Zoo Station

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Having spiritual beliefs do not make you intolerant

Posted by Chance on July 26, 2006

I was visiting another blog and people were discussing the definition of being a “Christian.” The person who blogged at the site stated that a Christian was someone who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That sounds accurate, and the person was simply giving a definition to their best guess. Someone else jumped on that person, calling them “judgmental” and “self-righteous” and speaking for God for assuming who Christians were.

Now, first of all, the definition provided above is not unreasonable, since the term “Christian” can mean “little Christ”, and implies anyone who follows Christ. Most of the definition is in the term itself. Now, to go from “follower of Christ” to one who “has a personal relationship with Christ”, while most Christians would agree these are the same, to a non-Christian these dots may not connect so easily, but the idea is not that far-fetched, nor self-righteous, in my view.

Secondly, for any religious belief, there has to be some way to define who belongs to that religion or not, such as Buddhists believe in the teachings of Buddha, Muslims follow the teachings of the Koran, etc… There is bound to be debate about who exactly belongs to a certain group, and there is some disagreement among Christians about who exactly is a Christian, for instance, must one be baptized, do good works, or simply have a personal relationship with Jesus as stated by the previously mentioned blogger (which is a view I share)? However, one must understand that people will disagree on this key point, but that does not make them judgmental or self-righteous.

To be honest, I do not know what the other blogger’s problem was with the definition given of Christianity, whether it was too narrow, or simply because they had a definition at all. If the definition was too narrow, well, that’s part of a religious belief. You believe what you believe is the truth; who is to say what is too broad or too narrow? Someone does not have to believe in universal or widespread salvation in order to be tolerant. Concerning the existence of a definition in the first place, that would be highly impractical. I would never be able to become a Christian, because no one would know, or would tell me, what a Christian actually is.

Advertisements

7 Responses to “Having spiritual beliefs do not make you intolerant”

  1. The Prophet said

    Good Post… as always. I’m glad I woke up this morning to read your blog! Lol!

    My definition of a Christian is one who accepts and believes that Christ is the Son of God, Who died and atoned for their sins and desires to live under this atonement… meaning that they desire to have their sins covered by Christ. I make this distinction, because I’ve met people who believe in Christ, but choose not to be forgiven by Him.

    In my own very personal opinion, I think it’s potentially dangerous to define a Christian in terms of relative words like “Relationship”, especially when some people aren’t very good at developing and establishing relationships with others. I can have a relationship with a co worker, a relationship with my wife, a relationship with my brother, a relationship with my best friend… these are all at different levels. So which level must Christ be at for us to be Christians?

    If God really is God, then shouldn’t He be at the top for us to rule ourselves as Christians according to relationship? Holy Cow! How many people do you know who unfortunately closer to other people than God?

    You can mark my name down, because I spend so much more time with my wife and daughter than I do time with God. Under those prerequisites, according to the measurement of relationships, my wife and daughter are “God”. Just an opinion to think about.

  2. The Prophet said

    I thought that posting under the name earl hickey has a blog?!? would be funny, but later realized that without the picture on the post it’s not as funny! I’ll have to shorten it.

  3. Chance said

    LOL, about the comment name.

    Good point about the term “relationship”, because it is, in fact, a relative word. Christians may actually know what someone means when they say that, but many Christians, and most non-Christians, would have no clue what that means.

    So, relationship is not a good word when describing salvation, but I think it is a good word in defining someone’s spiritual walk. You often here someone say “Christianity is not about religion, it is about a relationship.” And I think that is true. We don’t begin at “relationship”, it’s kinda something we grow into. Would you agree?

  4. Chance said

    LOL, about the comment name.

    Good point about the term “relationship”, because it is, in fact, a relative word. Christians may actually know what someone means when they say that, but many Christians, and most non-Christians, would have no clue what that means.

    So, relationship is not a good word when describing salvation, but I think it is a good word in defining someone’s spiritual walk. You often here someone say “Christianity is not about religion, it is about a relationship.” And I think that is true. We don’t begin at “relationship”, it’s kinda something we grow into. Would you agree?

  5. The Prophet said

    I’d say that Christianity’s about Christ… all aspects of Him. Wow. What a huge comparison. I mean almost overwhelming.

    You’re definitely right, though. The relationship grows over time. Unfortunately, as I’ve observed in my own life, it’s easy to let religion replace relationships. Head knowledge replaces heart knowledge. It may be in my head, but sometimes it’s hard to put it in my heart.

  6. The Prophet said

    That last post kind of sounded like I was being a smart ass… my apologies. I hate it when people give simple 1up answers, but what I was trying to say is that Christianity, while being about relationship, is about so much more.

    The problem in some churches today is that Christianity has become all about Christianity and very little about Christ.

  7. Chance said

    lol, not at all, I get what you mean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: