Christian vs "Born Again"

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Elijah John
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Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #1

Post by Elijah John »

Who is "saved"?

Assuming for the sake of argument, it's only Christians, ...which Christians?

Only "Born Again" Christians?

How about mainline Christians who seldom if ever use that phrase "born again" and don't refer to themselves that way.

Most Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Eastern Orthodox. (who, by the way when their numbers are combined, comprise the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world) seldom if ever call themselves "born again Christians".

Assuming they actually practice their faith, are they "true" Christians even if they don't identify with the term "born again"?

Are people who don't call themselves "born again", Christians too?
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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JehovahsWitness
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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #2

Post by JehovahsWitness »

[Replying to post 1 by Elijah John]

Yes I believe so. Only a minority of Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be "born again" yet I believe them to be Christians nonetheless. Indeed of the 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses only about 10,000 believe themselves to be born again, but I don't think that makes the other JWs not Christian.



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Further Reading: What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/q ... orn-again/


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Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Elijah John
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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #3

Post by Elijah John »

JehovahsWitness wrote: [Replying to post 1 by Elijah John]

Yes I believe so. Only a minority of Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be "born again" yet I believe them to be Christians nonetheless. Indeed of the 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses only about 10,000 believe themselves to be born again, but I don't think that makes the other JWs not Christian.


Further Reading: What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/q ... orn-again/
So we can add JWs to the others as Christians who do not often use that term to describe themselves.

Doesn't make JWs or the others any less "saved" and certainly doesn't make them any less Christian.

Even in the third chapter of John, does Jesus even actually describe how to become "born again"? (question addressed to all)

Or did Jesus leave it up to Paul to "fill in the blanks" of his imperative to be "born again".

Judging from Evangelical salvation tracts, it would seem so.

But wouldn't that be ironic, that even the Savior doesn't fully explain how to be "saved".
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #4

Post by myth-one.com »

Elijah John wrote: Who is "saved"?

Assuming for the sake of argument, it's only Christians, ...which Christians?

Only "Born Again" Christians?

How about mainline Christians who seldom if ever use that phrase "born again" and don't refer to themselves that way.

Most Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Eastern Orthodox. (who, by the way when their numbers are combined, comprise the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world) seldom if ever call themselves "born again Christians".

Assuming they actually practice their faith, are they "true" Christians even if they don't identify with the term "born again"?

Are people who don't call themselves "born again", Christians too?
Whosoever believes in Christ will be saved (future tense):
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Elijah John wrote:Even in the third chapter of John, does Jesus even actually describe how to become "born again"? (question addressed to all)

Or did Jesus leave it up to Paul to "fill in the blanks" of his imperative to be "born again".

Judging from Evangelical salvation tracts, it would seem so.

But wouldn't that be ironic, that even the Savior doesn't fully explain how to be "saved".
Jesus was actually quite clear on the subject.

Nicodemus did not understand how someone could be born again. Therefore, he specifically asked that question:
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (John 3:4)
Jesus gives him a straightforward answer. This is the definition of being born again:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)
Jesus states that no man can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born a second time.

Jesus is talking to living humans who have already been born once.

Their first and obvious birth is a physical process involving water. We are composed of approximately 70% water and carried in water in the womb. All humans who have been born since the creation of Adam and Eve have been born of water. Life as we know it is contingent upon water. This first birth gets us into the animal kingdom as Homo sapiens, or man.

Although man is a living breathing animal, he was created in the image of God, and is the only animal capable of being born again as a spirit.

Christians will be born again of the Spirit as spiritual bodies at, or after, Jesus' Second Coming. Those humans who believe in Jesus are presently heirs to the Kingdom of God. None have yet been born again.

Jesus then gives a characteristic of those born again of the Spirit:
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
Does that describe those claiming to be born again?

Are they spirits that can come and go invisibly as the wind?

Also note that when referring to those to be born again of the Spirit, Jesus does not refer to them as men. He says, "so is every one that is born of the Spirit." Men do not have spiritual bodies! Once born of the Spirit, you no longer need your physical body.

