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What Is A True Believer?


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I have been pondering this one for a while now. What qualifies "a Christian" as a "true believer"? At first I thought about this in terms of how exposed a certain person name is or by a person's particular Christian bent or just their sheer work ethic. Since work ethic seems to cross all theological boundaries, that would seem to disqualify it from consideration because I think R.J. Rushdoony and Paul Crouch have driving work ethics.

 

For me anyway, I guess it might be a mixture of both exposure and time spent promoting the religion?

 

Take famous Christian philosophers for example. By and large, these men are revered in the Christian community but I don't think were as rich or as exposed as say Rick Warren, Pat Robertson, or Jerry Falwell. Men like Gary DeMar, Francis Schaeffer, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, Cornelius Van Til have spent hours, days and week toiling away in obscurity to ensure that all of society had a biblical basis to it. They had some fame, but they really seemed to be after knowing, interpreting and doling out advice and reasoning based on "The Truth"? Are these men really the True Believers?

 

To me, any pastor that is seen on your local or even long-distance broadcast cable stations are only "True Believers" in name only. These guys pump the self-help books, the sermon CDs and the weekly dramatic performances. They toil away just as much as the abovementioned philosophers but their efforts are rewarded with more and more donations each week. Are these men fooling themselves or do they believe as much as the philosophers that toil away in obscurity?

 

Also, how about the pastor on the local level? They can toil away just as much even though they serve a smaller flock and not have the recognition of a "big-name" believer like a Hagee, Swaggert or Roberts. Same with those that preach on the Internet like J.P. Holding and those that run other apologetics websites. These aren't big-names but they have the work ethic of ants and bees. And maybe even the same goes for the general apologist who takes the time and effort to lengthy diatribes here at Ex-C and some of those apparently are pastors of churches.

 

I ask this of you my fellow heathens: what constitutes a true believer in your opinion? When does become more temporal than spiritual?

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IMO I think a "True believer" is someone like those poor crazy people that handle snakes and drink poison. They take the bible literally (at least what they can understand) and they apply it to their life. I think "true believers" let their kids die without medical help. I think Fred Phelps and his spawn are "true believers". Anyone that does any less than these nuts are just doing it for status or attention or money. Hypocrites.

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A true believer is someone who can magically touch those maimed in War and have their limbs regrown before your eyes with nothing but the name of Jesus. They can telepathically relocate mountains and can easily switch the geographical location of mount Everest and the Himalayas with nothing more then a quick prayer and their hand on the bible. A true believer is also capable of using the holy spirit to read the heart and minds of other Christians because of their common link to god, and can instantly tell if someone else is a true believer or not just by looking at them. Finally, they can live through any poison without sickness and can handle even the deadliest of snakes.

 

TL;DR True believers do not exist. Either that or Christianity is false. Personally, I think I shall place my bet's on the latter.

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What makes someone a true American?

 

mwc

 

Agreed, mwc. That is a good point. What makes someone a true *insert label here*?

 

True Believers are self defined.

 

In response to the three posts directly above this one, I believe that zealotry is one of the key components in showing true belief. It also depends on how the zealotry manifests. The Christian philosopher who wants a biblical worldview will expunge endless amounts time and effort promoting that aim, while the 'snake-charming' literalist will take a bite in the arm from a snake and do it often until said literalists takes a permanent fall. Both MEN (Christianity is still very male-oriented) are clearly zealous for their kind of Christianity, but they promote different brands. The philosopher likely takes a mild to moderate allegorical position in terms of how to interpret the Bible, while the snake handler takes the text word for word. As has been oft-quoted, there are as many Christianities as there are Christians.

 

I'll conclude by saying that Florduh and mwc put the capstone on this idea.

 

If this seemed to be a pointless mental exercise, then it likely was.

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If this seemed to be a pointless mental exercise, then it likely was.

I disagree. This comes around time and again. It is the crux of many a debate and it is the cause of a lot of pain for many here (especially those that are new). It is the wound in which drive-by xians often poke their sticks and rub their salt. Yet they've no better answers than anyone for this question.

 

mwc

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If this seemed to be a pointless mental exercise, then it likely was.

I disagree. This comes around time and again. It is the crux of many a debate and it is the cause of a lot of pain for many here (especially those that are new). It is the wound in which drive-by xians often poke their sticks and rub their salt. Yet they've no better answers than anyone for this question.

 

mwc

 

I have to agree with you, then. Some of the debates I've read show this rather clearly.

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I think this is a question that now makes me even more convinced that deconverting was the right thing for me. I was raised Catholic...yeah you know get baptised and your in like flynn forever...just confess every now and again, she'll be right mate. As a teenager I walked away from it all but then at the tender age of 22..I became a true believer. I became born-again, spirit filled on fire lunatic. (consequently lost my whole sense of self and personality). I looked down on all those nominal catholics and anglicans, etc..that only went to church once or twice a year at Easter and Xmas. I thought they were all hypocrites, and I was truly saved because I gave my entire life to jesus. My life reflected those new morals in a very strict way. When I talked with people who professed to be christian, I would listen to their words and immediately categorise them on what their level of xtianity was. Strangely when I deconverted my catholic brother had a fit. He goes to church a handful of times during the year, lives like any ordinary person. No special deep relationship or outward signs of a life dedicated or given to jesus. He says to me""why do you need to walk away from it all. Just still believe just don't get involved in all the deep crap that you've been into."

