I'm a scientist, but I think the scientific method is for suckers. Experiments are stupid.
I'm a Russian, but I don't have Russian ancestry nor am I a Russian citizen. I've never even set foot in Russia.
Would you accept that if someone said any of those things to you? I mean, those words they used have meanings right? Vegan means you definitely wouldn't be chowing down on ten pounds of animal a day. If someone said that to me I'd either laugh or ask if they were joking. You know what I wouldn't do? Believe them.
So why is it that people do this with religion all the time and we let it slide? Shoot, we even affirm it!
"I'm Muslim, but I don't believe in all the stuff in the Koran." Well, sorry, but you're not Muslim. You're something else and you can choose to be whatever it is. But let's not call it Muslim. Cause it's not.
"I'm Christian, but I don't agree with what the Bible says about... sex before marriage, Jesus being the only way, homosexuality, sin and judgment from God, alcohol, stealing, whatever." Again, sorry, but that's like saying that you are a feminist but believe that women shouldn't receive the same pay as men for the same job.
I'm not trying to be harsh here. Let me clarify by saying that I love you, whoever you are reading this, whether you are a Christian or not. Recently, I've run into a lot of people who fully call themselves Christian, but then throw away everything that Christians have historically believed for the past two thousand years. Can we just be honest and say that at this point, you've invented something new and it's not Christianity?
I'm not saying that you have to be perfect to be a Christian. The Bible teaches just the opposite! Sinners in need of a Savior turn to Jesus to pay for their sins and help them live a new life. No. You don't have to be perfect at all. But we can't just invent our own definition of Christianity. That's confusing, unhelpful, and I think hurtful to the church. It causes people inside the church to be confused and it misrepresents true Christianity to those outside the church. Real Christians make enough mistakes to cause those outside the church to question it. We don't need misidentified Christians talking nonsense about Christianity to cause even more problems.
As an example, you can't say there is no God and still legitimately call yourself a Christian. As extreme as that is, it shows us that a line has to be drawn somewhere with what we mean by Christian. There are just some things that go with the territory like the Trinity, Jesus' humanity and divinity, His death and resurrection, the Inspiration of Scripture (meaning we believe the Bible is actually God's Word), etc.
I guess I'm saying that I'd like to see people say what they mean and mean what they say when it comes to the "Christian" label/title. If you have to say, "I'm Christian... but/except," and then you proceed to do away with a major part of Christianity, then I'd like you to reconsider. Are you truly a Christian? Do you really believe what the Bible says? If not, I highly recommend you spend some time looking into the Bible to see whether or not it stands up as truly God's Word (it does!). If you find that it does, then humble yourself and change your views to line up with God's Word. If you aren't convinced and don't want to follow it, then I would humbly submit to you this thought: You are not a Christian. I would love to talk with you. I'll put my cards on the table. I want you to sincerely be a Christian and follow Christ and be saved by His work on the cross. Drop me a comment or question HERE in my Ask ?'s tab. I'd love to help you think through the Bible and Jesus more.
What do you think? Am I wrong? Should we draw the line somewhere with terms like "Christian" or should we let people mean whatever they want? Can a person flat out disagree with chunks of the Bible and still self identify as a Christian? Why or why not?
**Edit: Someone asked if I was referring to disagreements between denominations like the age of baptism. I should clarify. I'm referring to issues of historical Christian orthodoxy, not minor issues of practice. Here are some things I would say count in this argument: The Trinity, Jesus' atoning death and resurrection, Jesus' humanity and divinity, the existence of Heaven and Hell. Here are some things that don't fall into this category: Age of baptism, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, trans/con/cosubstantiation of the Last Supper, what kind of outfit the pastor needs to wear whether it be a robe or a suit, or the style of worhsip. I'm talking about the big stuff that the three major branches of Christianity (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant) have agreed on for thousands of years.