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CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 How does one become a Christian?

Can someone help me with something? I need at least five seperate responses from this question:

[b]How does one become a Christian?[/b]

Sounds easy...well here are the prerequisites for responding:
1. You must be an ordained minister (or at least a house church leader) and not a layperson, who doesn't have either:
- responsability over a flock
- an itinerant ministry (regular open air experience is okay)
- lecturing experience at a Bible College/Seminary/.. or such.
2. Your response must be short and to the point (think of it as a pay by the letter telegram)
3. Be coherrant to an Atheist

This is for use in a response to an Atheist that I am dialoguing with, who disagreed with what I put forward as Christianity, because I kept insisting on refering to the Bible. You will need to give you name and credentials, and these will be handed over with the data.

Now here is what the guy actually wanted me to ask you:

Quote:

1. I believe that God exists.
2. I believe that the one true God has expressed his will in the Holy Bible.
3. My feelings can be promptings by the Holy Spirit to give me guidance in a particular situation.
4. I look at modern day events through the light of biblical prophecy.
5. When troubles strike and things are going badly, I believe that Satan may be trying to attack me, God may be testing me, and/or that God is ultimately in control and that my struggles have meaning, even if God chooses not to reveal them to me.

If you mostly agree with the above five statements, please respond with "Mostly agree" to the person who sent you this. If you mostly disagree, please respond with "Mostly disagree"

Thank you for your time.



I had ojected to his asserting that one becomes a Christian by agreeing with this statement, and gave him an alternative. He in turn asked me to send the above quote to five pastors that I know, and come back with their response, thinking that that would settle the issue and define Christianity.

Anyway, I look forward to your response.


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2006/11/7 5:53Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: How does one become a Christian?

Hi Aaron,

I highly doubt I meet the qualifications, which you might point out is part of his problem (seeking an answer with a bunch of qualifying statements).

Randomly, I would mention that he is the strangest 'atheist' I have come across...
For what it's worth...

Name: "Mud"
Credentials: "Sinner"
"How" to become a Christian? Or what "[i]is[/i]" Christianity? (It's actually two questions he is asking).

Probably not the response he may be anticipating...

"I don't know"

Data:

Joh 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."


If he needs a better answer than that could only state that he read the context of it, placing himself into it.

The only rightful Person to define his qualifying statements is the One who uttered them in the first place.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2006/11/7 9:18Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

crsschk wrote:
Probably not the response he may be anticipating...

"I don't know"

Data:

Joh 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."


If he needs a better answer than that could only state that he read the context of it, placing himself into it.

The only rightful Person to define his qualifying statements is the One who uttered them in the first place.



Nice Mike, nice:-)

PS - Strange atheist = ex-Christian.


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2006/11/7 10:56Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: How does one become a Christian?

Well, I certainly don't meet the qualification either but, I would like to make a comment concerning the list of questions. I think most ministers would agree with the list but, as it relates to the question posed, we are not Christians because we believe those things, we believe those things because we are Christians.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2006/11/7 11:05Profile
DesiJr
Member



Joined: 2006/1/6
Posts: 113


 Re: How does one become a Christian?

One thing is missing from your list....

That this person has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and follows Him as the Boss of his life and the way of Salvation for his life.

Those five points that you have listed never once mention Jesus being the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father but through Him.

By the way..I'm curious to what your alternative response was...in how you disagree with why that list does not define one as being a Christian?

This is fundamental to even calling yourself a Christian and I am really surprised that no one has mentionied it.

In my simple way of thinking I believe that one becomes a Christian when the Gospel message is confirmed as truth with your spirit and you see your sin the way God sees your sin and you repent and surrender your life to the Jesus.

The moment you pick up your cross (or die to yourself) and follow after Him.

In dying to yourself I believe that your spirit repents of sin and you recognize how you are indeed lost without God the Father, which leads you to surrender to Christ.

God Bless,
Desi

Desi Jr.

 2006/11/7 14:50Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
How does one become a Christian?



I am wondering: Why has this atheist made this highly detailed request? Is he really open and seeking, or rather hoping to reinforce his own position with “useful criteria” from religious experts. Okay, I admit that my apprehensions arise from past experiences with atheists – who had a remarkable way of taking the precious pearls and then using them to reinforce their stance. Personally I would be reluctant to let this atheist steer the “ship”. Atheists, like any skeptic, will drive it where THEY want it to go. They will try to divert the focus AWAY from their own rebellious heart (the REAL root sin).

Jesus was careful not to let the sceptics control him. He never obliged them. He took the reigns out of their hands, and then drove a pointed arrow right to the root of their hearts.

If this atheist doesn’t even believe in God than why would he want to know how to become a Christian? (which in his mind is merely a religious adherent depending on his fantasy as his crutch)

Aaron, Instead of YOU looking for 5 pastors to give answers, why not suggest that HE surf the net for Bible Colleges and Churches and find out himself.

Really, your word aught to be enough. But more than that, your own life and your love for God will speak loudest. Hopefully, he will come to desire the God of your faith .....some day, if not now.


“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 6

PS: Something worth considering in your dialogues together: Jesus came to give us a Way of Life, not just a list of things to believe.


_________________
Diane

 2006/11/7 21:09Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

roadsign wrote:
Quote:
How does one become a Christian?



I am wondering: Why has this atheist made this highly detailed request? Is he really open and seeking, or rather hoping to reinforce his own position with “useful criteria” from religious experts.


I'll admit that the latter is his purpose. The reason for my catering to his request, is to demonstrate fairplay (*Edit* He actually expressed the fact that it impressed him that I had actually posted this here, when I told him.*Edit*). I have spent two days suffering put down and being repeatatively called "delusional" on a board that claims to be an place where people can discuss the existance of God.

