Many religious leaders/organizations place the "cult" label on groups of people or churches who interpret the Bible differently than them. If we claim the Bible as our only authoritative source for our doctrinal foundation. What does it actually say on the matter?
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closed as primarily opinion-based by Flimzy, Affable Geek, fredsbend, curiousdannii, bruised reed Nov 26 '14 at 4:05
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The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. (Acts 11:26, NIV)
Therefore, a Christian is a "disciple" of Christ. And a "disciple" of Christ is one who "believes Jesus and abide in his word" (John 8:31).
Therefore, one who does not believe Jesus or does not abide in the word of Jesus is not a "disciple" of Christian and not a Christian.
The Bible has no definition for who is a Christian.
The term 'Christian' was first used in Antioch in the first century. It is more likely that the people in Antioch called the followers of the new faith as 'Christians' to identify them. The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos) simply means "follower of Christ". The term was created by pagans and it has no bearing of Biblical meaning. As per the meaning of the secular term, 'Christian' would include anyone who professed to follow Jesus Christ.
The Bible only gives the definition of sin and salvation. Jesus Christ did not use the term 'Christian'. Jesus did not come to introduce a new religion. Jesus came to save us, to die for our sins, to open the way to Heaven and to bring us to the Father. The New Testament gives the definition of what is sin and what is death. The Bible tells us why we suffer, why we die, why we are sinners, why we can't save ourselves and how God provided the way of escape from sin and it's punishment.
If Christian means "follower of Christ", here is what Jesus said to who ever wants to follow Him.
Matthew Henry commented on this verse.
In John 3:3-6, Jesus explains salvation to Nicodemus,
In 1 John 2:3-11, John gives these guidelines for distinguishing Christians from non-Christians:
Combining these together, we learn that a Christian is born again of the Holy Spirit, obeys they teaching of Jesus, and loves other Christians.
1 John continues with other requirements, such as not loving the world in 1 John 2:15-17:
Meanwhile, 1 John 2:22-23, states that they cannot deny that Jesus is the Christ, but confess him:
The word Christian was coined to mean little Christ in Antioch:
Act 11:25 and 26
This was attached to the disciples there and spread as a description of what was formerly known as 'people of the way', that title was attached to the followers of Jesus while they were still attending the Tabernacle of God, or the Jewish Synagogue, as a way of differentiating them from the Judaist.
When they began to be persecuted by the Sanhedrin and forced out of the Synagogue, they began to meet in houses of the believers in Jesus.
That term slowly evolved into Christians and was strictly applied to Disciples of Jesus everywhere.
That having been said if there is a strict definition as far as the Bible goes it would have to depend upon that given in Acts since that is where and for whom the term was coined.
A true Christian is a person that is baptized by the Holy Spirit (Mark 16:16). The confusion is created because few actually know what this means. To build a proof that one is indeed baptized by the Holy Spirit an outlined structure first needs explained.
Phase One: Peace with God without the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 1:31).
Phase Two: Abel dies to Cain because Cain Knew it was good to have Gods approval and became angry (Gen 4:5).
Phase Three: God floods the world because every thought of the human heart was evil (Gen 6:5).
Phase Four: The Law was written to describe actions that would prevent anger.
Phase Five: Natural rebellion against the laws.
Phase Six: Jesus shows that by faith God can protect the self from getting angry.
Phase Seven: Resurrect for himself a crop of humans that do not get angry, and peacefully live for all eternity.
Anger and Love, these are moods / attitudes / your spirit. From an ancient Jewish perspective, if I were to Jerry-Rig something I would be doing it in the name of Jerry. Therefore, those that through faith can prevent themselves from becoming angry, and can resist the physical urges that make others angry, or distract themselves from thoughts given from God. These are the ones that are baptized into his name (Romans 2:14-15).
The Wheel of Emotions: Denial - Anger - Bargaining - Depression - Acceptance
Wear the clothes: (Ephesians 4:22-24 Romans 13:14) Because if Not: (Matthew 22:1-14)
If you can separate your evil thoughts from your good thoughts, and believe that God's angels will gather the bad thought and throw them in the fire (Matt 13:30), instead of releasing them with your mouth, only to have more evil return (Luke 11:24). Then your Demons have been taken away from you by the Power of God, and you can know that you have found Heaven (Luke 11:20). Seek Heaven First (Matthew 6:33). Welcome to the family.