Being subject to physical laws, a physical body is a hindrance in the spiritual world. One cannot move as the wind with an attached physical body.

Those would be handicapped spirits.
Elijah John wrote: Who is "saved"?
No one.

All believers are presently "heirs unto salvation":
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ ... (Romans 8:16-17)
We will receive our inheritance at the Second Coming:
Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him... (Isaiah 62:11)

And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me... (Revelation 22:12)

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Post #5

Post by bluethread »

This is a phrase that has been appropriated by evangelicals and Penticostals to refer to a preferred conversion process. I think that is not correct. Yeshua was responding to Nakdimon saying, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." His point was that miracles are not the issue. Everyone in Adonai's kingdom "comes from God". He uses the phrase "born again" to address the common view that everyone born to an Israelite is part of Adonai's kingdom. Yes, the children of Israel are called to be a light to the gentiles, but that light is not just hereditary or transitory. That light is the living breathing Torah and is eternal.

Elijah John
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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #6

Post by Elijah John »

[Replying to post 4 by myth-one.com]

You answered a question I did not ask. I did not ask for a description or a definition of being "born again".

Rather I was making the point that while Jesus tells us it is necessary, he does not tell us how to become "born again".

Rather, consiously or not, he seems to leave it up to Paul to tell us how.

And that seems ironic that the Savior does not teach us specifically how to be saved.

Evidence for this claim? Evangelical "salvation" tracts rely more heavily on verses from Paul, more so than anything Jesus may have said.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

myth-one.com
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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #7

Post by myth-one.com »

Elijah John wrote:[Replying to post 4 by myth-one.com]

You answered a question I did not ask.
You asked the question "Who is "saved"?

My answer is that no one has been saved to this date, and that is what my post proved.

Every Christian (whether they claim to be "born again" or not) are presently heirs unto salvation.

None have as yet been saved.

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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #8

Post by Elijah John »

myth-one.com wrote:
Elijah John wrote:[Replying to post 4 by myth-one.com]

You answered a question I did not ask.
You asked the question "Who is "saved"?

My answer is that no one has been saved to this date, and that is what my post proved.

Every Christian (whether they claim to be "born again" or not) are presently heirs unto salvation.

None have as yet been saved.
You're right. I asked in the OP if those Christians who did not identify with the term "born again" are still saved.

But in a subsequent post, I asked if Jesus explained HOW to be "born again". I don't think he did. Not specifically when he discussed the topic of being born again, at least not in chapter 3 of the GoJ.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Post #9

Post by JJ50 »

The 'born again' doctrine is just one of the Christian dogmas, and a most unpleasant one at that.

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Re: Christian vs "Born Again"

Post #10

Post by bluethread »

Elijah John wrote: [Replying to post 4 by myth-one.com]

You answered a question I did not ask. I did not ask for a description or a definition of being "born again".

Rather I was making the point that while Jesus tells us it is necessary, he does not tell us how to become "born again".

Rather, consiously or not, he seems to leave it up to Paul to tell us how.

And that seems ironic that the Savior does not teach us specifically how to be saved.

Evidence for this claim? Evangelical "salvation" tracts rely more heavily on verses from Paul, more so than anything Jesus may have said.
Well, I contend that the "how to be born again" is implicit in the passage. The problem is that the passage is generally viewed outside of the context of the Tanakh. That context was the reason for Nakdimon's visit. Yeshua was debunking the view that revelations from Adonai are the sole purview of the prophets and priests. Yes, the priests (sitting in the seat of Moshe') were tasked with civil and criminal judgement, and the prophets were tasked wih public declarations. However, Adonai says, in His kingdom, "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know ADONAI'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more."

I also believe that this is also the problem with how Paul is viewed. Paul's midrashim are complicated explanations of difficult philosophical concepts. Putting the teachings of Paul into a tract is malpractice, IMO. There is no way one can understand a passage without looking at it as part of the entire midrash. I also contend that Paul's midrashim can not be properly understood outside of the context of the Tanakh. In short, I believe that being "born again" is not some euphoric experience, as the evangelicals depict it. It is entrance into the Covenant of Adonai via the mikvah of submission to HaTorah.

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