Social Question

blueberry_kid's avatar

Is there a difference between being Catholic and Christian?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5580 points ) June 28th, 2011

My friends all say that they are Christian. I tell them that I’m Catholic and call me lame. Some of my friends think being Catholic is different and I always thought it was the same thing.

Is there a certain reason why my friends reacted in that way?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

88 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Not really.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It is about the same difference as being called a sunni and a muslim. To an outsider they appear to be the same but from the inside there are differences.

Qingu's avatar

Catholicism is a sect of Christianity.

Some Protestants think Catholics aren’t real Christians.

Some Catholics think Protestants aren’t real Christians.

The reason your friends reacted that way is probably because they think the Catholic church sets up a false power structure. Protestants believe that God and the Bible are magic and anyone who reads the Bible has access to this magic. Whereas Catholics believe that there is a separate class of magic users (the priests of the Catholic Church) who sort of funnel magic from God and the Bible to believers. Protestants like your friends deny that this class of magic-users actually have magic powers.

marinelife's avatar

All Catholics are Christians. But not all Christians are Catholics.

zenvelo's avatar

Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholic.

zenvelo's avatar

@marinelife I swear I was not peeking over your shoulder.

marinelife's avatar

@zenvelo Jinx. You owe me a soda.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I don’t know if things are still this way, but among certain Southern US denominations, Catholicism was considered to be “of the devil.” Over the last few decades ( especially since JFK became President of the US ) I’ve seen this change to the realization that there is lots of room for doctrinal differences among christians, so that most Protestants I know now agree that Catholics are also christians. I think the way all this got started is that a number of protestant denominations remember things like indulgences, the sale of relics, the Inquisition, etc. They err, thinking that the Catholic church still carries the weight of these things.

Mariah's avatar

Right, Catholic is a subset of Christianity. Your friends must be Protestant or some other sect.

Hibernate's avatar

If they start mocking you tell them to revise their attitude .
If they say it and trying to explain most catholics have some bad parts then they want to make you understand .

[ not trying to defend them ]

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Any established Christian sect (like the Catholic church) has a power structure, official documents, and policies designed to separate it from other Christian sects. Many protestant denominations have policies and beliefs created as a reaction against Catholic thinking.

The Catholic (and Greek Orthodox to some extent) church can be thought of as the first Christian Church, protestant religions broke away in PROTEST against Catholic policies.

Jellie's avatar

They could mean that by specifying you’re catholic you are probably very orthodox and strict in your beliefs. Not sure though…
Why don’t you just ask them what they mean?

Lightlyseared's avatar

A man was standing off the edge of the Sydney Harbour Bridge—about to jump. A passer-by tried to talk him down; he asked: “well, are you a Christian?” to which the man answered “yes.” He exclaimed: “great, me too; what kind of Christian are you? Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant?” The answer was: “Protestant.” “Me too; what kind of Protestant? Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Pentecostal?” The man got excited: “me too; are you an initial evidence or a third wave Pentecostal?” “Initial evidence.” “Me too; what kind of initial evidence? Are you a AOG, CRC, COC, CCC?” “AOG.” Now, he got really excited: “Me too; are you Premillenial, Post Millenial or Amillenial?” The guy on the bridge said: “Amillenial” and with that the passer-by, becoming very angry, screamed: “Die, heretic!” and pushed him off the bridge.

Facade's avatar

@Qingu is right, aside from his use of the word “magic” Fluther never ceases to amaze….

Judi's avatar

Catholics are Christian. They hold to a lot of the traditions that have been passed down for 2000 years. The “new Christianity” rarely respects the roots of those traditions simply because they don’t understand it’s Bible based significance.
I’m Lutheran and we have maintained a lot of the same traditions. When I was in High School I went on a quest to really understand my beliefs and the beliefs of others. I was attending youth groups and church services and Bible Studies from several denominations.
One day, as I sat in the pew at my church, (Which I thought was boring and “spiritless”,) I heart the words that we had always sang every week and realized that they were straight scripture. It was then that I finally gained a respect for the liturgy that I had snubbed before. It all came alive to me.
My suggestion would be to pay attention and study. Seek truth, not something to validate what you have been raised to believe. If you really want truth, you will find it.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t let any Christians tell you you are not Christian because you are Catholic. They are being mean in my opinion.

