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Who is a Christian?

Definitions used by people who
responded to an forum

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We recognize that this is a hot-button issue among many Christians. However, we already receive a lot of hate Emails and would prefer that you not add to this list. If you are angry about some of the following definitions, we recommend that you go to the group and make a posting there. 1

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Source of the quotations: is an online website selling printed books, ebooks, and a wide variety of other material. They have a group of forums in which their site visitors may comment. Over 1,000 forums are grouped within their "Christian Community."

On 2009-NOV-11. Santiago Manuel Anaya posted a question that opened the group: "Who is a Christian, or what is a Christian..According to the Bible?!" 1 Six months later, the group had received 204 responses. Like most forums, contributors often got sidetracked on other topics. In this case, it was to attack the Roman Catholic, Mormon and Seventh Day Adventist churches.

Listed below are about two dozen definitions of "Christians" that forum contributors offered. Some contributors wrote multiple postings.

  • NB quotes John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

  • Matthew Broderick wrote: "A Christian is some one who acknowledges Jesus as the fufillment of the Father's Promise to atone for sins, (Romans 4:25) ..."

  • S Buckley wrote: "Those who obey Gods commands are Christ-like = Christians."

  • Santiago Anaya: A CHRISTIAN" is a man/woman who HAS THE "FAITH OF JESUS THE CHRIST" and have also his/her FAITH in "JESUS as the Christ......= 1 John 5:1

  • R.B. Thurman: "A Christian is someone who loves God, because He first loved us by giving His Son for our sins, and to love one another.1st John 4:7-11

  • Fine Nice Young Person: "There is NONE. "God alone can read the heart."

  • Marlene Thornton: "A person who believes in the Father. Also his making of eternal life through a man named Jesus."

  • Oregongirl: " I went to the KJV dictionary. States that a Christian is 'a follower of Christ'.

  • T. Huuppa: "As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. This vow is their oath of allegiance."

  • ALLFAARAA: "You are a Christian because you carry the essence or spirit of Jesus Christ!!"

  • S. Buckley: "If people truly are Christians It will be on full display in their lives. John 14:21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me... John 14:24 He who does not love me does not keep my words..."

  • J. Henderson: a Christian is someone who follows Jesus -- a disciple. In my mind this implies that the person:
    1) Accepts Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 3:17, Luke 9:35, John 11:27b, etc)
    2) Acknowledges the power of Jesus' Atonement for mankind and accepts Him as their personal Saviour (Most of 4 Gospels of the New Testament, lots of the Old Testament)
    3) Tries to be like him (impossible to achieve, but a stated goal) (Matthew 5:48, etc)
    4) Follows his commandments (John 14:15, etc)
    5) Gets baptized (Matt 3:16, Acts 22:16, etc).

  • Patsy: A Christian is a person who follows Christ.

  • Fine Nice Young Person: One who believes in the Nicene Creed. Though it doesn't cover everything it is enlightening what it does cover. " We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. ..."

  • Santiago Anaya: "A Christian is a person who know who 'Christ Is' and accepts and have a relationship with Him, submit to Him, and 'OBEY' everything He says...."

  • James Warren made the novel suggestion that there are no Christians on Earth. He said: "There was only one Christian, and he was crucified on Calvary."

  • Santiago Anaya: "CHRISTIAN" means 'A little Christ' or 'Christ Like' since the person has to be like Jesus...In Baptism in His Name Obeying His Law, Understanding His Oneness and Keeping His Sabbath-Day with His decrees, the washing of the feet and the drinking of the wine (His Blood) and eating of the non-yeast bread (His Body) as the weekly atonement for the sins of His People, His Saints."

  • S Buckley: "I never said this. But if anyone, including those mentioned obey the commands of Jesus then yes they are Christ-like = Christian."

  • Patricia Jordan: "A Christian is a person who has by faith accepted that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that He became the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind through his death by crucifixion on the cross, and that Jesus arose on the third day to new life after His death on the cross. A Christian also believes the biblical account that Jesus was born of a virgin, led a sinless life, and that after His resurrection; he ascended to Heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in Him. ..."

  • The REAL Lovely Lily: I am a Christian. [because] Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus who acknowledges that He died for their sins. A Christian acknowledges Jesus is God (God the Son). A Christian lives his or her life according to His Word. That means obeying His Commandments, loving others as Jesus loves us and sharing the Good News with everyone we meet. A Christian sees Christ in everyone.

  • New Age of Barbarism: "A Christian is someone who accepts the Nicean Creed."

  • LBOM: Jesus Himself described what a Christian is: John 13:34 - 35: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

  • Anon: I posted the following on behalf of a member of this website who wishes to remain anonymous:
    I'd like to suggest that at the time of the Final Judgment, the people that Jesus will take to Heaven will all be considered as Christians -- as followers of Jesus -- not matter what their religion.

    In Matthew 25, starting at verse 31, the text says that all the nations will be gathered before the Son of Man. This presumably means everyone in the world. If it were to happen now, this would involve about 2 billion people identifying themselves as Christians, 1.6 billion Muslims, on the order of a billion Hindus, hundreds of millions of Buddhists, hundreds of millions of Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists, "none of the above" (NOTAS) etc. The whole 6.6 billion will be separated into two groups: sheep and goats. What was the criteria? It was not whether they were baptized; not whether they were saved; not whether they believed in the Trinity or the virgin birth, or the atonement; not whether they were heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual; not whether they were cisgendered or transgender. The sole criteria is good works: giving water to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, nursed the sick, and visited the imprisoned. ...

    So I would suggest that at some point in the future, Christians will be those who are identified by their good works, irrespective of their theological beliefs, ritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sacramental activities.


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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Who is a Christian, or what is a Christian..According to the Bible?!," Amazon group, at:

Site navigation: Home page > Christianity > Introduction > Definition > here

Copyright 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2010-APR-16
Latest update: 2010-APR-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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