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What Type Of Christian Are You?

Following my many years of living amongst Christians, debating them, reading their literature and my, luckily,  brief incarnation (~5 years.  I don't really count the first 10 years of my life) as a Christian, I wish to attempt a brief characterisation of the various types of Christians I have encountered.

If you find any of this represents you, I would be much obliged if you could respond.  In fact, respond anyway about how you approach your Christian faith.

Here we go;

1)  The Simple Christian

These are characterised as the simple and well-meaning Christian who acquired their beliefs from their culture and have never questioned what they believe.  These types of Xians are usually ignorant of the core tenets of their beliefs and rely part or wholy on the religions leaders to direct aspects of the lives and beliefs.  They tend to accept everything from the religious elders without question and are thus open to exploitation.  The great majority of such Xians are illiterate or semi-illiterate and rarely or never read their holy books.

They tend to have high level of faith in their religion, almost unshakable, as they would have been little exposure to other ideological postions and they generally lack the cognitive skills to assess alternative positions.

You would find such Xians amongst all the myriads of Xian denominations - Catholics, Evangelicals,  Baptists, etc and typically characterised by that country-pumpkin attitude.  Since the level of literacy is low amongst such, you would find most of their in underdeveloped/privileged areas as in the African village communities amongst the ill-educated

2)  Basic or social Christian.

These are the slightly better educated Christian who are passionate about their belief but lack the individual industry to investigate it themselves. The have good reading and comprehension skills, but they would never read their bible unless there is an occasion (like church, prayer meeting, etc).  On such occasion, they get directed from verse to verse by the preacher and they just sit there and shake their heads and even take notes, or highlight (or underline) their bibles.  The minute they are out of the devotional environment, their level of commitment dimishes.

These sort of Christian would have been brought up in a loosely Christian environment and it would be taken for granted that their religion is right and true.  Their basic level of education means that they are amenable to other ideas and are thus easily enticeable to other Christian denominations.

As far as their religion is concerned, nothing but faith speaks to them.  Their basic educations mean they lack the cognitive skills to assess and relate other important fields of human endeavour.  The may have some basic science education but they would NOT have ingrained the principles of scientific and philosophical enquiry.  They tend to be highly manipulable and pliable in other areas of life.

These tend to be biblical literalists and would be in opposition to scientific developments either for want of understanding or for sheer ignorance.  They would not understand scientific concepts/theories such as The Theory of Evolution, Big Bang, etc.

In my experience, the vast majority of Christians would find themselves in this class.

3) Pseudo-sophisticated Christian.

This type of Christian is sheer blooded-mindedly silly and a zealot, all at once. They are particularly industrous and diligent in their attachment to Christianity and would continue to be so even if the bones of Jesus were to be discovered today and it was proven 100% that these were Jesus's bones.  They do not care about the truth as much as their affiliation to a superstitious myth.  Their industry means that they would have spent time and money investigating the various criticisms of theism and christianity but because they are committed to their position are impervious to reason.  In fact, because of the sense of cognitive disonance they inevitably feel, they would tend to be even more zealous for their defunct ideas.  The operative word for these types is intellectual dishonesty.

They like to engage others, christians and non christians alike in debates and even if caught lying or in dishonesty will rarely back down.

Examples of such are Kent Hovind and many apologist here on Niaraland such as davidylan, pilgrim, Stimulus, Imhotep, etc, etc

Other characterisation to follow . . .

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34 answers

Certainty can be defined as either

(a) perfect knowledge that has total security from error, or

(b) the mental state of being without doubt.

Your certainty is a mental state and not a perfect knowledge, that's what I mean. Something is certain only if no skepticism can occur. Is that true of religion, the answer is no. lets look at Christianity for example, all sects believe there is God but cannot even agree as to the nature of who God is. I spent the whole of yesterday painfully sensitizing Christians on Moses, not one person answered, most people cannot not believe that God is like that.

http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-176572.32.html  go there and get a feel just in case you missed it.

You all believe there is an after life and yet cannot agree on what it is like, again that is because it is not a perfect knowledge but a mental state of the mind. The symmetry of morality and of the nature of God in the bible is seriously askew, might I ask if you have taught your kids the famous stories in the bible about how the isrealites and forgot the genocide part too. Anyway not to digress and spoil this thread.

We have stated often here that it is all about faith, not that it checks out in reality, yes I too have experienced things I cannot explain, but saying it is God already gives a dishonest position because I am not certain it is a perfect knowledge.

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Yes, indeed. You make some very good points. I had taken the humanitarian side of religion and Christianity as neutral as believers and non-believer alike participate in such activities. But you are also right - there are many Christians who only help out and do humanitarian work only because they are Christians or they believe in god. Unfortunately, the sincerity of such good work is diminished because they are not doing this out of pure human goodness but in hope for future rewards in the afterlife.

