July 3, 2011

How to Tell Whether You are a Real Christian

CrossWhat is a real Christian? Who deserves to be called a real Christian, and who does not? These can be difficult questions, and sometimes I don't envy the plight of Christians at all. It seems like almost no matter what you do, someone is going to come along and claim that you are not a real Christian. And yet, if you are doing what your god tells you to do (like many of the protagonists in your bible did), how can you not be a real Christian?

First things first, your god does talk to you, right? We need to clear that up right away because if your god has not been talking to you, we may have a problem. You might not actually be a real Christian. I'm no longer a Christian, but I'm familiar enough with your bible to know that your god communicates with people. So, I am going to assume that it talking with you too.

Now suppose your god tells you to torture, rape, and murder a lesbian couple. What? I know, that seems awfully farfetched. But assume it happens. Your god tells you to do this, and you do it. Of course you do it! You cannot ignore the instructions of your god, at least not if you want to be a real Christian.

So you torture, rape, and murder a lesbian couple. Now what? Your fellow Christians will disown you immediately, going so far as to proclaim that you were never a real Christian in the first place. It does not matter what you say; they will not believe you. They may agree with the secular authorities that you are mentally ill, and they will almost certainly regard you as deserving of severe punishment.
Vbetter

Now consider a somewhat different case. This time your god tells you to bomb an abortion clinic or murder an OB/GYN in cold blood. You will likely get a different reaction in the aftermath of this act. Some of your fellow Christians will herald you as a hero, even as others claim that you are not a real Christian and want to punish you. It sure can be confusing, can't it?

I think I can clear up what is happening here. Being a real Christian exists only in the eye of the beholder. When a Christian says that you are a real Christian, that only means that he or she agrees with your actions. The moment you do something with which this Christian disagrees, he or she will no longer consider you a real Christian.

So how to you tell whether you are a real Christian? You need to ask other Christians. But since opinions are likely to vary from Christian to Christian, one or two is not going to be enough. If you want to be sure about whether or not you are a real Christian, you are going to need to poll at least 100 Christians. Why 100? You ask too many questions. Don't you know that your god works in mysterious ways?

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