Redefining Christianity

Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

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The article you are about to read simply voices my opinion and not that of any existing religious group or movement. Any similarities to existing groups is purely coincidental.

I’m not a Christian. Not just because I don’t want to be a Christian, but because I feel Christianity as a whole has lost its meaning. And I definitely can’t be a part of a meaningless movement.

The word ‘Christians’ came into existence when it was used to describe Jesus’ disciples by folks at ancient Antioch. It meant ‘Christ-like’. Basically, these folks could clearly see the disciples walking in their saviour’s steps. What we have today is very much different.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing articles under the category – Redefining Christianity. I have some topics lined up to deal with various aspects of Christianity. Here are a few of them:

  • What Would Jesus Do: Origins and Importance
  • Denominations, hierarchy and divisions in the church
  • Christian holidays
  • etc.

I will appreciate topic suggestions on aspects of Christianity which you think could be discussed on this blog.

Update: The first paragraph is me trying to say I don’t conform to Christianity as practiced today. (For those who got it wrong).

35 thoughts on “Redefining Christianity”

  1. Don’t have much to say here, (it’s your opinion after all), than ultimately being a Christian isn’t about being in a movement, it’s about your personal relationship with God. Using some other people’s actions in recent history to gauge whether you should have a relationship with God, implies you never really wanted/had/believed in the ‘original’ concept of Christianity to to start with.

    Just saying.

    1. oops. ‘Personal’ relationship with God starts based on other people’s actions (preachings and the way they live). No one develops that relationship from birth. It’s not out of place if these same people’s action lead to your change of heart.

      But I wasn’t talking about that anyway. I may not be the right person to talk about that.

  2. I dont get, first you say Christianity is a movement and has lost its meaning, then u state the meaning, which is obviously plain to see, so im wondering how it is lost

    1. Exactly. He speaks of knowing what being a Christian is about, i.e. being Christ-like, but then because a bunch of people are not living up to the standards, then he won’t be one either. :?:

      Ezra, that’s why I mentioned ‘personal’ thing. You know said you know what’s right, so really it’s up to you to do it, regardless of what others are doing. At the end of the day, God won’t ask you how others were practicing his religion. It will only be about you.

      I’m not saying you should be a Christian, I’m sayin don’t act like it’s purely other people’s fault that you’re not.

      1. Since you know ‘the original meaning’ of Christianity, why don’t you just dare to be different and ‘practise it according to its original meaning’ instead of totally neglecting it.

        Last time I checked, these were your exact words: “…But then, … probably a reason why there’s no ‘God’.”

        1. I’m not totally neglecting it. Subsequent posts on this topic will deal with certain Christian topics and my understanding of them according to the Bible. You’ll probably get my point then. I’m almost getting sick of these miss-interpretations.

          As regards the quote, I never maintained that there’s no God.

  3. I physicaly Loled at your statement. So because a bunch of people arent ‘christian’ (cos you are either christian or not) it is meaningless to be.
    Its like saying because you dont know anyone who eats bread with butter anymore, eating it that way would be meaningless esp if you had eaten it before and maybe even actually liked it.
    My dear, if u make a choice not to be christian, let it not be for your stated reason.

  4. @Gamine
    You refuse to understand what I mean. I was just saying I’m not a conformist to Christianity as practiced today. period.

    @Onyeka
    Check my response to Gamine above. Hope you understand what I mean now. Perhaps, I was too vague.

  5. I was just saying I’m not a conformist to Christianity as practiced today.

    Ok, so, you’re a conformist to Christianity as it was practiced in ancient times?! :?:

    My point is simply thus, if you know how it was before, and you think it made sense then, then why don’t you practice it that way now? :smile:

    lost in the sense that no one (generalizing here) exactly practices it according to its original meaning anymore

    You missed my point, my point is, what do you care how other people are doing it? Other people != you. I’m just saying, your reason doesn’t fly. Especially as you claim to understand Christianity.

    1. As regards your question, subsequent posts on this topic will explain what I believe in.

      I still maintain that I’m not a Christian as defined today. That’s why I’m redefining it, hence the post in the first place ;)

      1. Oh. So… you ARE a Christian? Christian then and Christian now, are they not called the same thing? :grin: The more you try, dude, the deeper you’re digging yourself into a hole.

  6. I do not know what to say again reli, your first statement ‘i am not a Christian’ thats where the period should be.

  7. Dude it’s either you’re a Christian or you’re not. Everything else your saying, in attempt to justify your strange reason, is not helping.

