“I’m A Christian”…

What does that even mean? 

A lot of times people will tell me, “I’m a Christian”. But that can mean so many things! Someone who is Christian could be Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, Coptic Christian, Anglican, Catholic… the list goes on and on!

Whenever someone tells me that they are Christian, I always probe further. I ask them what denomination they are, because I’m interested! I’m always curious, because there is such a large variety in Christianity, but people are often unaware of it. 

There are implications when someone simply states that they are a “Christian”. Does that mean someone who identifies as Roman Catholic or Lutheran is not Christian? No! These are all different denominations of Christianity. It often gives people the wrong idea, or creates misunderstandings.

Oftentimes, you can hear people saying, “Oh my mom’s Catholic and my dad’s Christian.” These people do not understand that they are saying something similar to “Lucy is an orangutan while Benny is an ape”. In that certain case, both Lucy and Benny are apes. Similarly, Catholicism is just another branch of Christianity!

Although Protestantism and Catholicism have many differences, they are both branches of Christianity. I have heard many people make arguments for why Catholicism isn’t considered a legitimate branch of Christianity, and I find it quite silly. Protestantism began with Martin Luther, who was previously a Roman Catholic priest. He left the Catholic church to create Lutheranism, and it is because of his past involvement with the Catholic church that I cannot comprehend those who claim that Catholicism is not a true religion. If the Catholic church did not exist first, he would have never had anything to disagree with and create his own religion with! Whether you agree with the Catholic church or not, Luther had to get his ideas from disagreeing with someone.

Protestantism evolved from Catholicism. If one is to call Protestants Christians, then it only makes sense to acknowledge Catholics as Christians as well. How could you claim to be something and then deny your predecessor? It would be like ice claiming to not be related to water. It is my opinion that all branches of Christianity are legitimate religions, because most of them share the same common core beliefs. Belief in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, the trinity. Simply put, they are the same element in different forms.

Of course, it is also my personal belief that all religions are true.

Readers, what do you think about the diversity in Christianity? What are your thoughts on religion in general?

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9 Responses to “I’m A Christian”…

  1. gpyrois says:

    A very interesting post, as you see by the time on the clock I am willing to give up some “shut-eye” to respond.

    I believe that the diversity in Christianity has NOTHING to do with the actual religion itself, but the ingrained inclination of humans to perceive and interpret things differently. Besides these gaps in perception, we as individuals are hardwired to go above what we deem as normalcy, lending to our need to feel superior in things we care about.

    For example, members who join the Army will have longstanding inter-branch rivalries based on their beliefs that their unit is superior and more of an asset to the Army than the other. This is as foolish as it gets to outsiders, but to the men and woman of this service, few things could spark more emotion. When in reality they all have signed up to defend the same country, and the sum of the whole doesn’t function properly without all of the pieces.

    Now getting back to religion, this concept is the same. When we interpret things differently, such as the bible. Or believe the worship practices should be approached in a different manner, splintering is inevitable. And in order to justify such a change one must come up with a relevant synopsis, or nobody will take the new off-shoot seriously. And if there is one thing we know about humans, its that they can justify almost anything!

    In the end religion is a guide and a form of self-discipline. And although many like to believe they are free and only accountable to ourselves, intrinsically most of us search for the breadcrumbs left behind from the creator. Because the realization of being immortal is such a daunting prospect, it causes most of us to question our existence and purpose.

    • Wow, thanks for reading and for the thoughtful comment! I agree with everything you say 🙂

      That is partially why I believe all religions are true, because no matter what your reasons are for being superior, when you get down to it the main reason is that it is YOURS, and it is YOUR belief. If I was born into this world a Muslim or Buddhist rather than Catholic, I would probably never become a Christian. I don’t think that it is possible for everyone to be drawn to the one true religion, otherwise there wouldn’t be such religious diversity! As you said, humans are very diverse and all have different ways of perceiving and reacting to things. It only makes sense that we have so many variations on religion.

  2. regina5000 says:

    That´s true, I agree.

  3. Rachel-Elaine says:

    Yes, completely agree. When I was at my non-Catholic but Christian university last year, even the head of the spiritual department didn’t think that Catholics were considered Christians. I mean I the definition of Christian is someone who follows Jesus Christ. So if we are not Christians than what are we?

    • Yes! Isn’t it annoying? With so many groups that claim to be Christian, it doesn’t seem right for certain groups to dictate who can or cannot be considered Christian. The practice of doing so is not Christ-like at all. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s too bad that experiences like yours are all too common.

  4. C.J. Penn says:

    I believe that the diversity within Christianity is a result of our natural human pride. It’s pride that causes people to want to customize the original message of Jesus, adding their own personal touches. Also, pride can hinder people from believing certain truths that Jesus proclaimed – if they don’t like something Jesus said, they spin it and turn it into something they feel comfortable with. This is pride in action, for it takes humility to accept things even if we don’t agree with them.
    Finally, I believe the truth of what it means to be a Christian has nothing to do with what church you may go to. It has everything to do with your relationship with Jesus. To be a true Christian is to set aside your prideful self and make room for the Holy Spirit in your life. To be a Christian is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. All it takes is faith and desire… God will do the rest. Cheerio

    • Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and providing to the discussion! Since you said that people have customized the original message of Jesus, do you believe that His original message is no longer with us? You also stressed having a personal relationship with Jesus. Would you then define being a Christian completely unrelated to going to Church or following certain rituals? For example, being a Christian would be composed of personal prayer, meditation, good thoughts/deeds. Forgive the questions, I just want to pick your brain a bit to better understand your way of thinking 🙂

      • C.J. Penn says:

        Hello again,
        First, I believe that Jesus’ original message is alive and well. If it were not, His church would have died long ago. As it turns out, His original message is available for all who have a bible to see for themselves. That’s how I first realized that some churches customize Jesus’ message – when I started reading the bible, I saw a lot of differences from what I was hearing from some churches.
        And yes, the truth of being a Christian has nothing to do with attending church and following rituals. As Jesus and Paul said many times, we are saved by faith alone. Yet chhurch is great because that’s where most of us learn the truth of Jesus. But we cannot rely on pastors alone – we need to be willing to read Jesus’ original message for ourselves.
        So what does it really mean to be a Christian, and what is the real church? Consider these words of Paul: “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:22-23) and, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? … for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1Corinthians 3:16-17)
        The true church is not a building or man-made organization. The true church of Jesus Christ is the collection of Spirit-filled believers. This is what it means to be a Christian – to have an intimate relationship with the Spirit of God and Jesus.
        And if all of this is hard to understand, then look to the Holy Spirit for understanding, for as Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
        Cheerio

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