I agree with @Judi learn about Catholicism, and begin to take a more active role in what you believe, or at minimum about Catholicism. This way you can fight back so to speak, with confidence. Catholics accept Jesus Christ as their savior, for anyone to say Catholics are not Christians is offensive to me.

ddude1116's avatar

The difference is minor. Certain practices and beliefs have slight differences, but they all come from the same base, so it really doesn’t matter.

Judi's avatar

When they are rude just say, “That’s not very Christian of you.”

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, I would actually advise the OP to learn about Catholicism before they actually choose to identify as Catholics.

They may learn about Catholicism and decide that it’s not worth believing in, in the first place.

Blackberry's avatar

Didn’t some christians criticise JFK for being a catholic? Correct me if I’m wrong….But why is it such a big deal?

Nullo's avatar

Protestants and Catholics have been questioning each other’s salvation for a few centuries, now. Got Questions does a good job of presenting what might broadly be called the Protestant angle, citing as the crucial difference the value and function of faith as it relates to salvation.

It’s a serious distinction, and has equally serious ramifications; it is by no means “lame.”

YARNLADY's avatar

I agree with @Qingu . Before you tell people you are Catholic, you should find out what it means. How can you be something if you don’t even know what it is?

flutherother's avatar

Protestants and Catholics are both Christian. Protestantism began as break away Christian sect during the Reformation in the 16th Century. Now much of southern Europe is Catholic and northern Europe tends to be Protestant. These religious differences account for much of the trouble Northern Ireland has experienced and there is still a lot of sectarian rivalry in Glasgow where Catholics support Celtic and Protestants Rangers

mrrich724's avatar

Christianity involves any religion that believes in Jesus Christ.

Catholicism is a type of Christianity since they believe Jesus is Lord and Savior!

athenasgriffin's avatar

If you believe in the Bible you are Christian.

Protestant religions wouldn’t exist without Catholicism. They began as sects that protested the Catholic church’s naughty ways. Which is why some Protestants have a deep distrust for the Catholic church. They protested, the Church prosecuted.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I agree with that. I also want to say I am Jewish, and what I know about Catholicism, I firmly believe they are Christians. So, even if the OP learns about Catholicism, and decides she does not identify with the religion, she still might be able to argue they are Christians. Meanwhile, it seems like her girlfriends are being mean girls, trying to make her feel on the outside, or less than, and I find that awful. Or, they are trying to lure her in with some bullshit their church is telling them to say. I hate that too. I hope it is just catty girl stuff rather than the latter.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I think you can be something before you know. At a young age we tend to identify with our parents and how they have raised us. Eventually she might change her mind, and identify differently.

zenvelo's avatar

As a side note, Catholics accept any baptism in Jesus as a sacrament within the Catholic Church. When one is baptized as a Catholic one is welcomed to the Christian church.

When a baptized Protestant converts to Catholicism, there is no additional baptism.

The process for people over 18 becoming Catholics is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

plethora's avatar

Some Protestants are Christians and some Catholics are Christians. Wearing the mantle of either Prostestant or Catholic does not make one a Christian, and, for the benefit of the OP, virtually all of what I see on this thread so far about the subject is questionable, with the exception of @Nullo

filmfann's avatar

The earliest Christian Churches were Catholic. Saint Paul is considered to be the first Pope.
The real difference came with Martin Luther, and his belief that the Catholic Church was too controling. He wanted a more open church. I might be wrong about that, but that’s what I remember.

Qingu's avatar

There were Christian churches before the big C Catholic church.

The word “church” is derived from the greek word, meaning “assembly.”

plethora's avatar

@Qingu Wanna document that last comment re the beginning of the Christian Church?

Nullo's avatar

Agreeing (for once) with @Qingu – the Church existed before it was Catholic. IIRC, Catholicism didn’t really take form until the High Middle Ages. When I turn up my old textbook, I can be a bit more specific. The various flavors of Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church over doctrinal disputes. It has been my experience that modern Catholicism puts undue emphasis on good works as an avenue of salvation – Paul states outright that salvation is by grace, through faith, not by works so that no one can boast – and on generally distancing people from God by directing them to such unauthorized intermediaries as saints and priests and popes and presumed eternally virgin mothers.
@filmfann That was Peter, not Paul.

zenvelo's avatar

@filmfann St Peter was the first Pope- appointed by Jesus: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Peter/Petrus means rock in Latin).

Constantine called the first Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, where the Nicene Creed was agreed upon. It was the first assembly of all the Christian sects, and was a principal development of the Roman Catholic Church’s primacy.

The Great Schism between Eastern and Western Churches was in 1054. Prior to that the Catholic Church was based in Rome.

