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  #1  
Old Jul 25, '09, 6:01 pm
Guyonthestreet Guyonthestreet is offline
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Default What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Mick asked this question of me in another thread and I thought it was such a good question it deserved a thread of it's own.

I've been trying to think about it since the question was asked, and I'm struggling to think of a value or character trait that would distinguish a christian from an ordinary joe.

From my own experiences, most of the character traits I've witnessed in ordinary non religious people, are what many would think of as christian traits or values, but the motivation behind them has nothing to do with christianity or any form of faith system.

In the army and air force I had the privilage to work with men and women who dedicated their lifes to the service of their fellow men. These men and women were faithful, loyal, honest, hard working, dedicated, and put others before themselves.

They were humble, honest, generous, and up front - they were fearless and said it as they saw it. I never knew one hypocrit amongst them.

They were obedient, supportive, teamplayers, and never held a grudge. You tend to find that people who know they could be killed at any moment know life is too short for holding grudges and not forgiving those who ''trespass againt us''.

They loved their families deeply, respected their elders and superiors, and had a very profound sense of what really matters in this life.

Ultimately, they were willing to lay down their lives.

What many didn't do was go to a church or profess to follow any particular denomination. It goes without saying I served alongside many who were christians, but apart from reading from a bible and going to some church or other I didnt notice any difference.

So what traits are missing from these awesome men and women that a christian would exhibit? To me, they tick all the boxes for Galatians 5: 22- 23.

Sure, some of us got drunk, had fights, had sex with prostitutes, and used pornography. But I'm sure any catholic priest would confirm so do a huge percentage of catholic and non catholic christians.

Are there values that only apply to christians and one would not observe in a non christian?

Are there character traits that would only apply to christians and you wouldn't observe these in a non christian?

Are these values and traits natural to a christian - or do they have to be learned/aquired/worked on?
  #2  
Old Jul 25, '09, 6:13 pm
geometer geometer is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Jesus said that his followers would be know for their love for each other, and the wonders that they would perform. They would do the things that Jesus did and greater things.

The people that you knew seemed to be just ordinary young people in a bad situation.
  #3  
Old Jul 25, '09, 6:31 pm
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Eucharisted Eucharisted is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Christians ought to be holy. Christian life is living charity.

But God isn't partial, He has mercy on all souls. He gives graces to all.
  #4  
Old Jul 25, '09, 6:49 pm
Guyonthestreet Guyonthestreet is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

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Originally Posted by geometer View Post
Jesus said that his followers would be know for their love for each other, and the wonders that they would perform. They would do the things that Jesus did and greater things.

The people that you knew seemed to be just ordinary young people in a bad situation.
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends.

All of us were prepared to - many of us did. And still do.

What ''wonders'' do christians perform today? Can you give some examples, because that would certainly be a dividing line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eucharisted View Post
Christians ought to be holy. Christian life is living charity.

But God isn't partial, He has mercy on all souls. He gives graces to all.
How does this ''holiness'' manifest itself? How would someone not a christian be able to discern this? What would be observable to the non christian?
  #5  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:05 pm
geometer geometer is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

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Originally Posted by Guyonthestreet View Post
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends.

All of us were prepared to - many of us did. And still do.

What ''wonders'' do christians perform today? Can you give some examples, because that would certainly be a dividing line.


Laying down your life for another is really not what men are trained to do in military service. They hope to see very little of that. Mostly is about being ready to kill anyone who you have been ordered to kill. And that is the great sin of war and warriors....

It is definitely not what Jesus taught, he said in defeat of his own defence. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
  #6  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:29 pm
Guyonthestreet Guyonthestreet is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

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Originally Posted by geometer View Post
Laying down your life for another is really not what men are trained to do in military service. They hope to see very little of that. Mostly is about being ready to kill anyone who you have been ordered to kill. And that is the great sin of war and warriors....

It is definitely not what Jesus taught, he said in defeat of his own defence. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
I agree the last thing most soldiers want to do is kill or be killed.

The catholic church does not agree that all war is sinful:

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

But lets not get too sidetracked - the question is asking what traits come naturally to a christian, that you might not observe in a non christian.

You seem to be suggesting that a trait of a christian is to perform great wonders, greater than Jesus himself performed.

What are these great wonders that would be inate to a christian to perform and not to a non christian?
  #7  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:41 pm
Tim Kirchoff Tim Kirchoff is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

A trait which a true Christian ought to exhibit to an equal or greater extent than anyone else is love. God is Love. Therefore, those who are closer to God are closer to real love. Theoretically, one can grow closer to God through Christinaty than any other religion, so a true Christian would be more loving.
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  #8  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:41 pm
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Lainey63 Lainey63 is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

The trait that the OP shared. The ability to see Christ in everyone.
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  #9  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:44 pm
jimmy jimmy is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyonthestreet View Post
I agree the last thing most soldiers want to do is kill or be killed.

The catholic church does not agree that all war is sinful:

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

But lets not get too sidetracked - the question is asking what traits come naturally to a christian, that you might not observe in a non christian.

You seem to be suggesting that a trait of a christian is to perform great wonders, greater than Jesus himself performed.

What are these great wonders that would be inate to a christian to perform and not to a non christian?
It is not an inherent trait of all Christians to perform miracles. The Great deed wonder that should be common to all Christians is the love of the man who follows the beatitudes in Matthew 5. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the mourners, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who huner and thirst after righteousness, blessed are the mercyful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. That is the order of salvation. Humility is the beginning of salvation and the perfect man is the man of peace (not simply in the sense of modern humanitarianism) is the final step. This man of true peace will most definitely be persecuted for righteousness' sake or for Christ's sake but he is the child of God.