On the question od slavery, the Christian establishment sat by for nearly 2000 years, arms folded, participating in the trade itself (with succor from their rotten bible), before jumping on the abolision band-wagon.

Where in the bible s slavery condemned?

At the moment, I do my little best to help. I personality sponsor a child in poverty in kenyan. If I could afford more I would increase my help proportionately. By the way, did you know that the world's greatest humanitarian have been atheist, viz, Carnegie, Buffet, Gates.

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@ Hux,

don't forget the type of Christian that build houses for the homeless, runs hospitals for the sick, have educational programs for the illiterate, pay the bills for the financial downtrudden, come up with solutions to the social injustice.

Don't forget the type of Christian wh fought against slavery calling it inhumane, and derogatory to humanity based on the Bible (just ask civil rights activists and they will tell you it is religious, I work with them so I know)

Don't forget the speaker of the House, the senators, Presidents, who are religious that have led to change in our society.

Yup those are the ridiculous ones. Yup they lack reason. They come up with solutions for the people, they roll up their sleeves to help those in need, yup they're the idiots.

Why don't you go build a house for a homeless person, pay someones' bill for them, build a hospital and make it affordable?

Please make yourself useful in society, instead of running around nairaland like a headless chicken looking to discredit Christianity.

I have news for you, God is real, he has always been there and long after you are gone he will always be there.

That's the problem, the non-religious think that the religious' belief is uncertain. It is very certain and there have been many evidences and yes a lot of them have been physical, I have had the priviledge of experiencing the physical myself.

You however have not seen therefore you expect it to not be true.

If we have to see everything with our own eyes before we believe then we will not believe in anything.

Majority of us believe in something that we have not seen. You can only be certain that evolution occurred based on someone else's finding and not your own. Religious people believe also based on someone else's finding and not their own, some actually believe based on their own finding.

It is quite unfortunate that those who are intellectuals cannot comprehend the simple.

You believe based on facts of others, we believe also based on facts of others.

You believe based on other's attestations, we too believe based on other's attestation.

It is not that difficult.

Air is certain to be there, however it is not see. Because you can't see it does that mean that it isn't there? There is no physical proof of air.

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This is funny, lets look at it this way, both theories have holes granted, only the theists are certain that they are certain they are correct when there is not even a shred of evidence to support their claim that goes beyond mere belief.

Science does not want you to just believe electricity can kill you, they are certain that it can, now that's certainty that cuts across all religions, theists and atheists alike no one is spared, no one is given a special treatment from this phenomenon.

Can we say the same about religion, I don't think so, see I think there is a fair way to analyse these events in our lives, simple and plain honesty, which I continue to advocate here, honestly religion doesn't know any better than the scientists but the difference is the theists are certain so they do not need to find out more, scientists on the other hand know they do not have the answers and search on. That's the reason why they will keep trying to bend reality to fit their beliefs.

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You don't get it, do you. Who are the people attempting the diagnosis? Are they the experts in the field (those who are better placed to know ) or are they cowboys.

I wonder why they did not go to some Shamen in the Kalahari desert for a diagnosis

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That's exactly my point. We are both speculating so what makes your theory more believable?

Abiogenesis is also a theory without proof. you can only fool the ignorant with these fancy terms that essentially mean - "something we really know nothing about".

Depends. There are times when even doctors cant diagnose certain medical problems. They simply theorise until the patient dies.

I'm sure you've seen mystery diagnosis on discovery channel, its on almost every other day.

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aren't u speculating too when u say God created the earth. have u heard of abiogenesis??

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What problem have you got with that expression.  If you had a health problem, I bet you would want the best qualified expert (as long as you can afford them) to attend to your problem.

On the subject of Big Bang, I can think of the following;

1)  George Smoot, Nobel Laureate on work for CMB,

2)  Alan Guth,   Originator of the inflationary theory

3) Michio Kaku

4)  Neil deGrasse Tyson

5) Alexei Filippenko

6) Steven Weinburg

7) Victor Stenger

8.) Stephen Hawkins

9) Roger Penrose

What do you think these experts would say about Cosmic Expansion (aka Big Bang)

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i'm tired of arguing with ignorant people . . . but a last look at the above nonsense.

opinionof "suitably qualified experts" is no substitute for conclusive evidence. Honesty is a problem with you.

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Now, which biblical concept have I misrepresented? As honest a christian you claim to be, i want you to show me where i have misrepresented christian concepts.

Also, i want you to show me where i have acknowlegde doing so.

Showing your ignorance yet again, are you? Can you show me anywhere where scientists claim the Big Bang is responsible for life on earth? You are either, ignorant, dishonest, silly, and deluded, all in one. If you show me where such a claim has been made, I shall withdraw this statement unreservedly.