“Faith without works is dead” is from James. Jesus instructed his followers to feed the hungry, comfort the sick, clothe the naked. If we wish to follow in Jesus footsteps, we must care for those who need our help.

Judi's avatar

@filmfan, Peter was considered the first pope. Not Paul.

SavoirFaire's avatar

This question is a bit like asking if there is a difference between being a three and being a number. There is a difference between being a Catholic and being a different kind of Christian, but being a Catholic is just one way of being a Christian.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire There are Christians who say Catholics are not Christian.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Yes, and they are wrong.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire That’s what I say. :)

JLeslie's avatar

At the same time, when I use the term Christian, when it is regarding politics or current events, I typically am not including Catholics.

Nullo's avatar

I figure that while Catholics can be Christians, Catholicism is riddled with un-Biblical practices that can’t be healthy. Veneration of the saints, Mary, the nonsense with relics (no, you can’t buy shards of the One True Cross anymore, but St. Anthony’s vocal cords are on display in Padua, where you can pray to them), the doctrine of salvation by works, the concept of the Pope being the vicar of Christ, Purgatory… the list goes on, but that’s all that comes to mind right now.
@SavoirFaire It’s a bit more like different sorts of diets. Some promote good health. Others, not so much. And some will kill you.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo Yes, it’s truly disgusting the way Catholics think you need to actually be a good person to get into Heaven. Luckily, the Protestants realize that all you need is for God to wink at the bouncer on your way in. And once again, I find your metaphor lacking. Remember: my number metaphor was about the wording of the question. Yours is about something else (or just another bad example from you).

Nullo's avatar

@SavoirFaire I said that it was un-Biblical, not that it was disgusting. It’s made rather clear in the Law that you can’t possibly be good enough to get into Heaven by your own merit. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Granted, faith without works is dead, but first you need faith.
I am attempting, with my metaphor, to point out that not all doctrine that call s itself Christian actually is. Some doctrine promotes a healthy relationship with God. Some will get you in the door. And the rest won’t.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo The problem with your metaphor, as I suspected, is that it commits the No True Scotsman fallacy. All Christians are Christians, even if they aren’t the kind of Christian you are or would like them to be. If there were a God, all Christians would still be Christians even if they weren’t the kind of Christians He would like them to be. And unless God is bad at logic, He’d have to agree with me.

As for good works, the Catholic belief is not that they make you worthy of Heaven by your own merit. The idea is that you cannot be saved without them. They are necessary, rather than sufficient. Catholics also find there to be a Biblical basis for this view (click here for a brief summary).

Nullo's avatar

@SavoirFaire In fact, I made sure that my metaphor was nice and vague. The true Scotsmen are stuck in your eyes.
I do encourage you to go back to the part where I said that Catholics could be Christians, but that Catholicism itself wasn’t very helpful in that regard. C.S. Lewis was himself Catholic, and you won’t find many who will dispute his Christianity. Incidentally, he was not Scottish. :P
Perhaps our trouble lies in definition. I typically use “Christian” to refer to people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who are saved and who I would stand a decent chance of meeting in Heaven. I do not think that everybody who plops into a pew is by definition Christian, regardless of denomination. Similarly, I am hesitant to call Christians people who preach heresy in the name of God, even if they call themselves Christians.

It might be (indeed, probably is) the lateness of the hour, but I presently fail to see any significant difference between working to earn salvation, and works being required for salvation. In any case, John 1:12, 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9–10, 10:13 point rather definitely to plain ol’ faith.

Qingu's avatar

@plethora, the big C Catholic church didn’t really exist until the 300’s, when Constantine codified a set version of Christianity. There were numerous churches before then, some consisting of completely different sects than the traditional Catholic (or even Protestant) ones.

I’m not really sure what you expect me to “document.” I suggest reading about early Christianity. The wikipedia entry isn’t bad. You might also check out information about such early church “fathers” as Origen, Iraeneus, and Tertullian, all of whom led Christian assemblies (“churches”) before the Catholic church.

Qingu's avatar

@SavoirFaire and @JLeslie, I find that it’s ultimately pointless to engage in questions about who truly counts as a member of a religious sect… because everyone has a different definition of what counts.

I don’t consider myself a Jew. But many Jews (to my eternal anger) would, because I was born of a Jewish vagina and have the magic Jew mitochondrial DNA or whatever.

Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many other Christians consider Mormons heretics.

Muslims, in a way, consider themselves Christians, in that they regard Christ as a prophet who ought to be followed. Most Christians would obviously not consider Muslims to be Christians.

The question of who is a “real Christian” is further compounded by the fact that, according to Christians, it’s pretty damn important to be in this club.

For my part, I think Catholics are Christians. And this is only because I define the word “Christian” in the following way: someone who believes Jesus died and came back to life for some manner of salvific effect. I think this is a nice, neutral definition—not too narrow, not too broad. But obviously definitions vary, and getting Christians to agree on a definition of “true Christian” is like herding cats.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I gave you a GA. I try to just go along with however the person self identifies generally. The thing about the Catholic Christian debate is, as a Jew I find it insulting that Christians think that even if I live as Jesus did, because I do not accept him as the son of God, I can’t get into heaven. I can only imagine how that feels to a Catholic, who indeed does accept Jesus, just worships maybe in a slightly different way.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Gone be lots’a folks real surprised! : D

Judi's avatar

The latest Christian preacher, Rob Bell, whose Nooma videos have been in many a Evangelical Bible study, has recently been accused of being a heretic because he had the gall to say that Ghandi could be in heaven. That God, in his infinate mercy, might have a plan to rescue us ALL.
Those in the private exclusive club didn’t like that much.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo The subject of your inability to craft metaphors has been well-canvased, so we can leave it be. Your definition of “Christianity” is faulty, and it is precisely for that reason that you are committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. Moreover, you straw man all those who might disagree by implying that the alternative to your definition is “everybody who plops into a pew.” I brought non-Christians to my church back in the day, and I never thought they had converted merely because they had consented to see where I spent my Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. And as for heresy, that is a relative term. You are the heretic relative to Catholic dogma. Remember: heresy means “divergence from doctrine” and not “divergence from truth” (even if you think your doctrine is the truth).

Regarding your inability to see the difference between a necessary and a sufficient condition, I recommend an elementary logic textbook. A thorough reading might solve a number of your other problems as well. Perhaps it would even help you to see that none of the passages you cite are decisive. For if “belief” is being used normatively therein, it may require certain actions (as one might think that Matthew 25: 31–46 indicates). This is certainly a question that is open to debate, and there are many appropriate venues to do so. Though it is interesting to note that Catholics do have belief even in the non-normative sense. As such, they would still be Christians by your lights even if they held an additional view that more was necessary. Again, this fact will be clearer once you learn the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire It is worthwhile for religions to be very specific who is accepted, so they can specifically say you are still an outsider and try to convert you. If you are Christian as you are, then they don’t get to add you and your money into the church. I am not picking on Christians, most religions function this way. In fact, Catholics would say non-Catholics who are Christians cannot receive communion if I am not mistaken? So by saying those Christians are not Catholic, it is a way for the Catholic church to make them outsiders.

In the end, most religions try to grow their membership, and it is questionable what is the driving force behind growing the membership.

CaptainHarley's avatar

By their works shall you know them. And you shall know them because they love one another.

@JLeslie

Whether a non-Catholic is allowed to take communion or not is largely up to the priest celebrating the mass. I have taken communion many times with my Catholic brothers and sisters. I love them. : )

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JLeslie But a Catholic can think a Protestant is an outsider without thinking he is a non-Christian, and vice versa. Struggles for membership can even occur between two churches of the same denomination when a congregation is looking to expand. There is not, after all, some single Church of Christianity that gets all the money of all Christians everywhere.

So while I understand that various denominations might want to be clear about who is “in” and who is “out”—though my experience regarding taking communion at a Catholic church mirrors that of @CaptainHarley—it is fully possible to do so without pretending that people who are merely of a different denomination are of an entirely different religion.

I also like the story that @Judi mentioned. Even if one thinks that Christianity is the correct religion, it need not be un-Christian to think that God might love and care for everyone. I don’t know much about Rob Bell in particular; but I’ve known (Protestant) preachers who believed everyone would eventually make it into Heaven by one path or another, and I’ve known (Protestant) preachers who believed that all Christians would eventually make it into Heaven along with the truly great non-Christians of the world (e.g., Gandhi).

I’ve known Catholic preachers who believed the same things. But the fact that there are Protestants who think that non-Christians who rise to the level of Gandhi can get into Heaven means some Protestants must hold that something like good works could help get you into Heaven (even if they do not think it is strictly necessary for Christians). Not all Protestants hold @Nullo‘s view that God is a bigot.