  8. Lol…. Ezra… What is all this ramble you are going on about?

    Do yoy believe in the existence of a higher being?

    You don’t have to answer now. Be sure to be carefull on what you say on your next post.

    1. i believe that question is outside the context of this post. as regards being careful, i doubt. i’ll say things as i see them, not as i think people will prefer to see them. ;)

  9. :arrow: I am not a Red Indian, I am an African. I have read books and watched movies about Red Indians; and I have a perspective about them. Hey! wait a minute: most of the available information about Red Indians are built on assumptions by some creative author or movie director (who, in either case, is not a Red Indian). Only the Red Indians know the truth, only the Red Indians know their own history, and they tell it only to themselves. They don’t care a hoot what others think is their story, and if others don’t believe it. Only the Red Indians believe their own story. So if I know what’s good for me, I’ll just take their word for it and shut up quickly and silently! And that’s because my perspective will be as distorted as the plane that separates us…

    Now, about a related matter: what did you mean by the original sense of the word ‘Christian’ has been lost? As far as I am concerned, the meaning stays. Did you know the word was used in a derogatory sense, much like “nigger” can be used to refer to an African? Their God never called them Christians, Christ never did. Till date, God in the form of the Father, Son or Holy Spirit hasn’t referred to us as Christians. He calls us saints. He calls us believers. Not once does He call us Christians. And also, they never called themselves Christians. The word “Christian” is only related as ‘Little Christs’, and used in a derogatory form.

    “Very early followers of Jesus did not actually have any “name” for themselves and an opponent was apparently the first person to use the word “Christian” to refer to them. The name stuck, and around the Fourth Century, a strict definition was given to the word. The definition was needed then because many groups with very different beliefs were all referring to themselves as Christians. The definition settled on was basically the contents of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Neither of these two Creeds is actually from the Bible’s text, but they are each considered to be closely based on it, which is the basis for their credibility.”
    (for more info read http://mb-soft.com/believe/txh/chrisdef.htm)

    So why do we call ourselves Christians today? It’s the same reason why we have names for every other thing. Imagine the confusion there would be if the whole world refers to us as Christians and we keep calling ourselves another name? For example, “Christian” students often fill out forms and they indicate RELIGION: Christianity. A true believer knows that Christianity is not a religion. But that’s Red Indian talk to an African. You can never understand…

    1. By the way, the first followers and converts to the teachings of Jesus Christ were first called “Followers of the way”. You can find this in the Book of Acts 9:2. It was only several years after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus when these followers were called Christians.

      This word comes from the Greek word that means “Christos” (Messiah) and the latin ending “ianus”. The combination of these two words means ” belonging to Christ”. This happened first in a city in Syria called Antioch. This is recorded in Acts 11:26.

      At first the word Christian was a degrading word because the followers and the teachings were not accepted by the general pagan population. As time past Christians loved the word because it connects them to Jesus Christ, the foundation and founder of Christianity.

        1. Think about it for a moment. If I didn’t accept a God exists, why would I be doing this post… and also plan subsequent ones. I guess you were in a hurry to criticize that you missed out on that.

        2. Hm, I must have missed the part where I said you didn’t think God exists. I think I’ll just leave you to inexplicable sense of victimization.

          P.S. some tooltips would be useful for ur smileys.

  10. Ace Newman, i totally love your take, i hav never realy cared for labels.
    Xolubi, ‘misguided’? Like Onyeka said, your angry that we called you out on some things
    Right now, i know your highly confused, its not a crime to be, dont just make silly counter-replies because the last time i checkd you were Agnostic.

  11. The concept of God fulfills many needs in different people. Some a sense of identity, some the concept of morality, some emotional well-being, some a hope of a better tomorrow, some eventual justice and many more.

    It’s like being in a relationship. When your emotions are invested in it, you try to make it work. You ‘re-interpret’ some things that might not make sense, some things you just completely ignore, but you continually do your best to try to stick with it because it serves other purposes. It’s hard to acknowledge there’s anything wrong with something that captivates our emotions and meets so many of our emotional needs (like religion does). History and present day news attest to this.

    But if you get to a point in your personal journey where you can’t take it anymore, when the patching just wouldn’t do, when the cons outweigh the pros…you just have to let go. The concept of absolute wrong and absolute right belongs with the past and we will eventually evolve from such thinking.

    It’s hard being agnostic in Nigeria though, real hard. And I really respect you voicing your opinion; that’s very rare these days. Keep it up!