What do you make of the measureable data that the universe is expanding? And not expanding uniformly, but indeed accelerating?

What do you make of Cosmic Microwave Background?

Upon showing you these and you fail to acknowledge their import suggest to me that you are deceitful and dishonest.

Even if any of the above were true, it would not constitute misrepresentation. It just shows how desperate you are to make a charge of misrepresentation. Go educate yourself, man, go.

Have you shown that you understand these theories, yourself?

Let's give ourselves the best chance, using this challenge. Let us take the following two propositions and research the best available information we can find to characterise them.

1) Evidence for a Big Bang

2) Evidence for a global flood about 4500 years ago?

To settle once and for all these accusations of misrepresentation, let both of us supply the best possible evidence for and against these two propositions.

Let us define misrepresentation as follows: A departure from the opinion of the suitably qualified experts in the field.

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Again much of your "evidence" is speculation. What created matter? Did it just appear from nowhere in the absence of time? What laws governed the presence of matter? Can matter create life today?

Look again at your closing statement . . . its laughable bro.

Its funny that theists find it easier to believe in an uncreated matter than to believe in the existence of God.

- you trip over urself with that statement. The basis for the existence of God is that He created all things . . . now if you believe energy and matter has no origin how different is that from believing that God has no origin? When next you start bellowing for proof of God's origin pls make sure you come armed with proof of the origin of energy and matter.

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there are zero-energy particles and there is a good possibility, matter had always existed. it's funny theists find it easy to believe God came from nowhere but always scream for an origin of energy and matter.

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"The key question is "Why do you misrepresent concepts you think are critical of you religious position? The honest man would not adopt this approach, but this has been your tactic all along. You misrepresent theories like Big Bang, evolution, etc, etc, because somehow you think they hurt your position."

I once studied the big bang back in the day.

The issue with Big Bang is that while all what happened with the mass exploding sounds interesting, where did the mass originate from?. This is where the scientists struggle.

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The key question is "Why do you misrepresent biblical concepts you think are critical of your areligious position?

Deliberatel misrepresentation of the bible is a valid charge that you have tacitly acknowledged not once, not twice.

Now lets evaluate your own "charge". How do i misrepresent the big bang THEORY? By constantly reminding you that it is NOT A FACT BUT A HIGHLY UNLIKELY THEORY? That by somehow asking you how magnetic waves can generate life ON EARTH ONLY and an ordered biological system is misrepresentation?

That by wondering why the big bang contradicts the laws of conservaton of energy is misrepresentation?

That to wonder why a big bang could have occured out of nothing is misrepresentation?

That to wonder how an event could occur in the absence of time is misrepresentation?

That to wonder where on earth the molecules that caused the big bang appeared from is misrepresentation?

Mr. stop and understand the theories you peddle first before trying to pick holes in others.

My position is not new, its evident in the bible. Too bad you prefer to ferret for "contradictions" rather than focus on understanding what the bible actually stands for.

Again - you need to understand what honesty means.

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The concept of honesty applies to all behaviors. One cannot refuse to consider factual information, for example, and still claim that one's knowledge, belief, or position is an attempt to be truthful or is held in "good faith." Such willful blindness is clearly a product of one's desires and simply has nothing to do with the human ability to know. Basing one's positions on what one wants — rather than unbiased evidence gathering — is dishonest even when good intentions can be cited — after all even villains could cite good intentions and intended glory for a select group of people. Clearly then, an unbiased approach to the truth is a requirement of honesty

Source Wikipedia

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The key question is "Why do you misrepresent concepts you think are critical of you religious position? The honest man would not adopt this approach, but this has been your tactic all along. You misrepresent theories like Big Bang, evolution, etc, etc, because somehow you think they hurt your position.

On the other hand, I have asked umpteen times "what the principal doctrine of Christianity is" and not surprisingly I get no answer from you. So do not criticise me (and other atheist) for misrepresenting your position. You fail to define your position and our knowledge of you position derives from our previous experience as Christians or from the various documents that describe Christianity.

So, now, once and for all - tell us what Christianity is, a honest man as you are. Do you want me to resurrect the threads I had raised about this subject?

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Is this man for real? Using an urban dictionary to explain a concept that came into play 2000yrs ago when there was no urban dictionary? A term you could easily understand if you merely flipped through the pages of the bible?

Let me show you that your question is coming 2000yrs too late - John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

What really is new in your position?

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From the urban dictionary:

Born again Christianity

A fail-safe term use, incase there is a heaven.

-Someone who is experiencing hard times, who is willing to accept anything to save them from dispair, even to go as low as christianity.