JLeslie's avatar

@SavoirFaire I agree with everything you said. But, I tend to agree with Catholics usually, I am surrounded by them. People like @Judi always make me feel good and give me hope for the open minds and love I hope Christians and all people can have. She shines bright to me, very positive energy, even through the internet. I believe if there is a God we are all God’s children on our own paths to goodness.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

It’s like any basic premise of logic in demonstration. All catholics are Christians but not all Christians are Catholics.

You my dear are the religious victim of a drive by unwarranted assumption

And if you REALLY want to be confused… Study logic.

plethora's avatar

I would suggest that not only are all Catholics not Christian, neither are all Protestants Christian.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@plethora Well what do you mean? They killed off the cathers. What’s left?

plethora's avatar

@GabrielsLamb ummm….what are “cathers”?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora I suspect that @GabrielsLamb is referring to the Cathars. Regardless, I worry that you are committing the same No True Scotsman fallacy that @Nullo was committing above. If we’re willing to say that someone is really a Catholic, we must be willing to say that he is really a Christian. The same goes for someone we are willing to say is really a Protestant. Catholics and Protestants are, after all, just types of Christians.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@plethora Exactly… They killed them all! LOL

THanks for clearing up my typo @Savoir I make lots of them… Sorry guys, I didn’t notice that.

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire Anyone can join a Catholic church or a Protestant church. Many Protestant churches will take anyone that signs on the dotted line regardless of what they believe.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@GabrielsLamb No problem!

@plethora Indeed. But why say they are real Catholics or real Protestants if you aren’t willing to say they are real Christians? It makes no sense.

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire I would suggest that it makes sense because a “real” Protestant or a “real” Catholic is not necessarily a “real” Christian. It has to do with what they believe, and there is a broad spectrum of belief in the Protestant church. Not sure how broad it is in the Catholic church.

zenvelo's avatar

@plethora All Catholics are Christians. Yes, anyone can join the Catholic Church; above the age of reason they must go through an education class before being baptized. For adults it is call Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

One joins the Catholic Church by being baptized in the name of Christ. Any baptism in the name of Christ is accepted by the Catholic Church.

I am not sure what your idea is about a broad spectrum of belief; to qualify to be a Christian one believes in the divinity of Jesus Christ, nothing more.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora The argument “anyone can join a Catholic church or a Protestant church” can be retorted to with “anyone can join a Christian church.” What if I were to join a church that rejected the labels “Catholic” and “Protestant” and simply referred to its members as “Christians” (several of these exist in both my hometown and current location)?

Moreover, I again point out that Catholics and Protestants are types of Christians. So if one is a real Catholic or a real Protestant, one must be a real Christian. You’re either both a fake Catholic/Protestant and and fake Christian or a real Catholic/Protestant and a real Christian. The logic doesn’t work any other way (it falls into a self-sealing fallacy).

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire @zenvelo I’m not in the mood to argue on this and will just note that I disagree with both of you.

I would be interested in knowing what a “self-sealing fallacy” is, though. Thanks.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora A self-sealing argument is one that avoids counterexamples by equivocating on key terms, but which thereby makes what was supposed to be a substantive point into a trivial claim. Thus it is fallacious to take it as proving anything.

Example:

Aron: All Mexicans are illegal aliens.
Nora: My friend Andy is Mexican, but he’s not illegal.
Aron: Then he’s not really Mexican, he’s Mexican-American.
Nora: What about my friend Pedro who lives in Mexico? He’s not an illegal alien.
Aron: But he’s not Mexican, either. People who live in Mexico call themselves “Mexicano.”
Nora: So “Mexican” just means “an illegal alien who was born in Mexico”?
Aron: Yes.
Nora: Then you’ve said nothing important, and gone against ordinary usage.

In the example, Aron commits two self-sealing fallacies (line 3 and line 5). By “Mexican,” we all understand people to mean “people of Mexican descent.” Moreover, that’s the only way that the the original claim “all Mexicans are illegal aliens” would be interesting. By redefining the term in response to each counterexample, Aron renders his claim trivial, uninteresting, and infelicitous. It tells us nothing new, it does not connect with any live debates, and it is needlessly confusing through its misappropriation of an existing word.

