Beleifs that define a christian

If does not beleif X they are not a christian.
Virgin birth yes/no
Christ fully man and God…y/n
Christ rose from the dead y/n
Christ died and went to hell y/n

i deliberately left the Eucharist and baptism out of the list.

I would personally use the Nicene Creed as the base definition - which affirms all the examples you gave.

Is it your view that if any of the above are not held then one is not a christian.

Belief in Christ as God is what makes a person a Christian.

I’d have to agree with the Nicene Creed. After all, the whole point of the Council of Nicaea was to determine what minimum beliefs one had to hold in order to proclaim themselves a Christian.

Absolutely. I would say the last three are most important, but even the Virgin birth has an implied belief in God’s omnipotence, and the previous revelation of God. Denying it therefore denies God’s ability to do whatever he wants, and denies the truth of his previous revelation (and if the previous revelation is untrue, what of the present revelation?).

I believe the basic definition of a christian would be someone who believes in God and Jesus as the Messiah after that the practices vary from one extreme to the other with everything in between, if I am not mistaken I believe there are over 33000 different denominations in the US alone that are classified as christian, not sure about Canada though.

Excellent choice. Amazing how many no longer hold to that ancient creed - rejecting “creedal faith”, but always having a “statement of beliefs” (i.e. a creed) handy, which conveniently allows for their private interpretation of scripture. :frowning:

As a baseline, I would agree with this, though more indepth I’d want to add the Athanasian Creed.

Absolutely. I would say the last three are most important, but even the Virgin birth has an implied belief in God’s omnipotence, and the previous revelation of God. Denying it therefore denies God’s ability to do whatever he wants, and denies the truth of his previous revelation (and if the previous revelation is untrue, what of the present revelation?).

Agreed! More than implied, the Virgin birth speaks directly to the Incarnation. Without this, the second point - Christ fully man and fully God - becomes suspect, and open to dispute.

Jon

All of the above. I would add the Saints for without them we wouldn’t have the time-line.

All of the above. Though I am liberal in some of my theology, I am not liberal at all on the most basic things, the stuff in the Nicene Creed.

Everything in the Apostle’s creed.

dr,

66000 if you follow that logic to include Canada…:slight_smile:

The Apostle’s Creed, The Athanasian Creed, and the Nicene Creed are good indicators of what make a Christian.

That “somehow” in Jesus of Nazareth God was made known most fully…and by living his teachings and seeking to follow him.

I think Christ was was explicit on the essentials to be christian.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

The other things mentioned in this thread are more about defining which denomination one belongs to.

hahaha…66000 eh.

So… belief in Christ’s divinity, his death, his resurrection, and its implication for our salvation play no role in being a Christian? The Biblical passage you cited is indeed important, but it only references behavior on Earth. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, the point is moot, since we would not be able to achieve salvation anyway.

It appears that the story of the last judgement has the King/Judge more concerned with “I was hungry…thirsty…alone…in prison” more than He was concerned with whether one embrace a particular dogma or doctrine.

While doctrines are important as one continues on the Journey to give one’s faith substance and structure…God isn’t nearly as concerned about them as we seem to be…He seems to be more concerned with our “behavior on Earth” and how we treat others…the two greatest commandments which all the “law and prophets hang” upon don’t deal with doctrine in any specific capacity…doctrine is used by us “on Earth” to separate from one another and make judgements on “who is in the club” and who is not…we “enjoy” our “walls” and “fences” that keep one another “out”…God seems more concerned about restoration and reconcilliation than building more walls of exclusion.

Father Richard John Neuhaus did a masterful job in a First Things article about the question of the LDS (Mormons). He said something like “the question of what defines a christian is a very different matter than what defines christian doctrine. Christians aren’t saved by correct doctrine, we are saved by GRACE.”

This is relevant here. Posters are attempting to use doctrine to judge the christianity of PERSONS. Don’t do it. Instead, refine the subject to “what are the minimum doctrines that constitute christianity?”

Fr. Neuhaus’s conclusion on the subject matter is that the LDS is a non-christian institution to which an awful lot of sincere christians place their allegiance. The same can likely be said for some other christian-spinoff religions.

So if the question is asked in those terms, I’m going with the apostle’s creed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.