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Hi All,


I go by the name of Nino. It is my family name. It is short for padrino (Spanish for godfather).


I have always considered myself a Christian, and believed it was important to study my Faith. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take classes taught by Bart Erhman, when he taught at Rutgers University. That was 27 yeas ago. I have been reading books by various scholars about religion since. I am particularly helped by the work of John Dominic Crossan.


I am a member of the Episcopal Church and have posted on Beliefnet in their "Anglicanism" Forum. Over the years my ideas about God have evolved. I am now reflecting on whether I can honestly consider myself a Christian. I am using the term to mean a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, not just a person affiliated and active with a particular christian community.


Please read my question about this matter, and let me know your thoughts.





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Hi Nino and welcome,


"Using the term to mean a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, not just a person affiliated and active with a particular christian community" seems to fit in line with our 8 points and you are indeed welcome to consider yourself a Christian here. As far as your question in the other thread...


I now cannot see how I can claim to be a follower of Jesus while rejecting one of his central beliefs (belief in a personal God who cares for us, and acts in response to our prayers). Isn't this analogous to a person who is a terrorist claiming that they are also a follower of Ghandi or MLKJ?


It doesn't seem to me that your analogy is really applicable. It seems to me too extreme. I don't think we can be positive about all the things written in the NT as being an accurate portrayal of what Jesus said. However there is enough said that the main thrust, imo, of what Jesus taught includes inclusion of all who do no harm, love, compassion for others and peace and using it as a guide in living. Doing so i believe will manifest the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians. Dogma and doctrines to me are a product of the church system and do not define a Christian .

Again welcome to the forum,


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G'day Nino, and welcome.


I don't think we can take everything in the bible that is alluded to as the teachings of Jesus, as a given. In fact I think much of it can be put down to other people's interpretations and influences affecting how they viewed Jesus and his teachings.


Similarly, I don't think that one has to believe everything that Jesus perhaps might have. Jesus may have believed in a personal God, but if he lived today he might be influenced differently by today's cultures (of course, he may not too). Perhaps Jesus did really believe in a personal God, but you don't have too. I think many Christians get caught up in this all or nothing approach to Jesus and the bible, whereas I believe there is lots of wriggle room to allow for external influences, even those on Jesus.


Jesus the man had a monumental impact on humanity. Many will say that was because he was God incarnate and therefore we have to adhere to all of his teachings (whether accurately reported in the bible or not). That doesn't fit for me, but also it doesn't take away from, what is for me, the indisuptable fact that the main thrust of Jesus' teachings were about caring for one's fellow man and not to worry about tomorrow, as everything is okay (that's not to say don't take responsibility for your tomorrow, but rather not to worry about it). The rest will take care of itself.




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Hi Nino. For me, Christianity is based on the belief of principles said to be set out by Jesus. The idea of having to swallow the whole, Paul, or the bible and to not to question things is in my opinion not a requirement. I believe we progress in the leadings of the Spirit and modern understandings. I do not allow conservative opinions to dictate my Christianity or hold the only definition of it. I see nothing wrong with you holding your own definition of what you believe and recognise it as just as valid. Welcome friend.

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