-About as difficult as writing your name down on a peice of paper

Tom: Hey Mark, I became a born again christian!!!

Mark: Wow man, I can relate, today I was able to bounce a ball of the wall and catch it!

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3) Pseudo-sophisticated Christian.

This type of Christian is sheer blooded-mindedly silly and a zealot, all at once. They are particularly industrous and diligent in their attachment to Christianity and would continue to be so even if the bones of Jesus were to be discovered today and it was proven 100% that these were Jesus's bones. They do not care about the truth as much as their affiliation to a superstitious myth. Their industry means that they would have spent time and money investigating the various criticisms of theism and christianity but because they are committed to their position are impervious to reason. In fact, because of the sense of cognitive disonance they inevitably feel, they would tend to be even more zealous for their defunct ideas. The operative word for these types is intellectual dishonesty.

They like to engage others, christians and non christians alike in debates and even if caught lying or in dishonesty will rarely back down.

Examples of such are Kent Hovind and many apologist here on Niaraland such as . . .

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that analogy is for those who really dont stand for anything.

For genuine born again christians . . . a Christ-like life is their very existence. To them religion is not a badge to be displayed.

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Religion is a bit like being a supporter of a football team, many teams with different ideas on how the game should be played.

Everybody thinks their team is the best and despise the other teams.

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Ah thanks. finally its obvious i wasnt even talking to a born again christian grounded in her faith. Pls apologies for making that mistake.

the unfortunate thing is you just might have described urself here.

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David is correct that unlike physics, biology is yet to find a convincing argument for the advent of life. But it's all in the works; this, of course, does no injury to the fact of evolution.

.

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jesus(god) did non of these in the old testament he was violent. . . . . . . he killed, maimed, destroyed, tore down,ordered people to enslave, steal , looted , accepted people as scarifice and did so many henious crimes in the old testament. . . . . . . .

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Did the early apostles obey constituted authority? - Yes, even apostle Peter encourages that in his epistle and asks us to pray for our political leaders.

Did the early apostles live peacefully with their neighbours? - Yes, we see no case where they deliberately tried to disturb public peace.

Did they love their neighbours? - Sure.

Where they humble men? - Yes.

What was different? - They were not content to watch their neighbours go to hell all in the name of "respecting their religions/philosophies".

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the bible never called the exploits of the early apostles "mistakes".

Infact what the bible warns us most of is the lukewarmness we see prevailing today. The desire by "christians" to "blend" in with everyone else in the name of "peaceful coexistence". Remember the parable of the leaven? Remember Christ's warning to the disciples on the leaven of the pharisees?

The problem is too many of us dont spend time asking - how did the early disciples live their lives and can i do likewise? To insinuate that Paul, Peter, John and co made mistakes is as laughable as it is dangerous.

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it is not our christian duty to "care for everyone". "Loving everyone" does not include accomodating/respecting other false religions and trying to "coexist peacefully" with unbelievers.

As a christian we are enjoined to live peaceably with all men but do not take it as license to excuse false doctrine. Christ lived peaceably with all men in His generation but He let no one be in doubt He would not condone the pharisees. See Paul when he got to the city where men used psychics to make money?

It is sad that we are now in a generation where in order ot "coexist peacefully" we can no longer differentiate between the christian and the unbeliever. Contrast that to the Acts of the apostles - Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; 7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

These men werent violent, they were humble and peaceful YET they made it clear where they stood even if it meant death, imprisonment and ostracism.

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@Davidylan

We must humble ourselves to care for everyone and love everyone.

Everybody is somebody.

Peace

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@davidylan

It has been said that a wise man learns from his mistakes; but a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others. One of the reasons that the Bible tells us of the failures, and not just the triumphs, of the men and women of faith, is that we are to recognize their mistakes, learn from them, and avoid them.

Peace

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pardon me but all these pseudo-christians. Christ and the early disciples did not sit down seeking to "respect other religions" or trying to figure out how to "coexist peacefully" with them. Enough of all these moral hogwash that has no basis in the bible.

have you read John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Now do you understand what it means to be born again? Its a lot more than just taking a bath in the river.

i cant wait for them to create life with that thing.

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yeye man stop taking shots at the hadron collider, it would be back in action soon. inshah Allah

are you trying to get into heaven by tricking God. you are not fooling the omnipresent one buddy.

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I am a Christian but not a born again Christian. However, I respect what other people want to believe in and seeing their religion as just as important as mines. i have attended different denominations but it doesn't mean that I converted to those faiths; it simply means that I was invited to attend, and did so. I feel that respecting other religions and philosophies means not only coexisting peacefully with them, but also learning about them firsthand, rather than relying upon rumors for information.

Peace

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perhaps because these theories are nothing but speculation. Create a big bang and produce amoeba first!

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