The Christian must be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect. God loves the just and the unjust, therefore we should do the same.
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  #10  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:48 pm
Kalos Kalos is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Hey Guy on
very thoughtful question!
But first i want to thank you for your service. We are indebted to you man.
I think your right about non-believers showing the same traits as believers. Possibly it has to do with all being in the same place with the same purpose. You know, even in marriage, the survival rate is about the same between the church and the world. This is pretty sad, but in the church not all are true believers, and many more simply lack the knowlege of how to truly walk by faith and not by sight. Even the bible says that (in the church) "many are called, but few are chosen." This is because they fail to qualify themselves. Among the ancient Hebrews how many walked in faith and how many walked like the world?

Hope this adds a part to the puzzle
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________________________________________ ____________"Anyone who will love and cherish the Word of God, making it his daily food and his priceless treasure, is on the right path to power, authority, and Christlikeness." - Smith Wigglesworth
  #11  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:50 pm
geometer geometer is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyonthestreet View Post
What are these great wonders that would be inate to a christian to perform and not to a non christian?
I don't know.

But, in my lifetime I have found that most christians don't have a lot of fixed ideas. Like trinity for instance most say they don't undersatand it, or even think about it much. Christians in general are rather seducable, they go along with most anything.

Other cultures are more formal. If you get to know jewish people they often say that they do not believe that christians know how to live. They think of Judaism as a way of life.
  #12  
Old Jul 25, '09, 7:55 pm
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josie L josie L is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
It is not an inherent trait of all Christians to perform miracles. The Great deed wonder that should be common to all Christians is the love of the man who follows the beatitudes in Matthew 5. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are the mourners, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who huner and thirst after righteousness, blessed are the mercyful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. That is the order of salvation. Humility is the beginning of salvation and the perfect man is the man of peace (not simply in the sense of modern humanitarianism) is the final step. This man of true peace will most definitely be persecuted for righteousness' sake or for Christ's sake but he is the child of God.

The Christian must be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect. God loves the just and the unjust, therefore we should do the same.
But those (the saints) who live out their catholic/christian faith to the fullest performed miracles (whether alive or in the afterlife).
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  #13  
Old Jul 25, '09, 8:11 pm
jimmy jimmy is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Quote:
Originally Posted by josie L View Post
But those (the saints) who live out their catholic/christian faith to the fullest performed miracles (whether alive or in the afterlife).
Yes, of course there are miracles but that is an act of God that is not common to all Christians. And God will perform miracles through whom He desires. God will be seen in the love Christians have, one for another. It is our love which should distinguish us from the rest of the world.
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  #14  
Old Jul 25, '09, 8:12 pm
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josie L josie L is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyonthestreet View Post
Mick asked this question of me in another thread and I thought it was such a good question it deserved a thread of it's own.

I've been trying to think about it since the question was asked, and I'm struggling to think of a value or character trait that would distinguish a christian from an ordinary joe.

From my own experiences, most of the character traits I've witnessed in ordinary non religious people, are what many would think of as christian traits or values, but the motivation behind them has nothing to do with christianity or any form of faith system.

In the army and air force I had the privilage to work with men and women who dedicated their lifes to the service of their fellow men. These men and women were faithful, loyal, honest, hard working, dedicated, and put others before themselves.

They were humble, honest, generous, and up front - they were fearless and said it as they saw it. I never knew one hypocrit amongst them.

They were obedient, supportive, teamplayers, and never held a grudge. You tend to find that people who know they could be killed at any moment know life is too short for holding grudges and not forgiving those who ''trespass againt us''.

They loved their families deeply, respected their elders and superiors, and had a very profound sense of what really matters in this life.

Ultimately, they were willing to lay down their lives.

What many didn't do was go to a church or profess to follow any particular denomination. It goes without saying I served alongside many who were christians, but apart from reading from a bible and going to some church or other I didnt notice any difference.

So what traits are missing from these awesome men and women that a christian would exhibit? To me, they tick all the boxes for Galatians 5: 22- 23.

Sure, some of us got drunk, had fights, had sex with prostitutes, and used pornography. But I'm sure any catholic priest would confirm so do a huge percentage of catholic and non catholic christians.

Are there values that only apply to christians and one would not observe in a non christian?

Are there character traits that would only apply to christians and you wouldn't observe these in a non christian?

Are these values and traits natural to a christian - or do they have to be learned/aquired/worked on?
To love God with all your heart, mind and soul so to make your will his will. This is what makes Christians into saints, and this is how you separate the holy from the merely good. These traits are not inherent but rather are learnt and acquired through grace depending upon how open you are to God's love and how willing you are to let that love change you. This entails having to let go of pride, fear, and doubt.
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Don't say: "That person gets on my nerves." Think: "That person sanctifies me." St. Josemaria Escriva

Last edited by josie L; Jul 25, '09 at 8:22 pm.
  #15  
Old Jul 25, '09, 8:20 pm
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josie L josie L is offline
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Default Re: What values or character traits ought to come naturally to Christians

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Originally Posted by jimmy View Post
Yes, of course there are miracles but that is an act of God that is not common to all Christians. And God will perform miracles through whom He desires. God will be seen in the love Christians have, one for another. It is our love which should distinguish us from the rest of the world.


Exactly, and that is why the saints were able to perform miracles because they loved as God intended them to love which is what is expected of us too. If we all lived as saints we could perform miracles as well.
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Don't say: "That person gets on my nerves." Think: "That person sanctifies me." St. Josemaria Escriva
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