    1. :down: I don’t know what God you refer to, if you are mentioning ‘emotions’. This particular thread is about the God the “Christians” worship, and it has nothing to do with emotions. :?:

      And that is a MAJOR problem people have with all religions: they TRY to make it work, because there are rules to make sure you can ‘reach God’, and if in the end you are overwhelmed, you can decide to give up.

      With Christianity (not a religion), you dont need to try to reach God, all the connection has been established already. What you have is a blank cheque and an unlimited supply of money behind the cheque. Whatever you write on it is your own business. :arrow:

      If Bill Gates gives a pauper a blank cheque and the guy folds the paper into an aeroplane and eventually discards it in the stinky refuse dump because he did not understand what it was; and he never asked the giver or tried to grasp the unseen contents, then the blame is entirely his. And that is just what obtains here too. :up:

      “The concept of absolute right and absolute wrong belongs with the past”? That statement is leaking, because the every fact that you stated that matter-of-factly means it is an absolute right to you (as far as you are concerned)! You can’t conquer absoluteness with another dose of absoluteness. :cool:

      I remember someone in argument for non-absoluteness once said that in an African cannibal community, it was absolutely right to eat others, but it’s wrong elsewhere hence there was no absolute right in that matter. That logic is similarly very faulty! If it’s absolutely right, why do they start from the strangers and weaklings? Why not go to the king/chief and eat him first? Even within seeming non-absoluteness, there is still absoluteness. It’s what our world is made up of. :razz:

      Please bring forward a better argument or let’s sink the matter. Absolutely. :up:

  12. I personally don’t like that cannibalism analogy of non-absoluteness.

    A recurring example of absoluteness I see in Christianity (and most religions of the world) is a very interesting word called sin. That idea of man being imperfect and needing an atonement from sin to reach ‘God.’

    I understand that the concept of sin helps children as they build their morality, and I understand that this concept of sin also helps subscribers to the religious texts strive for the ‘absolute right,’ so they end up somewhere in the middle, but aspiring for the ‘absolute right.’ This is really good, and I have nothing against that.

    But with these same religious texts come some archaic concepts that desperately need some refreshing.

    My point is that until intelligent minds stop trying desperately to remix the religious texts to suit their own taste, religious texts would not get the major overhaul they need.

    Religion (I classify Christianity as a religion because it is a ‘Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe, whether personal or institutionalized’) is a very powerful tool and it has a monopoly on major aspects of our emotional well-being and day-to-day life. Until intelligent minds break out of that stronghold en masse, religions of the world might not get the opportunity to evolve along with other aspects of the human race.

    1. You seem to have misunderstood or deliberately ignored my point.

      Once Again I Maintain That Christianity Is Not A Religion.

      Holy Religion is just an Aspect of Christianity. But If you read my Red Indian analogy above, you may understand what I mean when I say only TRUE Christians know that Christianity is not a religion. To truly know what something stands for, one should inquire of the source. What did Jesus Christ say about what in the end was called Christianity? He never called it a religion. It may be referred to as a religion but that’s just a little part of it, the part that is obvious to other human beings as a kind of ‘holy living’. Christianity is an entire way of life. A religion is an attempt to reach God. There’s a big difference. For a true Christian, the one who sought God and the one who lives for God are two entirely different people, but I doubt you can understand that.

      “A recurring example of absoluteness I see in Christianity (and most religions of the world) is a very interesting word called sin. That idea of man being imperfect and needing an atonement from sin to reach ‘God.’”
      Sin is a word that comes from an ancient term in archery: it means ‘missing the mark’. I take this to mean you do not believe sin exists. Okay, then I think you may not have the capacity to be a good leader, because you will throw open all the doors of correctional facilities for all the unjust to continue robbing, killing and raping citizens. They were put there in the first case so that they can become ‘better citizens’. So then, if there is sin and people miss the societal mark; how are you so sure that there isn’t sin on the global and/or non-physical scale and there is some authority beyond, who is the ‘judge’ and decides what the overall mark is, and who’s missing it? It may as well be a concentric aspect of life, wheels within wheels. Your argument leaks again, please fix it.

      And talking about the intellectual community and ‘getting over religion’, I’m sorry I will not really say much about that. One cannot, by virtue of intelligence, change his Life. Aspects of his life may be affected one after the other, but to become an entirely new person, now that calls for an entirely different matter. You can only be re-created from the source. May you understand.

  13. plastiQ: wish it wasn’t such an emotional (or better, ‘non-logical’) issue. but it is, and so people will not be logical (as in purely fact-driven) about matters of faith. then again, faith isn’t necessarily about the facts, even thought it should always have a basis. i hope now the fuse has been put out.

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