What defines a Christian?

Long story short, my friend doesn’t think Catholics are Christian on grounds of us not reading the Bible. I argued that Christians are actually anyone who A) believes in the divinity of Jesus and B) believes in the trinity. On the same topic, I know Mormons are Christian because (among other things) they believe God and Jesus are two gods, that they each have their own physical body, and that people can become gods. But what about Jehovah’s Witnesses? What do they believe that makes them non-Christian?

Did you correct your friend on Catholics reading the Bible?

Your friend is seriously misguided believing we don’t or aren’t supposed to read Scripture. The Church requires that we read Scripture. Show your friend the daily Mass readings:

usccb.org/bible/readings/100812.cfm

… Or the section on Sacred Scripture in the Catechism (starting about CCC 101)

133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. **Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.**112

Or introduce him to the book “Where we got the Bible. Our debt to the Catholic Church.” by Henry Graham.

But the bigger question is… do you read your Bible ? Your friend won’t have much of an argument if you can say “That’s ridiculous! I read my Bible every day!” :smiley:

No, but I doubt he would have accepted “Some Catholics do” as a counter-argument. Oh, and his other main argument was that Catholics don’t know how to answer the question “Do you know Jesus personally?” and therefore aren’t Christian.

I would say the Nicean creed is what defines a Christian. At least that was it’s primary purpose.

As for what JW teachings excludes them? Like LDS they are non-trinitarians. They believe that the Father is the only true god and that Christ is a created being. As such only the Father is deserving of worship and praise. If I remember correctly they believe that Jesus and the Archangel Micheal are the same being. In rejecting Christ’s divinity they remove themselves from the traditional definition of christianity. Like most sects born out of the restoration movement they reject almost everything from even the earliest councils.

Well, first of all, it is important to note that what your friend is saying are claims, NOT arguments. An argument has some sort of supporting reasoning behind it, or at least a logical connection between premise and conclusion. Your friend has not provided this. Hence, it is a claim without evidence, not an argument. You should ask your friend for evidence of or a supporting argument for his claims. Also be prepared for counter evidence.

He says that Catholics don’t read the bible. Ask him for evidence of this notion. Then, provide evidence that Catholics do read the bible. I would also follow it up by asking him to explain his reasoning - what, exactly, is it about the state of not reading the bible makes one a non-Christian? Are the illiterate non-Christians because they can’t read the bible? What about blind people or little children? They can’t read the bible. And what about a prisoner in, say, China, sent to prison for practicing his faith too openly and while in prison, not being allowed a bible. If he is caught reading one, he is tortured, so he doesn’t. Is he a non-Christian for choosing not to read the bible?

His reasoning is a logical disconnect. You go from step A to B then to C, etc. Your friend has gone from step A straight to step X without even thinking about how to connect A to X or even if there is a connection at all.

Likewise with the claim that Catholics don’t know how to answer the question of do we know Jesus personally. Ask him for evidence of this. Show him evidence to the contrary. You should know how to answer the question - a most emphatic ‘yes!’ Then ask him to explain his reasoning, just like above.

a Christian is anyone who obeys the Word of God in the holy bible. The most important commandments according to Jesus Christ are - 1. love God. 2. love your fellow man

Christian means one that follows Christ and takes to heart all the teaching.

Mormons are not christian. In all charity, they just are not.

A Trinitarian baptism done with the same intent as the Church’s intention makes a person a Christian. They may be a heretic (defective, false believes) but still a Christian.

However, Mormans do not fit this criteria. They are not Christians by the Church’s definition, which is the only definition we can trust as being true.

Depending on your age and where you grew up, it is possible that a person could know a Catholic who did not use the Bible in the way a non-Catholic did years ago. My Mother, from the upper Mid-west, is 86 and recently joined a Bible study group at her parish, she said that as she grew up Catholic she did not read the Bible the way other churches did and thought she should read it all the way through at least once. I, on the other hand, have read the Bible through and been in study groups more than once. I expect people younger than I have even more exposure, of course I am also including our daily readings in this. Our faith is Christian as we share the common definition of Christian as a faith that follows the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, but we are also more than that. I think that how we are viewed in the non-Catholic world is very disturbing sometimes and very hard to understand where it comes from. To be saved in some non-catholic churches all you have to do is be in public somewhere and say “Jesus is The Lord of my life”. I have a personal relationship with Jesus but I don’t feel the need to talk about it with others or be judged because I don’t want to be defensive about me relationship with Jesus. Personal relationship is as the name implies, personal. Sometimes when I am around friends who start in about the Church I just tell them that I love them and I don’t want to argue, could we just change the subject and let what we don’t agree on remain that, we agree to disagree.

Mormons - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

  1. believe the father God resurected his dead wife and through her populated this planet earth.
    *Quote from the Holy Bible: Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. *
  2. believe through their works they, men, May become God Like and be a God of their own planet/world.
    Quote from the Holy Bible: Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  3. believe the leader of the church is a prophet.
    Quote from the Holy Bible: Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Read the facts according to the LDS Church about the Doctrine and Covenants online lds.org/topics/doctrine-and-covenants?lang=eng

Mormonism is Cult! Yes the everyday follower of the church is honestly in belief that the church worships the Lord.

However as you progress through the church, follow the rules and regulations tithe 10% of you yearly income and receive a letter of recomendation from the leader of your ward/branch you may not enter into the sacred temple where secret rituals are performed and where you receive your sacred undergarments of which are never to be removed.

How do I know of these things? Lets start with my own great-grandfather being one of the last legal polygamist…

In one way Christians are all people who believe in Jesus.

On the other hand a practising Christian is one how strives to live and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We each have our free will in life to choose which path to take.For those of us who believe in Christ having His church established here on earth via Peter…we are part of the Catholic church. Many branches of Christ’s church have broken away but are still part of the body of Christ. All are still our brothers and sisters.

How we choose to live our lives as Christians is important for we are the example of Christ in the world by our very actions.

If we live with love to our neighbour and caring for the poor, vulnerable, elderly,sick, disabled etc and show love by striving to not hold grudges and forgive others we are trying to live as Jesus taught us.

It is a very difficult thing to live as a practising Christian. Yes it is imprtant to read the bible frequently and most of all pray.

Just some of my views on being a Christian.

I’m would guess Satan has even read the bible

James 2:19
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
19*Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.

One becomes a Christian via (repentance), Faith in Jesus Christ and Christian Baptism.

That one lives as a Christian and identifies as Christian. One can 'identify" as a bread box, but unless one actually IS a breadbox, claiming to be one doesn’t make one a breadbox.:slight_smile: Being a Christian means one IS a Christian in action and life, “belief” is of little importance if one does not live the life of a Christian.

This question was of such importance that in the fourth century, the Council of Nicaea was held in part to answer this very question. One of the results was the Nicene Creed, a statement of the very minimum things one must believe in order to call oneself a Christian. Many Christian denominations still use it, and even among those that do not believe in the use of creeds, most of them wouldn’t actually find anything they disagree with in it.

Did you make that up for humor or do Mormons really have sacred underwear?

If so, I can’t help but wonder; boxers or briefs?

Purchased online from Moroni’s Secret…

Yes, Mormons have preistly garments. They are kind of like a one piece union suit with short sleeves and legs. I learn all about them the evening of my first day at ROTC summer camp at Fort Lewis, Washington in June of 1972.

So, I guess your friend does not consider the Apostles Christians because they didn’t read the Bible (because there wasn’t one to read). And what about the so called Christians before about 400AD. What did they read? And what about all the Christians (then and now) who couldn’t or cannot read? “Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ” Romans 10 : 17. Don’t see anything about reading there.

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