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Discussion Forum : General Topics : What is a "real" Christian?

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Joined: 2005/8/8
Posts: 256

 What is a "real" Christian?

I stumbled across this question on a secular forum while looking for something else. I have no idea what the motive was behind the question but in hoping it was a sincere seeking of truth I would like to give an answer that would at least provide a glimpse of what a "real Christian" is and hopefully whet the appetite to probe deeper. So much has a Christian label on it these days, it can be confusing for believers nonetheless nonbelievers.

While I have several thoughts about what it is to me I am at a loss at trying to convey it. Would any of you who are gifted communicators like to address the question? Contact me privately and I'll give you the web address where you can reply. Or if a moderator wants to chime in and ok it I will post it here. For those who respond I think it would be nice to also cc your reply in this tread.

 2009/3/13 19:13Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: What is a "real" Christian?

A real Christian is an odd number, anyway.
He feels supreme love for the One whom he
has never seen; talks familiarly every day
with a friend he cannot see; expects to go
to heaven on the virtues of another; empties
himself so that he may be filled; admits he
is wrong so he can be declared right; bows
down in order to rise up; is strongest when
he is weakest; richest when he is poorest;
and happiest even when he feels the worst.
He dies so that he may live; forsakes all
in order to have; gives away so that he can
keep; sees the Invisible; hears the inaudible;
and knows the One who surpasses understanding.

from A.W. TOZER

Martin G. Smith

 2009/3/13 19:46Profile

Joined: 2005/8/8
Posts: 256


:-) Funny you should post Tozer as I had the thought when I was thinking about it that I bet Tozer could put this in a nutshell.

 2009/3/13 20:11Profile

 Re: What is a "real" Christian?

the wife of this slain pastor:

March 13, 2009
Slain Pastor's Wife: 'I Refuse to Let Satan Win'
Filed at 8:30 p.m. ET

MARYVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- The widow of a pastor killed in mid-sermon urged mourners to reject hate and to take comfort in their faith at his funeral Friday, in the church where he was gunned down five days earlier.

''On Sunday, my husband didn't die. He simply got a promotion,'' Cindy Winters said. She raised a hand to the sky as the ''Movin' on Up'' theme from ''The Jeffersons'' blared from the loudspeakers and the standing-room-only crowd rose to its feet at First Baptist Church in this St. Louis suburb.

Fred Winters was eulogized as a coupon-clipping brainiac who never forgot a name and a devoted family man whose love for basketball was outmatched by his passion for the Bible. The 45-year-old had a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a doctorate, but his wife joked, ''I could never teach him how to fold laundry.''

Winters' closed casket was just feet from where his life ended Sunday, when authorities say Terry Sedlacek, 27, entered the church with a .45-caliber Glock handgun and enough bullets to kill 30 people. Investigators say his eyes were fixed on the preacher as he walked down an aisle toward the altar.

The first shot clipped the Bible Winters was clutching, sending pieces of it spraying like confetti in what some of the 150 onlookers thought at first was a skit. After Sedlacek's gun jammed, police say, he pulled out a knife and wrestled with two congregants who subdued him. All three were wounded.

None of Friday's speakers mentioned Sedlacek by name, instead casting the slaying as the work of Satan and the forces of evil. The theme: Channel the grief into greater spirituality.

''Our vision and our purpose still remains the same,'' Cindy Winters told mourners, some of whom watched a video feed from a nearby gymnasium because the church was packed.

''You know what? I refuse to let Satan win,'' she continued. ''I'm not going to hate. And I'm not going to survive this thing -- I'm going to be a better person because of this thing.''

Winters said her two young daughters told her, ''I want everyone to come to know Jesus through this. I hope the man who did this learns to love Jesus.''

She also quoted the children as saying that Sunday was not ''death day'' for their father, a reference to the phrase the alleged gunman wrote in his day planner. ''It was celebration day, the best day of his life'' because he reached heaven, they said.

Sedlacek was being held without bond in Madison County jail on charges of murder and armed criminal action after being transferred from St. Louis to Illinois on Friday afternoon. He had been hospitalized in St. Louis for treatment of self-inflicted stab wounds, then spent Thursday night in the St. Louis city jail.

''The reasons may not be fully understood until we get to glory and are reunited,'' said Tim Cowin, a pastor at St. Louis' Rock Hill Baptist Church. ''I believe in all my heart that Pastor Fred died as a hero and as a martyr'' -- a hero for perhaps drawing the gunman's fire away from Sunday's crowd, martyr because he died in spiritual service.

Referring to what authorities said was Sedlacek's calm walk down the aisle before opening fire, the Rev. Bob Dickerson, a former minister at the church, told mourners: ''I can't help but think the first thought Fred had just those moments before this terrible deed was ... here's somebody that can't wait to receive Jesus Christ and that's why he stepped out to greet him in those few moments.''

 2009/3/13 20:56

 Re: What is a "real" Christian?

Two examples of "Real Christians." My mothers best friend back in Scotland. Her grown son was gunned down in the street, five bullets from a drug dealer left him bleeding and dying in the street. She publicly forgave her son's killer, even although there was not enough evidence to convict him and he still walks the streets. Another is a man from Ireland. He and his daughter were caught in an IRA bomb and were buried under rubble. Before they could be dug out, the man's daughter died, holding her daddy's hand. Just a few days later he publicly forgave his daughters killers and announced he had no hatred for them.

A real Christian is someone who has had an encounter with the living God and it changes everything, starting with your heart. This is no natural event, this is supernatural. The ability to walk out the sermon on the mount is a supernatural act. I myself, at the age of 26, was addicted to many things, including drink, drugs, and women. I had an epiphany, I came to the cross, and suddenly I knew Jesus and it changed everything. The destructive things that I was addicted too were gone. It took me three days to figure out I did not curse anymore. For the first time in my life, I could take my son in my arms and tell him that I loved him. I looked at my wife and saw a human being, not a possesion. I could do these things because I literaly had a new heart, not figuritvely. So, a real Christian is just that, he is real becaue He is real. Its not the teachings of Jesus that changed me, it was Jesus Himself that changed me and enabled me to even begin to live out His word because He is alive. And because He lives, then I am truly now alive and shall be forever more........Frank

 2009/3/14 0:03

Joined: 2005/8/8
Posts: 256


Great examples Frank. I went back and posted a few thoughts and the excerpt from Tozer. Upon further reading the original poster presented more questions and it became clear that they were bound by homosexuality. My impression was that they were looking for someone to confirm to them that God would love and accept them as they were or basically say that it wasn't a sin and they could be a Christian and a homosexual. I sent a second reply that I believe the Holy Spirit definitely helped me with. :-) If you would please say a prayer that truth would penetrate the lie.

 2009/3/14 0:26Profile

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