The thread that I entered into was in a section that claimed to be a place where Christians could share there view points, and I responded, and the thread was titled, "Defining God". The purpose of the thread was to "Define what God is, because without knowing what He is, it is impossible to discuss His existance." I entered into the discussion because it became apparent that the initial post was made by an Atheist who was trying to "bait a Christian into his web".

I considered the possibilty that this was the providence of God, and proceeded to "define" God, by speaking on "Sin, righteousness, and judgement" (which is the only message that the Holy Spirit has for "the world", until it comes to repentance). My inital response was to disagee with this person's claim that agreement to the 5 points he presented (listed in my intial post) as being the means in which a person "became" a Christian.

Every post I made, I made a challenge to consider the implications of my statements being true, to which each reply, from 4 or five different people, totally ignored, and came back with why my asertions were flawed, and my illustrations were pathetic.

Although I hope that some will repent and turn to God from my post, I'm content to know that at least there is one voice that has faithfully presented the fact that true Christianity is about Repentance, Justificaion, Sanctification and Adoption, and not "Say a magic prayer and God will make your life better". You of all people Dianne should know about baring the shame of the Cross, and offering oneself as a viccarious representation of Christ on the Cross. Art Katz teaches on this extensively. And consider that He has led me into this as my family life is in apparent shambles, and there is nothing that I can do for it, but pray.

My voice may be the only voice that they hear the true gospel from, and after being invited to view the forum by a random email, I would not want to risk ignoring God's providence in this matter.

However thanks for your concern:-).


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2006/11/8 6:18Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

roadsign wrote:
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 6

PS: Something worth considering in your dialogues together: Jesus came to give us a Way of Life, not just a list of things to believe.



Funny you mention this verse. I actually posted this radnomly in the middle of a dialgoue, and asked the question, "What is it to have a pure heart?" No one has dared to answer.


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2006/11/8 6:20Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
My voice may be the only voice that they hear the true gospel from, and after being invited to view the forum by a random email, I would not want to risk ignoring God's providence in this matter.


My, Aaron, you really are jumping into the fire! Praise God for the opportunity. Actually it may be a divine providence for you too – God’s way of building your own defence, and really thinking about what YOU believe.

Of course, while those like you (and I) may rejoice in being persecuted, our opponents may be gloating over their triumph over yet another loser Christian, while mocking our “pitiful” attempts at defending an imaginary God.

Personally, as much as I can help it, I would not wish to give them the pleasure of fuelling their jets at my expense. I would prefer to leave them silenced and somewhat humbled, with some degree of awe over the teachings of Christ.

During my youth I used to defend God through rational/theological means. It took me years to realize that it doesn’t work because it never pricks the conscience. I now drive towards the conscience. Actually, more recently I have employed a different tactic: I agree with them about Christianity.

Jesus taught, ‘Agree with your adversary”.

Doing so deflates his combative drive. One can’t argue with someone who won’t. When you disengage a dispute, you also cause him to face himself, rather than focus on you.

You will almost always discover that the reason people reject the God of Christianity is because of Christians. Yes, Christianity (as a world religion, and as commonly practised) is a horrible religion. Christians have killed in the name of God, they have been money hungry, power hungry, hypocritical, exploited… . They have committed every evil imaginable.

And on that point, (the evils of Christianity) we have a common playing field. You have to help the skeptic to see the difference between Christianity and Jesus’ teachings. It’s not hard to get them to actually defend Jesus’ own words. I have told atheists: It seems like you agree with God – that exploitation is wrong… bla bla bla…

Frankly people in the world know a lot more about the common practise of Christianity, than about Christ's teachings, or about the lives of REAL Christians.

Here are some audio [url=http://www.rzim.org/radio/archives.php?p=LMPT&o=40&i=10]Sermons by Ravi Zacharias[/url] that may be an excellent aid for you. You find more by clicking back or forwards.

By the way, I did read in your other thread about your ongoing family challenges, and have been praying for you. Our family has had its falling-apart time too. I remember 15 years ago, being horribly afflicted with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, along with numerous other stressors, telling my atheist doctor: “Now you’re going to think that I’m a loser”. His response surprised me. He said, “Quite the contrary. I admire your way of dealing with it all”. He also said on another occasion: “You must hang on to your faith. Your faith is going to help you get through.” And yet during those days I was too ashamed to call myself a Christian. I was that low.

So, when the rubber hits the road, there is no defence for our Lord more powerful than the evidence that it works when the chips are down.


Diane


_________________
Diane

 2006/11/8 8:38Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2734
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
During my youth I used to defend God through rational/theological means. It took me years to realize that it doesn’t work because it never pricks the conscience. I now drive towards the conscience.



This driving towards the conscience is exactly what Jesus did. A great example of this was what Jesus did in dealing with the Pharisees in Luke 6. They reasoned that Jesus disciples were breaking the law by plucking grain, rubbing it in their hands, and eating on the sabbath. The Pharisees thought they had a head problem with Jesus. But Jesus knew it was really a heart problem, He appealed to their conscience. To paraphrase, He said, "you guys don't have a problem with David eating the showbread when he was hungry, why do you have a problem with me?" The unsaid answer is, "because David isn't around today to show you your sin, but I am." The appeal was their inconsistency and to conscience, and it is very effective.

Jesus did the same thing just a few verses later when the Pharisees were hoping to "accuse" Him healing on the sabbath. Jesus knew what was up and before healing the man with the withered hand he said, "I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?" Luke does not record that there was any response to Jesus' question because their consciences wouldn't allow them to speak in response to such a question.

Like Diane, I am convinced that this appealing to conscience is the way to take.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2006/11/8 9:03Profile





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