 

This is my point exactly. If he as a normal person, goes to church every now and again believes and thinks he is going to heaven..hell why doesn't the whole earth just casually think like this. Almost like life insurance(scuse the pun). Doesn't hurt to believe, so just believe rock up a few times..and your in. So if he thinks this way, and so do a lot of people I know...who gives anyone the right to define what a true believer is or not? To me it's just all crap. All those wasted years of living in a repressed box....when I could just easily still live it up and think I was a true believer and still get my get out of jail card free when I die...

 

It's all in peoples heads...it's all one big load of CROCK!!!!! Yes I am still suffering and going through my anger stage at this point in my life. I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Today I am glaringly angry, tomorrow I will be shedding tears of depression and frustration, confusion...back to anger..back to rebellion yehar Im free..back to what the hell do I do now?

I hate xtianity, and I never ever ever want to go near the freakin thing in my life ever again!!!AAAAAAgh. Ok I'll stop, or move to the rant section.

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I ask this of you my fellow heathens: what constitutes a true believer in your opinion? When does become more temporal than spiritual?
Who was it that said truth in religion is the opinion that survives or something like that?

 

 

Truth is the opinion that survives. What an insight. I see a huge parallel in that one with Might makes right.

 

Since I come out of a community where spiritual sincerity is measured by an intricate system of conservative vs liberal lifestyle and dress code that is accepted by the entire Amish-Swiss Mennonite community of Canada and the United States, it is very difficult for me not to use that as the bedrock of measurement for True Believer. When I really want to get at Christians, I will sometimes give them a good Old Order Mennonite sermon on separation from the world as defined by horse and buggy people.

 

Automobile owning Christians--who also own TVs and have internet access--can find no loophole because the horse and buggy people have found--and stuffed--them all up with solid scripture-based arguments. And I know all the arguments, plus the scriptures to back them up. I've got a good program on my computer to help me find the Bible verses and the only thing the Christians are left with is to withdraw from the discussion. They are not True Believers according to the standards I was taught for forty years straight. And that my family still adheres to.

 

If I use the arguments evangelicals use, my family will say, "I go by God's Word, not man's word!" So much for the fundy True Believers I meet on the internet. And to top it off, the Old Order Mennonite church is older than most evangelical churches--the evangelical churches are a "strange new doctrine." So it's not as though the Old Order Mennonites are a cult or something.

 

Anyway, that's my view of True Believers. I know Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox are older than Mennonites, but no other denomination is. I think being traditional and historical is very important.

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A true believer is someone who sacrifices pleasure, fulfillment, freedom, etc., for the sake of a religious/metaphysical system. It has to hurt to be a true believer. You can't just go and do whatever you want as a human being and then call yourself "spiritual." You must deprive yourself and be deprived. You must suppress your own desires. Your life must go in a direction determined by delusion.

 

There must be pain.

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A true believer is someone who sacrifices pleasure, fulfillment, freedom, etc., for the sake of a religious/metaphysical system. It has to hurt to be a true believer. You can't just go and do whatever you want as a human being and then call yourself "spiritual." You must deprive yourself and be deprived. You must suppress your own desires. Your life must go in a direction determined by delusion.

 

There must be pain.

:lmao: Oh vomit comet....you just wrapped up the entire xtian experience in a one line golden nugget...priceless!!!

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I’m a true believer. I truly believe that causality governs the universe.

 

And I think the U.S. currency should say, “In Causality We Trust.”

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I ask this of you my fellow heathens: what constitutes a true believer in your opinion? When does become more temporal than spiritual?

 

I think that depends on the individual believer. One may wake up everyday performing rituals to serve God, letting others see him/her. The same goes to church as a status figure in the church, or even the 'called' one to that church; living a picture perfect Christian life. Another, may be an outcast, weird, looked upon strangely, second guessed; and do all the same things as above, yet in a way nobody even sees it. When they go to church, people would ask him/her if they are a visitor, even though they have been going there a year. When at work, this person may get witnessed to by different people on a weekly basis.

 

Christianity in church life is more to me as a social event than a gathering of 'fellowship'. So, to say that we should even know who a true believer is could be classified under different labels. A true believer to a church. A true believer to another individual Christian; also considering the denomination these others believe would define the appearance of trueness of that person. A true believer to a non-religious person. A true believer to the Pope. A true believer to a Muslim etc.

 

The only way there could be an absolute true believer is if there was an absolute one direction religion.

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A True Believer is me and anybody that thinks and acts like me as long as they don't change their minds until I do.

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A True Believer™ is always me.

 

While the False Believer™ is anyone who disagree with me.

 

 

;)

 

I should have read the whole thread before answering. I guess great minds think alike.

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I should have read the whole thread before answering. I guess great minds think alike.

Which means that you and I are true believers! You agree with me, and I agree with you, it's double True. :3:

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  • 2 weeks later...

No one can possibly know what a true believer is. Christians will argue for ever about it, but still not be able to come up with an agreement on it. If the bible God is real and Jesus is real then there can be no gaurantees of being "saved". I think we are all a testament to that.

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I know about the quickest way to find a True Believer is to walk into a room of any kind of xians and simply accuse them of not being True Believers. Doesn't matter what the mix in the room is I can pretty much guarantee they will all become the truest of the true in an instant.

 

mwc

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