How do you define a Christian? How do you define what kind of person is your brother in Christ and what kind of person is not?

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    Welcome to Christianity! I'm closing this because "big list" questions are off topic everywhere on Stack Exchange. "How do you define..." is asking for others' personal views in a way that produces a (theoretically infinite) set of different, equally valid, answers.
    – HedgeMage
    Aug 31 '11 at 2:11

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

If someone professes faith in Christ AND is aligning their behavior with the Bible, they are my brother. As the verse indicates, they have to both be called a Christian and behave like one.

  • So, would the good-behaving "Mormons" and "Jehovah Witnesses" be your brothers in Christ then?
    – brilliant
    Aug 31 '11 at 1:58
  • @brilliant- Sure, but I'd encourage them to get rid of the unimportant names. Aug 31 '11 at 2:01
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    I disagree, (cc @brilliant) because actions alone do not make someone your brother. Mormon's and Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the same way as Christians do.
    – studiohack
    Aug 31 '11 at 2:10
  • @studiohack - they aren't good behaving if they are heretics. Evil communications corrupt good manners. Yet, I find there are infant believers in all sorts of denominations. As they mature in Christ, there are some things they shed. Aug 31 '11 at 2:15
  • yes, I agree that as new believers grow and mature, they shed different behaviors and activities, but still, I feel that your definition is a little legalistic.
    – studiohack
    Aug 31 '11 at 2:22

Anyone who believes in Christ as his personal Lord and Savior is my brother or sister in Christ.

I agree that their actions must agree with their beliefs (i.e. walk the talk), but that does not comprise at all the basis by which one decides whether they are my brother or sister in Christ.

Romans 14 talks about "Cultivating Good Relationships".

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? **God, after all, invited them both to the table.** Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

Do not interpret this the wrong way, this is not an excuse to say that all denominations and religions are variations of the same thing, they are not. My point is that we interpret the Bible differently, such as what we can eat and not eat, but we still believe in Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

  • Do you take issue with Paul's qualifying some as being only "called" a brother vs being actually my brother in the verse in my answer? Aug 31 '11 at 2:13
  • The way I see it, @ThePreacher, your verse (from Corinthians) doesn't have anything to do with one's Christian brother per say, rather it talks about the standards by which the people you hang out with should keep. I know lots of people who can keep those standards and not believe in Christ.
    – studiohack
    Aug 31 '11 at 2:23
  • and be "called a brother?" That means they have identified themselves in name with "the body." The phrase "called a brother" is there. Take a look. Aug 31 '11 at 2:31
  • Sorry man, but that's a messed up translation. Actually, that's a messed up "paraphrase".
    – Xeoncross
    Aug 31 '11 at 21:10

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