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There are many christian sects, one of which is here which claim that they are not Christians, yet their faith contains things like belief in Jesus as son of God and they appear to all as Christian. And people wont mind calling such a sect as christian even though they themselves don't claim to to be christian.

The rationale given by them of not claiming oneselves as "Christian" stems from the fact that they percieve that Jesus had never called himself as a Christian nor his immediate disciples called themselves Christian and his creed and life is diametrically opposite to what the modern Pauline Christians practice

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Jesus had never called himself as a Christian? Read Acts 11:26 –  Mawia Mar 8 '13 at 10:12
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The claim that "Pauline" religion is "diametrically opposite" of the teachings of Jesus is easily refuted by taking just the teachings of Jesus and comparing them to Paul's writings. You should actually read them rather than reading propaganda sites about them. –  Caleb Mar 8 '13 at 10:29
    
@Mawia thanks for pointing out that verse , this proves that the word(nasara) christian was was used at antioch and not at the time of Jesus. –  JesusBoughtIslam Mar 8 '13 at 11:15
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@Ali Please read the book of Acts thoroughly. This will explain you how Christianity started and how important Paul was. –  Mawia Mar 8 '13 at 11:56
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Moderator note: Ali you've linked to the same content three times in the course of one post and comment thread, as well as additional times in chat. Please stop. One link is sufficient in your post to reference the existence of the view, repeatedly pointing it out will be seen as spam, and removed. Drawn out discussion in comments will also be removed. –  Caleb Mar 8 '13 at 12:29
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3 Answers

Of course Jesus never called himself a Christian! The term "Christian" is generally understood to mean a follower of Christ. Jesus wasn't a follower of Christ, he was the Christ.

When it comes to modern usage in the greater culture, things get complicated. The term "Christian" is not trademarked. Linguistically, no group has more right than another to use or not use the term at their will. Frankly, the term means something different to everyone that uses it. Whether they are "truly" Christian has almost nothing to do with whether they do or don't label themselves as Christian or whether an outside would label them that way.

For the purposes of this Stack Exchange site, our local scope has been defined as including all established groups that self identify with the label "Christian" and excluding everybody who does not. This is not the actual definition of "Christian" used by any of us for our own purposes. Each tradition is going to have a different view on what counts as a a valid expression of Christianity and what does not.

I personally know people who refuse to use the term Christian for themselves even through I believe their faith to be quite orthodox, as well as others who insist on using the term even though they are outright heretics. Whether I would label them as Christian according to my doctrinal position is almost inconsequential in whether they would consider themselves Christian.

When push comes to shove, the term isn't very useful except as a broad cultural classification. If you want to identify the actual beliefs of a group, you must use a more specific term (which is why most questions on this site must be scoped to some tradition smaller than just "Christian").

TL;DR: Claiming to be Christian doesn't make you anything except somebody who claims to be Christian. By the standards of any Christian, actually being saved and a follower of Christ is not closely related to the usage of that term.

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Any individual or group can have their own line of thinking and say we are so and so. They can say that we believe in Jesus, yet we are not Christians. Nobody can prevent them from doing so. They however cannot force Mainstream Christianity (or Chalcedon) to accept their heretical line of thinking.

Mainstream Christianity is recognised to be wielding an authoritative, responsible and established view in defining Christianity. And claim of any other group is subject to their yardstick.

As regards to many sects and faith having reference to Jesus in their scriptures, any group is free to do so and they do it precisely for the reason that they acknowledge Jesus, as blameless and sinless. There is nothing wrong in Him. He personified good and since only God is good, Jesus acknowledges this in this verse.

Mark 10:18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Even we find many times during Jesus' ministry evil spirit acknowledged Him as Son of God.

Mark 3:11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 3:12 But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

Conversely if any group or individual put up their claim to be Christians, technically they fail to be so, if they are not in synch with the authoritative, responsible and the established view of the Mainstream Christianity professing their allegiance in believing the fundamental tenets of Christianity.

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-1 : coz the question is NOT about people claiming to be christians , it is about believers in christ NOT CLAIMING TO BE CHRISTIANS –  JesusBoughtIslam Mar 10 '13 at 9:19
    
I would only request you to improve your answer by removing the irrelevant views which were not asked –  JesusBoughtIslam Mar 10 '13 at 9:46
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It covers both:claiming christians and not claiming christians groups: All cannot not be called christians. –  Seek forgiveness Mar 10 '13 at 10:47
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Let's look at it this way.

A guy is walking down the street and says "I'm NOT a Christian."

Another guy comes up to him and asks him a few questions then concludes "Yes, you are a Christian."

The first guy: "Maybe in your mind, but I still say I am not."

The second guy: "Well you are because of how I define Christian."

The first guy: "I don't care how you define Christian. That means nothing to me. Further, I don't want to be in your Christian group or anybody's for that matter. Why do you think you can tell me what I am and what I am not? Christian is your label and I refuse to accept it."

The second guy: [silence]

So the second guy basically thinks: "No. You are what I say you are because I said so." Who can actually argues this without sounding like a pompous [fill in the blank]?

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+1 for a very good answer. Sorry for the religiuous fanatic downvotes. –  user4114 Mar 9 '13 at 0:36
    
@Franz Meh. It makes sense but I guess I didn't have to be snide. Thanks for the +1. –  fredsbend Mar 9 '13 at 20:50
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