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire Thanks for the example. But it does not apply to the topic. I will speak only for the Protestant church. I, myself, was a member of a Protestant church (two different Protestant churches) from birth til age 22. During that time I was not a Christian. I had “mouthed” all the words proscribed by the church, but I believed none of them, or at least did not take them very seriously. About the time I graduated from college, I began to reconsider much of what I had been taught to believe, much of which was quite liberal (from the churches) and I went thru a period of pulling together what I was sure I believed and pitching out the rest….followed by years and years of reading which honed my thoughts and attititudes further. It is quite clear to me that for the first 22 years of my life I was not a Christian, notwithstanding my having joined a church that was a Christian church.

I suspect the same happens in the Catholic church, but I have no experience of that.

zenvelo's avatar

@plethora So your fine semantic point was that you belonged to a Christian church, but you didn’t really believe in Christianity? Or that you didn’t behave as a Christian?

Humanity is weak and imperfect, and we are not saints. But don’t say we aren’t Christian. Judge our behavior, but don’t judge our faith.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo But that is my big complaint about many Christians, they don’t care about behavior. If they did then some Jews and buddhists could make it up into heaven. Certainly there are people who are not Christian behaving as well as many Christians out there. Christians seem to be all about the believing and not actions in the end. Of course there are people who identify as Christians who don’t think like this, but it seems the evangelical set generally do.

There is an old joke, When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me
Author: Emo Philips

Judi's avatar

@jLeslie, I think that’s because Christians believe in Grace. It’s not what WE do that saves us but what JESUS did.
Some take advantage of that and don’t feel they have to change their behavior. They see their faith as just a free ticket to heaven and go no further. It really is their loss.
A more mature believer realizes that the evidence of their faith is, what the Bible refers to as “The Fruit of the Spirit.”
If one wants to look like a follower of Jesus then their fruit will be:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
You know what kind of tree it is by the fruit it bears.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi But, still the person who does not accept Jesus as their savior is SOL. Even if their behavior is very “Christian.”

I hope the joke I wrote didn’t make it sound like I think all Christians are out doing bad deeds assuming they can be forgiven. I don’t really think that at all. I think Christians do care about their own behavior, either for internal reasons, or to please God, or both.

Judi's avatar

Yes, that is the traditional Christian thinking. I think I will reserve judgment. God is full of surprises.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie There is an old joke, When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me
This is very insightful as well as funny…:)

My opinion on this is pretty much the same as @Judi

plethora's avatar

@zenvelo My post above related personal experience and I can most certainly speak for myself. I also noted I was speaking from a Protestant reference point, not Catholic. You may speak for Catholics if you like.

I will also note that there are Protestant churches for whom “belief” is meaningless. Whatever is “blowing in the wind” that day is good enough for them. Those groups tend to insist that anyone who has signed the church roll is a Christian. I would tend to disagree with that position.

Read @Judi ‘s post regarding behavior.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora The argument still works. Remember what I’ve been saying: while @Nullo was committing a straightforward No True Scotsman fallacy, your mistake is more subtle. It’s more definitely a mistake, however, because it actually doesn’t end up mattering whether or not we think you are committing the No True Scotsman fallacy by saying you weren’t “really” a Christian during your first 22 years.

Let’s just accept that you weren’t really a Christian during those years. If that’s true, then it is also true that you weren’t really a Protestant during those years. This is because a Protestant is a type of Christian—all Protestants are Christians, even if not all Christians are Protestants. As such, we would have to equivocate on our terms in order to get a different result.

You may not be reasoning exactly as Aron is in my example, but that was merely an example. It is there to give the flavor of the fallacy, not to exhaust its possible manifestations.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I went to a Catholic school and even I don’t know the difference. Until now of course.

JLeslie's avatar

@Keep_on_running Because Catholics don’t worry about the difference. It’s the other Christians who do. Well, some of them do.

Keep_on_running's avatar

@JLeslie Ahh…good point.

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire You’re forcing the reasoning to fit your desired results. The fact is that you CAN be a Protestant and not be a Christian. It’s done all the time.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora Argument by assertion. Show how it can be done without committing one of the fallacies I’ve mentioned.

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire Let me suggest that you figure out your own mistakes in your reasoning. It’s of no importance to me.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Oh god…is someone committing fallacies again?! Arrest them!

SavoirFaire's avatar

@plethora I’m not sure how that is a response. All you’ve done is offer assertions, no arguments. I’ve offered arguments in return. You want me to agree with you, but you do not wish to provide me with any reason to do so. In what way is that reasonable?

plethora's avatar

@SavoirFaire Take a hint, buddy. This is a game I am electing not to play with you. Figure it out for yourself. It’s not difficult.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther