist. And it could be just as valid a reason as any other "Christian". This really couldn't be stated the other way though where we might say someone isn't an atheist even though they claim they are. Atheist is, by definition, someone who does not believe in the existence of a God or Gods. If you do believe in a god or Gods, it's perfectly valid to argue you're absolutely not atheist. The label means something specific. The label of Christian means nearly nothing anymore although the majority of people would probably argue that a Christian "must" believe x, y, and z, and probably only find agreement in around 3 particular items. Oddly enough, they're usually items that Jesus didn't even preach himself as prerequisites for salvation :-P. I think it's a good rule overall though. Instead of questioning the label, question the true nature around it. Not "what makes a Christian and are you one?" but rather "what did Jesus actually preach?" and leave the accusations and label-reversals out of it.
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Post #3

Post by Divine Insight »

ElCodeMonkey wrote: The label of Christian means nearly nothing anymore although the majority of people would probably argue that a Christian "must" believe x, y, and z, and probably only find agreement in around 3 particular items.
I agree with the concerns of ElCodeMonkey.

I have no interest in telling anyone they aren't a "Christian", however at the same time is seems reasonable to me that I should be able to tell people that I don't see the beliefs of their religious organization to be compatible with the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.

In other words, suppose someone tells me that they are a Jehovah's Witness. Under rule #15 would it still be permissible for me to tell them that I don't consider the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses to be compatible with the Biblical teachings?

That's not the same as telling them they aren't a "Christian" as ElCodeMonkey points out, the term "Christian" is fairly meaningless anymore. It often has little or nothing to do with the teachings and stories that are actually written in the Bible.

After all if "Christianity" was defined by what "Christians" believe, then it would be extremely ill-defined to be sure since there are so many disagreeing Christian sects that have conflicting ideas on what they would like for Christianity to be.
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Re: Added rule 15

Post #4

Post by benchwarmer »

[Replying to post 1 by otseng]

I agree with the overall concept in that I think it's pointless and insulting to spend time labelling or 'unlabelling' people or groups.

However, I do think we should be able to discuss the beliefs of various groups/people without running afoul of this new rule.

i.e. if I decided to create a new sect called benchwarmerists and declared we were Christians then it should be fine to discuss which doctrines benchwarmerists believe. However, I do agree that saying benchwarmerists are not true Christians is both pointless and potentially insulting.

By the way, if anyone wants to join my sect the tithes will be in dark chocolate goodies. Anyone showing up with raisins will be immediately excommunicated (but still loved with a wary caution)

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Post #5

Post by otseng »

Divine Insight wrote: I have no interest in telling anyone they aren't a "Christian", however at the same time is seems reasonable to me that I should be able to tell people that I don't see the beliefs of their religious organization to be compatible with the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.
Sure, this is acceptable.
In other words, suppose someone tells me that they are a Jehovah's Witness. Under rule #15 would it still be permissible for me to tell them that I don't consider the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses to be compatible with the Biblical teachings?
Yes, this is permissible.
benchwarmer wrote: i.e. if I decided to create a new sect called benchwarmerists and declared we were Christians then it should be fine to discuss which doctrines benchwarmerists believe. However, I do agree that saying benchwarmerists are not true Christians is both pointless and potentially insulting.
Agreed.

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Post #6

Post by bluethread »

I understand the reason for the rule. However, I think that the problem primarily comes when people start to use a philosophy as cultural identity. The term Jewish has suffered from the same problem. As long as one focuses on the philosophy and it's tenets, one need not even address the cultural groups people are associated with.

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Re: Added rule 15

Post #7

Post by Tcg »

[Replying to post 1 by otseng]

This is a great addition to the rules. All who claims to follow what they understand to be the teachings of Jesus Christ are clearly Christians.

Given that there is no objective way to determine the correct interpretation of the words claimed to be those of Jesus, there is no objective way to determine who is right or wrong concerning the many interpretations offered. The only logical solution is to consider them of equal value, as they indeed are.

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Re: Added rule 15

Post #8

Post by 2ndRateMind »

otseng wrote: The following has been added to the rules.

15. It is not permitted to say another person or group is not a Christian or call them a cult if the person or group identifies as Christian (this includes Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any group that claims to be Christian).
Tcg wrote:
... Given that there is no objective way to determine the correct interpretation of the words claimed to be those of Jesus, there is no objective way to determine who is right or wrong concerning the many interpretations offered...
My own hope is that this interweb thing will eventually bring the whole Christian communion closer together. So far, all these schisms, denominations, tendencies, sects and cults have been inclined to develop in isolation. This leads to the phenomena of 'group think', where mistakes go unrecognised, because everyone in the group is making the same mistake. A free, open, inclusive society of friends has a far more robust foundation, because each compensates for each other's mistakes. Thus, the debates we have here and on other such forums may just lead to a general convergence on 'objective truth'.

But it cannot do that if we simply dismiss some belief sets as un- or non-Christian, are blind to whatever virtue they may possess, and refuse to acknowledge their relevance to their protagonists at this or that stage on their pilgrim Christian journey through life.

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Re: Added rule 15

Post #9

Post by Checkpoint »

[Replying to post 8 by 2ndRateMind]
So far, all these schisms, denominations, tendencies, sects and cults have been inclined to develop in isolation. This leads to the phenomena of 'group think', where mistakes go unrecognised, because everyone in the group is making the same mistake.


Exactly.

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